June 20, 2018 – Elke Fimmen of the Schiller Institute in Germany gave a presentation on Day 2 of the UN-Human Rights Council Session, 38th Session (18th of June – 6th of July, 2018) in Geneva. The seminar “Human Rights in Yemen” which took place on June 19, was sponsored and organized by the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) and INSAN Germany. The meeting was introduced and moderated by Dr. Hassan Fartousi, researcher in international law at the University of Geneva.
At the one-hour-event, Fimmen was introduced as delegate from the German LaRouche Movement. The meeting was also addressed by Mathias Tretschog, activist of the Berlin Peace Initiative Stop the War in Yemen, who spoke on the complicity of the West in tolerating this genocide. Al Jazeera filmed the entire event, and short interviews were conducted with the two speakers by the Bahrein TV station Alluluwa.
As the brutal Emirate’s and Saudi Coalition assault on the vital harbour city Houdeida is escalating since last week, while peace talks by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffith are continuing (including a meeting next week with EU foreign ministers), Elke Fimmen focussed on how to use the new global strategic momentum established with the Singapur spirit to stop the war and establish the „new paradigm of peace and development“, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche has called for in her new statement.
The now possible Trump-Putin summit will be crucial to change the strategic equation, also in the Middle East, and to open a road towards establishing peace. Fimmen pointed out that there is growing resistance against US-support for the Saudi-war in the US Congress, which should be strenghtened to the maximum. As Helga Zepp-LaRouche said in her latest webcast, the US government could end this war immediately, by withdrawing their support for the barbaric Saudi -coalition aggression against Yemen.
Fimmen detailed the key points for a lasting peace settlement, as had been identified by the Bad Soden Yemen Declaration of last November’s Schiller-Institute conference:
– An immediate ceasefire;
– the lifting of the blockade of the ports and airports, allowing in immediate humanitarian aid and the import of food and other goods;
– a return to the national dialogue and reconciliation process , to find a political solution. The political process should be conducted under the UN umbrella, but it should take place ONLY between Yemeni national factions without interference of regional or global powers. Russia, China and the United States should serve as guarantors of the implementation of the final outcome of the dialogue.
– Finally, Yemen must be assisted in a rapid and large-scale reconstruction process, focused on infrastructure projects to regain the livelihood of the nation and the integration of Yemen into the Belt and Road Initiative (New Silk Road).
In the concluding part of her speech, she stressed the need to focus on Yemen’s right to development, by presenting the main programmatic points of the new Schiller Institute report „Operation Felix: Yemen’s Reconstruction and Connection to the New Silk Road“, including some key graphics of the report and a picture of the Sana’a event two weeks ago. With the cover of the Yemen reconstruction plan on display during her speech, this focus on building a beautiful future out of the present abyss of horror had a very important uplifting and remoralizing effect on the audience.
Text of speech
First I want to thank the sponsors and organizers for inviting me to address this event today.
My topic is “Stop Genocide: Peace and development for Yemen!”
The President and founder of the Schiller-Institute, Mrs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche last Thursday very forcefully called for an immediate end of the bombing of the port of Houdeida by the Saudi Coalition and above all, for the urgent change of policy by the United States.
In her weekly international webcast,14th of June, 2018, she said: “ Already before this bombing against Hodeidah started, Yemen was characterized by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet, and the Russian Foreign Ministry just commented on the fact that the bombing against this port has started, saying that this will make a political solution that much harder.
But there is one country right now, which really could stop it, and that is the United States. If the United States would just make sure Saudi Arabia does not have the means to continue this, it would! And I find it promising that even two members of the Israeli Knesset, the parliament, basically commented on the Singapore [Korea] summit by saying that this could be a model to solve the Middle East crisis, including the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Now, that is the way to go. I think military solutions just don’t function. … I said at the beginning of the year that geopolitics must be overcome, because geopolitics is the basis of war. In the last century, it was the basis of two world wars, and I think we have to come to a situation where, given the fact that nuclear weapons exist, which could lead to the annihilation of civilization, I think we have to move to a world where war is absolutely outlawed as a means of conflict resolution.”
