Yemen to face strategic challenges [Archives:2006/978/Front Page]

August 4 2006

By:Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, Sept. 3 ) In the coming presidential term Yemen is set to face new challenges, according to the Political Development Forum.

In cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stifting, the Political Development Forum (PDF) organized a symposium to discuss many economic, social and cultural challenges, which Yemen is expected to experience, in addition to other challenges related with completing state building and international policies.

PDF-Yemen is a non-government institution for intellectual and cultural activities. It contributes to the realization of widespread and effective political participation to achieve safe and secure political development.

Working papers, reviewed at the symposium, examined and diagnosed several issues in the social and cultural areas. They stressed the most important strategic challenges Yemen is bound to experience in various areas during the coming presidential term.

According to the papers, issues concerned with citizenship, women and marginalized classes, cultural and ethnic plurality, and education are due to top the strategic challenges.

In the economic area, the papers discussed natural and human resources and the most prominent strategic challenges in the area, particularly the depletion of groundwater and oil and the rapid population growth, coupled with the lack of good infrastructure.

The discussion focused on the integral role the private sector should play in economic development and water desalination to compensate for water shortage and overcome difficulties in the process of desalination. The possibility of making one of the coastal cities a capital for the country was discussed.

The papers diagnosed the legislative areas that hinder building the new state and reviewed the programs presented by political parties and civil community organizations regarding political reform requirements and reconsidering the state's authorities.

With respect to the international policy and regional integration, they discussed the nature of the security role that controls international relation requirements.

The symposium laid more emphasis on challenges related with Yemen's admission to Gulf Cooperation Council, security issues with bordering Saudi Arabia and the U.S. and international demands in the war on terrorism.

Other issues, covered by the discussion, are the ongoing developments in Somalia, the local and regional arms trade and the spread of arms among tribesmen and influential persons.