Delegate Name: Quinn Suvedi
Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
Republic of Yemen
Quinn Suvedi, Forest Hills Northern High School
By definition, secession is the action of withdrawing formally from membership of a federation or body. The goal of a secession movement is to create a new state that is separate from the territory that it seceded from. Secession is almost always accompanied by war. The Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperations among states gives a loose sense of legitimacy to movements where international principles of equal rights and self-determination are not authorized. Therefore, the legitimacy of secession movements is based on whether or not a secession receives recognition.
Currently, Yemen itself is facing a secession crisis. So far, almost a quarter of a million people have died. In September 2014, the Houthis took over the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and by 2016, they had taken over much of northern Yemen. The Houthi movement in Yemen emerged in the 1990s as a reaction to Saudi financial and religious influence. They are backed by Iran. For years, they have been attacking Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Currently, four million people are internally displaced due to this. According to the national library of medicine, outbreaks of COVID-19, cholera, and other diseases have overwhelmed hospitals and gravediggers. Yemen “is already in the midst of the longest-running and largest cholera epidemic in recorded history.” Yemenis are “especially vulnerable to vector-borne diseases, since they often do not have adequate shelter.” In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that less than fifty percent of Yemen’s healthcare facilities were fully functional and accessible. This number has decreased since then. Because of all of this, there was no social distancing for COVID-19, people never wore masks in public, and transmission of this virus exploded. Three-quarters of Yemeni children are currently malnourished.
In conclusion, Yemen denounces the legitimacy of secessions. This is because Yemen’s secession crisis has killed many people and threatened many lives. Yemen does not want to see other countries going through similar catastrophes. Yemen looks forward to working with all nations to come up with a peaceful resolution to this brutal issue.