The principles of a solution
UN emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock warned on June 1st, that the number of starving Yemenites, if the Hodeida harbour is blocked, would increase from 8.4 million to 18.4 million (two thirds of the entire population). Now, the full blocking of Hodeida is a reality, as the Saudi-coalition attack launched last week, has forced the relief workers to flee and halt all import activities. Open warfare is threatening the lives of the whole civilian population of Hodeida.
This barbaric military assault by the Saudi and Emirates coalition on the port of Houdeida, Yemen’s most important lifeline for food and humanitarian goods for the whole country, must be stopped immediately by the world community! Otherwise, what was already a horrible humanitarian crisis in Yemen up to now, could quickly become an unspeakable genocide threatening the whole population of Yemen.
While the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffith for his peace plan are continuing, in the present midst of turbulence, military and political, the main principles of a workable solution are clear:
An immediate ceasefire;
the lifting of the blockade of the ports and airports, allowing in immediate humanitarian aid and the import of food and other goods;
a return to the national dialogue and reconciliation process , to find a political solution. The political process should be conducted under the UN umbrella, but it should take place ONLY between Yemeni national factions without interference of regional or global powers. Russia, China and the United States should serve as guarantors of the implementation of the final outcome of the dialogue.
Finally, Yemen must be assisted in a rapid and large-scale reconstruction process, focused on infrastructure projects to regain the livelihood of the nation and the integration of Yemen into the Belt and Road Initiative (New Silk Road). *
The Empire fears peace
The geopolitician´s fear of peace was clear from the launching of the agression in March 2015, when the war was started to block the peace agreement by all parties, “National Peace and Power Sharing Agreement”, which had been agreed upon on September 22, 2014.
The geopolitical fear of peace was also seen in the recent targetted murder of the President of Yemen, His Excellency Saleh al-Sammad, who was the responsible person for the peace negotiations and now
the absolutely brutal attack launched by the Emirates, the Saudis and the coalition, in order to block the peace proposal by UN special envoy Griffith, wrapping it into the propaganda line that “victory will be quick”, and then “humanitarian aid” would finally reach Yemen.
The old paradigm of geopolitics and confrontation between East and West is what has caused the war against Yemen, but this imperial policy is failing globally, as the Saudi-coalition assault becomes ever more brutal and its supporters become ever more exposed. In the last weeks, voices against the Saudi war and its support by the US, Britain, France and others were raised louder and louder in the whole world, including in Great Britain and the United States themselves. There are more than 30 US congressmen , also senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties, fighting to stop US support for the Saudi war against Yemen, putting a lot of pressure on the US government. Among the other atrocities, the Saudi attack on the hospital of Doctors without Borders, fighting the deadly cholera epidemic, created a big shock.
As one response, US Secretary of State Pompeo issued a statement on June 11, warning the UAE to hold back their assault on Hodeida, stressing that he expected all parties to work with Griffith’s office, to include supporting a political process to resolve the conflict. On June 6, a spokesman for the National Security Council of the White House had said that the US would “not support actions that destroy key infrastructure or that are likely to exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation …”. Of course, at this point, these are just words, and we know that the US and GB blocked the Swedish Ceasefire initiative at the UN last Friday.
It should be noted however, that the barbaric attack against Hodeida was launched at the very same moment, when the historic Korea summit took place between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, obviously targetted by the war party to sabotage this new momentum, which has been built up with the help of China, Japan and Russia.
From a strategic standpoint therefore, it is extremely important now to make maximum use of this historical momentum, especially as President Trump is preparing for a meeting with President Putin, with both of them stressing that they want to cooperate to solve crisis such as in the Middle East.
If a massive international organizing campaign is directed now towards President Trump and Congress to finally stop the slaughtering of innocent people of Yemen on the altar of geopolitics, and instead move forward on the road of peace, the backbone of the historical Saudi-British axis can be broken, which is fuelling this war.
