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Global Conference on Yemen: Dimensions of the Humanitarian Crisis and Prospects of Peace

Co-sponsored by the Tawakkol Karman Foundation
Featuring Nobel Peace Laureates: Tawakkol Karman, Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee, and Jody Williams

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Healing Yemen from the War: Messages from the Nobel Peace Laureates

Session Four
Tawakkol Karman
Leymah Gbowee
Shirin Ebadi
Jody Williams
Moderated by Ghida Fakhry
Closing Remarks: Karen J. Greenberg

President Moncef Marzouki, Former President of Tunisia

Keynote Speaker
President Moncef Marzouki
Moderated by Ghida Fakhry

Introduction: What Is Truly Happening in Today's Yemen?

Introductions
Jennifer Fenton
Karen J. Greenberg
Bitta Mostofi
Tawakkol Karman
Session One
Fatima Alasrar
Stephen W. Day
Bernard Haykel
Hassan El-Tayyab
Moderated by Dr. Nasser Zawia

The Humanitarian Crisis: The Impact of the War on the Ground

Session Two
Priyanka Motaparthy
Afrah Nasser
Kathryn Achilles
Rawya Rageh
Moderated by Dr. Dalia Fahmy

Considerations on the Future: The Possibilities for Peace

Session Three
Paul Williams
Nabeel Khoury
Ibraham Qatabi
Bushra Nasr Kretschmer
Moderated by Mehdi Hasan

Statement from Co-Sponsor The Tawakkol Karman Foundation

For decades, the people of Yemen struggled to transform the country into a truly democratic society. Then came the Arab Spring, and it gave people hope that their dreams of freedom and good governance could become a reality. A peaceful revolution swept across the country and forced out the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had controlled the country for more than 33 years. As Yemen started a transition toward democratization, it had the support of the international community, and the country led a successful national dialogue that resulted with the draft constitution. However, a few months before the end of the transitional period, the Houthi militias, the allies of Ali Abdullah Saleh, carried out a coup, occupied the capital, Sana’a, and placed the elected president, prime minister and other ministers under house arrest. Following this development, a war broke out, and an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intervened - under the justification of restoring the legitimate government of Yemen. The coalition had the opposite effect. The coup and the war resulted in an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, the worst “man-made” human disaster in recent history. Thousands of civilians, particularly women and children, were killed and injured. Epidemics spread and the country’s infrastructure was destroyed.

Today, Yemenis suffer from the war and the subsequent lack of basic services and security. Women bear the brunt of the abuse, and struggle to care for the lives of children and the most vulnerable. Yemenis strongly call for an end to the war, the end of the Houthi-led coup, and for an end to Saudi and UAE intervention. The internationally recognized government must be restored, and the country must be open for reconstruction. It is also important to strengthen the peace agreements led by the United Nations, such as the Stockholm agreement, and all other agreements that can lead to lasting peace.

Since the Arab Spring, the international community has remained united in strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen - and has stood in support of a peaceful process. This conference will bring together diverse perspectives for building lasting peace in Yemen, including Nobel Peace Laureates, policy makers, experts, academics, journalists, and activists. The aim of the conference is as follows:

  • Raise awareness about the root causes of the conflict

  • Address human rights violations and the dimensions of the humanitarian catastrophe, and the impact of the war on Yemeni women and children as well as the response of women’s organizations to the crisis

  • Engage civil society and other key stakeholders across all sectors to help Yemen restore peace and democracy, and to help the country rebuild

  • Discuss potential solutions that will support Yemenis to build lasting peace, highlighting the essential role of women as peace builders and agents of sustainable change

The panels will address:

  • Root causes of the conflict and internal struggles

  • Impact of regional interference in the war and the impact of international powers

  • Humanitarian dimensions

  • Human rights violations and the impact of the war on women and children

  • Peace agreements and lessons learned through dialogue and political will toward ending war, and reconciliation

  • Post-war challenges

Speakers

Tawakkol Karman

Nobel Peace Laureate

Leymah Gbowee

Nobel Peace Laureate

Shirin Ebadi

Nobel Peace Laureate

Jody Williams

Nobel Peace Laureate

Kathryn Achilles

Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Oxfam

Fatima Alasrar

Senior Analyst, Arabia Foundation

Stephen W. Day

Author and Adjunct Professor, Rollins College

Dr. Dalia Fahmy

Senior Fellow, Center for Global Policy

Ghida Fakhry

Presenter, TRT World
Former New York Bureay Chief, Al Jazeera English

Mehdi Hasan

Columnist, The Intercept
Host, Al Jazeera English

Bernard Haykel

Director, The Transregional Institute, Princeton University

Nabeel Khoury

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hairi Center for the Middle East

President Moncef Marzouki

Former President of Tunisia

Priyanka Motaparthy

Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch

Bushra Nasr Kretschmer

Head of Economic Portfolio, @Women4Yemen Network
Founder, Sabaa Consulting Services

Afrah Nasser

Independent Yemeni Jurnalist and Founding Editor-in-Chief, Sana'a Review

Ibrahim Qatabi

Rawya Rageh

Senior Crisis Advisor, Amnesty International

Hassan El-Tayyab

Co-Director, Just Foreign Policy

Paul Williams

Dr. Nasser Zawia

Dean, University of Rhode Island Graduate School