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NDC Outcomes Lay Foundations for Federal State in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi enters the hall during the closing ceremony of the Yemeni national dialogue conference in Sanaa January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi (YEMEN – Tags: POLITICS)

Riyadh- Yemenis intently wait for the suffering imposed by coup militias to be subdued, looking forward to the implementation of the conclusive charter issued by the Yemen National Dialogue Conference (NDC).

The charter stipulates that Yemen is transformed into a six-region federal system.

Iran-aligned Houthi militants and armed loyalists backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh have been orchestrating a coup in Yemen seeking to overthrow the constitutionally elected government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The insurgency has cost Yemen heavily, where at least 2.5 million people were internally displaced in Yemen as of 31 December 2015.

Over 17 million people are currently unable to adequately feed themselves and are frequently forced to skip meals – women and girls eat the least and last. Seven million Yemenis do not know where their next meal will come from and are ever closer to starvation, a statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick said.

Effective and consensual solutions attending most of Yemen’s pressing issues are found in the NDC’s final statement.

In terms of Southern and Sa’ada issues, considered intricate and upmost challenging, the document guarantees freedom of religion, makes stipulations on the nonsectarian nature of the government, outlaws illegal financial or arms support from foreign powers, calls for a return of stolen government weapons, prohibits the possession of medium to heavy arms, and calls for addressing the feuds that have contributed to the conflict. The NDC outcomes will be enshrined in the forthcoming constitution.

The NDC concluded that a six-region Yemeni federation would encompass each of Azal, Saba, Janad and Tihama, Aden and Hadramawt.

Sana’a will have a special status and not be part of any region. Aden, the former southern capital, would also have a special status. Azal, Saba, Janad and Tahama would be northern provinces where Aden and Hadramawt would be southern.

President Hadi described the NDC’s final statement as ‘the most important to Yemen’s modern day history’, stressing that the unique vision projected by the charter is to offset any return of tyranny or autocracy– it’s a key step towards building a state with functioning institutions, law and order, state justice, equality and freedoms.

Yemenis at the NDC, which lasted about 10 months, successfully drafted central solutions for the South within the framework of a federal state, ensuring equitable distribution of wealth and power, equal citizenship and the establishment of good governance.

Sustainable development across all domains along with the promotion and protection of rights and freedoms have been clearly protected by the conclusive charter.

The NDC was a transitional dialogue process held in Sana’a, Yemen from March 18, 2013 to January 24, 2014 as part of the Yemeni crisis reconciliation efforts.

National Dialogue is a key part of the agreement brokered by the United Nations and the Gulf Co-operation Council that saw the official handover of power to Hadi in November 2011 after an uprising.

Outcomes yielded by the NDC saw international backing, as the European Union Foreign Affairs Council released a statement that the NDC “has set an example in the region” for transitional phases.

Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdul Latif al-Zayani stated that the NDC was a positive development and that “the GCC States will continue to exert full efforts alongside regional and international parties to ensure the success of the political settlement in Yemen.”

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird had congratulated Hadi on the completion of the NDC and said in a statement that “the people of Yemen have clearly spoken for a more open society that respects freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

United States State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf had stated that “The debates, discussions and compromises throughout the National Dialogue process are evidence of the will of the Yemeni people to work together constructively for the future of their country.”