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As New Yemen Draft Calls for Settlement Based on GCC, Nobel Winner Opposes It

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 19 -- As a new draft for a Yemen resolution emerged from the UN Security Council's five permanent members, its multiple references to the Gulf Cooperation Council's initiative, which provides immunity for strongman Ali Saleh and his family, put the draft at odds with much of the country's opposition.

  The new draft, as obtained by Inner City Press and set forth in full below, calls for "a political settlement based upon [the] Gulf Cooperation Council initiative."

  On October 18 across First Avenue from the UN's North Lawn building Inner City Press asked Karman about the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, which the Security Council draft would either endorse or say a political deal which be "based on."

  Karman replied, through a translator, that "the youth peaceful revolution is against the GCC initiative, especially because it gives immunity to Saleh and his family. We don't think the Security Council will be trapped into a resolution that will give an immunity to the regime." Video here.

  Before Karman arrived -- her plane touched down at the airport at 3 pm but due to traffic she did not arrive until near 5 pm -- Yemenis turned a bullhorn on the UN with chants like "One, two, three, four, Ali Saleh get out the door." One sign said "Saudi and your GCC, Hands off Yemen!"

But here is the draft Security Council Resolution on Yemen:

Draft SCR on Yemen

The Security Council,

Pp1 Recalling its Press Statements of 24 September 2011, 9 August 2011, and 24 June 2011,

Pp2 Expressing grave concern at the situation in Yemen,

Pp3 Welcoming the Secretary-General's statement of 23 September 2011 urging all sides to engage in a constructive manner to achieve a peaceful resolution to the current crisis,

Pp4 Welcoming the engagement of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and reaffirming the support of the Security Council for the GCC's efforts to resolve the political crisis in Yemen,

Pp5 Welcoming the continuing engagement of the Secretary General's Good Offices including the visits to Yemen by the Special Adviser,

Pp6 Taking note of the Human Rights Council resolution on Yemen (A/HRC/RES/18/19), and underlining the need for a comprehensive, independent and impartial investigation consistent with international standards into alleged human rights abuses and violations, with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring full accountability, and noting in this regard the concerns expressed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Pp7 Welcoming the statement by the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council on 24 September 2011 which called for the immediate signing by President Saleh and implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, condemned the use of force against unarmed demonstrators, and called for restraint, a commitment to a full and immediate ceasefire and the formation of a commission to investigate the events that led to the killing of innocent Yemeni people,

Pp8 Expressing serious concern at the worsening security situation, including armed conflict, and the deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation due to the lack of progress on a political settlement, and the potential for the further escalation of violence,

Pp9 Expressing serious concern also about the increasing number of internally displaced persons and refugees in Yemen, the alarming levels of malnutrition caused by drought and soaring fuel and food prices, the increasing interruption of basic supplies and social services, and increasingly difficult access to safe water and health care,

PP10 Expressing further serious concern at the increased threat from Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and the risk of new terror attacks in parts of Yemen, and reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations,

Pp11 Condemning all terrorist and other attacks against civilians and against the authorities, including those aimed at jeopardising the political process in Yemen, such as the attack in Sana'a on 3 June 2011,

Pp12 Recalling the Yemeni Government's primary responsibility to protect its population,

Pp 13 Stressing that the best solution to the current crisis in Yemen is through an inclusive and Yemeni-led political process, which responds effectively to the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people,

Pp14 Reaffirming its support for the Presidential decree of 12 September which is designed to find a political agreement acceptable to all parties, and to ensure a legal and democratic transition of power, including the holding of early elections,

Pp15 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen,

PP16 Stressing the importance of the stability and security of Yemen, particularly regarding overall international counterterrorism efforts,

Pp17 Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations, and emphasising the threats to regional security and stability posed by the deterioration of the situation in Yemen in the absence of a lasting political settlement,

1. Expresses profound regret at the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including women and children;

2. Strongly condemns the continued human rights violations by the Yemeni authorities, such as the excessive use of force against peaceful protestors as well as the acts of violence, use of force, and human rights abuses perpetrated by other actors, and stresses that all those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable;

3. Demands that all sides immediately reject the use of violence to achieve political goals;

4. Reaffirms its view that the signature and implementation as soon as possible of a settlement agreement on the basis of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative is essential for an inclusive, orderly, and Yemeni-led process, 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, notes the commitment by the President of Yemen (or those delegated or authorised to act on his behalf) to immediately sign the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and implement a political settlement based upon it, and calls for this commitment to be translated into action, in order to achieve a peaceful political transition of power without further delay;

5. Demands that the Yemeni authorities immediately ensure their actions comply with obligations under applicable international humanitarian and human rights law, allow the people of Yemen to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including their rights of peaceful assembly to demand redress of their grievances and freedom of expression, including for members of the media, and take action to end attacks against civilians and civilian targets by security forces;

6. Urges all opposition movements to commit to playing a full and constructive part in the agreement and implementation of a political settlement on the basis of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, and demands that all opposition movements refrain from violence, and cease the use of force to achieve political aims;

7. Further demands that all armed groups remove all weapons from areas of peaceful demonstration, refrain from violence and provocation, refrain from the unlawful recruitment of children, and urges all parties not to target vital infrastructure;

8. Expresses its concern over Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and its determination to address this threat in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law including applicable human rights, refugee and humanitarian law;

9. Encourages the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to Yemen, and in this regard requests all parties in Yemen to facilitate the work of the United Nations agencies and other relevant organisations;

10. Requests the Secretary General to continue his Good Offices, including through visits by the Special Adviser, and to continue to urge all Yemeni stakeholders to implement the provisions of this resolution, and encourage all states and regional organisations to contribute to this objective;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to report on implementation of this resolution within 30 days of its adoption and every 60 days thereafter;

12. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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