Transitional Justice moves forward in Yemen, although challenges remain significant
SANA’A - The government of Yemen and the United Nations Development Programme took their first step today to establishing a common platform to support transitional justice in Yemen by holding the very first project board meeting of the Support to the Implementation of Transitional Justice Project.
The meeting was chaired by the Minister Mohamed Al-Mikhlafi and Deputy Minister Mohammed Al-Maqtari, with the participation of the UNDP’s Governance Unit, represented by Eward Christow, the project team, as well as representatives of Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), the European Union (EU) and the Netherlands.
The Project Board meeting approved a dedicated plan to support the recently established Commissions of Inquiry on Land and Forced Dismissals issues. This plan considers providing emergent logistical and programmatic support through procuring necessary equipment, engaging experienced consultants that will help commissions to achieve their mandates and organizing experience sharing with similar entities in other countries. In addition, the project will focus on building accountable national institutions while providing sustainable capacity that will support mechanisms of redress in Yemen (Ministry of Legal Affairs, Justice and National Reconciliation Commission, Independent National Human Rights Institution, amongst others).
The minister Mohamed Al-Mikhlafi highlighted that “transitional justice is one of the key elements of transition period in Yemen and the project has full support of the Ministry.” The Minister also thanked UNDP and OHCHR for their good work and for supporting transitional justice process.
Following the meeting, Gustavo Gonzalez, UNDP Senior Country Director, stressed that “it is rather difficult to conceive a successful transition in Yemen without an all-inclusive transitional justice process. If national dialogue fosters consensus building, transitional justice aims at creating the basis for a lasting reconciliation in the country”.
Supporting CSOs with avenues of redress in order to ensure participation of victims of conflict and other conflict-affected vulnerable groups will be another key target of the project. Lastly, the project will work to ensure that members of the National Dialogue Conference are appropriately briefed, educated and trained on transitional justice issues, while supporting outreach activities in order to buttress the level of public discourse on transitional justice.
The project is jointly implemented by UNDP and OHCHR, under the umbrella of the Ministry Of Legal Affairs. EU and the Netherlands confirmed their support for the project with the EU agreement to be signed by the end of the month and the second agreement shortly thereafter.
Mr. Dragan Popovic, Consultant,
Transitional Justice Project, UNDP Yemen
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