NDC Week in Review: September 8-12

13 September 2013 /

NDC Presidency and Secretariat General Activity

On Sunday, with United Nations Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar in attendance, NDC Vice President Yassin Saeed No’man chaired an NDC Presidency meeting. At the meeting, a variety of issues concerned with the conference’s progress were reviewed – in particular, the anticipated return of Southern Movement-aligned members to the NDC.

Following the conclusion of a meeting with Southern Movement representatives, Benomar congratulated Southern Movement-aligned members on their decision to resume their NDC participation.

A number of Southern Movement-aligned conference members had left the NDC over concerns that Southern demands were not being adequately addressed by either Yemen’s current government or the NDC’s members. Their return followed the offering of assurances that the future of Yemen’s southern regions would be adequately discussed and addressed at the NDC.

The subcommittee will place a particular focus on the matter of the structure of Yemen’s future state - in particular, whether Yemen will take the form of a federation or confederation.

 

On Wednesday, NDC Secretary General Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak praised the quality of female NDC members’ conference participation.

Mubarak’s comments during a meeting with representatives from the National Women’s Committee, the AMAL Alliance for Women’s Political Participation, the Women’s Independence Network, and Volunteers for Women’s Rights.

A primary focus of the meeting was the potential implementation of a quota granting women a 30% share in Yemen’s political institutions.

 

On Thursday, NDC Presidency Rapporteur Abdullah Lamlas met with representatives of the High Council of the Sabai Movement (Marib Movement).

The focus throughout the meeting was on addressing problems experienced by people living in Marib governorate. The ‘Marib Movement’ representatives have submitted a letter to Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi – it included citizen demands and calls for increased recognition of Marib-related issues at the NDC.

 

On Thursday, in a meeting led by Maeen Abdul Malek, chairmen from the NDC’s nine working groups discussed implementation guarantees for NDC resolutions and recommendations in the coming, post-conference stage of Yemen’s political transition.

The chairmen also spent time discussing the matter of which government institutions would be best-suited to carry out different tasks.

 

NDC Working Group Activity

Southern Issue

On Monday, after almost a three week-long absence, members of the Southern Issue Working Group resumed their activities at the NDC’s main site, Sana’a’s Movenpick Hotel.

Group Chairman Mohammed Ali Ahmed was in attendance and all members were welcomed by the NDC’s Secretary General and UN Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar.

Benomar praised the members for returning, stating that it demonstrated their keenness to make the NDC a success.

NDC Secretary General Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak said the return of the group’s members was not only an NDC achievement, but also a countrywide achievement, as it will help to accelerate efforts to address the same conference topics which will ultimately lay the foundation for a “new Yemen.”

 

During Monday’s group meeting – their first following nearly three weeks of inactivity, members of the Southern Issue Working Group discussed the formation of a group subcommittee which will be tasked with developing and submitting potential solutions for approval to the group’s membership.

United Nations Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar said the committee would be part of the working group and not a replacement; he added that the subcommittee would be comprised of 16 members and would maintain the larger working group’s representation percentages.

 

On Tuesday, the Southern Issue Working Group’s recently-formed solutions committee held its first meeting.

At the meeting, which was attended by UN Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar and NDC Secretary General Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Mohammed Qahtan was selected as spokesperson for the subcommittee.

“We addressed the timeframe and suspended activities in the Southern Issue Working Group, as well as what we should accomplish during the present period,” said Qahtan, following the first meeting’s conclusion.

 

On Wednesday, members of the Southern Issue Working Group’s newly-formed solutions committee met and discussed the terms of their efforts as well as different political parties’ visions with regard to southern issues.

Various party representatives have called for a specific transitional period to be implemented before the nation adopts a new state structure, as well as for quick and direct responses to southern citizen demands and needs.

 

On Friday, members of the Southern Issue Working Group’s solutions committee met to discuss a draft of resolutions and recommendations which they had consensually agreed upon over the past four days.

The resolutions and recommendations reflected the visions of political factions on how southern issues can be best resolved and were divided into four sections: the first concerned how past southern citizen grievances can be redressed; the second focused on constitutional principles for a potential unified Yemeni state; the third addressed how the Yemeni state can be restructured; and the fourth focused on requirements and various arrangements for Yemen’s transitional period.

 

Sa'ada Issue

On Monday, members of the Sa’ada Issue Working Group’s solutions and guarantees committee formed a subcommittee, the members of which will be tasked with discussing unresolved items which were submitted by fellow group members.

The subcommittee members will discuss the items during evening meetings.

On Tuesday, members of the Sa’ada Issue Working Group’s solutions committee approved four additional potential solutions and accompanying implementation guarantees.

The new items have brought the total number of potential solutions and implementation guarantees to Sa’ada-related issues to 41, all of which were approved by the solutions committee in recent weeks.

 

National Issues and Transitional Justice

On Sunday, members of the National Issues and Transitional Justice Working Group completed a discussion of all group subcommittee reports, with the one exception being a report on southern human rights violations in 2007.

Group Rapporteur Shatha Al-Harazi stated that the remaining report would be discussed once southern NDC members resumed their attendance at the NDC.

 

On Monday, group Chairman Abdulbari Dughaish welcomed the return of Southern Movement-aligned members to the group’s Monday meeting after a near three week-long absence.

 

On Tuesday, the NDC’s National Issues and Transitional Justice Working Group urged the government to assume its conflict- and security-related responsibilities in Amran and other Yemeni governorates. The group’s members said that if the government failed to bring about radical solutions to security problems, the country would continue to see further bloodshed and victims.

