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
In line with the need to reach out all components of the Syrian political landscape, Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura met in Geneva today with a delegation from the Syrian Opposition Coalition led by Dr. Khaled Khoja.
Mr. de Mistura heard Dr. Khoja’s views and perspectives on ways to resolve the ongoing conflict in Syria.
The Special Envoy will continue to meet with various Syrian stakeholders, including the government and other opposition representatives, in order to ensure Syrian participation and ownership in the process leading to a political solution of the conflict.
“The Syrian people must be involved in the settlement of the conflict,” Mr. de Mistura said.
"What is currently important is the momentum of what was achieved in Vienna,” he said. Everyone agrees that there is an urgency to have a common understanding on how to end this war, this conflict," the Special Envoy said.
Mr. de Mistura will brief the Security Council early next week on the way forward after having held talks in Damascus, Moscow and Washington.
The U.N. Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, met today in Geneva with His Highness Prince Karim, Aga Khan. Mr. de Mistura and His Highness Prince Aga Khan discussed recent political developments and the humanitarian situation in Syria. They also reviewed ideas for future rehabilitation and recovery.
Mr. de Mistura will brief the Security Council next week on the way forward, following the Vienna recent meeting and after holding talks in Damascus, Moscow and Washington.
Geneva, 06 November 2015
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
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
Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson of the Special Envoy for Syria
The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expressed his utmost condemnation of yesterday's air raids on a market place in the town of Duma. According to preliminary reports, this attack claimed scores of lives and injured significant numbers. The number of lives lost is still being determined.
“The Government's bombing of Duma yesterday is devastating. Attacks on civilian areas with aerial indiscriminate bombs, such as vacuum bombs, are prohibited under international law. Hitting crowded civilian markets killing almost one hundred of its own citizens by a government is unacceptable in any circumstances,” Mr. de Mistura said.
The attack of yesterday come on the heels of the indiscriminate shelling of Damascus last week by armed opposition groups and the cutting of water supplies, all measures which affect civilians and are also unacceptable.
This latest attack is yet another illustration of the brutality of the ongoing conflict.
"Humanitarian access must be allowed unconditionally and the killing must stop. This conflict will have no military solution, as has been proven over the recent years,” Mr. de Mistura said.
The Special Envoy calls on all Syrian parties to urgently cease all acts of violence and start dialogue towards a political solution to this crisis.
17 August 2015, Geneva
أعرب مبعوث الأمم المتحدة الخاص لسوريا ستيفان دي ميستورا عن إدانته البالغة للغارات الجوية أمس على السوق في بلدة دوما. وفقا للتقارير الأولية، أدّى هذا الهجوم الى سقوط عشرات القتلى وجرح أعداد كبيرة. لا يزال يجري تحديد عدد الخسائر في الأرواح.
14 August - Special Envoy for Syria condemns shelling of Damascus Suburbs
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
"إنّ قصف الحكومة لدوما أمس أمرٌ مدمر. كما أنّ الهجمات على المناطق المدنية بقنابل عشوائيّة جوية، مثل القنابل الفراغية، أمرٌ محظور بموجب القانون الدولي. كما أنّ ضرب الأسواق المدنية المزدحمة، الذي أسفر عن مقتل ما يقرب من مائة من مواطنيها، من قبل الحكومة أمر غير مقبول في أي ظرف من الظروف،" قال السيّد دي مستورا.
هجمات أمس تأتي في أعقاب القصف العشوائي على دمشق الاسبوع الماضي من قبل جماعات المعارضة المسلحة وقطع إمدادات المياه، وجميعها تدابير تؤثر على المدنيين وهو أمر غير مقبول.
هذه الهجمات الاخيرة هي مثال آخر على وحشية الصراع الدائر.
"يجب السماح بوصول المساعدات الإنسانية دون قيد أو شرط ويجب أن يُتوقّف القتل. لن يكون لهذا الصراع حل عسكري، كما ثبت خلال السنوات الأخيرة،" قال السيّد دي مستورا.
يدعو المبعوث الخاص جميع الأطراف السورية إلى الكف على وجه السرعة عن جميع أعمال العنف وبدء الحوار من أجل التوصل إلى حل سياسي لهذه الأزمة.
17 آب 2015، جينيف
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
Speaking to the press
following his meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on 4 August, the Secretary-General said he was encouraged by the strong support expressed by the Security Council for the proposal presented on 29 July by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to establish four thematic groups to operationalize the Geneva communiqué. “We will try to expedite -- to provide some political solution to this, operationalizing the Geneva communiqué. At the same time, we are doing our best effort to provide humanitarian assistance to needy people” the Secretary-General said.
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
Within the framework of the ongoing Consultations on Syria, Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura visited the State of Qatar where he met with the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Mohammad Bin Abdullah Bin Mutib Al Rumaihi on 12 July 2015.
On the same day, he visited the United Arab Emirates where he met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Throughout his discussions, the Special Envoy noted once again the need for starting a process leading to a political solution to the Syrian crisis through constructive dialogue.
Mr. de Mistura will continue his consultations with Member States in the region in the coming few days.
13 July 2015, Geneva
في إطار المشاورات الجارية بشأن سوريا، زار المبعوث الخاص ستيفان دي ميستورا دولة قطر حيث التقى مع مساعد وزير الخارجية للشؤون الخارجية السيد محمد بن عبد الله بن متعب الرميحي في تاريخ 12 يوليو 2015.11 July
26 & 27 June
25 & 26 June
وفي اليوم نفسه، زار دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة حيث التقى مع وزير الخارجية الشيخ عبدالله بن زايد آل نهيان.
أشار المبعوث الخاص مرة أخرى خلال مناقشاته على الحاجة الماسّة لبدء عملية تؤدي إلى حل سياسي للأزمة السورية من خلال الحوار البناء.
وسيواصل السيد دي مستورا مشاوراته مع الدول الأعضاء في المنطقة في الأيام القليلة القادمة.
13 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 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