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UN: Proposals to Begin Reforms in Syria

UN: Proposals to Begin Reforms in Syria

Wednesday, 20 December, 2017 - 13:00
Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, briefs the press during the intra-Syrian talks, Geneva. UN

The United Nations will propose to Syria’s warring parties a timeline for elections and guidance on constitutional reform in a bid to revive stalled peace talks, mediator Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

UN Special Envoy for Syria also called on the United Nations to "provide specific elaborations" on the constitutional and electoral aspects of the Syrian settlement process.

"I believe the time has come for the UN to provide specific elaborations on the constitutional and electoral baskets (2 and 3) and how they relate to governance and counter-terrorism, security governance and confidence-building measures (1 and 4) and develop agreed and clear modalities for the full implementation of UNSCR 2254 and stimulate wider consultations as well," de Mistura told the Council.

“The UN has provided electoral assistance to a majority of UN member states ... so we do have experience,” according to Reuters.

De Mistura told the council that a "golden opportunity" to make progress toward a peace deal had been missed during the latest round of talks that ended in Geneva last week, calling on Russia, Turkey and Iran to put pressure on the parties to engage more seriously in the negotiations.

He indirectly referred to the failure of the United Nations to carry out direct negotiations between the two parties and blamed the government, when he indicated that the opposition was ready to start the talks.

On the other hand, the Security Council renewed Tuesday the authorization for UN relief agencies and their partners to use routes across conflict lines and border crossings to deliver lifesaving assistance to millions in north-west and southern Syria through Turkey and Jordan.

In a resolution adopted by a recorded vote of 12 in favor and three abstentions (Bolivia, China and Russia), the 15-member Council called on Syrian authorities “to expeditiously respond to all requests for cross-line deliveries submitted by the UN and its implementing partners and to give such requests positive consideration.”

The use of cross-line routes was first authorized by the Council in July 2014 through a resolution that also tasked the UN with monitoring the loading of the aid consignments as well as their openings, such as by customs officials, to confirm the humanitarian nature of these relief consignments.

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