OP-ED

The National Dialogue is moving forward, but…

There’s about a month or less left for the main session of the second phase of the National Dialogue Conference and a good number of NDC members are not attending conference meetings. The real problem with the National Dialogue have less to do with the withdraws and more to do with attendance. The majority of those absent, according to recent calculations, are those on the president’s list, chosen by Hadi. They should have the best attendance record of the conference, not the worst, because they represent the key sponsor of the conference and the president of the country.

Yes, the dialogue is moving steadily toward achieving the goals necessary to rebuild the country and to resolve the nation’s problems. Yes, the groups have started their field visits to meet with people, concerned officials and organizations. It’s a successful experience that will contribute to the advancement of democracy and the rebuilding of a new Yemen.

Will those who are often absent really play a vital role in the dialogue? Will they be proud when they reflect back on the excessive absences and non-attendance at group meetings only to show up at the big sessions for the sake of satisfying the president? Will they accept glory and reward for something they were not really a part of?

In an open discussion, a friend of mine recently said that those who had been nominated to represent their parties and to represent the president were chosen for their positions and influence in the community or their respective party. Another friend has said that those members have nothing to add and that their absence is much better than their presence. The people nominated should respect their country and the task they’ve been given. It is a heavy responsibility, not to be taken lightly. Whether the path of the country has already been decided or is yet to be decided, those who are not physically there are not upholding their obligations to make their country – Yemen, a better one.