Also on Tuesday, the group’s subcommittee discussed a first draft of transitional justice law specifics. The draft included standards for selecting members of an equity and reconciliation committee and dealt with conceptual matters concerned with rights violations, victim rights, a potential reparation fund, and other topics.

 

State-Building

On Sunday, the State-Building Working Group received clarifications on the matter of unresolved group resolutions from the NDC Consensus Committee.

The committee reported that its members had consensually decided that State-Building group members who earlier abstained from votes on the resolutions in question would not have their votes counted when it came to these same resolutions; as a direct result, items concerned with women’s quotas were quickly resolved.

Also on Sunday, the group’s members received a lecture on the subjects of administration, performance measurement systems and administrative success indicators for the public sector.

The lecture was delivered by Yemen’s Ambassador to Italy, Khaled Abdulrahman Al-Akwa’a, who focused on legislation, reforms, and the matter of providing sufficient budgets for the improvement of public sector administrative systems.

 

On Monday, members of the working group discussed details of Yemen’s future electoral system, including the matter of how elections will be managed. Their draft proposal stated that parliamentary elections should be organized in accordance with a proportional representation system.

According to what was agreed upon, women must represent 30% of the total number of candidates; in addition, independent candidates would be able to run for office after collecting the signatures of at least 5,000 registered voters in their districts.

 

Good Governance

On Monday, members of the NDC's Good Governance Working Group received a lecture on Yemen’s natural resource and oil wealth from Mohammed Al-Zoba. He also discussed important oil industry agreements and relevant legislation.

Al-Zoba focused on oil and gas sector agreements with foreign nations which had been detrimental for Yemen.

Following the lecture, members of the Good Governance Working Group formed a subcommittee composed of five members which will be tasked with rewriting the group's report on oil- and gas-related matters.

 

On Thursday, members of the working group submitted an outline of a political roadmap to the Southern Issue ‘8 + 8’ solutions committee. The outline included a four-point constitutional proposal for the upcoming stage in Yemen’s political transition.

A central point in the proposal discussed the possibility of holding constitutionally-sanctioned presidential elections in which current President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi would be eligible to serve as Yemen’s president for a new, five-year transitional period.

Furthermore, the proposal called for Yemen’s new constitution to include an article on the new transitional period which focuses on the matter of implementing NDC resolutions and recommendations, as well as for an article which facilitates the formation of an assembly composed of National Dialogue Conference members.

 

Military and Security

On Tuesday, the NDC’s Military and Security Working Group approved the formation of a subcommittee which will be tasked with drafting the group’s final report, as well as with presenting it to all group members for discussion and approval.

Group Chairman Yahya Al-Shami welcomed back southern members who had recently been absent. They were provided with copies of reports which were discussed during their absence.

 

On Thursday, members of the working group received a lecture on an evaluative study of NDC outcomes which was prepared by the National Women's Committee (NWC).

The study stated that the Military and Security Working Group, unlike other conference working groups, had failed to address various women’s issues. The only exceptions cited by Fakira concerned female inmates and a group recommendation that the Prison Authority have a dedicated prison for female convicts.

Meanwhile, the group subcommittee tasked with drafting the working group’s final report continued its efforts. The final report is expected to be submitted for discussion on Sunday.

 

Independence of Special Entities

On Sunday, members of the Independence of Special Entities Working Group’s drafting committee completed a discussion of potential constitutional details concerned with the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendums.

The discussion focused on the importance of having a mechanism by which media organizations can be supervised during election seasons as part of efforts to ensure that they are conducting their work in an impartial manner and not serving the special interests of political parties.

 

On Tuesday, members of the working group’s drafting committee met to discuss potential constitutional items concerned with an institutional authority for political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs).

The drafting committee further suggested that a workshop be organized to bring together specialists and review legislation concerned with CSOs. The aim of the workshop would be to ease restrictions concerned with the finances and introduction of new CSOs.

 

Rights and Freedoms

On Monday, members of the NDC's Rights and Freedoms Working Group completed discussions on - and reviews of - documents and resolutions produced by the group's three committees.

Group Rapporteur Majed Fadhel said the meeting was positive, especially since it saw the return of Southern Movement-aligned members after a near three-week absence.

 

On Tuesday, members of the working group received a lecture on women’s issues from Yemeni expert Jalal Faqera.

The lecture focused on evaluations of NDC outcomes and to what degree they were responsive to women’s demands. The onus to be responsive in this sense was placed on the NDC’s nine working groups.

 

On Wednesday, group Chairwoman Arwa Abdu Othman stated that a group subcommittee had been formed. She stated that it would be tasked with reviewing other group subcommittee reports as a prelude to including all group outcomes in a single report, which would then be submitted for a group-wide vote.

The subcommittee will include a member from each of the political parties represented at the NDC.

Separately, relatives of Yemeni fishermen who are being detained in Eritrea visited the group and spoke about the impact of the fishermen’s detention on their families.

The relatives urged the group to respond to the issue and do what it could to contribute to efforts to obtain the fishermen’s release. In response, the group’s members agreed to issue a statement calling for immediate action by government authorities.

 

Comprehensive Development

On Monday, members of the NDC's Comprehensive Development Working Group received a lecture form Khaled Abdul Rahman Al-Akwa on management systems, performance evaluations, and success indicators in public institutions.

A large portion of the lecture’s content focused on different management styles and how various nations have had success in applying certain approaches.

 

The overall attendance rate for NDC members over the past week was 89%.




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