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Joint Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Yemen
June 17, 2011

The human rights situation in Yemen


Mr President,

I speak on behalf of 74* countries. This statement has been prepared in cooperation and dialogue with the Government of Yemen.

The States that have joined together to make this Statement support a unified and stable Yemen.

We call on the Government of Yemen to do everything in its power to bring a peaceful end to the current upheaval and crisis, and to do so in a manner that shows respect for the legitimate aspirations of its citizens.

We are greatly concerned about the deaths of civilians and security personnel and reports of violations of human rights as a consequence of the ongoing clashes between various factions, armed tribesmen, national security forces and peaceful demonstrators throughout the country. We are especially troubled by reports of killings, disappearances, ill-treatment and torture of those who are peaceful demonstrators on both sides, and also by injuries and deaths suffered by children and women.

We call on all parties to fully respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms and stress the need to hold accountable those who are responsible for human rights violations.

While the Government of Yemen has the primary responsibility to protect its civilian population, we call on all parties to do their utmost to prevent further escalation of violence, to end all human rights violations, to address the humanitarian consequences of the crisis, including the position of refugees and IDPs, and to ensure safety in and stability for the country.

We call on the international community to support Yemen and other stakeholders in these efforts, in the same way as the Gulf Cooperation Council member states: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain have done in the recent past.

We welcome the invitation by the Government of Yemen to the High Commissioner to have a mission of her Office visit the country later this month. We commend the Government of Yemen for the free access to the country they have promised to grant the mission.

We expect this mission to assess the human rights situation in the country and make recommendations to the Government of Yemen and to the international community.

We look forward to reviewing the High Commissioner’s report and to considering it collectively at the 18th session of this Council. We will remain seized of these issues between now and then and expect to have a full and constructive exchange on the situation of human rights in Yemen at our 18th session.

* the 22 countries of the Arab Group, the 27 countries of the European Union, Albania, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chili, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, United States of America, Uruguay