UPDATES FOR CORRESPONDENTS
28 December - Joint statement by the UN in Syria, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross
26 December - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Special Envoy for Syria
Further to resolution 2254 (2015) of the Security Council, unanimously adopted on 18 December 2015, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, has intensified efforts towards convening representatives of the Syrian Government and the broadest possible spectrum of the Syrian opposition and others to engage in a political process leading towards implementation of the objectives and principles for a political solution to the Syrian conflict as contained in the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012, and the Vienna Statements of 30 October and 14 November 2015.
In line with the clear parameters outlined in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), the Special Envoy intends to complete his consultations in early January, with a view to initiating intra-Syrian talks on a target date of 25 January 2016 in Geneva. He counts on full cooperation of all the relevant Syrian parties in this process. Continuing developments on the ground should not be allowed to derail it. The Special Envoy also relies on the continued crucial support of the International Syria Support Group.
The people of Syria have suffered enough. Their tragedy is now felt throughout the region and beyond. They deserve the full attention and commitment from all their Syrian representatives, who should now show leadership and vision to overcome differences for the sake of Syria.
Geneva, 26 December 2015.
11 December - International Syria Support Group meeting
24 November: Statement attributable to the spokesperson of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
14 November - Statement of the International Syria Support Group
6 November - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy for Syria
30 October - Vienna Communique on Syria
2 October - Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura
Meeting in Vienna, on October 30, 2015, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States [“the participants”] came together to discuss the grave situation in Syria and how to bring about an end to the violence as soon as possible.
The participants had a frank and constructive discussion, covering major issues. While substantial differences remain among the participants, they reached a mutual understanding on the following:
1) Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and secular character are fundamental.
2) State institutions will remain intact.
3) The rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination, must be protected.
4) It is imperative to accelerate all diplomatic efforts to end the war.
5) Humanitarian access will be ensured throughout the territory of Syria, and the participants will increase support for internally displaced persons, refugees, and their host countries.
6) Da'esh, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the U.N. Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants, must be defeated.
7) Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the participants invited the U.N. to convene representatives of the Government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections. These elections must be administered under U.N. supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, free and fair, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate.
8) This political process will be Syrian led and Syrian owned, and the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria.
9) The participants together with the United Nations will explore modalities for, and implementation of, a nationwide ceasefire to be initiated on a date certain and in parallel with this renewed political process.
The participants will spend the coming days working to narrow remaining areas of disagreement, and build on areas of agreement. Ministers will reconvene within two weeks to continue these discussions.
Today the UN had to suspend its planned humanitarian intervention as part of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement on Zabadani, Madaya, Fua, and Kefraya due to the recent surge of military activities in the concerned areas.
The UN team and humanitarian partners, in fact, had made all necessary preparations and were in place to immediately implement the humanitarian provisions of the agreement.
The Syrian population in these affected areas is waiting for this agreement to be implemented so that needed humanitarian assistance can be provided to end their long-standing suffering.
The UN calls on all concerned parties to fulfill their responsibilities in the protection of civilians and reach the necessary understandings in order to implement this agreement as soon as possible. The UN reaffirms its commitment to the protection of civilians and remains ready to assist.
22 September - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy for Syria
13 September - Statement of the Special Envoy for Syria to the Ministerial meeting of the League of Arab States
10 September - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
1st September - Special Envoy for Syria met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Arab African Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
17 August - Special Envoy for Syria condemned yesterday's air raids on the town of Duma
14 August - Special Envoy for Syria condemns shelling of Damascus Suburbs
12 August - Special Envoy for Syria welcomes the release of human rights activist and journalist
5 August - Secretary-General encouraged by Security Council’s support for latest proposal on Syria
5 August - Special Envoy explains his proposal on thematic discussions
29 July - Remarks by the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the situation in Syria
New York, 29 July 2015
After more than four years of slaughter, the Syrian conflict is a shameful symbol of the international community’s divisions and failure.
I am profoundly disappointed that this Council’s resolutions on Syria have not been implemented – neither on ending the violence nor on easing humanitarian suffering or combatting terrorism and foreign fighters.
Syria is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, as you heard yesterday in harrowing detail from
the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
At least a quarter-million Syrians have been killed.
Almost half the country’s people -- 12 million men, women and children -- have been forced to flee their homes. In a massive cross-border exodus, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are hosting an ever growing number of refugees, and increasing numbers of Syrians [are] making desperate flights across the Mediterranean in so-called “death boats”.
Atrocious crimes are now almost an hourly occurrence, fed by a lack of accountability for the major human rights violations committed over the past four years and through decades of repression.
The Syrian people have been exposed to chemical weapons, which should have been relegated to the past – and to new, indiscriminate killing devices such as barrel bombs and hell cannons.
The conflict has given rise to terrorist groups such as Da’esh and Al Nusra Front, and fuelled sectarianism and radicalization throughout and beyond the region.
And funding for humanitarian activities continues to be outpaced by the gargantuan and ever-growing scale of needs.
