- In Yemen has sustained big losses in many vital sectors, especially investment and tourism resulted by terrorist acts, Prime Minster Ali Mujawar said on Wednesday.
In a speech delivered in the London Meeting on Yemen, Mujawar talked about the terrorist and sabotage acts either of the al-Houthi rebellion in the northern governorate of Sa'ada or of the separatist elements in some southern governorates.
"All saboteurs agree on one goal which is destabilizing Yemen, shaking its security", Mujawar said, adding that they waste the government's efforts and potentials.
The Premier made reference to one of the most significant challenges facing Yemen, which is the sea piracy and refugees' influx from Somalia and Horn of Africa countries, saying around 800,000 refugees are living in Yemen causing economic, security and social burdens.
Speaking on the government's efforts that will continue to combat terror, Mujawar revealed a comprehensive system Yemen has set forth to eliminating terror including a complete system of legislations and the ratification of combating money laundry and terror financing law as well as the enhancement of coordination with security brotherly and friendly countries.
Yemen and international partners are required to realize the developed technology terrorists adopt to overcome governments' capabilities.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed Yemen's commitment to continue political, economic, and social reforms to insure the achievement of stability and prosperity for our people.
Mujawar asserted that the basic problem Yemen is suffering from is essentially an economic one, talking about the government's efforts to tackle the population, educational, energy, water and food security difficulties.
After counting the Yemeni achievements in areas of poetical reforms, democracy and media, society and human rights, Mujawar refused considering Yemen as a falling state or on its way to be.
The Premier talked about a conference to be held in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following this meeting to discuss issues related to financing development needs.
The full speech of the Prime Minister Ali Mujawar in the London Meeting on Yemen is below:
In the Name of God the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate
Your Excellency Mr. Gordon Brown
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the Yemeni government and people, I would like to thank you for your care and support for our country. We highly appreciate the call of His Excellency Jordon Brown the Prime Minister of the friendly government of Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom to hold and host this meeting to discuss ways of assisting Yemen, combating extremism and terrorism and helping it face development challenges.
We highly appreciate the positive response of the international partners represented in this meeting and their keenness on the security, stability and unity of Yemen, enhancing its efforts to fight terrorism and solving its development and security challenges since a strong and stable Yemen serves the security and stability in the region and the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen
There is no doubt that Yemen is suffering from many challenges that occurred coincidently in one time, which led to the waste of government's efforts and potentials, while facing those challenges and caused a big damage to its economy and development efforts. On top of those challenges are terrorist acts.
Terrorism is a dangerous plague that exceeds countries and boundaries and target values of freedom, democracy and peace. More than other countries, the Republic of Yemen is one of the first countries that suffered from terror. Terror has negatively affected different security, political, economic and social fields. Yemen has sustained big losses in many vital sectors especially investment and tourism as well as material damages and human causalities resulted by terrorist acts.
In addition, there are many challenges namely terrorist acts of the rebellious elements in the governorate of Sa’ada and acts of violence and sabotage by separatist elements in some southern governorates. All of those acts violate the constitution, law and order and all saboteurs agree on one goal which is destabilizing Yemen, shaking its security and spreading out acts of violence and chaos exploiting atmospheres of democracy which has negatively affected the economic situation.
It is no doubt that poverty and unemployment are important reasons behind misleading youths to carry out acts of violence and terror.
Sea piracy and refugees influx from Somalia and Horn of Africa countries represent one of the most significant challenges facing Yemen. The number of refugees from that regio and living in Yemen reached around eight hundred thousand a matter that leads to an economic, security and social burden.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The Republic of Yemen is fully aware of challenges it is currently facing, therefore, it carries out its duties and commitments in the fight against terror and cements its partnership with the international community in this area and considers this as a strategic priority which is based on the awareness of the threat terrorism creates first on its existence and second on the stability of the region and the globe.
Yemen has waged a multilateral battle at the security, economic, intellectual and media fronts. This battle requires consolidation of efforts to support and assist Yemen helping it to overcome impacts and consequences resulted by terrorism. Efforts to combat terror will continue not only in security and military but at all fronts and fields.
Yemen has set forth a comprehensive system that guarantees eliminating terror and drying up its sources. This was reflected in a complete system of legislations and the ratification of combating money laundry and terror financing law as well as the enhancement of coordination and cooperation with security apparatuses in brotherly and friendly countries including joint operations and exchange of information on terrorists and mutual extradition of wanted elements involved in terrorist issues and in accordance with agreements signed with those countries.
Concerned authorities in our country protect commercial and oil ports and carry out necessary security measures and strict precautions at land, sea and air entrance and exist points. A modern monitoring system has been applied at arrival and departure areas.
You have surely followed up the recent accomplishments achieved by the Yemeni security and military apparatuses which have been able to direct effective and painful blows against this terrorist organization. These successes would not have been achieved without a strong national will to fight terrorism and excellent security cooperation between Yemen and its regional and international partners.
