In a statement issued to the press, the 15-member body emphasized the need for a peaceful, orderly, inclusive and Yemeni-led transition process, and reiterated its call on all parties to “resume and accelerate” UN-brokered inclusive political consultations. The talks will be convened in the region next week by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who yesterday welcomed the commitment of the Government, the Houthis and the General People’s Congress to participate. “The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their call on Yemeni parties to attend the announced talks and any such future talks and engage without preconditions and in good faith, including by resolving their differences through dialogue and consultations, rejecting acts of violence to achieve political goals, and refraining from provocation and all unilateral actions to undermine the political transition,” said today’s statement. They also expressed their support and appreciation for the efforts of the Special Envoy, who will continue to engage with all Yemeni stakeholders to take steps towards a durable ceasefire and a mechanism for the withdrawal of forces, release of political prisoners and the resumption of an inclusive political transition process.In addition, the Council expressed deep concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, including the food insecurity already facing millions of Yemenis across the country and the increasing risk of famine. They encouraged the international community to contribute to the $1.6 billion UN humanitarian appeal, which was currently only around 24 per cent funded.
From the Best Practice Guide for SMEs looking to win public contractsHow can I put my SME in a better position?Here is some valuable advice from InterTradeIreland – THE PUBLIC SECTOR is, despite its name, a huge source of opportunity for private companies. The current value of the public sector contract market is around €12 billion – and understanding how to tender for a contract is vital for the growth of many SMEs.Why do I need to know this now?In 2014, the Government centralised how public sector service contracts would be tendered. The process has been run for some time through the Office of Government Procurement (OGP). The office has previously published its intention to “promote SME participation in Public Contracts” and address challenges SMEs have had to procuring valuable public sector contracts.As this report from the OGP notes: “Although SMEs account for 99% of total companies, they deliver less than one third of these business opportunities (public sector deals)”.What have been the challenges for SMEs in procuring contracts?Enhanced competition in the marketplaceInability to compete for the larger projectsOperational, tech or financial challenges The disappointing thing in all this is that there is an expressed wish by the OGP to work with SMEs: Register on eTenders: You should register straight away on the revamped etenders.gov.ie, “remembering that this is a virtual storefront to public sector buyers”. Keep your information up to date. While you are at it, register on eSourcing NI for Northern Ireland public sector opportunities.Consider partnering with other SMEs to bid for larger tenders – you might not be able to compete for a large contract on your own, but if you can aggregate your company’s capabilities with another with complementary expertise/operational scope, you present a more complete picture.Know the new categories of procurement. Public sector contracts are now categorised into types of spend (according to InterTradeIreland that might be, for example, professional services, marketing, print and stationery etc.).Worth knowing:In 2013, there were 7,500 invitations to tender released by the Irish public sector with 40,000 submissions received.The Best Practice Guide by procurement.ie is a must-read. InterTradeIreland, a cross-border organisation that helps support SMEs to grow trade across the island, has a series of free seminars in the coming months that aim to help SMEs organise themselves into consortia to bid for contracts.The first of these seminars is tomorrow at CityWest Hotel in Dublin. Have a look here to find out more about all their upcoming advice events.And from the comments section:How to: Make a living in a ‘dying’ industry>Read all our top advice and news for SMEs here>