The EIP at the Yemen International Forum II in The Hague
The European Institute of Peace Yemen Team participated in the Second Yemen International Forum that was organised by the Sanaʿa Centre for Strategic Studies in The Hague between 12–15 June 2023. The Forum’s theme was Pathways to Inclusive, Just, and Sustainable Peace inviting participants to discuss and build consensus across three thematic files on politics, the economy, and justice and reconciliation and their potential to support a roadmap for peace in Yemen. Enhancing women’s inclusion and addressing environmental issues were subjects that cut across all discussions throughout the Forum.
The Institute co-organised with the Sanaʿa Centre three different sessions focusing on the politics of southern Yemen, and bringing southern Yemeni leaders in discussion among themselves and with foreign delegates and the public. The Institute’s Regional Advisor to the Southern Dialogue Process, Thanos Petouris, moderated a meeting of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) with representatives of the diplomatic community and international organisations which gave the opportunity to participants to better understand the Council’s current political positions. Then, southern Yemeni delegates, who also participate in the Institute’s Dialogue Process, exchanged opinions during a closed session on how to overcome existing obstacles in achieving common political understandings and avoiding tensions among their groups on the ground. The session’s outcomes and agreed principles were communicated to the public in an open panel conversation, where audience members led a lively discussion with southern Yemeni women activists and politicians on the issues that matter to Yemenis across the country.
The Institute’s team also participated in four sessions on justice and reconciliation issues in the context of the peace process. Senior Advisor Hisham Al-Omeisy and Programme Manager Ivan Shalev discussed challenges and opportunities for ensuring that conditions and efforts are in place for a just and sustainable peace by vindicating the rights of Yemeni citizens. This builds on previous and ongoing work of the Institute’s Pathways for Reconciliation initiative which supports communities in several districts and governorates in Yemen to effectively articulate and present their rights-based needs and concerns. Hisham Al-Omeisy initiated a discussion on the many ways through which international actors can support Yemeni NGOs, including representing Yemen and amplifying Yemeni voices in international venues, providing financial support, and facilitating capacity building initiatives.
The Second Yemen International Forum brought together more than 250 Yemeni and foreign participants, diplomats, activists, mediators, political leaders, experts into discussions and consultations over an array of issues that have prevented the realisation of an inclusive, just, and sustainable peace in the country and the ending of the eight-year conflict. With the support of the Dutch government, the European Union, Norway, Open Society Foundations, and the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Forum has become an essential platform for Yemeni – Yemeni dialogue and the elaboration of Yemeni visions for peace. It provides valuable support to the UN-led peace process and an important space for furthering the Institute’s work in Yemen.