The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) on Monday sent a letter to the new UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen on the future of the Geneva talks and the political process in Syria.
The letter noted that “while the eight rounds of talks in Geneva and the political processes set in motion there has offered a glimmer of hope for the Syrian people and their democratic aspirations, the peace process appears to be rapidly deteriorating.”
“According to the Geneva process, the negotiation path was divided into four ‘baskets’: governance, a future constitution, elections, and combating terrorism. Since the regime flatly refused to discuss the main basket, namely the formation of a governing body with full powers, the focus instead shifted to the constitution process and ‘elections’, the letter said.
The SNHR underscored that “the ‘baskets’ plan achieved quite the opposite of the Security Council Resolution’s aim, and blatantly violating it. In turn, from the perspective of its ‘basket’ implementation plan, the Resolution could be seen as a sure-fire way to exterminate both the idea of human rights in Syria and, with it, any prospects for long-lasting peace.”
The letter stressed that “from a human rights standpoint, the situation has been catastrophic and the human rights situation has actually worsened as the talks continued.” It went on to say that the Geneva talks have so far failed to bring the Syrian people even a small step closer to any meaningful, sustainable peace.”
The Network stressed that “Russia has successfully obstructed and reversed the entire path of the political process through the sue of its veto powers on 12 occasions and mobilizing its military forces in support of the regime.” It said that “the primary, long-standing issue remains the implementation and adherence to the rules of the constitution in place since the era of Hafez Al-Assad.”
The letter warned that “the UN’s supervisory role in any election will not alleviate Syrians’ anxiety and terror of the regime’s encroaching security apparatuses and even more so of the consequences to be borne by voters in the aftermath of such an election, whatever its results.”
“Also, organizations and individuals that have been involved in human rights violations in Syria should be excluded from playing any part in the process. Last but not least, the recommendations made by civil society representatives should be left intact.”
The letter called on the UN to restore the steps of the negotiation process as per the principles established in resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué, emphasizing that the current recipe for continued human rights abuses and an open-ended war should be decisively abandoned. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)