He was a pioneer, a moderate voice and an advocate for human rights and diversity, even in the most challenging and difficult circumstances. He participated in many Club de Madrid missions and policy dialogues. His contributions were always highly appreciated and valued. The last of them was in the Club de Madrid 2014 Policy Dialogue ‘Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A call to action’ held in November that year in Florence where he shared his knowledge and wisdom about democracy in the Middle East. His frail health prevented him to participate last month in the Madrid+10 Dialogue where his dream to reach a global consensus to prevent and counter violent extremism came true.
Al-Eryani’s democratic legacy starts after his return to Yemen after receiving his PhD from the Yale University. He immediately started a brilliant political career: since 1972, he held posts as Minister of Development (1974-1976), Minister of Education (1976-1978), Prime Minister (1980-1983), and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1984-1990). Furthermore, following the unification of North and South of Yemen in 1990, Al-Eryani continued to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Al-Eryani was then appointed Prime Minister on April 1998.
Last function Dr. Al-Eryani assumed was Political Advisor to the President of Yemen, assisting with Yemen’s political transition that started in 2011. Despite his weakened health, Al-Eryani devoted his last efforts to find a peaceful solution to the war that is devastating Yemen since March. Yemen and the whole world has lost Al-Eryani’s wisdom in a moment when it is very much needed. All the Club de Madrid Members acknowledge his huge contributions to democracy and human rights and pledge to continue his work towards a democracy that delivers.
We all have lost a loyal friend and a freedom fighter. Rest in Peace.