PRESS RELEASE |
Over 100 Yemeni and international diplomats, stakeholders, civil society representatives, and journalists attended the online launch of the Second Yemen International Forum (YIF II) report, “Pathways to a Just, Inclusive and Sustainable Peace in Yemen,” on Monday, December 4, 2023. Organized by the Sana’a Center, the event highlighted the main outcomes of the YIF, held in the Hague in June 2023, and attended by more than 200 civil and political actors from inside and outside Yemen.
Waleed Alhariri, Director of the Yemen International Forum welcomed the attendees before giving the floor to Her Excellency Jeanette Seppen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Yemen, His Excellency Gabriel Munuera Vinals, Ambassador of the European Union to Yemen, and Roxaneh Bazergan, Chief of Political Affairs at the Office of Special Envoy of Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY).
“It remains key, both now and in the future, to provide platforms to all Yemeni stakeholders to discuss a vision for the future of Yemen. The YIF, in our view, is an important step towards this goal,” said Dutch Ambassador Jeanette Seppen, affirming the Dutch government’s continued commitment and support towards this initiative. The Ambassador commended the second YIF for its efforts in bringing together the different parties to the table —including, for the first time, a delegation from the Southern Transitional Council — proving it is possible to create an inclusive platform towards just and inclusive peace that is determined by Yemenis.
“The YIF provides a unique platform for many Yemenis from inside and outside Yemen to meet and discuss relevant topics in a safe and conducive environment. It stands not only as a testament to the importance of Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue, but is also an embodiment of the principles of local ownership,” said EU Ambassador Gabriel Munuera Vinals, adding that the Forum ensures Yemen stays on the agenda of the international community, despite the unfortunate unfolding of multiple crises across the globe.
Co-Executive Director for Knowledge Production at the Sana’a Center, Yasmeen Al-Eryani, presented the key outcomes from YIF 2023, which focused on three main themes: Political Pathways to Peace, Economic Recovery, and Justice and Reconciliation. Al-Eryani emphasized the extent to which the YIF II ensured diverse representation from all corners of Yemeni political and civil life, bringing together the different political parties of Yemen, representatives from minority communities, victims unions, experts, and specialists in the peace process, civil society organizations, tribal leaders, the private sector and the banking sector, local mediators, representation from different geographic areas of the country, as well as Yemenis residing both in Yemen and abroad. She also highlighted the importance of the Yemen Declaration for Justice and Reconciliation, presented at the YIF, and collaboratively developed and endorsed by a range of Yemeni civil society organizations.
The event concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Rim Mugahed, a researcher and program manager at the Sana’a Center. Speakers included Mohammed Al-Shuwaiter, Yemeni legal expert and director of Qanun – The Arabic Human Rights Platform, Dr. Huda al-Attas, a southern Yemeni journalist and author, and Dr. Abdullah Nasher, professor at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Sana’a. The panelists shared their reflections on the second Yemen International Forum and its outcomes, discussing how these, along with current developments in Yemen, will inform the next Forum.
The YIF is the largest international annual conference bringing together Yemeni civil and political actors to engage in constructive dialogue on Yemen’s future. Building on the first Forum held in Stockholm in 2022, and the second in the Hague in 2023, the third YIF will take place in the last quarter of 2024. The YIF team is currently exploring potential locations to host the next Yemen International Forum. Details will be announced in early 2024.
Read the full YIF II Report here.