From 16 to 19 July 2016, the 6th consultation meeting of Yemeni Eminent Personalities took place in Lebanon. The meeting was facilitated by the Berghof Foundation; it was organized in coordination with the Office of the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General to Yemen and with kind support from the German Federal Foreign Office.
The group consisted of 20 eminent Yemeni personalities with diverse political affiliations, from different social components and various geographical areas. In order to allow for a constructive and open-minded discussion, the participants were asked to engage in the discussions on a strictly personal basis- not as official representatives of parties, groups or regions.
The meeting focused on the political dialogue of Yemeni parties and components that is due to take place after the signing of an agreement in the ongoing UN-led negotiations of the conflict parties. As discussion at the latest as well as at earlier consultation meetings have demonstrated, it will be highly relevant that the political dialogue process will start again shortly after an initial agreement of the conflict parties. This dialogue process will be highly relevant to solve contested issues from the Yemeni transition process, including questions relating to state-building and the Southern issue. Participants also highlighted that the political dialogue after a ceasefire agreement also offers a unique opportunity for peacebuilding and internal reconciliation after months of devastating war.
Against this background, the discussions focused on the main principles and options for the design of the political dialogue process, including possible mechanisms, various formats, different tracks and safety nets. The participants developed concrete ideas how an inclusive and effective dialogue could be organized to continue the Yemeni transition process and address some of the urgent needs created by the war.
Further consultation meetings will take place over the next weeks which aim at supporting and complementing the official negotiation efforts. The purpose of the series of consultation meetings of Eminent Yemeni Personalities is to provide an informal space of discussion to explore and build common understanding of relevant issues among important Yemeni stakeholders while generating ideas and options to support the peace process. The outcomes of the meeting will be shared with the Yemeni parties for internal discussion.