NDC Week in Review: September 1-5

8 September 2013 /

NDC Presidency and Secretariat General Activity

On Sunday, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi chaired an exceptional meeting of members of the NDC’s Presidency and Consensus Committee, as well as political party leadership figures. With United Nations Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar also in attendance, the NDC’s latest developments and potential outcomes were discussed.

The president spoke about steps which will follow the NDC’s conclusion, including the drafting of a new constitution, which he said would be the subject of a national referendum, to be followed by judiciary and presidential elections.


On Sunday, NDC Secretary General Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak met with Dutch Ambassador to Yemen Jeroen Verheul. The two officials discussed a number of NDC-related issues, including working group final reports and the recent conference absence of a number of southern members. bin Mubarak said major efforts were underway to convince the Southern members to return.


On Sunday, a three day-long training course focused on developing journalists’ abilities to analyze and communicate NDC outcomes concluded in Sana'a.

At least 33 Yemeni journalists received instruction on how to best utilize their professional abilities to provide citizens with an accurate view of conference activities and outcomes.

The training course was organized by the Sawaisa Development and Justice Organization and the NDC Communications and Media Department.


On Monday, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi praised the key role played by Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and women in the NDC. President Hadi's comments came during a meeting with CSOs and Women sector's members participating in the NDC.


NDC Finance and Budget Department Director Waleed Qaed Al-Omitheli stated that total conference expenditures from March 18 to July 31 amounted to 1,920,427,507 Yemeni rials (YR).

Among the expenses which contributed to the total amount were NDC member stipends and wages, working group field visit expenses, and expenditures connected with security provisions and audio and visual media productions.

Al-Omitheli said the Yemeni government had provided $6 million to the NDC, while Saudi Arabia had contributed $5 million. Both amounts were directly received by the NDC Secretariat General.


On Wednesday, in a speech delivered to ‘independent youth’ NDC members, Yemeni President Hadi stated that Yemen’s youths represented the country’s brightest hope for the future.

Hadi said, "Young people at the National Dialogue Conference are drawing a positive picture of Yemen through their active participation and their support for the dialogue from different angles.”


On Wednesday, members of the NDC’s Consensus Committee discussed the nine conference working groups’ progress in implementing their agendas.

At the meeting, which was chaired by NDC Vice President Yassin Saeed No’man, the committee members agreed to recommend that the NDC Presidency initiate communications with all working groups in an effort to ease the groups’ respective workloads.


On Thursday, a NDC Consensus Committee subcommittee and a committee from the Yemeni Government convened for a meeting focused on the implementation of the 31-point lists.

With UN Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar in attendance, Saleh Ba Sora briefed the government committee on recommendations agreed upon by the Consensus Committee’s subcommittee on the matter of the 20-point list.

''The Yemeni government should give a priority to implementing the 20 points, and we are hoping that it will consider enacting executive procedures,'' said Ba Sora.


On Thursday, United Nations Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar stated that the UN would work to mobilize all necessary international support for the 31-point lists to be implemented. He also said that increased efforts would need to be exerted in order for consensus votes and positive conference results to be achieved.

"All parties in Yemen are committed to resolving southern issues and already unanimously agreed that the solution will only be reached via the National Dialogue Conference,'' said Benomar.


NDC Working Group Activity


Sa'ada issue

Members of the Sa’ada Issue Working Group’s solutions committee have approved four additional potential solutions and accompanying implementation guarantees.

The new items bring the total number of potential solutions and implementation guarantees to the Sa’ada-related issues to 37, all of which were approved by the solutions committee over the past weeks.


National Issues and Transitional Justice

On Thursday, members of the National Issues and Transitional Justice Working Group’s subcommittee discussed the draft of the group’s final report, which is covers activities from the current, final stage of the NDC.

The draft includes group resolutions on issues, divided between two themes. The first theme, that of ‘national issues’, includes topics concerned with displaced citizens, terrorism, and possible efforts to recover public funds and properties, the theft of which was enabled by abuses of power.