During those confrontations we have not neglected the information, cultural and intellectual role as we have adopted a media and cultural plan to help facing terror. The plan was based on explaining the huge damages resulted by terrorist acts that threaten the security and safety of every one and correcting as well the wrong conceptions of the misled youths.
More than any time in the past, we and our partners are in need today to realize that terrorists always develop their material and technological tools in a way that sometimes overcome governments’ capabilities. In this regard, poverty and unemployment, which form a fertile ground for hatred and animosity among peoples and nations, help terrorists. Therefore, we ask our partners to understand this problem and help us facing it through strengthening our security and development potentials.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We would like to reiterate that the basic problem Yemen is suffering from is essentially an economic one including the high population growth rate and low rate of education enrolment as more than 3 million children are not included in the educational system and half of the population are deprived from basic services especially electricity which covers the needs of only 42% of the population, and the percentage of those who get water from the public network is around 26% only and about 32% of Yemeni families face a severe shortage of food security.
In spite of continuous efforts to tackle those problems through development plans and programs and economic reforms programs, those efforts were not enough to fulfill the required goals. The impact of those problems would certainly be reflected in increasing the numbers of extremists and security defects a matter that should be treated quickly and overcome its devastating effects.
We, in the Republic of Yemen reaffirm our commitment to continue political, economic, and social reforms to insure the achievement of stability and prosperity for our people. We are also committed to our obligations towards international organizations and donor community. The obligations are related to the continuation of developing the state’s institutional build up with the aim of improving the abilities to implement development programs.
The Yemeni government is also keen to accelerate the pace of implementing the national reforms agenda and developing the good governance system especially the enhancement of the independence of the judicial authority, combating corruption, improving investment environment, stimulating economic growth and reducing poverty rate.
The last four years have witnessed the implementation of a wide range of structural, institutional and legislative reforms as well as political and economic reforms including stressing on the independence of judiciary system and establishing institutions to combat corruption and mending the tendering system and achieving transparency in this area through the establishment of the High Tenders Board.
In addition to that, ten priorities were identified and would be implemented during this and coming year as an urgent necessity before the government to accelerate the pace of development, reforms process and the institutional build up and development in accordance with objective, clear and complete programs.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We reaffirm that terrorism will never deter our country from its commitment to democracy and multi-party system which has been adopted by the Republic of Yemen as a principle and irreversible option.
Citizens enjoy rights of establishing political parties the number of which today is more than 20 political parties, freedom of expression, publishing and information as more than 30 opposition, national, independent daily and weekly papers are being issued, widening women participation, establishing civil society organizations, protecting and respecting human rights. In spite of difficult circumstances, and obstacles, Yemen has always been working to improve its democratic experiment.
Yemen is a democratic country that was founded on elected constitutional institutions consisting of the parliament, and a government formed according to the results reflected by the will of voters in ballot boxes. We also have competitive periodic presidential, parliamentary and local council elections in addition to active and effective political parties and civil society organizations.
Therefore, it is unacceptable to consider Yemen as a falling state or on its way to be. This type of talking is opposing reality and contradicting facts and is also considered as an intervention in the internal affairs.
If some people attribute such talking to some extremist actions or terrorism, such acts and terror do not exist in Yemen alone but also in many advanced and primitive countries alike. Extremism and terrorism have neither boundaries nor homelands.
We, in the Republic of Yemen, realize that the democratic transformation process in a developed country and a traditional society require from our partners to understand that such process needs support and encouragement in order to continue and develop.
Based on this vision, the political reforms process will continue with the aim of improving and boosting the democratic process.
In addition, we are about to carry out a reform process for the political and elections systems to insure widening political participation and adopting the two chambers system of the legislative authority and transferring to a wider local authority.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We believe that a stable and prosperous Yemen is a basic guarantee to achieve success in the fight against terrorism with all of its forms and to serve the security and stability in the region and the world. This would not be achieved except through clear and practical support for the security, stability and unity of Yemen by its regional and international partners.
We reaffirm that the Republic of Yemen is keen to fulfill its national, regional and international responsibilities in combating terrorism and that its territories will never be a safe heaven for extremists and terrorists. We will also continue our pursuit and hunt down for terrorist elements with all our available power and potentials and efforts on this track will never stop.
The Yemeni government and people are looking forward to this meeting with great hopes that there would be a clear understanding for the issues that would bolster efforts to fight terror and also create hope for the Yemeni people that they are not alone facing economic challenges and that their partners, brothers and friends are strongly standing and supporting them. We would also like to express our high appreciation for the call launched by a number of countries to establish Yemen Friends Group with the aim of supporting its development and security.
We would also like to express our thanks and appreciation for the approaches aiming at holding a conference in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following this meeting to discuss issues related to financing development needs and improving effectiveness of development assistances for Yemen as well as reinforcing its security and economic potentials.
In conclusion, I would like to express my best wishes and hope our meeting would be successful and come out with fruitful results that contribute to the achievement of the aspired goals serving stability in Yemen and the region.
Thank you very much
January - 2010