As Yemen national dialogue nears end, challenges remain: UN envoy

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Jamal Benomar

Yemen faces a critical juncture in its political transition, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council late on Friday.

A Government of National Unity was elected in February 2012, following protests in the country that led to the resignation of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The country has been undergoing a democratic transition since then.

Special Adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar said the country still has numerous challenges despite the remarkable progress it has made.

"The dialogue has made extraordinary progress since it was launched on the 18th of March. In the past six months, 565 delegates representing a wide cross section of Yemeni society have taken part and engaged in constructive and open deliberations on key challenges facing the country. The focus on principle and controversial issues relevant to Yemen's governance have laid the foundation for a new social contract, as well as a legal framework based on dignity, equality, human rights and the rule of law."

Benomar said the Dialogue is a blueprint for building a more peaceful and prosperous Yemen.

A recently launched National Dialogue Conference has introduced new actors to the political process such as youth, women, civil society representatives and the Hiraak Southern Movement, a southern separatist movement.

The Conference will contribute to the constitution-making process and pave the way for general elections in 2014.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’40″

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