The visiting UN special envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, on Monday called for progress on the political front to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Speaking to reporters following his meeting with Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, Pedersen recounted the difficulties facing the Syrian people, saying that despite a ceasefire being established in 2020, many civilians are still being killed, and 15 million Syrians still need humanitarian assistance.
Pedersen made it clear that the UN is still committed to working on providing humanitarian assistance and supporting a nationwide ceasefire, but these two factors are not enough without progress achieved on the political front.
The UN envoy said he and Mekdad discussed ways to establish “confidence-building measures” in line with Security Council resolution 2254 that provides for a roadmap for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
“We start slowly but steadily to implement the different provisions of the UN Security Council resolutions, and the good news is that all parties say they are committed. The question is can we build a little bit of confidence so that we are able to move forward,” he said.
The two officials also discussed the UN-facilitated Syrian Constitutional Committee, said Pedersen, adding although the mechanism hasn’t been working so far, its prospects remain.
The Syrian Constitution Committee was launched in late 2019 in Geneva, as part of the peace process that seeks to reconcile the Syrian Government with its opposition and to revise the Syrian constitution or draft a new one. Since then, it has held several meetings but has yet to agree on an agenda. ■