What's In Blue

Posted Fri 21 Oct 2011

Vote on a Yemen Resolution

It seems the Council will vote on a draft resolution on Yemen this afternoon (21 October). The draft was put in blue last night (20 October) after two sessions of negotiations earlier this week. The draft resolution’s key elements focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative for a transfer of power in Yemen, the Council’s concern over Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and the need for humanitarian assistance.

It seems Council members don’t anticipate any difficulties in adopting the resolution and the draft has P5 agreement. It appears that some Council members were concerned by possible sovereignty issues as the draft indirectly calls for a head of state to leave power. However, Council members apparently believe it is important to send a signal regarding the peaceful transfer of power in Yemen and feel comfortable with language that places an emphasis on support for the GCC initiative, noting President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s own stated intention to sign the initiative.

The draft resolution also condemns the continued human rights violations by Yemeni authorities, as well as by other actors. Some local opposition leaders have advocated the rejection of immunity for Saleh, reportedly one of the elements of the GCC initiative. Council members seem to feel that the issue of immunity is between the parties and have signaled their own commitment to rule of law issues by stressing in the draft resolution that those responsible for such violations should be held accountable.

The draft resolution apparently requests the Secretary-General to report back to the Council within 30 days and then every 60 days thereafter.

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