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.
UNA-UK has joined forces with a host of advocacy and humanitarian organisations to campaign together to reduce the suffering in Yemen. Below is our shared list of recommendations for which we urge you to personally ask 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
- Put the upmost diplomatic and public pressure on the Saudis and Emiratis 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.
- Suspend UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates whilst their remains a clear risk that these will be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law.
- Work unceasingly with the various actors to ensure aid agencies have the fullest possible access to all regions of the country especially Hudaydah, Sanna and Taiz.
- Work unceasingly with the Saudis to ensure that both aid agencies and journalists have full access to Sanna International Airport.
- Put the upmost diplomatic and public pressure on the Saudis to:
- inject money into Yemen’s central bank so tens of thousands of public sector workers, including those in Houthi-controlled areas, can be paid
- allow more commercial imports of food, fuel, cooking oil, medical supplies and other essential items to enter Hudaydah and Salif ports,
- stop blocking imports of containers into Hudaydah that contain essential goods such as milk powder, medical supplies, cooking oil, cleaning agents etc.
- persuade the Yemini Government:
- to issue ‘letters of credit’ to commercial importers of food and to facilitate this by using the promised $2b Saudi loan to ensure that both northern and southern branches of the Central Bank are adequately financed,
- immediately facilitate the onward road transfer of the very large number of containers ‘stuck’ in the port of Aden
- Pursue accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law throughout the conflict.
- To demand that the Saudis stop bombing populated areas.
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 her/him writing a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
(2) by her/him speaking to the Secretary of State in person
(3) by her/him 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.
- Once you've had your meeting, please tell us how you got on
- 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.