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
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
29 July - Special Envoy for Syria briefs Security Council on the situation in Syria
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
26 & 27 June
25 & 26 June
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
Within the framework of the Geneva Consultations, Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy met today with representatives of the Syrian Feminist Lobby, Ms. Lama Kannout and Ms. Salma Jalkhi. They briefed Mr. Ramzy on the overall situation on the ground and the state of women’s rights. They also shared perspectives for a political solution and ways to ensure women’s participation in these process. Mr. Ramzy emphasized the important role that can and should be played by women in any conflict resolution efforts in Syria. He commended their tireless and positive efforts amidst the deteriorating situation on the ground.
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 the framework of the Geneva Consultations, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, met today with Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, who presented his views about the peaceful future of Syria and its various communities.
“It is very important that the voices of the religious leaders and their communities be heard and taken into account as we search for peace in Syria. Their representatives have an essential to role play in promoting peacemaking and reconciliation in the Syria of tomorrow", Mr de Mistura said after the meeting.1 June