The Foreign Secretary today announced that £11.4million of UK funding would be spent on supporting elections and National Dialogue in Yemen, as representatives of 39 countries and organisations gathered in London for the fifth meeting of the Friends of Yemen.
In a meeting focused on ensuring Yemen stays on track towards parliamentary and presidential elections in February 2014, the Friends of Yemen offered continued support to President Hadi and welcomed the Yemeni Government’s election roadmap which sets out plans to overhaul the voting system and implement a new constitution.
The UK co-chairs the Friends of Yemen with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Speaking after the meeting, Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
The UK is proud to play a leading role in supporting Yemen and is the third largest donor to the under-funded UN humanitarian appeal. Yemen matters to the UK and it matters to the international community. Instability in Yemen threatens regional security and is causing immense suffering to the Yemeni people.
Yemen is now half-way through a peaceful transition and is on the road to full elections in 2014. In a region which has seen huge instability and violence, Yemen’s progress so far has been remarkable. But the international community cannot afford to let Yemen’s transition falter.
I welcome the Yemeni Government’s announcement that the long-awaited National Dialogue Conference will begin on 18 March and the election roadmap they put forward today. The UK will provide £11.4 million to help support this process. I urge all parties in Yemen to seize this opportunity to have their say in how Yemen should be governed.
The security and humanitarian situation in Yemen remains deeply challenging and is a constant threat to successful political reform. The Foreign Secretary today reiterated a clear warning given by the UN Security Council in February that anyone who attempts to derail the peaceful transition process will face serious consequences.
The Friends of Yemen today welcomed the establishment of a new Executive Unit in Yemen to ensure the speedy and transparent allocation of the $7.8billion pledged by the international community in 2012.
Commenting today, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
This is a crucial year for Yemen and one that could determine the success or failure of the entire political transition progress. While we’ve seen clear signs of progress in security and economic development, there is no doubting how fragile the situation remains.
The £11.4 million support we have announced today will bring together different people and opinions from across the country into a shared vision for the future, as well as helping elections to go ahead safely and on schedule. Now is the time for the international community to support Yemen through this transition process to lay the foundations for future peace and prosperity.
Read more about the meeting at our Friends of Yemen website pages.
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