UN: Syria Constitutional Committee to Meet in October
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced Saturday that the committee to draft a new constitution for Syria will meet under UN auspices in Geneva for the first time on October 30.
Guterres made the announcement in a document on terms of reference and rules of procedure for the committee released Saturday, reported The Associated Press.
It said the new constitution is a step toward a political settlement of the more than eight-year Syrian conflict, and will be followed by "free and fair elections under United Nations supervision."
Guterres announced agreement between the regime and opposition on formation of the 150-member constitutional committee on Monday.
Under the terms, the Syrian-led committee will amend the current 2012 constitution or draft a new constitution.
It will have a 150-member large body with 50 representatives each from the regime, opposition and civil society, and a 45-member small body with 15 representatives from each of the three parties.
While most of Syria has returned to regime control, the opposition-held bastion of Idlib in the northwest, and the US-backed Kurdish groups in the oil-rich northeast, still elude the grasp of Bashar Assad.
Addressing the UN General Assembly Saturday, the Holy See's envoy, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, highlighted the Syrian conflict — along with the one in Yemen — as one of the world's most urgent challenges and advised the international community to work together to "put an end to the suffering of so many people."