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Speech by Mrs. Tawakkol Karman at London Diplomatic Summit

Ladies and Gentlemen and honored guests, I would like to begin by expressing how pleased I am to participate in the London Diplomatic Summit.Dear Friends,Everyone is aware of the importance of diplomacy in international politics. After centuries of experience—honed through war and through peac, we still consider it the most effective way to build good relations between states and between governments.

Nevertheless, when we discuss what diplomacy actually is, we do so through two differing lens: Firstly, as the most honorable means through which the world’s nations can resolve disputes, and secondly as little more than a cover for predatory policies.
Whenever human beings, governments and nations mobilize diplomatic initiatives to bring about peace, or to face down terrorism, environmental degradation, or the global scourge of gender inequality, they reassure all of us who wish to live in peace; to see our communities thrive to watch our children grow and to live secure in the knowledge that our natural environment will continue to support us.

 

Dear friends,
We live in a time when diplomatic safe havens have now become abattoirs -murder chambers through which a government can dispatch the likes of Jamal Khashoggi.
The misuse of embassies and consulates as places where governments can extort or kill their own citizens is a troubling- if not obscene- development.
It offends all who believe that diplomacy is not only critical for forestalling the outbreak of war, but also necessary to protect the rights of citizens. 
Given recent events, we need to amend the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations to reduce the misuse of diplomatic immunity. Nevertheless, any alteration should still honor the sovereignty of States over their embassies and consulates, while at the same time protecting individual rights. As Khashoggi, Iit is very important to set up an international commission of inquiry to uncover the entire truth.

 

Dear friends,
It is very important that the human rights situation, which is witnessing unprecedented violations, be the object of a smart and ethical global diplomacy, in order to revitalize the world order to devise more effective measures to confront, end and punish the perpetrators.
Today , in the Worldwide, we’re witnessing mass violations of human rights. For example, the world is experiencing an unprecedented increase in the number of refuges which is often seen as a security issue, 
In fact, it is a political issue par excellence: Tyrants are driving this current crisis by corruption, unleashing killings, torture, mass detention and terror against their own people in order to control them. Once these despots and corrupts are removed or forced to change their ways, this flood will diminish to a trickle. Foreign support to the authoritarian and corrupt regimes have only complicated matters.
As for the Rohingya, their suffering should bring shame upon the entire world. The brutality of Burma's military government has been a test for the international community: and the international community has failed miserably.
 
Dear friends,
In my country—Yemen—Saudi Arabia and the UAE insist they are restoring Yemen’s legitimacy. In fact they are doing the very opposite. They are undertaking multiple coups and supporting many militias against the legitimate authority; occupying ports, airports and islands and committing mass killings. They are bringing Yemen to the very brink of chaos, so that its many resources and bounties.. can be looted and its people broken.
The Houthi Militia backed from Iran on the other hand, are consolidating their fascist rule in the areas under their control. they have committed countless human rights violations and crimes.
Regional powers have turned the country into an arena for proxy conflicts that have little to do with the actual interests of the Yemeni nation. Large parts of the country have been devastated, including much of its vital infrastructure. Millions are threatened by starvation and disease. The coup and the war has left tens of thousands of others dead or wounded.
For all its horror, The murder of Jamal Kashoggi however, is turning the tide of public opinion towards Yemen. International efforts are now underway to reinvigorate a serious peace process and to end the war, which should be the very first priority.
Ending the war should be the first priority, followed by a round of negotiations that will hopefully take place in Sweden.
I therefore support the efforts of UN envoy Martin Griffith and the British initiative before the UN Security Council to issue a resolution to stop the war and start serious negotiations to reach a peace agreement that will end the suffering of millions of Yemenis and  re-stabilize my country under the legitimacy of a unified Democrat Republic of Yemen.

 

Dear Friends, 
The path to ending the war in Yemen  is clear. First, the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries must stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Security Council should pass a resolution demanding an immediate end to the war and compelling the Saudis and Emiratis to withdraw from Yemen.
The Houthis, too, must be compelled to stop their destructive behavior. They must be prevented from receiving any weapons and other support from Iran.
The United Nations must sponsor forming a military committee work on withdrawing weapons from all militias, so that the state has the exclusive right to use weapons, and build the army and security on a national basis to ensure the protection of the country, its sovereignty and territorial integrity. 
The United Nations should oversee the formation of government of national unity that will organize a referendum on the draft constitution and prepare for fresh elections. It is crucial to establish a national reconciliation commission responsible for providing redress to victims of the war. 
Developing a mechanism to deal with Yemen’s ongoing economic challenges, address the humanitarian crisis, and kick-start reconstruction, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates must be held accountable and compensate Yemen for the damages they have caused. 

 

Dear friends, 
It is not a luxury or redundant to talk about global governance and its necessity. Rather, it is an imperative. Today our very existence on this planet is threatened. We need to cope with the many challenges and threats to our coexistence and to ensure the preservation of this small planet whose climate and biodiversity are in jeopardy. Our planet is facing unprecedented threats: climate change, dwindling water reserves, biodiversity loss, pollution and so on.
We are at a crossroads in our shared history: a ‘dangerous time’ when a relatively .. stable world order has been suddenly pulled asunder. The forces of populism, nationalism, militarism, Terrorism and despotism are undermining all possibilities for stability and well-being; of achieving the dream of a better future.
The urgent need for something like a global government—through either the modernization and development of United Nations mechanisms or the establishment of a new organization that can deal effectively with future challenges is neither wishful thinking nor a redundancy..: it is a necessity.

 

And finally, 
I would like to refer to the situation of women who pay heavy price because of wars and tyranny. Targeting women will lead us into an even darker future. Women are not only the foundation of the family, but they are also the peacemakers. They are the honest brokers whose participation is absolutely critical if we are ever to achieve the shared vision of a more peaceful, prosperous and cleaner planet.
 I cannot fail to express my full solidarity with the women arbitrarily detained  in Saudi, Iran, Egypt, an Bashar Alassad’s prisons where they are subjected to torture and ill treatment as a result of their courage. They, and the other human rights defenders who risk their lives all over the world are the true diplomats of our time: willing to sacrifice everything for the greater good.

Thank you