UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations Wednesday announced the launch of inclusive consultations aimed at restoring momentum towards a Yemeni-led political transition process aimed at ushering in peace in the war-torn country.

“The Secretary-General urges all the participants to engage in these United Nations consultations in good faith and without preconditions,” a statement issued by Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman said. “The only durable resolution to the crisis in Yemen is an inclusive, negotiated political settlement.”

The consultations, which will begin on 28 May in Geneva, will bring together a broad range of Yemeni Governmental and other actors, and follow extensive consultations by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, together with strong expressions of support by the Security Council in several resolutions seeking a peaceful and Yemeni-led political transition process.

Spokesman Farhan Haq said details about how the talks will be conducted were being worked out. In the most recent, Resolution 2216 (2015), members emphasized the need for a return to the application of the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, and of the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference. They also reaffirmed full support for, and commitment to, UN efforts to relaunch the political dialogue.

The statement described how the different political and social constituencies of Yemen came together to chart a course for democratic change and a new vision for the country during the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference. “Tragically, Yemen has now slid into a conflict that risks spilling across its borders and that is having a dramatic impact on civilians, who are paying the highest price,” the Spokesman said. “The United Nations has worked closely with Yemenis since 2011 to support national aspirations for change. With this experience and coupled with Yemen’s tradition of dialogue, the Secretary-General hopes these consultations will help Yemen re-launch the political process, reduce the levels of violence and alleviate the intolerable humanitarian situation.”

The UN says at least 1,850 people have been killed and more than 7,390 injured in Saudi-led military coalition’s air strikes, fighting on the ground and attacks by militants since 19 March. An estimated 450,000 Yemenis have been uprooted from their homes in the recent conflict, another 330,000 people, who were previously displaced. Some 250,000 mainly Somali refugees in Yemen have also been affected by hostilities. Another 29,000 people of mixed nationalities have fled Yemen to neighbouring countries. In the meanwhile, A United Nations conference to re-launch political talks in Yemen will open in Geneva next week, a UN spokesman said Wednesday, despite uncertainty over who will attend the gathering.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the May 28 meeting was to “restore momentum towards a Yemeni-led political transition process” after weeks of conflict that have left 1,850 dead. UN-brokered peace talks were suspended when Shiite Huthi rebels went on the offensive, capturing the capital Sanaa in September and advancing on Aden in the south, forcing the president to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Ban hopes the Geneva talks “will help Yemen re-launch the political process, reduce the levels of violence and alleviate the intolerable humanitarian situation,” said a statement from his spokesman. The three-day conference was supposed to be announced last week, but the United Nations demanded a halt in fighting for the talks to go ahead.

Instead, the announcement came as Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen intensified after a five-day humanitarian truce expired at the weekend. It remained unclear if the Huthi rebels planned to attend while Yemen’s foreign minister Riyadh Yassin told AFP he would not go to Geneva unless the Huthis withdrew from at least part of the territory seized. “We are not going unless there is something on the ground,” Yassin said in Riyadh. He demanded that a UN Security Council resolution adopted last month that called for the pullback be implemented. “We will not attend if there is no implementation, at least part of it. If there is no withdrawal from Aden at least, or Taez,” Yassin said.