The United Nations special envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen said that the meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva did not result in any progress, after a week of negotiations.
Pedersen added – during a press conference – Friday that the meeting was tasked with drafting a new constitution before the elections supervised by the United Nations, but the approach taken showed that it was not working, and the method must be changed, as he put it.
The UN envoy clarified that the opposition suggested starting methodologies for action, but Damascus representatives rejected these proposals before they also rejected a proposal put forward by the UN envoy.
Pederson said that President Bashar al-Assad’s representatives rejected proposals put forward by the Syrian opposition, as well as the ideas he himself had put forward to move the process forward.
He stressed the need for the two parties to cooperate to end the differences in the coming rounds, and the UN envoy revealed his intention to visit the capital, Damascus, to discuss some aspects, especially with regard to resolution (2254).
“I told the members of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly that we cannot continue like this, and that this week has been a disappointment. We cannot continue the meetings unless we change that,” Pederson said.
He explained that a “mechanism” should be put in place that allows the parties to identify points of agreement and disagreement with a view to working on reviewing the constitution, noting that the current approach is “unsuccessful,” adding that “the meeting cannot continue unless we change that.”
It is noteworthy that this committee consists of 45 members, and includes representatives of the government, the opposition and civil society, and has a mandate to draft a new constitution that leads to elections under the supervision of the United Nations.
This week, the committee held its fifth session in Geneva since October 2019.