UN Urges Syrian Committee to Resume Work After 10-Month Hiatus
The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria called on the Constitutional Committee to return to the negotiating table after nearly a year.
In a speech to the Security Council, Geir Pedersen said he was “concerned” about the passage of 10 months, which he said “sends a disturbing message: that the ability of Syrians to search for a comprehensive solution is hostage to issues that have nothing to do with their country.”
“The committee must resume its work in Geneva in a spirit of compromise, content and speed,” he said, adding: “The situation today is so unprecedented that it calls for leadership, bold ideas and a spirit of cooperation. A political solution is the only way forward for Syria. We may not be able to reach that in one step.” – But I think we can move towards it incrementally.
Turning to the ongoing efforts to address the devastation caused by devastating earthquakes in neighboring Syria, Pedersen said it was “absolutely essential” to provide desperately needed resources to northwestern Syria to address the “enormous suffering caused by the conflict.”
There is also a need for “sustained calm,” Pedersen said, particularly in quake-hit areas, noting a “creeping increase in incidents,” including rocket fire, shelling and “cross raids.”
The committee’s meetings, which began in October 2019 with 150 members, are the first concrete step in drafting a new constitution to determine the future of Syria.
Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime brutally suppressed pro-democracy protests.