Written By: Yemen Observer Staff
Article Date: Nov 22, 2012 - 8:37:40 PM
UNHCR representative, Naveed Hussain, met on Saturday with Prime Minister Salim Basindawa and Mr Ahmed al-Kohlani, the Head of the Executive Unit for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), to discuss the recent developments in Abyan.
UNHCR representative in Yemen, Naveed Hussain, met on Saturday with Prime Minister Mohammed Salim Basindawa
Mr Hussain assured the Prime Minister that the main priority for UNHCR was its response to the situation in Abyan and ensuring the sustainability of those displaced who have courageously returned home to their towns and villages to start rebuilding their lives.
He stressed the importance of finding long-lasting solutions for the hundreds of thousands IDPs in Yemen, especially those in the north who have been displaced from their homes for many years due to the on- and off-going conflict. In return, the Prime Minister praised the role of the UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations in their response to the hundreds of thousands that had been displaced from Abyan and acknowledged his commitment to resolve the issue of internal displacement in Yemen and instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, to cooperate and facilitate the development and implementation of a national policy.
Part of the Government’s transition plan includes national legislation on IDPs. The UNHRC is working jointly with and providing technical and material assistance to the Executive Unit in the development and adoption of a national policy or strategy, where a plan of action can be implemented to help resolve internal displacement, more than 22 countries have already implemented such a policy.
Experience has proven that such a policy helps governments respond quicker, mobilizing international resources made available to them.
The implementation of a national policy had previously been recommended to the Yemen Government in 2010 by Mr. Walter Kalin, the UN Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. The UN Human Rights Committee restated the recommendation earlier this year.
Mr Edward Leposky, External Relations Officer, UNHCR, further expanded that the national policy for Internally Displaced Persons would reflect many of the core principles of the UNHRC manifesto ‘Guiding Principles for Internal Displacement’ which is based on existing humanitarian law.
The policy would act as a framework encapsulating the humanitarian rights of IDPs, guaranteeing the full freedom and equality as enjoyed by other citizens of the state which is to be respected by all authorities. Governments would provide safety for and humanitarian assistance to their citizens when displaced through causes such as war. IDPs in Abyan have been “courageous enough to return home, and deserve a great deal of credit,” the policy would help sustain their return.
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