The United Nations’ special envoy for Syria called on the constitutional committee to return to the table after almost a year.
Addressing the Security Council, Geir Pedersen said he is “concerned” by the 10-month lapse, which he said, “sends a troubling message: That Syrians’ ability to search for a comprehensive solution is held hostage to issues unrelated to their country.”
“The committee must resume its work in Geneva in a spirit of compromise, substance and at pace,” he said, adding: “The situation today is so unprecedented that it calls for leadership, bold ideas and a cooperative spirit. A political solution is the only way forward for Syria. We may not be able to reach that in one step – but I believe we can progress toward it gradually.”
Turning to ongoing efforts to remedy devastation brought by devastating earthquakes in neighboring Syria, Pedersen said it is “absolutely vital” to get direly needed resources to northwest Syria to address “the immense suffering arising from the conflict.”
A “sustained calm” is also needed, particularly in earthquake-afflicted regions, Pedersen said, noting “a creeping rise in incidents,” including rocket fire and shelling and “crossline raids.”
The committee meetings, which started in October 2019 with 150 members, are the first concrete step to drafting a new constitution to determine Syria’s future.
Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with brute ferocity.