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
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
Vienna, November 14, 2015
Meeting in Vienna on November 14, 2015 as the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), the Arab League, 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 to discuss how to accelerate an end to the Syrian conflict. The participants began with a moment of silence for the victims of the heinous terrorist attacks of November 13 in Paris and the recent attacks in Beirut, Iraq, Ankara, and Egypt. The members unanimously condemned in the strongest terms these brutal attacks against innocent civilians and stood with the people of France.
Subsequently, the participants engaged in a constructive dialogue to build upon the progress made in the October 30 gathering. The members of the ISSG expressed a unanimous sense of urgency to end the suffering of the Syrian people, the physical destruction of Syria, the destabilization of the region, and the resulting increase in terrorists drawn to the fighting in Syria.
The ISSG acknowledged the close linkage between a cease fire and a parallel political process pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique, and that both initiatives should move ahead expeditiously. They stated their commitment to ensure a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition based on the Geneva Communique in its entirety. The group reached a common understanding on several key issues.
The group agreed to support and work to implement a nationwide cease fire in Syria to come into effect as soon as the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition have begun initial steps towards the transition under UN auspices on the basis of the Geneva Communique. The five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council pledged to support a UNSC resolution to empower a UN-endorsed cease fire monitoring mission in those parts of the country where monitors would not come under threat of attacks from terrorists, and to support a political transition process in accordance with the Geneva Communique.
All members of the ISSG also pledged as individual countries and supporters of various belligerents to take all possible steps to require adherence to the cease fire by these groups or individuals they support, supply or influence. The cease fire would not apply to offensive or defensive actions against Da’esh or Nusra or any other group the ISSG agrees to deem terrorist.
The participants welcomed UN Secretary General Ban’s statement that he has ordered the UN to accelerate planning for supporting the implementation of a nationwide cease fire. The group agreed that the UN should lead the effort, in consultation with interested parties, to determine the requirements and modalities of a cease fire.
The ISSG expressed willingness to take immediate steps to encourage confidence-building measures that would contribute to the viability of the political process and to pave the way for the nationwide cease fire. In this context, and pursuant to clause 5 of the Vienna Communique, the ISSG discussed the need to take steps to ensure expeditious humanitarian access throughout the territory of Syria pursuant to UNSCR 2165 and called for the granting of the UN’s pending requests for humanitarian deliveries. The ISSG expressed concern for the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons and the imperative of building conditions for their safe return in accordance with the norms of international humanitarian law and taking into account the interests of host countries. The resolution of the refugee issue is important to the final settlement of the Syrian conflict. The ISSG also reaffirmed the devastating effects of the use of indiscriminate weapons on the civilian population and humanitarian access, as stated in UNSCR 2139. The ISSG agreed to press the parties to end immediately any use of such indiscriminate weapons.
The ISSG reaffirmed the importance of abiding byall relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including UNSCR 2199 on stopping the illegal trade in oil, antiquities and hostages, from which terrorists benefit.
Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique, incorporated by reference in the Vienna statement of October 30, and in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the ISSG agreed on the need to convene Syrian government and opposition representatives in formal negotiations under UN auspices, as soon as possible, with a target date of January 1. The group welcomed efforts, working with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and others, to bring together the broadest possible spectrum of the opposition, chosen by Syrians, who will decide their negotiating representatives and define their negotiating positions, so as to enable the political process to begin. All the parties to the political process should adhere to the guiding principles identified at the October 30 meeting, including a commitment to Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and non-sectarian character; to ensuring that State institutions remain intact; and to protecting the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination. ISSG members agreed that these principles are fundamental.
The ISSG members reaffirmed their support for the transition process contained in the2012 Geneva Communique. In this respect they affirmed their support for a cease fire as described above and for a Syrian-led process that will, within a target of six months, establish credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance, and set a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution. Free and fair elections would be held pursuant to the new constitution within 18 months. Theseelections must be administered under UN supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate.
Regarding the fight against terrorism, and pursuant to clause 6 of the Vienna Communique, the ISSG reiterated that Da’esh, Nusra, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants and endorsed by the UN Security Council, must be defeated. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan agreed to help develop among intelligence and military community representatives a common understanding of groups and individuals for possible determination as terrorists, with a target of completion by the beginning of the political process under UN auspices.
The participants expect to meet in approximately one month in order to review progress towards implementation of a cease fire and the beginning of the political process.
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
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
The Spokesperson for the United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, would like to clarify recent comments made by the Special Envoy regarding the refugee situation in Europe.
