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Statement on behalf of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura

1 December 2017

In light of media reports of material purportedly on the table in the intra-Syrian talks, the Special Envoy has decided to clarify where things currently stand by releasing the attached 12 Living Intra-Syrian Essential Principles paper dated 30 November 2017. This paper was distributed by the Special Envoy to the delegations in parallel meetings yesterday. The Office of the Special Envoy would like to briefly elaborate on the purpose of this paper and its ongoing evolution.  

Over several rounds of talks, the Special Envoy periodically identified commonalities emerging from his separate consultations with the government and the opposition. These included 12 points of commonalities regarding the end-state of Syria, which were last shared with the parties in a version offered for their consideration by the Special Envoy during round 4 of the talks.

Since that time, the Special Envoy has received valuable proposals regarding the content of the 12 points from the government and the opposition, and he and his team have consulted painstakingly and carefully on all material received. He has also received useful insights on principles during consultations with the Women’s Advisory Board and Syrian civil society through the Civil Society Support Room.

In light of this, yesterday the Special Envoy shared with the two delegations a document entitled Special Envoy’s 12 Living Intra-Syrian Essential Principles. As he explained to the delegations, these seek to embody end-state commonalities. They seek to offer an enduring perspective on the vision of a future that can be shared by all Syrians, and do not address the question of how to realize the vision, which will continue to be developed in parallel with the four baskets. They are consistent with and reflect many of the end-state principles contained in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) and can serve to inform the parallel discussions of the four baskets which remain the agenda of the talks.

Yesterday, when the Special Envoy presented the document to both delegations, he underscored that these remain living, and thus subject to further discussion, development, modification and updating by the Special Envoy to strengthen commonalities in negotiations, also bearing in mind additional inputs that could develop more detailed language on the appreciation of Syria as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. The Special Envoy has therefore requested the delegations to further reflect and offer their reactions on the living principles and to engage on baskets 2 (constitutional schedule and process) and 3 (elections) in talks next week.

 

Geneva, 1 December 2017