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
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.
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
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura condemns the continued use of indiscriminate weapons in civilian areas in Syria. "The shelling of Damascus neighborhoods and suburbs, as well as other areas in Syria, which continues to indiscriminately kill and injur civilians, has no justification, but only further terrorizes the population," Mr. de Mistura stressed.
He expresses his sincere condolences to the families of the bereaved and wishes speedy recovery to the injured. Mr. de Mistura renews his call on all the warring parties in Syria to immediately cease attacks affecting any civilian. "Instead, all Syrian efforts should now be focused on finding a political solution to the unacceptable situation in their homeland," he added.
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
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura visited Damascus today, with the main purpose of discussing with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mr Walid Mouallem and Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Faisal Mekdad the preliminary findings of the Geneva Consultations and the preparations for the Security Council debate on Syria on 29 July in New York. The meeting was focused on how to maintain a momentum on the search for a political solution to the long-lasting Syrian conflict.
The Special Envoy, having concluded his regional tour, is now planning to return to New York for briefing the Secretary-General and, based on this, prepare for a discussion at the Security Council on the Syrian conflict.
26 & 27 June
25 & 26 June
زار المبعوث الخاص إلى سوريا ستيفان دي مستورا دمشق اليوم والتقى نائب رئيس مجلس الوزراء ووزير الخارجية السيد وليد المعلم ونائب وزير الخارجية السيد فيصل مقداد لمناقشة النتائج الأولية لمشاورات جنيف بشكل رئيسي والتحضير لمناقشات مجلس الأمن حول سوريا في 29 تموز في نيويورك. وركز الاجتماع على كيفية الحفاظ على الزخم في البحث عن حل سياسي للصراع القائم منذ فترة طويلة في سوريا.
بعد أن اختتم جولته الإقليمية، يعتزم المبعوث الخاص على العودة إلى نيويورك لإطلاع الأمين العام، والتحضير للمناقشة في مجلس الأمن بشأن الصراع السوري بناءا على نتائج جولته.
Within the framework of the Geneva Consultations, Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy met today with representatives of the Syrian civil society, including Mr. Zedoun Al Zoubi and Mr. Tawfik Chamaa of the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations. They briefed Mr. Ramzy on the escalating armed conflict and deteriorating situation on the ground, including the dire conditions of medical facilities, as well as on the work of Syrian civil society organizations. They also shared perspectives for a political solution and discussed ways how the civil society could contribute to efforts in reaching a political solution to the Syrian conflict.
Within the framework of the Geneva Consultations, Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy met with Mr. Mohammad Marwan Al-Atrash and Mr. Habib Haddad from the Syrian Democratic National Block. They shared views on a political solution to the Syrian conflict. They also discussed with Mr. Ramzy the role of the international community and the United Nations in supporting Syrian efforts to end the conflict.
At the end of today’s meeting, Mr. Ramzy underscored the urgency of a Syrian-led political solution to the conflict. In this regard, he stressed the importance of efforts towards unity and consensus among opposition groups.
On 22 May, the Special Envoy met with the Islamic scholar Muhammad Al Habash and Hind Kabawat and Asma Kftarou from a civil society organization called ‘Tastaqil. H
e also received a delegation from the Kurdish National Council, with whom he shared views on ways to end the conflict, with due respect for Syrian diversity while maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. He also met with Najla Riachi Assaker, the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the UN in Geneva, and discussed ways to support Syria in launching a political process, as well as the urgent need to alleviate the humanitarian suffering and its impact on the neighbouring countries. Mr. de Mistura also received with deep sadness news of the kidnapping of a priest, Father Jacques Mourad, on 21 May in Homs, describing the “grave act” as being unfortunately not the first of its kind and “one of the sad consequences” of the raging conflict.