Syrian government and opposition begin to draft constitution

Syrian government and opposition begin to draft constitution

Beirut, Lebanon – The Syrian government and opposition groups agreed to start drafting new constitutional provisions when UN-mandated negotiations resume in Geneva this week.
“The two co-chairs now agree that we will not only prepare for constitutional reform, but we will prepare and start drafting constitutional reform,” UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said on Sunday in a statement. brief press conference.

The editorial board is made up of 45 members of the Syrian government, the opposition and civil society. They haven’t met since last January.

“We concluded that we were not making enough progress and that we could not continue as we did,” said Pedersen. “For almost nine months, I have been negotiating between the parties, trying to build consensus on how we are going to move forward.

The delegations arrived in Geneva and had preliminary discussions with Pedersen ahead of a series of talks during the week that begins Monday morning.

A new constitution?

In January 2018, during the Syrian peace conference organized by Russia in Sochi, an agreement was reached to form a committee of 150 members to draft a new constitution until September 2019, represented equally by the Syrian government. , the political opposition and civil society.

A smaller committee of 45 people of the same proportion is responsible for negotiating and drafting the new constitutional provisions.

The war in Syria has killed an estimated 500,000 people over the past 10 years, which began in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests. It then turned into a complex battlefield involving foreign armies, local militias, and foreign fighters.

Pedersen said Syria continues to face worsening crises and called on the international community to address “other aspects” of the situation.

“Every day civilians are killed and injured,” Pedersen said. “There are more than 13 million Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance, and almost 90% live below the poverty line.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was re-elected for the fourth time in May with 95.1% of the vote in government-controlled areas. Western countries and opposition groups say the elections were not free and fair.


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