Remarks to the press: Ambassador Wittig on Yemen and Guinea-Bissau

Sep 18, 2012

(near-verbatim transcript of remarks by Security Council President Ambassador Wittig, following consultations of the Security Council on Yemen and Guinea-Bissau)

Wittig: “Good afternoon, the Council held two consultations this morning, one on Yemen and one Guinea-Bissau. Let me start with a couple of words on Yemen:

The Security Council heard a briefing by Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, Mr. Jamal Benomar on the recent political and security developments. Mr. Benomar has just returned from his 14th mission to Yemen.  The Council also had a briefing by Mr. Philippe Lazzarini from OCHA on the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

The Members of the Security Council agreed that the comprehensive and inclusive National Dialogue should begin without delay, in order to lay the foundations for a stable and unified Yemen. The Members of the Security Council also expressed their support for the steps taken by President Hadi in reforming and restructuring the security sector.

The Members of the Security Council shared the concern by Mr. Benomar about ongoing attempts to undermine the transition process. The Members of the Security Council, recalling also resolution 2051 of June this year, stressed the need for the Security Council to continue to closely follow the situation in Yemen.

The Members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen and agreed that this required urgent response. In this context, Members of the Security Council also looked forward to the high-level “Friends of Yemen” meeting on 27 September here in New York to reaffirm the international community’s strong support for the transition process and the people of Yemen.

The Security Council – as I mentioned before – also had consultation on the situation in Guinea-Bissau. Under-Secretary-General Jeff Feltman updated the Council on the latest developments. Council members shared concerns about a continuing political stalemate in Guinea-Bissau and its negative impact on the socio-economic and security situation in the country. The return to constitutional order in the country was therefore at the centre of our deliberations. Council members considered the possibility of a roadmap for a transition process and underlined the importance of elections for the transition.

There was also a shared sense that genuine dialog among stakeholders should be promoted and that efforts should be undertaken to bridge differences between sub regional actors.”

[Q. on transitional justice in Yemen]

Wittig:”That was not a major point in the discussion. Council members indeed recalled resolution 2051 of June which contains certain measures that can be taken in case stakeholders are not sticking to the spirit and letter of this resolution. But your point was not specifically discussed in the Council today.]

[Q. on Guinea-Bissau]

Wittig: “You know that the Council decided to establish the Sanctions Committee. This is chaired by my Moroccan colleague. The issue you mentioned is pending in that sanctions committee. It was invoqued by one or two members in today’s discussion. The body to deal with that is the Sanctions Committee.”

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