In Yemen, 24 million people require urgent humanitarian assitance, 9.9 million of whom are children. Saudi Arabia has been accused by an independent UN panel of using the threat of starvation as 'an instrument of war.'
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.
As we enter the sixth year of the conflict, we want you to write to your MP and build further momentum in Parliament with our urgent call to action on the situation in Yemen. 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.
Read our latest letter from Lord Wood of Anfield, Chairman of UNA-UK, to Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressing our concern about ongoing UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UK's wider role in the conflict.
Below is our list of recommendations for which we urge you to personally ask your MP and the Foreign Secretary to action.
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.
Tips on writing to your MP
- Find out who your MP is by typing your postcode in at www.theyworkforyou.com
- Find their contact details MPs at www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
- Browse their personal website to find their email address for letters and surgery meetings for constituents. Send your letter to both email addresses.
- Get personal. Write a letter/email to your MP in your own words as this shows the strength of feeling you have about the issue. Here’s a letter template which you can adapt to make it more personal to you. Here is a briefing for your MP and list of 'MP asks' to help guide you.
- Please consider incorporating the key asks mentioned above - these practical action points will help your MP to take the issue forward with Government.
- Ask your MP to take action on your behalf in these ways:
(1) by writing a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
(2) by speaking to the Secretary of State in person
(3) by raising your concerns as oral and written questions in parliament
- Don't forget to introduce yourself and include your full name and postal address in your correspondence.
- MPs get hundreds of emails so it is very important to phone both the constituency and parliamentary offices and ask that they draw your email to the MPs attention. Try to build up a good relationship with the MP's secretary and keep in regular contact.
- Ask your MP to keep in regular contact and to give you copies of any responses they receive.
- Once you've sent your letter/email, please let UNA-UK know and share this webpage with your networks
- Please forward any replies you receive to firstname.lastname@example.org