Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meanwhile, back in Yemen....

("So which bit of 'I'm still in charge' don't you get?")

2011: what a year for the UN Security Council. First with the passage of UNSCR 1970 and UNSCR 1973, the UN - with the support of the Arab League - authorised sanctions and then the use of force in Libya. Then the stop-and-start element came in with Russia and China vetoing a draft S/2011/612  over (extremely limited) action against Syria, and the moment was less optimistic. However, with the unanimous passage of UNSCR 2014 on 21 October on Yemen, and the direct support to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative that OP4 describes as:

"... inclusive, orderly, and Yemeni-led process of political transition, notes the signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative by some opposition parties and the General People’s Congress, calls on all parties in Yemen to commit themselves to implementation of a political settlement based upon this initiative..."

The rest of UNSCR 2014 is full of sensible stuff about pushing along an implementation of the proposed settlement with President Saleh, but I was very taken with the not-quite-Chapter VII language of PP18:

"Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations, and emphasizing the threats to regional security and stability posed by the deterioration of the situation in Yemen in the absence of a lasting political settlement,"

The UNSC etc etc...

So let's watch it. If Saleh doesn't accept the GCC proposals - which is not uncontroversial given then the GCC has included an immunity clause -  then the UNSC has said that they'll return to it. It will be very interesting to see how the next phase in Yemen develops.

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