Yemeni Women “Group of Nine” network for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325
Our fair demand is to stop the war and armed conflicts (1)
The international community today, led by the UN Security Council and its humanitarian and human rights organizations are focused on peace initiatives and the calls for ceasefire to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
These organizations have sent statements, messages and calls to all countries around the world to take precautionary measures to deal with the global and transboundary outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the lives of everyone without any exceptions. Countries affected have already taken immediate and urgent actions to stop the death tolls that exceeded all expectations. Developed countries were the first to take measures to counter the pandemic with more resolute measures such as the closure of land, air and sea border-crossing points with their neighbors and countries where the epidemic has spread rapidly.
These countries have directed all efforts to boost their healthcare systems that were not properly prepared to handle such a crisis, set up quarantines, manufactured ventilators and called for factories to produce more of the needed medical equipment, face masks and sterilizers, in addition to imposing complete and partial lockdown.
Some countries took more serious measures to counter the pandemic and too measures to start developing effective vaccines to stop the spread of the COVID-19, although such attempts are still in their early stages but are considered effective measures. These were accompanied by imposing stay-at-home and social distancing procedures to name a few.
They have also offered government funding to the public and private sectors to prevent and stop their economic deterioration as a result of keeping their workforce and staff at home; part of the preventive measures aimed to ensure public health and safety.
Many private sector institutions implemented work-from-home scheme for their employees in order to maintain ongoing livelihood for the peoples of these countries and to enable them to meet the minimum living requirements and so as not to expose them to further tragic situations. Companies continued to pay salaries and remuneration out of their keenness to prevent tragedies that these countries were not prepared for.
In our region, Arab countries have started taking precautionary steps and preventive measures that varied depending on the conditions of each state and the manner in which the political leaders and rulers viewed this pandemic.
In our country, some measures were taken but in fact they were not up to the level of danger that threatens all Yemenis, as such measures are inadequate.
Leaders of all conflicting parties must seek more effective measures to this confront this pandemic and to address its effects, which are not excluded to the health field as they include economic, social and psychological effects, and to reduce their impact on our people all over the country. These leaders need to rethink these measures specially with the continuation of war and armed conflict.
This pandemic makes it imperative for those leaders to stand up to their humanitarian and national responsibilities in response to the international calls by the United Nations in specific and its Special Envoy for Yemen Mr. Martin Griffiths. These repeated calls, statements and messages demand an immediate ceasefire and the release of all detainees as a prelude to stopping the war and violence, engage in constructive dialogues to reach a comprehensive political settlement and stop the bloodshed in Yemen. It is imperative to resort to reason and work on remedying the economic conditions that have worsened due to the prolonged war and armed conflicts that herald a human catastrophe if the pandemic spreads to Yemen. Our health system is fragile and is not equipped to counter this pandemic along with the collapse of other basic services, including those related to sanitation and the scarcity of clean drinking water, taking into consideration the significant and essential role of both in the prevention of the pandemic. A recent study by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) indicated that 76 million in the Arab World lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities and services especially in communities that are witnessing large displacements because of wars and violence, and these, of course, include Yemen.
This pandemic carries challenges that Arab governments need to combat. These challenges are not limited to health risks but to huge socio-economic effects if the virus spreads further in our region. The leaders need to recognize and acknowledge their responsibilities by accepting the international calls for ceasefire, returning to the negotiation table and engaging in open-minded discussions.
The pandemic is far riskier than what they assume, as the repercussions of its spread in our country will relentlessly destroy more Yemeni lives, demolish all what has been built and prevent the revival of the economy which is already deteriorating from the war and armed conflicts.
Citizens will then be exposed to death, famine and destitution, and the international community will not be able to provide any urgent humanitarian and medical relief, as it will not be able to provide the minimum requirements, and in best case scenarios, the required will be reduced as the supporting countries and international organizations will be busy reprioritizing their support and means to provide it due to many considerations.
For all these reasons, we in the "Group of Nine" Network support peace efforts and initiatives and call on our brothers and leaders in the Yemeni warring parties to reconsider their positions, spare Yemeni blood and asses the new reality of the COVID-19, prepare for it and realize that wars and armed conflicts have imposed substantial burden on the Yemeni citizen, and they no longer can combat this pandemic which will double the humanitarian tragedy. We are aware that the circumstances are better today with the parties sensing their responsibilities not only for ceasefire, but to stop the war and armed conflicts and enter a comprehensive peace settlement that leads to an all-inclusive and sustainable peace process reaching peace agreements that fulfil the rights and interests of all parties.
The Yemeni women's "Group of the Nine" Network for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security:
- The Yemeni Women’s Pact for Peace and Security/Tawafuq
- The Yemeni Women’s Summit
- Women’s Peace Voices
- Coalition of Peace Partners
- Southern Women for Peace
- Women’s Solidarity Network
- Women for Yemen Network
- Young Leadership Development Foundation
- Ma'rib Girls Foundation - Southern Women for Peace