Since March 2011, Syria has been in the throes of a conflict that has forced more than half of all Syrians to leave their homes. An estimated 4.9 million Syrians have fled the country and more than 6 million are internally displaced. The crisis, described as the worst humanitarian disaster of our time, has caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.
The United Nations is working tirelessly to bring the parties to the negotiating table and an end to the war. After several rounds of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva in early 2016, the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura issued a mediator’s summary
of common points reached between the parties and continued throughout the year to consult relevant parties and brief the UN Security Council on the state of the peace process.
At the same time, the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) set up two task forces to oversee the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid to thousands of Syrians in besieged areas, as well as to work towards a cessation of hostilities.
Intra-Syrian negotiations 2017
The United Nations has invited the Syrian government and opposition delegations to attend intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva, starting on 23 February 2017. These negotiations will be guided by Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), focusing on matters of governance, including a new constitution for Syria and the holding of elections.
Ahead of the UN-led negotiations, Special Envoy de Mistura took part in talks organized in Astana, Kazakhstan, by Russia, Turkey and Iran. Parties agreed to a nationwide ceasefire that began on 30 December 2016 and has generally been holding since.
For all the key dates of the Syrian peace process, click here