Raising an issue in person can be one of the most powerful ways to influence your MP. The UK has a vital lifesaving role to play with regard to Yemen, where 24 million people require urgent humanitarian assitance - we need MPs calling for Britain to act.
This is a UK issue. On the Security Council, the UK is the 'lead' country for Yemen. It also has close bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia - the country that is leading military action against Yemen's Houthi rebels and is, according to the UN, responsible for the majority of civilian deaths. The UK must use its influence with Saudi Arabia to press them to adhere to the current ceasefire and ongoing peace talks.
Below is our list of recommendations for which we urge you to personally ask your MP and the Foreign Secretary to action.
This is not about quick, easy action. We want to support you to engage in productive conversations with your local representatives which is why we have provided you with our shared list of 'asks' to Government, and information on how to contact your MP, together with a briefing for him/her. At the end of the page there is a form so you can let us know how you got on. Please help us spread the word by sharing this page widely.
Key asks - what to include
Immediately cancel all arms export licenses and transfer of weapons which might be used in Yemen whilst their remains a clear risk that these will be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law.
End all military assistance the UK is giving parties to Saudi Arabia and other coalition partners.
Establish a thorough independent inquiry into how the UK's arms export control processes have enabled illegal activity which has potentially lethal ramifictions for innocent people in Yemen to take place.
Hand over the UK's "penholder" responsibilities for drafting Security Council resolutions on Yemen to a member state with more credibility on this issue.
Put the upmost diplomatic and public pressure on all parties to the conflict to agree to ceasefire talks covering the entire country, and to join peace negotiations leading to a lasting political settlement. To ensure peace talks are inclusive and include Yemeni women, youth and civil society.
Meet your MP
- Find out who your MP is by typing your postcode in at www.theyworkforyou.com
- Find their profile page by clicking on their listing via www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
- Either browse their personal website and hunt for their next drop-in surgery, or phone their constituency office using the number on the profile page/personal website to ask for an appointment.
- In preparation for your meeting: write down UNA-UK's key asks (above). Please contact us if you would like us to put you in contact with Paul Tippell, the UNA-UK Yemen Constituency Coordinator who can help.
- Try to visit your MP in a group, with one person leading the conversation. Ask other UNA members and concerned members from other groups such as Amnesty to join you.
- During the meeting: introduce yourself, be respectful and polite, explain why the issue matters to you, and talk through UNA-UK's key asks.
Ask your MP to take action on your behalf:
(1) by them writing a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
(2) by them speaking to the Secretary of State in person
(3) by them raising your concerns as oral and written questions in parliament
- It’s always best to present your MP with a short document setting out key facts and your ‘asks’, but remember that MPs are busy people and you may get as little as 10 minutes with them. So keep your list of ‘asks’ short.
- Ask your MP to keep in regular contact and to give you copies of any responses they receive.
- Consider becoming a local UNA Constituency Coordinator to lead members in lobbying your MP.
Please do contact Paul Tippell (UNA-UK Yemen Constituency Coordinator) on 07970 868508 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.