(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) British Foreign Secretary William Hague paid tribute to the Gulf Cooperation Council, "whose initiative helped to pave the way for transition in Yemen.
"We have now reached a pivotal moment in that transition. As everyone here knows, Yemen's National Dialogue Conference has concluded, a National Authority for implementing its conclusions has been formed and work is underway to develop a new constitution that should lay the foundation for the democratic, secure and prosperous future we all wish to see for Yemen and for its people," he said.
Hague was speaking to nations gathered for Friends of Yemen talks co-chaired by representatives from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The meeting was aimed at discussing Yemen's political transition, humanitarian situation, economic and security reform, and restructuring of Friends of Yemen group.
The international community must all support "the economic growth that is so urgently required to reduce poverty and to address humanitarian needs (in Yemen)," he said, noting that "only a fraction of the humanitarian appeal for Yemen for this year has been funded.
"So, I believe that the work of this group, of the Friends of Yemen, remains critically important and, at a time of multiple crises in the world, we must be clear that Yemen remains a priority for the international community.
"Without determined efforts, there is always a risk that political progress in Yemen could be reversed and the threat from terrorism could expand to the detriment of all of our countries.
He identified the "significant challenges that remain," in Yemen as being terrorism, the "severe" humanitarian situation, the "extremely vulnerable" economy and "the process of constitutional reform and preparing for free and fair elections." "At the Security Council we passed Resolution 2140 establishing a Sanctions Committee and a Panel of Experts to ensure that those who threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen, or violate human rights, pay the price for their actions and we must support the work of those bodies.
"We must all support the process of drafting and adopting a strong and inclusive new constitution," he said, adding "we must all support the economic growth that is so urgently required to reduce poverty and to address humanitarian needs." In conclusion, he said "I believe that Yemen has entered a decisive and delicate phase in its transition and there remain many challenges. But the people of Yemen have clearly called for reform, for respect for human rights, for a political settlement that will allow them to overcome division and build a better future together. So we must help them to bring this about."