Status: 10/18/2021 4:30 a.m.
After several unsuccessful attempts, work on a new constitution for Syria should actually begin. Thereupon the representative of the government and the opposition unite.
Five rounds of talks yielded no tangible results. But now it should finally be more concrete. That said Geir Pedersen, the Syria representative of the United Nations, before the new talks in Geneva. This was reached on Sunday with the leading representatives of President Assad and the opposition.
ARD studio Geneva
“The two now agree that we not only prepare the constitutional reform, but that we also work it out. The new thing this week is that we will start a ‘draft process’ – for a constitutional reform in Syria,” said Pedersen.
For two years now, the Norwegian mediator Pedersen has been trying to implement a UN resolution from 2015. It stipulates that 50 representatives each of the Assad regime, the opposition and civil society will work out a new Syrian constitution, which will then be decided in a referendum. Long-term goal: Free elections in Syria.
Pedersen: A constitutional committee alone will not solve the crisis
In Geneva, under the auspices of UN mediator Pedersen, 15 representatives from each of the three groups will initially come together. The talks of the so-called “Syrian Constitutional Committee” begin in the morning at 10 o’clock and should last until the end of the week.
“The constitutional committee is an important building block in the political process,” said Pedersen. But alone it will not be able to solve the Syrian crisis. The other aspects of the crisis will also be addressed.
And they give little cause for optimism. After ten years of war, Syria is in ruins – more than 13 million people are dependent on humanitarian aid according to UN estimates, and over 90 percent survive just under the poverty line.
But head of state Assad remains in power with Russian and Iranian support – more than ever, it seems. Around 70 percent of the country is under his control. In May, Assad secured a fourth term in a more than controversial election. Although his regime treated its own people with poison gas and bombs, and countless Syrians disappeared in Assad’s torture chambers.
Opposition insists on haste
Assad also appears to be becoming socially acceptable again among the Arab brothers. He recently phoned Jordan’s King Abdallah for the first time in ten years, sent his Minister of Economic Affairs to the Expo in Abu Dhabi, and asked the Lebanese government to allow gas deliveries via Syria in view of the dramatic energy crisis.
Hadi Al-Bahra, who is taking part in the constitutional talks as the leader of the Syrian opposition, urged the journalists’ association ACANU in Geneva to hurry: “If we do not make faster progress with the constitutional committee, it will cost human life. And we would not do what we must do in the face of the suffering of the Syrian people. ”
How many days the Syrian constitution will have to go before a new constitution and free elections are actually prayed in Syria, UN mediator Pedersen. The answer was short: “I don’t know.”