During his last press encounter in Brussels, Mr. de Mistura said that the influx of refugees into Europe is due to the existence of Da’esh and the ongoing conflict in Syria.
The Special Envoy said that more than 230,000 deaths have been recorded so far, due to the use of indiscriminate weaponry by all parties to the conflict. He therefore reminded the international community of the urgent necessity to join forces in finding a political solution to the conflict and putting an end to the bloodshed.
Geneva, 10 September 2015
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
29 July - Special Envoy for Syria briefs Security Council on the situation in Syria
In reference to the statement* issued by the Cairo follow-up committee after its meeting with Mr. Staffan de Mistura, on 19 July 2015, the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria would like to indicate that the quotes attributed to him in that meeting were not consistent with the overall discussions that took place.
Mr. de Mistura will continue to refrain from making any comments regarding the discussions taking place during his meetings within the framework of the ongoing consultations on Syria.
After his upcoming briefing to the Security Council, the Special Envoy will be in a position to better elaborate on the current situation and future prospects.
22 July 2015, Geneva
في إشارة إلى بيان* صدر من قبل اللجنة المعنية بتنفيذ مقررات القاهرة او ما تعرف باللجنة الـ 13، بعد اجتماعها مع السيد ستيفان دي ميستورا، في 19 تموز عام 2015، يهمّ مكتب المبعوث الخاص إلى سوريا الإشارة أن الأقوال المنسوبة إليه في ذلك الاجتماع لا تتفّق مع حقيقة المناقشات العامة التي جرت على أرض الواقع.
ويواصل السيد دي مستورا الامتناع عن الإدلاء بأي تعليق حول المناقشات التي تجري خلال لقاءاته في إطار المشاورات الجارية بشأن سوريا.
بعد الإحاطة القادمة لمجلس الأمن، سوف يكون المبعوث الخاص في وضع مؤاتٍ لإطلاع الرأي العام على الوضع الراهن وآفاق المستقبل.
22 تمّوز 2015، جنيف21 July
The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expressed deep concern over the situation of the civilian population in the town of Zabadani. Media sources and contacts inside Zabadani have reported heavy bombardment, including by barrel bombs, since Syrian Government forces backed by pro-government militias started a military campaign against opposition fighters located in Zabadani . Reliable local sources have in fact confirmed that a large number of barrel bombs have been dropped on the city causing unprecedented levels of destruction and many deaths among the civilian population.
Armed opposition forces known as the “Army of Conquest” have retaliated by firing
rockets and heavy mortar shells on two villages near Idlib, Al Foua and Kefraya, where a substantial number of civilians are trapped.
In both cases, civilians are tragically caught in the middle of the fighting.
The Special Envoy calls on all parties to uphold the principle of the protection of civilians and once again on the Syrian government to halt the use of crude and indiscriminate weapons such as the barrel bombs on its own cities.
21 July 2015, Geneva
Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura visited Teheran today where he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Arab-African Affairs, Mr. Hussein Amir Abdollahian.
During his meetings Mr. de Mistura underscored the urgency of a Syrian-led political solution to the conflict and exchanged views on how to proceed with a political process, with the support of the Security Council. The Special Envoy took good note of Minister Zarif’s and Deputy Minister Abdollahian’s analysis of the current situation in the region, and its impact on the conflict in Syria. He underscored the absence of a military solution to this conflict and recalled the imperative for all its parties to uphold the principle of the protection of civilians.
Mr. de Mistura’s consultations are part of a rolling process to seek views of all Syrian and relevant regional and international parties on the operationalization of the Geneva Communiqué. In this context, Mr. de Mistura continues to meet separately with regional stakeholders and members of the Security Council. The Special Envoy is working to finalize his proposals to the Secretary-General on a way forward to support Syrian parties in their search of a political solution to the conflict, in preparation for a briefing to the Security Council.
21 July 2015, Geneva
زار المبعوث الخاص إلى سوريا ستيفان دي مستورا طهران اليوم حيث التقى مع وزير الشؤون الخارجية، السيد محمد جواد ظريف، ونائب وزير الشؤون الخارجية للشؤون الافريقية العربية، والسيد حسين أمير عبد اللهيان.
