A little hope for a ceasefire amid ongoing conflict

An internally displaced family in a damaged school in the town of Binish in Idlib, Syria An internally displaced family in a damaged school in the town of Binish in Idlib, Syria UNOCHA

27 October 2020

The United Nations’ special envoy in Syria is working on a permanent ceasefire, despite the violent conflict within the country

The United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, in a video-teleconference meeting of the Security Council insisted again on the need to allow a ceasefire within the country.

The meeting of the Small Body of the Constitutional Committee was supposed to take place this month, however, the Syrian Government and the opposition (the Syrian Negotiation Commission) did no agree on the agenda for the meeting. This confusion and lack of synergy between the parties explain how hard it is to reach a common point for peace within the country and Mr. Pedersen is hopeful for the fourth round of talks that could take place in November in Geneva.

Mr. Pedersen proposed a bridging compromise and it seems that the path to the consensus between the two co-chairs is feasible. The progress in the Constitutional Committee could lead to great steps as long as participants work constantly and the Syrian parties and international players maintain the trust. In addition, to obtain the ceasefire and decrease the dangers, a political deal is needed to implement Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). Besides violence and conflict, another threat for the country is the tensions among the five foreign militaries active in Syria and Security Council-listed terrorist groups, such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh).

Gederson affirmed that despite these negative parts, the front lines are not changing and this leads to a small hope to obtain the ceasefire as long as the measures will be taken cooperatively and effectively by following international humanitarian law.

The conflict in Syria forced more than 5 million Syrians to flee the country, while 6 million are internally displaced and 13 million are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. In addition, the Covid 19 pandemic is spreading in urban cities, in crowded displacement camps, settlements, and collective shelters. This urges the government to take measures as soon as possible and facilitate the peace process.


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Author: Giulia Francescon; Editor: Shrabya Ghimire

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