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Syria’s Mini-Constitutional Committee Kicks off Meetings in Geneva

Syria’s Mini-Constitutional Committee Kicks off Meetings in Geneva

Tuesday, 5 November, 2019 - 07:00
UN envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen sits between the Constitutional Committee co-chairs during the first meeting of the panel at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 30, 2019. (AP)

A 45-member committee body, tasked with drafting a new constitution for Syria, held its first meeting in Geneva Monday amid accusations by the Syrian regime that the side representing the opposition delegation violated the Code of Conduct of the two co-chairs.

“The delegation of the other party did not submit any proposal on the agenda, and it is violating the Code of Conduct and the preliminary procedural practices of the two co-chairs,” Syria’s SANA news agency quoted sources close to the UN as saying Monday.

The sources confirmed the approval of the agenda of the current session of the activities of the mini-committee, proposed by the Syrian regime-backed delegation.

They added that the agenda addresses ideas and proposals on constitutional principles that were submitted at the expanded Constitutional Committee, reported SANA.

They said that the opposition did not submit any proposal related to the agenda, in violation of the Code of Conduct.

The mini-committee equally divided between the Syrian regime, the opposition and civil society is holding daily meetings this week to work on the so-called “drafting body” before approving constitutional reform in Syria, after eight and a half years of conflict.

Last week, UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said the first round of talks of the Constitutional Committee was “successful”.

Two days later, he released the Code of Conduct agreed to by the co-chair of the opposition and co-chair for the Syrian regime.

The Code of Conduct stipulates that the negotiating parties “show respect and tact toward members and refrain from inflammatory speeches and personal attacks.”

The 150-member Constitutional Committee is designed to pave the way for political reform and free and fair, UN-supervised elections in Syria, where the war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions to flee since March 2011.

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