To the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, To Members of the European Parliament,
The undersigned organisations welcome the positive stand taken by the European Parliament on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and in particular its Joint Motion for a Resolution (JMR) (1) and the related amendment (2) scheduled for plenary vote on 25 February.
We commend the Parliament for drawing attention to the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe and the serious breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law being carried out by all parties to the conflict. We note and agree with the assertion that EU Member States still transferring arms to Saudi Arabia are clearly breaching EU Common Position 2008/944/CFSP on arms exports control, and the call for a fully independent investigation into all allegations of abuse, torture, targeted killing of civilians and other violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. We note that transfers of arms that might be used in the conflict in Yemen are also in breach of the Arms Trade Treaty (to which 26 EU Member States are party), as concluded by the recent legal opinion of Matrix Chambers. (3)
We support all efforts by the European Parliament to work towards and encourage others to work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict, including through for example the recent Parliamentary delegation to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.(4)
In this context and in light of the overwhelming evidence of the extent of international humanitarian and human rights law violations, it is clear that EU Member States should not be supplying any controlled items that might be used in the Yemen conflict.
We therefore congratulate the European Parliament and its MEPs on the steps being taken in support of the Yemeni population and international law, and look forward to the vote on both the JMR and the related amendment on 25 February.
Action contre la Faim / Action Against Hunger, Mike Penrose, CEO
Action on Armed Violence, Iain Overton, Director of Polic
Article 36, UK, Thomas Nash, Director
BUKO-Campaign: stop the arms trade, Germany, Andrea Kolling, Researcher
Campaign Against Arms Trade, UK, Ann Feltham, Parliamentary Co-ordinator
Centre Delàs for Peace Studies, Spain, Jordi Calvo, Researcher and coordinator
Committee of 100 in Finland, Anni Lahtinen, Secretary General
Control Arms Secretariat, Anna Macdonald, Director
Human Rights Institute, Peter Weisenbacher, Representative
Medact, UK, Dr David McCoy, Director
Observatoire des armements, France, Tony Fortin, President
Omega Research Foundation, Helen Close, Research Associate
Rete Italiana per il Disarmo—Italian Network on Disarmament, Francesco Vignarca, Coordinator
Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Karin Olofsson, Secretary General & Christer Winbäck, Board Member, (former Swedish MP, former member of the Foreign Policy Committee and European Union Committee)
PAX, the Netherlands, Jan Gruiters, General Director
Peace Union of Finland, Laura Lodenius, Director
Quaker Council for European Affairs, Andrew Lane, Representative to the EU and CoE
Saferworld, Paul Murphy, Executive Director
Safer Yemen, Siris Hartkorn and Nabil Al-Sharafi, Co-founders and managing partners
Stop Wapenhandel, the Netherlands, Wendela de Vries, Coordinator
Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS), Anna Ek, President
United Nations Association-UK, Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director
Vredesactie, Belgium, Bram Vranken, Campaigner/researcher
Dr Anna Stavrianakis, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex, UK
(2) B8-0160/2016 RC1/Am1.
(3) Philippe Sands QC, Andrew Clapham & Blinne Ni Ghralaigh The lawfulness of the authorisation by the United Kingdom of weapons and related items for export to Saudi Arabia in the context of Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen’, Matrix Chambers, 11 December 2015 (4)P Press release 20160209IPR13503