A political peace process is now required in Syria says UN Envoy

People demonstrating in Idlib People demonstrating in Idlib Ahmed akacha via Pexels

28 September 2021

 The UN Special Envoy for Syria asserted that the time is now ripe for a political process in Syria which will finally lead to peace.

 Geir Pedersen, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, has urged a political resolution to the conflict in Syria. Now that the situation in Syria is relatively calm, after an 18 month military freeze, the Special Envoy affirmed that the time is ripe for a Syrian-owned political peace process to finally put an end to the 10-year-long war which has torn the country apart. Pedersen noted that  Security Council Resolution 2254, which was passed in 2015, is now in a position to be implemented. The resolution identifies a close link between a nationwide ceasefire and a political process for fostering peace. 

 Although the last 18 months have been calmer, the situation in Syria is still grim. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) reports that 350,000 people have died since the beginning of the war in March 2011. Indeed, UNHCHR has even suggested it is likely that the death toll could be higher than their official estimate, reaching as many as half a million deaths. Special Envoy Pedersen stated that a further 12 million Syrians are currently displaced, and tens of thousands remain missing, detained, or abducted. Moreover, Syria now faces destabilizing effects both from the economic crisis in neighbouring Lebanon and the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Idlib region is still subject to airstrikes, shelling, and rocketfire, forcing some returnees to once again become displaced. 

 In his remarks, Pedersen called for the Syrian Constitutional Committee to start serious work on drafting a new constitution for the country.The Committee recently reached an agreement on methodology, and it will convene in Geneva on 18 October 2021. The UN Special Envoy stressed the importance of women’s participation in the peace process, saying that otherwise ‘no solution for Syria can be complete.’ Pedersen’s comments on the role of women were underlined by Rouba Mhaissen, founder and director of the civil society group Sawa for Development and Aid, who stated that ‘building resilience and supporting Syrians, especially women, will be integral to any successful political settlement’. 


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Author: Lorena Bisignano; Editor: Alexander Collin

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