UN’s Pedersen calls to resume talks on Syria’s constitution in Geneva

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, invited on Tuesday the Syrian government and the opposition to resume talks on Syria’s constitution in Geneva.

Pedersen issued the invitation to meet in April during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council despite Russia’s opposition.

“Having left no stone unturned to find an alternative venue, I believe the only way forward at this time is to reconvene in Geneva – at least as a bridging proposal while there is no consensus on an alternative venue,” Pedersen said.

He said the ninth session of the Constitutional Committee has not taken place because “as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed this month, Russia no longer considers Switzerland a neutral venue, and the Syrian government did not accept Geneva as a result.”

The ninth session that was originally scheduled to be held on July 25, 2022 has been cancelled, according to Pedersen.

Pedersen pointed out that over the past year and a half he has failed to get the Syrian parties to agree on a place for the meetings of the Committee.

The Constitutional Committee, which consists of members representing the Syrian government, the opposition and the civil society, was formed by the U.N. to bring the Syrian government and opposition together within the context of the political solution for the Syrian crisis.

Pedersen urged to all key international stakeholders to support the U.N.’s role without meddling regarding the location as it is already approved by the Syrian parties.

Meanwhile in the same session, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, stressed more work needs to be done to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria as 16.7 million people in Syria now require humanitarian assistance, which is the highest number since the war started nearly 13 years ago.

By Stella Youssef