In recognition of the milestone in the press conference about Security Council on Thursday, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersencalled on members of the Constitutional Committee’s Small Drafting Body to work “with the seriousness and spirit of compromise that the situation requires”.
The History of Disappointment
The Syrian Constitutional Committeewas first established between high expectations as of 2019, is a 150-member body consisting of 50 representatives of the Syrian Government, 50 from the opposition and 50 from civil society, represented by the so-called “Intermediate Tuesday”.
Fifteen members of each bloc are represented in the Small Drafting Body, tasked with deciding on the draft text for a new constitution.
.@GeirOPedersen Before the Commission begins work this week, I reiterate that Syria remains one of the most serious crises in the world, and that progress is clearly needed towards a political resolution according to the resolution. 2254. Text here: https://t.co/kf52l1uw10
– UN Special Envoy for Syria (@UNEnvoySyria) March 24, 2022
The latest session of the Commission, to be convened at the end of 2021, ended in disappointment after members failed to make progress on a draft text agreed to by all parties.
During Saturday’s meeting – which began March 21 and will end throughout this week – members discussed four areas of constitutional principles. They cover the basics of governance, the identity of the State, the symbols of the State, and the regulation and functions of public authorities.
Noting that those discussions were “not easy,” the Special Envoy said members are expected to submit amendments to reflect their discussions and begin deliberation. on March 25th.
“We will therefore see if the next 24 hours help us move forward,” he said.
Recognizing the significant differences between the sides’ positions, Mr. Pedersen said it was still possible to find and build on common ground, if there was a will to do so.
Calling for serious efforts to narrow differences and explore compromises, he said such a path would help build public trust and confidence in the process – “something that Syrians is very lacking”.
Devastation ‘found some similarities’
Martin Griffiths, Humanitarian Head and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the Council that the devastation caused in Syria over the past 11 years has “little resemblance” to recent history.
More than 350,000 people were killed, nearly 14 million people were displacedBasic services are absent, and the 5 million children born since the conflict began know nothing but hardship.
Noting that civilians continue to be killed and wounded along the line of defense areas in the northwest and northeast, he added that about 14.6 million people in the country need humanitarian aid – more than at any time. since the beginning of the conflict.
He also warned that the Syrian pound is hitting record lows just as the war in Ukraine is sending food prices soaring globally, with around 12 million people in Syria considered food insecure.
Against this backdrop, he called for increased early recovery efforts, emphasizing that “everyone must be allowed to have a decent life and see a better life for themselves and their children”.
Impact of the war in Ukraine
Also at the press conference before the Council was Hossam Zaki, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, who noted that the Syrian crisis will not be immune to the impact of the worsening conflict in Ukraine.
Over the past 11 years, the conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian catastrophe with intergenerational effects, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of sanctions.
Citing a recent decision adopted on the Syria situation by the Federation’s Council of Foreign Ministers, he said its members expressed growing concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and its impact. could be catastrophic due to the increased violence in Syria, which is happening despite the shift in the front line.
In addition, he said, the Federation calls on international donors to disburse their commitments to Syria in line with their previous commitments.
Earlier this week, officials from the League sounded the alarm about an increase in tired sponsor as the war in Ukraine continues to dominate the headlines.