In Yemen, 22.2 million people (80% of the population) need humanitarian assistance. 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 build support for a new Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire, and use its influence with Saudi Arabia to press them to adhere to it.
We haven't given you a template email because this is not about quick, easy action. We're looking for meaningful responses from people who care about this humanitarian disaster and who want UK foreign policy to reflect their values. What we have done is provide you with our list of 'asks' to Government, and information on how to contact your MP. 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
- OUR PRORITY ACTION: 100 MPs have already written to the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary calling for them to make a statement condemning any further Saudi-led military attacks on the port of Hudaydah in Yemen - an aid lifeline for millions of people. UNA-UK’s supporters have already helped persuade over 35 MPs to sign the letter. To find out if your MP has signed the letter, click here. If they haven’t, please help us reach our target of 150 by asking your MP to sign. Here’s a letter template written by one of our local campaigners to help you. Please feel free to adapt it to make it more personal to you.
- Security Council action for ceasefire and peace process with no preconditions - As Council lead on Yemen, the UK should urgently table a new resolution calling for all parties to the Yemen conflict to immediately implement a ceasefire and enter into peace talks without preconditions
- Bilateral efforts with Saudi Arabia for peace - UK should use its close relationship with Saudi Arabia to urge them to support a ceasefire, enter into peace talks without preconditions and refrain from any actions which may restrict humanitarian or commercial supplies to Yemen
- Suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia - The UK should not be arming any of the parties to this conflict, all of whom are responsible for “widespread violations of international humanitarian law” according to the UN, with the Saudi-led coalition responsible for the majority of civilian casualties. The UK should immediately suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia and support an independent international inquiry into violations by all parties to the conflict.
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. Using some of the stats from our humanitarian briefing will help you make a compelling case. Please put our priority action on the aid lifeline port of Hodaydah at the top of your list of ‘asks’. Here’s a letter template written by one of our local campaigners to help you. Please do adapt it to make it more personal to 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 signing the MPs letter to the Prime Minister on Hodeidah
(2) by her/him writing a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
(3) by her/him speaking to the Secretary of State in person
(4) by her/him 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