- Proposed by: Scottish Green Party
- Adopted at the 4th Global Greens Congress, Liverpool 2017
Yemen is experiencing a devastating conflict which has seen at least 10,000 people killed since March 2015, and millions left homeless and hungry.
Current Global Greens policy, agreed in Dakar in 2012, states that we seek to curtail the power of the military-industrial- financial complex in order to radically reduce the trade in armaments, ensure transparency of manufacturing and remove hidden subsidies that benefit the military industries. This global arms trade that we seek to restrain is fuelling the conflict in Yemen. Weapons manufactured in countries across the world being are being used in attacks on Yemeni civilians.
Both sides to the Yemen conflict have repeatedly violated the laws of war. Houthi forces and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have been laying landmines, firing indiscriminately in civilian areas, and arbitrarily arresting and detaining perceived opponents.
Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia are responsible for the majority of casualties and have hit numerous civilian targets, including but not limited to weddings, funerals, schools, factories, hospitals, markets, mosques and food storage units. The Saudi-led coalition has also designated entire cities military targets.
Despite this, arms sales to Saudi Arabia from countries such as the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Canada and France have continued if not increased over the course of the conflict. Such exports are in breach of the international Arms Trade Treaty which entered into force in December 2014. Ninety-one states have ratified this treaty to regulate global arms exports, and a further 42 states have signed but not ratified it.
Ordinary Yemeni citizens are bearing the brunt of the war and as a result of the conflict, Yemen is now facing a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions. Parties to the conflict have been blocking critical food and medicine supplies from reaching citizens, and shortages have pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. It is estimated that over 19million people – 80% of the population – are in need of aid.
This Global Greens Congress:
- Reiterates the need to curtail the power of the military-industrial- financial complex in order to radically reduce the global trade in arms, appeals to all countries to respect the international Arms Trade Treaty and specifically calls for the suspension of all arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other belligerents for use in Yemen.
- Supports the United Nations call for an independent international investigation into human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law by all sides. Supports international and local efforts to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Yemen
- Recognises the immense efforts of Yemeni civil society and community groups, especially those led by youth and women, to rebuild peace and social cohesion at a local level.
A few reference documents:
- Human Rights Watch World Report 2017, Yemen
- YEMEN: Joint Public Statement: Urgent need for international inquiry on Yemen | Amnesty International
- Yemen: Stemming the Rise of a Chaos State | Chatham House
- The European Parliament called for an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia. Now what? | Saferworld
- Yemen’s economic collapse and impending famine: The necessary immediate steps to avoid worst-case scenarios | Sanaa Centre for Strategic Studies