Yemen has been subject to civil conflict since 2015. Efforts to maintain peace have been hindered by repeated and continued armed conflict which has ultimately contributed to a grave humanitarian crisis. Furthermore, the ongoing security challenges in the country has meant that relevant institutions, courts and other national bodies have been under enormous strain.
So far, terrorism prevention efforts in the country have been based on a legal framework that is not yet in full compliance with the international legal instruments against terrorism. In response to some of these challenges, UNODC is assisting Yemen strengthen its criminal justice response to terrorism, as well as building the capacity of national institutions to more effectively prevent and counter terrorism in accordance with rule of law and human rights standards - which will contribute to wider peace and development efforts in the country.
Within this context and in response to the request from the Government of Yemen, UNODC delivered a workshop on the implementation of the international legal framework against terrorism in accordance with the rule of law and human rights on 20-21 November 2022, in Aden, Yemen.
The workshop was attended by 34 representatives (including 9 women) ranging from Yemen’s Ministries of Interior, Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Legal Affairs, the National Police Academy, National Security Agency, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Court of Appeals and specialized courts. The event offered a platform to share challenges, legal and operational gaps, technical assistance needs and good practices. UNODC and the Ministry of Justice also held discussions about the way forward with regard to legislative and technical assistance.
The workshop marked an important step in national efforts to address counter terrorism through frameworks and measures that are inclusive, rule of law-based and in line with human rights. It also demonstrated UNODC and Yemen’s re-commitment to preventing and countering terrorism together.
Due to the ongoing security challenges within the country and the wider region, the Government of Yemen requested UNODC’s assistance in revising its national counter-terrorism legislation to ensure compliance with international legal frameworks against terrorism, relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and counter-terrorism legal instruments. During the meeting, the importance of Yemen’s full adherence to the international treaties and conventions related to terrorism was underscored.
In his opening remarks, the Deputy Minister of Justice for Courts Affairs and Documentation, Judge Abdul Karim Baadad, acknowledged the importance of the workshop and stressed his hope for a growing partnership between the Government of Yemen and UNODC.
Judge Badr Alaredha, Minister of Justice, expressed appreciation to UNODC for organizing the workshop and asked for continued legislative and technical support, including by strengthening national institutions through capacity building to more effectively prevent and counter terrorism.