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UN seeks end to military escalation in Yemen

Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister, Interior Minister and President of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon along with other officials and delegates at the opening session of the Congress yesterday.

By Sidi Mohamed
Monday, April 13, 2015

DOHA: The United Nations yesterday called for an end to military escalation in Yemen and said UN-brokered talks were the best way to resolve the long-drawn crisis. “I strongly support the efforts of my Special Envoy Jamal Benomar,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Qatar, meanwhile, said the main aim of Operation Decisive Storm was to ensure the security of GCC states. The other goal is to fight the deposed Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh because he violated the UN Security Council’s resolutions.

“On top of which was to restore legitimate rule in the country,” said Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in reply to questions. He and Ban Ki-moon were addressing a joint press conference after a UN anti-crime conference here yesterday.

The Premier said about Doha Declaration that the participants have agreed in principle to guarantee the recommendations as part of the declaration. Ban Ki-moon had strongly objected to the Houthis attempting to control Yemen by force. “This is unacceptable, but I am also deeply concerned about the military escalation. Civilian casualties are mounting and vital public infrastructure is being destroyed.” 

Ban Ki-moon said de-escalation and a return to peaceful negotiations were urgently needed.

Life-saving humanitarian assistance in Yemen is continuing to the extent possible through national staff and a network of local partners, the UN chief said.

“One of the biggest security threats we face is the rise of the Islamic State,” he added.

The international community has to address the conditions that allow groups like IS to emerge and grow.

On April 21 and 22 there will be a high-level UN General Assembly thematic debate on tolerance and reconciliation organized in cooperation with the Alliance of Civilization Initiative.

The UN chief said that later in the year he planned to present a comprehensive plan of action on preventing violent extremism, including through good governance, rule of law, engaging women and youth and all those alienated from our societies.

Alleged violations or abuses of human rights must be investigated in Iraq and perpetrators must be held to account.

Over 2.5 million people have now been displaced in Iraq.

Ban Ki-moon lauded Qatar for its support for rebuilding efforts in Gaza and said he urged all donors to fully meet the commitments they made in Cairo last October.

Finally, on Iran, the recent political framework achieved by the P5 Plus 1 and Iran is a significant development.

“It paves the way for a comprehensive joint plan of action by June 30 as agreed by the negotiating parties.”

About Doha Declaration at the end of the UN anti-crime conference, Ban Ki-moon said it will be reported to the UN General Assembly and added he hoped it would be adopted with consensus.

At the press briefing he fielded many questions on Somali refugees in Kenya, Egypt, Syria and Libya. A journalist specifically asked about death verdicts in Egypt with Ban Ki-moon evading it and simply saying: “We sincerely hope that Egyptian government and people will also address the people’s views and aspiration and make a move towards mature democracy respecting human rights and dignity”.

Earlier at the conference, Ban Ki-moon has warned of the growing links between organised crime and extremist violence, saying they are feeding off each other “like never before”.

He said more needed to be done to tackle both crime and extremism, especially to stop either from becoming attractive options for young people.

“We must address the growing links between organised crime and terrorism,” he said at the opening of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

“Like never before, terrorists and criminals around the world are coming together and feeding off each other.

“They are funding terror through criminal networks and growing rich through the suffering of entire populations.”


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