The situation is a clear threat to international peace and security that should compel us all to consider what more we can do to end the carnage and uphold our responsibilities.
It was in this context that on 28 March I instructed my Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, to intensify efforts by the United Nations to find a political settlement to the conflict. Specifically, I asked him to work to operationalize the Geneva Communiqué.
The Security Council unanimously endorsed the Geneva Communiqué in its resolution 2118. The document contains principles and guidelines to end the violence and launch a Syrian-led political process leading to a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
The Communiqué remains the only internationally agreed basis for a political settlement to the Syrian conflict, and was the foundation for recent initiatives such as the Cairo and Moscow processes.
Mr. de Mistura will brief you on his consultations. I would like to highlight four key points.
First, Mr. de Mistura’s description of the state of the Syrian crisis is a synthesis of what we heard from an inclusive and representative group of Syrian and non-Syrian stakeholders.
Second, amidst gaping fault lines, there are points of consensus upon which a credible political process can be constructed.
Syrians and external actors alike possess a shared sense of concern regarding the threshold that the conflict has now reached.
No one wants to risk the chaos of an uncontrolled transition in Damascus. All reject a future Syria divided along sectarian lines. Many Syrians warned that the country is entering a cycle of fragmentation and radicalization from which it will be hard to exit.
Our Syrian interlocutors also lamented that their country is caught in a regional proxy war that is beyond Syrians’ ability to resolve by themselves.
Almost all pointed to an urgent need for the international community to act now if we want to save and preserve what is left of Syria. As the situation deteriorates, Syrians predict that the prospects for achieving a political solution will also recede.
Third, the Syrians with whom we spoke share many of the same aspirations.
They want to protect the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, and to determine their own future free from external intervention.
They consider it impossible to return to the past.
They reject violent extremism and terrorism, and support a non-sectarian, multi-confessional and inclusive society.
And they yearn to build a genuinely democratic Syria based on human rights and the rule of law.
Fourth and finally, the consultations made clear that the major stumbling block in the political process remains the issue of forming a Transitional Governing Body, or TGB, with full executive powers that can create a suitable environment and safety for all during the transition.
The TGB is the top priority for the opposition, while the Syrian government has told us that such an institution would be unconstitutional.
Although difficult, these are not insurmountable obstacles and differences. Mr. de Mistura will therefore present a proposal to launch a political process aimed at enabling Syrians to negotiate a framework agreement on how to implement all aspects of the Geneva Communiqué.
The main goal of these preparatory negotiations will be to reach intra-Syrian agreement on the elements of the Geneva Communiqué, including on the issue of the TGB, as well as to effectively fight terrorism.
I stand ready to convene a high-level international conference to endorse any recommendations or agreement that this Syrian-led political process may reach.
The status quo in Syria is unacceptable. Some argue that we must wait to end this nightmare until there is a more propitious alignment of regional and international circumstances. This would be both immoral and irresponsible.
We must not condemn the Syrian people to even deeper despair. We must not condemn the region to unending turmoil.
Today I ask the Security Council to endorse Mr. de Mistura’s recommendations and work with the Syrian parties to convince them to participate constructively in this proposed process.
Just as important, the Council has a responsibility to support the political process by acting to de-escalate the conflict.
We must ensure that these preparatory negotiations are meaningful and not cynically exploited as a license to continue the killing.
I urge the Security Council, Syria’s neighbours and regional sponsors of the Syrian parties to stem all flows of arms and foreign fighters pouring into the country.
While ending the bloodshed remains primarily the responsibility of the Syrian parties, especially President Bashar al-Assad, there is much that the region and the international community can do to starve the fire of its fuel.
We must also build on the political momentum that has been generated by the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries. The unity that generated that agreement can help point the way towards conflict resolution in Syria and greater stability across the region.
For the moment, the greatest obstacle to ending the Syrian war is the notion that it can be won militarily. It is our failure to act with a unified voice that perpetuates this harmful illusion and allows the Syrian parties to think that there is some alternative other than coming to the negotiating table.
Today, Mr. de Mistura and I will outline a way forward to reach the political solution that all claim to support. I urge you to give this proposal your full support. If you do not, the world expects this body to present a viable alternative.
29 July - Special Envoy for Syria briefs Security Council on the situation in Syria
As part of his consultations with regional stakeholders and members of the Security Council, Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura visited Beijing today where he met with the Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Li Baodong, and the Director-General of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Mr. Li Junhua. During his meetings in Beijing, the Special Envoy discussed the regional situation and the importance for the Security Council members to reach a common understanding on how to proceed with a political process aimed at operationalizing the Geneva Communiqué.
Prior to Beijing, the Special Envoy went to Cairo especially to have a meeting with the Secretary-General of League of Arab States Mr. Nabil El Araby. On that occasion, Mr. de Mistura had the opportunity of discussing the future meeting at the Security Council on Syria and to exchange views on ways to promote a political solution to the conflict.
While in Cairo, Mr. De Mistura also met with Syrian opposition figures present there.
