The UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg urged some of Yemen's most prominent figures to “give peace a serious chance“ by normalising dialogue, in-person meetings and having difficult conversations.
Addressing the Yemen International Forum in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Mr Grundberg praised the renewal of a two-month truce in June that brought crucial respite from the seven-year war.
”The United Nations-brokered truce is holding and this is to the surprise of many analysts who are out here … and I have to say that I’m also surprised at the commitment that the parties have shown despite all the challenges. We know that it is fragile, yes, it’s far from perfect but it is holding,” Mr Grundberg said.
Ambassadors, politicians, civil society and members of the international community are attending a three-day conference on Yemen’s future, organised by the Sanaa Centre for Strategic Studies.
Yemen’s former minister of human rights and former ambassador Amat Al Alim Al Soswah also attended the meeting, and said the country’s economic and humanitarian situation has reached “lows beyond imagination”. She praised the resilience of the Yemeni population against all odds.
”The Yemenis unexpected steadfastness is something to commend. Yemenis from all walks of life have managed to miraculously live on despite the severest forms of an economic crisis,“ Ms Soswah said.
”More than 10 per cent of the country’s population is internally displaced. So we need to find out how we can prepare for peace in light of this costly war.“
Ms Sosawah also said “the cost of peace will be high“, because of the many challenges posed in the effort to rebuild the nation.
The forum's agenda includes discussions on women's roles on the negotiating table, issues of governance in the country’s south and the state of the country’s banking sector.