The meeting in New York discussed violence in Yemen for the first time, as ongoing protests calling for President Saleh to step down are increasing day by
day and more victims are dying by lethal force employed by the protestors.
The UN security council members have called for restraint and political
dialogue in Yemen as the 15-nation body discussed the violence,
The closed-door meeting, requested by Germany, failed to agree
on a public statement on Yemen – where anti-government protests are
nearing their third month of demonstrations and sit-ins.
The Yemen case remains low on the list of priorities on the schedule of UN security council, as UN ambassadors claimed they need to consult with their capitals before any resolution could be issued.
The security council meeting in New York was briefed by UN political
chief Lynn Pascoe and Jamal Benomar, a senior UN official who recently
visited Yemen as an envoy of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
“We expressed concern about the situation in Yemen, which is
deteriorating. We called for restraint and we appealed to the parties
to enter into a dialogue,” German ambassador Peter Wittig told
reporters after the meeting.
“Most of us in the council expressed explicitly support for the
mediation efforts of the Gulf Co-operation Council,” an attendee noted.
US ambassador Susan Rice told journalists that “many delegations,
including our own, stressed the importance of an end to violence and a
political process that results swiftly in a credible transition.”
Germany and Lebanon urged the council to issue a statement, but some
envoys disagreed, diplomats said. Asked who had done so, one Western
diplomat said “the usual suspects” – an apparent reference to Russia
and China, often reluctant to take action that could be seen as
intruding in a country’s affairs.
A statement could be issued later this week when instructions are
received from governments, diplomats said.
The protests in Yemen, inspired by uprisings that toppled
authoritarian leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, have brought tens of
thousands of people onto the streets almost daily to demand an end to
endemic poverty and corruption. Scores of protesters have been killed.