The second theme, that of national reconciliation and transitional justice, covers enforced disappearances, political conflicts, and human rights violations (including those which took place in 2011 and in Yemen’s south since 2007).



On Tuesday, members of the NDC’s State-Building Working Group listened as fellow group member Yahya Al-Shuaibi provided clarifications on issues connected with the group’s efforts and the results of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s recent meeting with the NDC Presidency and Consensus Committee.

Al-Shuaibi stated that the meeting with Hadi had produced a decision to include members from civil society organizations and youth and women’s segments on the Consensus Committee which will be responsible for approving Yemen’s new constitution following the NDC’s conclusion.

The group’s members also reiterated their call for the NDC Consensus Committee to return controversial items which the group’s committee had failed to reach a consensus on. If the items are in fact returned to the committee, the working group’s members will vote on them and attempt to pass them by reaching a 70% approval vote.

Originally - and in accordance with the NDC’s bylaws – it was stated that working group items must receive a 90% consensus in order for them to be approved.


Also on Tuesday, group member Mansour Al-Zindani submitted a proposal which stated that the State-Building Working Group should have the authority to approve Yemen’s new constitution. However, the proposal was not discussed by the group’s membership before the meeting was adjourned.

Members of the NDC's State-Building Working Group received a lecture on power-sharing from mineral and oil field expert Rashid Al-Kaf.

The lecture focused on natural resource declines and renewable resources, as well as related matters of ownership and wealth-sharing.

On Thursday, members of the NDC’s State-Building Working Group and senior judicial officials discussed specifics points concerned with the formation of a new supreme judicial council. A joint committee was formed to discuss the matter and provide a united vision of how the council should be formed.

Working group member Ahmed Sharaf Al-Din said the group had reached a consensus on the matter of the makeup of the new supreme judicial council’s membership. It was agreed that it should be composed as follows: 70% judges, 15% lawyers, and 15% university professors.

Meanwhile, the group’s members approved three items, which concerned the formation of a supreme judicial council, the formation of a constitutional court, and the formation of an administrative judiciary.


Independence of Special Entities

On Wednesday, members of the Independence of Special Entities Working Group’s drafting committee discussed potential general guidelines for independently governed state institutions in Yemen.

Included among the ideas under discussion were limiting the number of leadership figures in such institutions to no more than seven individuals who are specialists in relevant fields. In addition, the committee members spoke about requiring candidates for these leadership positions to have demonstrable competence, integrity and experience, with an added stipulation that while filling such positions, they must not hold positions in other state institutions.

It was further suggested that term for such positions be limited to five years with the possibility of one term renewal, and also that women should fill at least 30% of positions in the independent state institutions.


Rights and Freedoms

On Tuesday, members of the NDC's Rights and Freedoms Working Group received a lecture in which Tunisia’s constitution was compared and contrasted with other nations’ constitutions.

The lecture was delivered by Omar Hamadi, from the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law.

On Wednesday, members of the working group received a lecture on racism and its causes from United Nations expert Alma Abdul Hadi.

Hadi discussed forms of racism in various nations, with a particular focus on the United States. She went on to detail various ways in which these nations have handled the issue and responded to its effects.


Comprehensive Development

On Tuesday, members of the NDC's Comprehensive Development Working Group listened as two papers on economic philosophies were delivered by Yahya Al-Mutwakkil and Taha Al-Fesiel.

During his lecture, Al-Mutwakkil spoke about continuous political crises and social and economic challenges which Yemen experienced in recent years.

In his paper, Al-Fasiel concentrated on four points which concern how economic and development issues should be treated at the NDC and in Yemen's new constitution.

The four points focused on economic rights and freedoms in the new constitution; shortcomings in Yemen's current constitution; key economic requirements for the new constitution; and a brief summary of Egypt’s experiences with regard to economic issues.


The overall attendance rate for NDC members over the past week was 74%.




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