UN chief regrets lack of progress in work of Syria’s Constitutional Committee

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UNITED NATIONS, March 30 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday regretted the lack of progress in the work of Syria’s Constitutional Committee.

“We must pursue a negotiated political settlement in line with Security Council Resolution 2254, adopted in 2015. A first step must include credible progress within the Constitutional Committee in order to implement Resolution 2254’s call for the drafting of a new constitution, allowing for the conduct of free and fair elections, administered under United Nations supervision with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate,” he said.

“My special envoy (for Syria) has convened five sessions of the Constitutional Committee. The results of the committee’s work so far have fallen short of my expectations. More importantly, they have fallen short of the Syrian people’s expectations,” he told the General Assembly in a briefing on the situation in Syria.

“That is why I fully support my special envoy’s call that a sixth session needs to be different from what has gone before — with clear goals, credible working methods, enhanced co-chair cooperation and a future work plan.”

Meaningful work within the Constitutional Committee could at last begin to build trust, and move away from the present level of distrust. It could begin to open the door toward a broader political process and much-needed compromise, he said.

However, the United Nations cannot move forward alone. Nor can the Syrians as the issues are not solely in their hands. After all, several foreign armed forces, even if with different status, conduct military operations in Syria, he noted.

“I am convinced that mutual and reciprocal steps by the Syrian parties and among key international stakeholders on the comprehensive set of issues outlined in Security Council Resolution 2254 can unlock the path,” he said.

He said that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Syria and that ending the conflict is a collective responsibility. Enditem

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