The Yemeni National Dialogue, The National Dialogue Conference (NDC) was a transitional dialogue process held at the Movenpick Hotel in Sana’a, Yemen from March 18, 2013 to January 24, 2014, as part of the Yemeni crisis reconciliation efforts.
National Dialogue is a key part of the agreement brokered by the UN and the Gulf Co-operation Council that saw long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh hand over power to Mr Hadi in November 2011 after an uprising. Mr Hadi was subsequently sworn in for a two-year term as president in February 2012 after an election in which he stood unopposed.
The UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Jamal Benomar, described the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference as a “historic moment”. “After being on the brink of civil war, Yemenis negotiated an agreement for peaceful change, the only such in the region,” he said. “The National Dialogue established a new social contract and opened a new page in the history of Yemen, breaking from the past and paving the way for democratic governance founded on the rule of law, human rights and equal citizenship,” he added.
– The NDC was divided into separate working groups, each with their own members. Groups were:
-The Southern Issue Working Group
-The Sa’ada Issue Working Group, the National Issues Working Group
-The National Reconciliation and Transitional Justice Working Group, the State-Building Working Group
-The Good Governance Working Group
-The Foundations for Building and the Role of the Armed and Security Forces Working Group
-The Independence of Special Entities Working Group
-The Rights and Freedoms Working Group
-The Development Working Group
-The Special Social and Environmental Issues Working Group
-The Formation of the Committee to Draft the Constitution Working Group
-The Assurance of Successful Implementation and Conference Outcomes Working Group
Presidents of the Conference
The NDC was headed by a nine-member presidency including President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi(NDC Chairman), Abdul-Kareem Al-Eryani(General People’s Congress), Yassen Saeed No’man (Yemeni Socialist Party), Sultan Al-Atwani (Nasserite Unionist Party), Yassin Makkawi (Peaceful Southern Movement), Saleh bin Habra (Houthis), Abdul-Wahab Al-Ansi (Islah Party). Nadia Al-Saqqaf, and Abdullah Lamlas.The conference was overseen by Jamal Benomar, representative to the United Nations.
-The document agreed to extend Hadi’s presidency for another year.
-It also called for the restructuring of parliament and the Shura Council, which will be composed of 50% northerners and 50% southerners.
-In terms of the Sa’ada Issue, the document guaranteed freedom of religion, makes stipulations on the nonsectarian nature of the government, outlaws illegal financial or arms support from foreign powers, calls for a return of stolen government weapons, prohibits the possession of medium to heavy arms, and calls for addressing the feuds that have contributed to the conflict.
-Yemen would be transformed into a 6-region federal system.
Worldwide Positive Reactions
-The European Union Foreign Affairs Council released a statement that the NDC “has set an example in the region” for transitional phases.
-the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council stated that the NDC was a positive development and that “the GCC States will continue to exert full efforts alongside regional and international parties to ensure the success of the political settlement in Yemen.
-Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird congratulated Hadi on the completion of the NDC and said in a statement, “the people of Yemen have clearly spoken for a more open society that respects freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
-The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that, “Turkey believes that the preparation for a new constitution in Yemen that secures the fundamental rights and freedoms and that has accordance with National Dialogue Conference resolutions is essential for a consistent and prosperous Yemen
-United States State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf stated that “The debates, discussions and compromises throughout the National Dialogue process are evidence of the will of the Yemeni people to work together constructively for the future of their country.
-This negotiation resulted in a successful agreement but failed implementation of the agreement. In 21 September 2014. The Houthi and pro-Saleh forces were able to take advantage of the weakness of the transitional government and moved aggressively into Sana’a and overthrew President Hadi and his government.