Winding Down the War Part II: Negotiating Peace in Yemen at the Local Level

27/05/2021 - 18:00
Marwa Baabbad, Shoqi al-Maktary, Kawkab al-Thaibani, Dr Thania Paffenholz
Venue: Virtual meeting, by Zoom

Winding Down the War Part II: Negotiating Peace in Yemen at the Local Level
Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities for Community Peacebuilding in Yemen

Moderator: Frances Guy

The British-Yemeni Society warmly invites you to attend the second event in our series, ‘Winding Down the War’. This panel will bring together four experts to explore the challenges and opportunities for community peacebuilding in Yemen.

Pre-registration is required. Please follow this link to register to attend by Zoom:

Since 2015, the United Nations, through the Office of the Special Envoy to the Secretary-General on Yemen (OSESGY), has spearheaded efforts to resolve the war in Yemen. These attempts have included direct talks between President Hadi and the Huthis in Switzerland in June and December 2015, and in Kuwait between April and August 2016. In 2018, these two conflict parties reached the Stockholm Agreement while a series of prisoner exchanges was negotiated in October 2020. OSESGY has also formed the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), a network of Yemeni women with whom the Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, has consulted during the negotiations. Nevertheless, the conflict persists, and the Special Envoy continues to work towards a mediated settlement. 

Alongside these high-level negotiations, an array of unofficial dialogues – between civil society leaders, and between and within Yemeni communities – has been launched. These programmes have encompassed a wide range of themes and participants. Frequently sponsored and facilitated by international non-governmental organisations, yet also often Yemeni-led, these programmes have sought to both support and shape the high-level efforts but, moreover, to rebuild damaged relationships between Yemenis at the grassroots. This event will explore these peacebuilding efforts. What are the opportunities presented by community-level peacebuilding in Yemen? What challenges have these initiatives faced? What role can, and should, the international community play in supporting these community-level initiatives? What role are Yemeni women playing in local peacebuilding, and how does this contrast with their participation in the official peace negotiations? How accurate is it to view unofficial peacebuilding as operating beneath, or separated from, the official peace process? Do the struggles of the high-level negotiations in Yemen and elsewhere indicate the need to rethink how we define, and approach, the negotiation of peace?


Marwa Baabbad
British-Yemeni Society Trustee; Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute; and former Director of the Oxford Research Group Strategic Peacebuilding Programme

Shoqi al-Maktary
Senior Regional Conflict Sensitivity Advisor, Search for Common Ground

Kawkab al-Thaibani
Co-Founder of Women4Yemen; and Member of the Advisory Board of the Yemeni Archive

Dr Thania Paffenholz
Executive Director, InclusivePeace and Senior Fellow, Graduate Institute Geneva

The event will be chaired by:

Frances Guy
Regional Gender Advisor, United Nations Development Programme; and former British Ambassador to Yemen