UN determined Syrian constitutional committee will bring end to war

A military solution to the conflict is off the table, Security Council says

epa07888295 Geir O. Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, speaks about the Syrian Constitutional Committee, during a press conference, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 02 October 2019.  EPA/MARTIAL TREZZINI

The United Nations said the launch of the Syrian constitutional committee talks later this month will push for a political process aimed to end the eight year-civil war.

UN Envoy to Syria Geir Pederson and his predecessor Staffan de Mistura led negotiations for nearly two years that saw the establishment of the committee to draft a new Syrian constitution.

The committee will meet for the first time in Geneva on October 30.

“The Security Council welcomes the Secretary General’s (Antonio Guterres) September 23, 2019 announcement of the agreement for a credicable, balanced and inclusive Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations in Geneva,” the council said in a statement.

The council emphasised its “strong support” for Mr Pedersen, who will facilitate the work of the “Syrian-owned and Syrian-led” committee.

The Security Council reaffirmed “that there can be no military solution to the conflict.”

The US mission to the UN said it was “proud” to lead “consensus efforts” on welcoming the formation of the UN-led constitutional committee.

It will “begin a political process to end the crisis and meet the Syrian people’s aspiration,” the US mission said on Twitter.

The final committee is composed of 50 individuals from the government, the opposition and civil society who will discuss and adopt constitutional proposals.

The UN assisted in drawing up the civil society list, which includes Syrians from a range of political, religious, ethnic and geographic backgrounds.

The talks will be based on UN Resolution 2254 which calls for a new constitution, as well as UN-supervised elections and transparent and accountable governance.

Previous UN envoys have failed to stop Syria’s eight-year war, which has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and led to an exodus of refugees.