20 July 2015, Geneva
كجزء من مشاوراته مع الأطراف المعنية الإقليمية وأعضاء مجلس الأمن، زار مبعوث الأمم المتّحدة الخاص إلى سوريا ستيفان دي مستورا بكين اليوم حيث التقى مع نائب وزير الشئون الخارجية الصيني، السيد لي باو دونغ، والمدير العام لشؤون المنظمات والمؤتمرات الدولية، السيد لي جونهوا. خلال لقاءاته في بكين، ناقش المبعوث الخاص الوضع الإقليمي وأهمية أن يتوصّل أعضاء مجلس الأمن إلى تفاهم مشترك حول كيفية المضي قدماً في العملية السياسية التي تهدف إلى تنفيذ بيان جنيف.
وقد توجّه المبعوث الخاص، قبل بيكين، إلى القاهرة بهدف عقد اجتماع مع الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية السيد نبيل العربي. واغتنم السيّد دي مستورا الفرصة، في هذه المناسبة، لمناقشة الاجتماع المقبل في مجلس الأمن بشأن سوريا، وتبادل وجهات النظر حول سبل تعزيز التوصل إلى حل سياسي للصراع.
والتقى السيد دي مستورا أيضاً أثناء وجوده في القاهرة، مع شخصيات من المعارضة السورية المتواجدة هناك.
20 يوليو 2015، جنيف
Within the framework of the Geneva Consultations, Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura met today with a delegation of the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces led by Coalition President Khaled Khoja. Mr. Khoja and other members of the delegation briefed on the latest efforts of the Coalition and the situation in and around Syria. They also discussed perspectives for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
In the coming days, Special Envoy de Mistura intends to travel to New York to report to the Secretary-General on his findings from the initial phase of the Geneva Consultations. He will undertake further meetings in New York and regional and international capitals with a view to prepare for the planned Security Council meeting at the end of July.
26 & 27 June
25 & 26 June
في إطار مشاورات جنيف، التقى المبعوث الخاص ستيفان دي مستورا اليوم مع وفد من الائتلاف الوطني السوري لقوى الثورة والمعارضة التي يقودها رئيس الائتلاف خالد خوجة. أطلع السيد خوجة وأعضاء آخرين من الوفد السيّد دي مستورا على آخر الجهود التي يبذلها التحالف والوضع في سوريا وحولها. كما ناقشا آفاق التوصل إلى حل سياسي للصراع السوري.
في الأيام المقبلة، يعتزم المبعوث الخاص دي مستورا السفر إلى نيويورك ليقدم تقريرا إلى الأمين العام عن النتائج التي توصل إليها من خلال المرحلة الأولى من المشاورات في جنيف. وقال انه سوف يجري المزيد من الاجتماعات في نيويورك والعواصم الإقليمية والدولية بهدف التحضير لاجتماع مجلس الأمن المزمع عقده في نهاية يوليو.
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Mr. Staffan de Mistura continued his meetings today in the framework of the Geneva Consultations.
He met with the president and members of the political committee of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces (SOC) in Istanbul.
Mr. de Mistura listened to the views of his interlocutors regarding the operationalization and implementation of the Geneva Communiqué.
Both parties agreed on the importance and urgency of finding a political solution to the current ongoing conflict.
They also concurred on the urgency of an immediate halt of the killing and targeting of civilians.
“My visit to SOC today demonstrates, once again, that the purpose of these Consultations was and remains to give the chance to all Syrians to share their views of what a future Syria should look like,” Mr. de Mistura said.
Meanwhile in Geneva, Deputy Special Envoy Ramzy Ezzeldine Ramzy met with Mr. Samir Aita and Mr. Ziad Tlas who briefed on the deteriorating situation in Syria. Mr. Ramzy also met with a delegation of Japan, led by Ambassador Misako Kaji, who briefed on Japan’s support for the United Nations’ efforts to ameliorate the humanitarian situation in Syria. They discussed the ongoing initiatives to help Syrians reach a political solution to the conflict.
Mr. Ramzy observed that today's meetings in Geneva once again confirmed the desire of the international community, from far and near, to help resolve the Syrian conflict and mitigate its humanitarian consequences. He also noted that continued inaction to end the conflict is only making the military and security situation in Syria more complex.2 June
On 27 May, in the framework of the Geneva Consultations, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria met with a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by Mr. Mohsen Naziri Asl, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Ambassador Asl shared the views of his government regarding the Syrian crisis. Separately, Mr. de Mistura also met with a delegation from the United Arab Emirates, led by Mr. Fares Al Mazrouei, Assistant Foreign Minister for Security and Military Affairs. Mr. Al Mazrouei shared his Government’s perspectives on the Syrian conflict. At the end of the consultations on 27 May, Mr. de Mistura stressed the importance of the contribution of the regional countries to a political solution to the Syrian conflict. He also underscored an urgent need to find ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. In this respect, the Special Envoy reiterated his support to humanitarian pauses in fighting as called for by the World Food Programme (WFP), so farmers in Syria can safely harvest and transport crops in the coming weeks within the country to reach all Syrians in need.