Sunday, December 5, 2021

Syrian opposition parties agree to draft new constitution

After a nearly nine-month break, the Syrian government and opposition representatives are set to launch a new round of UN-mediated talks aimed at drafting a new constitution for war-weary Syria. A UN official on Sunday informally met with members of the committee, who were tasked with drafting the measure, before talks began on Monday.

Geir Pedersen, the UN special envoy for Syria, looked upbeat on Sunday after meeting with government and opposition representatives from the 45-member Constitutional Committee. He said they had unanimously reached an agreement on how to proceed with the pending negotiations.

“The two co-chairs now agree that we will not only prepare for constitutional reform, but we will draft and begin a constitutional reform,” he said. “So, the new thing this week is that we will actually start a drafting process for a constitutional reform in Syria.”

The draft constitution is seen as a key element in ending more than a decade of war, which is estimated to have killed half a million people as refugees inside Syria and in neighboring countries and displaced some 13.5 million. Happened.

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Pedersen said those attending the meeting realize they are not operating in a vacuum. He said that the committee believes that people are still being killed and injured every day and this should end.

“As you all know, on top of this, we have an extremely difficult humanitarian and economic situation,” he said. “More than 13 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid and close to 90 percent are living below the poverty line… Therefore, I appealed to the Security Council that we must now come together and work for the benefit of Syrians. : There is a need to start the process. People should take this process forward.”

Pedersen noted for the first time that two government and opposition co-chairs of the committee met him at once. He said that there was a substantial and frank discussion between them on how to take forward the constitutional reforms. Pedersen said he hoped it would be good for the week-long talks.

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