Thank you, Mr. President.
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you and your delegation on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of December. I wish you great success in your stewardship of the Council and assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation. I would also like to thank the colleagues for their appreciation of India’s presidency last month.
2. I thank Special Adviser Jamal Benomar for his comprehensive briefing on recent developments in Yemen, including Secretary General’s recent visit to Sana’a to mark the anniversary of the signing of the GCC brokered agreement. I would also like to thank the Permanent Representative of Yemen for his valuable statement.
3. Nearly a year back when the Security Council adopted resolution 2014, Yemen was facing a serious situation on the political, security, and humanitarian fronts. On the one hand, Yemeni people’s aspirations for democratic transformation and stable and secure future were thwarted due to divisions among the political class. On the other, extremists and terrorist groups, some linked with the Al Qaeda, were expanding their presence in various parts of the country, particularly in the south. Clashes among various factions of the military led to the death of several hundred Yemenis.
4. By virtue of the unanimous support of the international community, anchored in the Security Council, the efforts of the GCC succeeded in the signing of an agreement between the main Yemeni parties. It is a great tribute to the Yemeni people and their leadership that the country is making steady progress in the implementation of the transition agreement.
5. We commend President Hadi, whose leadership of the transition process has made immense contribution in turning the situation of despair into the hope of a stable, secure, democratic and prosperous Yemen. We also would like to congratulate Yemeni people for their determination to resolve current challenges through inclusive Yemeni-led political processes. India stands by the people and Government of Yemen in their journey towards a stable, secure, prosperous, and democratic future.
6. Despite significant progress made during the last one year, Yemen continues to face multiple political, security, economic and humanitarian challenges. The political situation remains delicate. The political parties and regional stakeholders are yet to overcome differences over important issues, including transitional justice and reconciliation. The fragility of the situation has compounded the humanitarian situation affecting nearly 10 million Yemenis.
7. Al Qaeda and affiliated militant groups continue to carry out attacks against government institutions and officials. The tribal militias also continue hostilities in the southern and northern parts of Yemen. We strongly condemn all terrorist acts and violence in Yemen, and urge all groups to lay down their arms and join the political process to address their grievances. We also fully support Yemen’s political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call upon the international community to continue its assistance to the Government of Yemen in its fight against terrorist groups and in its efforts to stabilize the security situation.
8. We have noted that the Yemeni government has taken several important initiatives to restructure the armed forces, appoint a new electoral commission, and resume economic activities. The preparatory committee for the National Dialogue Conference is engaged in a serious and inclusive dialogue among all stakeholders, and is in its final stages of work. Political parties are actively engaged in dialogue to resolve differences over draft law on Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation.
We hope that the National Dialogue Conference will ensure the involvement of all stakeholders, including youth and women groups, al Houthis, the southern movement, and civil society. We also hope that these initiatives will pave the way for holding the referendum on the constitution in 2013 and elections in the beginning of 2014 as envisaged in the transition agreement.
9. India has a long and historical relationship with Yemen. We have partnered with Yemen in humanitarian, human resources development and capacity building areas. In addition to its engagement under the Friends of Yemen Group, India would be happy to look at specific proposals for cooperation from Government of Yemen, particularly in the field of training, capacity building, entrepreneurship development, small and medium enterprises, education and information technology within the bilateral cooperation arrangements. India has also provided consignment of rice worth of US $ 2 million and would be sending very soon, another consignment of wheat worth the same amount. In addition, India would also be supplying medicines worth US $ 2 million to Yemen.
10. India also stands ready to offer concessional Lines of Credit (LOCs) for projects and programmes considered urgent and necessary by Yemen under the umbrella of credit lines for the LDCs. The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) provides another framework for India’s cooperation with Yemen.
11. In conclusion, let me reiterate that the continuing support of the international community is crucial to Yemen as it consolidates the gains that have been made during the last year. We would like to wish the friendly people of Yemen continued progress, peace and prosperity, and reassure them of India’s support as the country traverses through a crucial phase in its history.
I thank you.