What a scandal, that the United Kingdom is promoting geopolitics and is an active war participant in the war on Yemen, while in the same time being the so called penholder for the Yemen conflict in the UN Security Council. This imperial manipulation must stop and the world must be allowed to create new relations among souvereign nations, based on peaceful development!**
Yemen and the new global paradigm of cooperation
While the emergency task to establish a ceasefire and to get humanitarian support flowing again on a large scale, as well as the start of political talks between the Yemeni factions, the right to development of Yemen as a modern and prosperous nation must absolutely be included in the battle for the future.
The most powerful progressive, anti-Empire dynamic in the world right now, is the BRICS and Silk Road spirit of “win-win”-cooperation, which has made a lot of progress, including in the settling of the Korea problem. This creates a tremendeous opportunity for the whole Mideast, South West Asia and Africa, where young people will only have a joyful future, when they can build cities, infrastructure, railroads, universities and determine their own fate instead of being subjected to oligarchical domination!
This is why the Schiller Institute has just issued its new report “Operation Felix: Yemen’s Reconstruction and Connection to the New Silk Road”, which was presented in a seminar on June 6th at the headquarters of the Yemeni General Investment Authority (GIA) in the capital of Yemen, Sana’a. The report is based on the scientific method of “Physical Economics” as defined by American economist Lyndon LaRouche.
The study by Hussein Askary shows that the destruction of Yemen’s economy started already in the 1990s when Yemen came under the yoke of the IMF and World Bank. The catastrophic consequences of that policy are described in detail in the study, which shows that the IMF/WB prevented Yemen from developing for over 30 years, making Yemen the poorest country in the region, with dependency on imports of food reaching 80% in 2014, even before the war started.
The report then goes through the destruction of the rest of Yemen’s weak economy, the bombing of the infrastructure and every other productive sector, creating the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.
The reconstruction plan proposed in the report starts with an emergency mobilization to rehabilitate the destroyed infrastructure and providing relief to the population especially in the rural areas, through mobilization of an army of young workers, modeled on the Franklin Roosevelt-era Civilian Conservation Corps. However, the report states clearly that the intention of the authors is not to rebuild Yemen back to what it was before the war, i.e. “the poorest country in the region”, but to build a completely new economic growth platform based on cooperation with the BRICS and China, and other friendly powers. To start the true reconstruction plan, a “Yemeni National Reconstruction and Development Bank” is proposed by the author, modelled on the Hamiltonian national credit system.
The proposed infrastructure projects include large-scale transport, power, water, shipping, manufactures and commercial agriculture projects. The key component of the plan is the “Yemeni Development Corridor”, with the first railway ever to be built from Sa’ada in the north to Aden in the south, branching east and west along the way to the main ports on the Red Sea and key potential industrial, mining and agricultural areas in the eastern plateau. An additional coastal line is required to connect all the major port-cities and to neighboring countries.
The final part of the report is dedicated to the connectivity of Yemen to both the Maritime Silk Road through Yemen’s ports on both the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, and to the Silk Road Economic Belt on land to connect eastward to Oman, Iran and further to Central Asia and China. Westward, Yemen would be connected through a bridge/tunnel across the Bab El-Mandab Strait to Djibouti, Ethiopia and the rest of Africa, making it an ideal bridge between Asia and Africa.
The author of the report, Hussein Askary recommended, that the Sana’a government present this report to the UN and other international powers to be included in any coming peace negotiations, as a key item to be agreed upon by all parties, before any political discussions are undertaken.
The report in Arabic language is available to download for free from the website of New Silk Road Party of Yemen, chaired by Fouad Al-Ghaffari: http://www.newsilkroadparty.com It will soon be presented to an international audience in English and in German.
I want to conclude by saying that it is the future which determines the present. The human spirit can triumph over evil. The world needs Yemen – so let’s create a miracle now! Thank you.
*A resolution “To End the War and Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen” with these demands was adopted by the participants of the Schiller Institute conference in Bad Soden, Germany, November 2017 and circulated internationally.