19 December 2016
The Special Envoy welcomes the adoption of Security Council resolution 2328 (2016) on Syria. He hopes that this could be a beginning of the restoration of the unity of the Security Council. Along with the wider UN system, the Office of the Special Envoy will be fully engaged in promoting the operational implementation of the resolution on the ground.
The Special Envoy believes that it is vital to build on this initial momentum with further steps. As indicated in his briefing the Security Council on 21 September 2016, and more recently on 8 December 2016, he has been intensively working towards convening the formal intra-Syrian negotiations mandated in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).
The Special Envoy wishes to announce that it is the intention of the United Nations to convene those negotiations in Geneva on 8 February 2017.
The Special Envoy will be comprehensively consulting the parties and the broadest spectrum of Syrian stakeholders, and the countries of the region and the wider international community, to carefully prepare negotiations.
The Special Envoy will follow with interest the meeting tomorrow between the governments of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Turkey, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. He welcomes any effort that can bring about a cessation of hostilities, which remains a cornerstone of the framework laid down in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) in parallel with the political process. He has also taken note of the possibility that this initiative, and other initiatives, can promote intra-Syrian dialogue. He welcomes all such efforts as potential contributions to the UN process.
Geneva, 19 December 2016