The sustainability of a peace agreement in Yemen depends on two critical economic issues. First, in a conflict that is largely over access to resources, the issues of distribution, control, and sharing of those resources can make or break peace. Therefore, these issues must be addressed head-on during negotiations. Second, where peace agreements lack provisions that create overall economic stability, warfare can resume during the fragile implementation period. The fears over the resumption of conflict after signing a peace agreement are substantiated by several historical events in Yemen, such as the failure of the GCC Initiative.
At the sixth Development Champions Forum in Amman, Jordan, from January 25 to 27, 2020, the Development Champions therefore focused on identifying urgent macroeconomic, fiscal, and monetary issues that pose a direct threat to the successful implementation of any peace agreement in Yemen.
The discussions led to the following key recommendations to Yemeni negotiating parties and international supporters of the peace process on economic provisions that need to be included in the peace agreement:
- Agree on the economic priorities of the post-agreement government, and a process to redefine the state’s economic philosophy within a broader reform agenda and vision.
Agree on measures to end the division of key state institutions that play a vital role in Yemen’s economy, including the Central Bank of Yemen.
- Establish a socio-economic council mandated with formulating responsive public policies.
- Commit to a transparent, inclusive, and sustainable process for payment of public sector salaries, and agree on a measured approach to the rehabilitation and reintegration of combatants.
- Ensure the smooth, fair, and transparent collection of local revenue and appointment of new heads of public revenue authorities, and put in place an effective accountability mechanism.
- Agree on the allocation of revenue from natural resources.
- Agree on a good governance framework for the reconstruction and recovery process.
- Reopen all seaports, airports, and land border crossings, and lift all restrictions on the movements of goods and travellers through Yemen’s borders.