وشدد السيد دي مستورا خلال لقاءاته على الحاجة الملحة لإيجاد حل سياسي للصراع بقيادة سورية وتبادل وجهات النظر حول كيفية المضي قدما في العملية السياسية، بدعم من مجلس الأمن. كما أخذ المبعوث الخاص علماً وثيقاً بوجهات نظر الوزير ظريف ونائب الوزير عبد اللهيان في ما يخصّ الوضع الحالي في المنطقة، وتأثيره على الصراع في سوريا. وشدد على عدم وجود حل عسكري لهذا الصراع، وأشار إلى ضرورة تمسّك جميع الأطراف بمبدأ حماية المدنيين.
تشكّل مشاورات السيد دي مستورا جزءاً من عملية متواصلة للحصول على آراء جميع الأطراف السورية الإقليمية والدولية ذات الصلة من أجل تفعيل بيان جنيف. في هذا السياق، يواصل السيد دي مستورا الاجتماع بشكل منفصل مع الجهات المعنية السوريّة والإقليمية والدوليّة، كما مع أعضاء مجلس الأمن. ويعمل المبعوث الخاص على وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على المقترحات التي سيقدّمها إلى الأمين العام حول كيفيّة دعم الأطراف السورية في بحثهم عن حل سياسي للنزاع، وذلك استعدادا لإحاطة مجلس الأمن.
21 يوليو 2015، جنيف
Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura visited today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where he met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs Mr. Nasser Judeh. Mr. de Mistura very much appreciated Minister Judeh’s deep knowledge and analysis of the regional situation, particularly as Jordan is providing hospitality to a substantial number of Syrian refugees and is therefore heavily affected by the situation in Syria.
Mr. de Mistura also met Syrian opposition figures who were present in Jordan.
At the end of today’s meetings, Mr. de Mistura reaffirmed the resolve of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to spare no efforts to support the people of Syria in their yearning for peace and change. He stressed that both regional and international powers can do much more to end the raging conflict in Syria.
Mr. de Mistura will continue his consultations with Member States in the region in the coming few days.
14 July 2015, Geneva
زار المبعوث الخاص ستيفان دي مستورا اليوم المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية، حيث التقى مع نائب رئيس الوزراء ووزير الشؤون الخارجية وشؤون المغتربين السيد ناصر جودة. و قد أعرب السيد دي مستورا عن تقديره الكبير تجاه المعرفة العميقة التي يتمتّع بها الوزير جودة وتحليله للوضع الإقليمي، خاصّة أنّ الأردن يستضيف عدداً كبيراً من اللاجئين السوريين، وبالتالي يتأثر بشدة من الوضع في سوريا.
كما التقى السيد دي مستورا أيضا شخصيات من المعارضة السورية كانوا موجودين في الأردن.
في نهاية جلسات اليوم، أكّد السيد دي مستورا عزم الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة إلى عدم ادخار أي جهد لدعم الشعب السوري، في إطار سعيهم للسلام والتغيير. وشدد على أن كل من القوى الإقليمية والدولية يمكنها أن تفعل أكثر من ذلك بكثير لإنهاء الصراع المحتدم في سوريا.
وسيواصل السيد دي مستورا مشاوراته مع الدول الأعضاء في المنطقة في الأيام القليلة القادمة.
14 يوليو 2015، جنيف13 July
26 & 27 June
25 & 26 June
In the framework of the Geneva Consultations, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, met today with a delegation from the Aga Khan Foundation, composed of Mr. Mohammad Wardeh, Mr. Mohammad Seifo and Mr. Ali Esmaiel. The delegation members discussed with Mr. de Mistura the situation on the ground and shared their perspectives for a political solution.
“Civil society organizations are an important element in conflict resolution, particularly their efforts to ensure that views and concerns of all parts of societies are addressed as they can bring the voice of people and communities on the ground,” Mr. de Mistura said at the end of his meeting. “This is why their contribution is critical for a sustainable political solution which would promote human rights, pluralism and democracy,” he added.
Geneva consultations are a rolling process to seek views of all Syrian and relevant regional and international parties on the operationalization of the Geneva Communiqué.
In this context, Mr. de Mistura continues to meet separately with Syrian actors from inside and outside Syria, as well as with concerned regional and international players.
In a press statement issued on 30 May, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, strongly condemned the death of at least 70 civilians in Syria's northern Aleppo province by barrel bombs dropped from government helicopters. "The news of aerial bombing by Syrian helicopters on a civilian market area of the Aleppo neighborhood of Al Shaar deserves the most strong international condemnation," he said. Mr. de Mistura stressed that the protection of civilians during armed conflicts is a cornerstone of international humanitarian law, and applies in all circumstances and without distinction.