Talks on drafting a constitution for Syria will convene next month in Geneva, the UN special envoy for the war-torn nation told the Security Council on Tuesday.
“It is now exactly two years” since the committee was set up to draft the new constitution as agreed by the government in Damascus and the Syrian Negotiation Commission, but “unfortunately, the committee has not yet begun to make steady progress in its mandate. his, ”said Geir Pedersen.
“I am pleased to announce that an agreement on the methodology has been reached,” he said, adding that the drafting committee would meet in Geneva on October 18. Pederson visited the region and spent 18 months negotiating with the parties involved.
“We all now have to wait for the Constitutional Committee to start working seriously on a process of drafting – not just preparing – a constitutional reform,” he said.
Building trust between participants, which includes the government, opposition groups and civil society organizations, will be crucial in establishing a “credible constitutional process”, Pedersen added.
The envoy also expressed hope that a summit between the presidents of Russia and Turkey would help “promote peace” inside Syria, especially in the northwestern region of Idlib, which is home to the last major rebel stronghold.
The Syrian war has killed some 500,000 people since its inception in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests, spiraling into a complex battlefield involving foreign armies, militias and armed fighters.
At a Syrian peace conference organized by Russia in January 2018, an agreement was reached to form a 150-member committee to draft a new constitution, which lasted until September 2019.
The fifth and final round of meetings aimed at reviewing the constitution was place in January this year with the participation of delegates from the Syrian government, opposition and civil society.
At the time, the US and some Western allies accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been in power since 2000, of deliberately delaying the drafting of a new constitution to waste time until the presidential election. year and to avoid UN oversight.
In May, al-Assad u re-elected for a fourth term with 95.1 per cent of the votes cast in government-held areas.
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