New meeting next month to draft Syria's constitution: UN

New meeting next month to draft Syria's constitution, after five previous meetings failed
2 min read
28 September, 2021
A meeting involving key representatives in Syria will take place next month, where it is hoped a new constitution will be drafted. This is the sixth meeting following five previous talks that failed to reach an agreement.
UN special envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen said 'the committee [will] begin to work seriously on a process of drafting' a constitution [source: Getty]

The UN special envoy for Syria announced Tuesday that invitations have been issued for a sixth meeting of the committee charged with producing a new constitution for war-torn Syria in October.

After the failure of the five previous meetings of the Syrian regime, opposition and civil society representatives, Geir Pedersen told the UN Security Council: “We should all now expect the constitutional committee to begin to work seriously on a process of drafting — not just preparing — a constitutional reform.”

Pedersen said the 45-member drafting committee will meet in Geneva starting October 18, and the co-chairs from the government and opposition will for the first time meet with him the day before to prepare the session.

The last round of talks ended in January without progress.

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Pedersen said that after eight months of talks he was pleased to announce an agreement on “methodology” for a sixth round.

It's based on three pillars: respect for rules of procedure, the submission of texts of “basic constitutional principles” ahead of the meeting, and regular meetings with him before and during the meeting.

Syria’s nearly 10-year conflict has killed more than half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war 23 million population, including more than 5 million refugees mostly in neighbouring countries.

At a Russia-hosted Syrian peace conference in January 2018, an agreement was reached to form a 150-member committee to draft a new constitution.

It took until September 2019 before a committee was formed.