Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, on Monday held a press conference to talk about the Constitutional Committee announced recently by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the latest developments in Idlib and the war crimes being committed by the Assad regime and its backers.
Al-Hariri reviewed the UN resolution 2254 and the article on drafting a new constitution for the country. He also touched on the rules of procedure that determine the mechanism of work of the Committee as he explained that the Committee includes two small commissions and that the articles will be approved by consensus or through a vote. An article must get 75 percent of the votes to be approved, he said, adding that the Committee will have co-chairs guaranteeing the primary role of the United Nations in facilitating the work of the Committee in Geneva.
Al-Hariri pointed out that it is the task of the Constitutional Committee to determine the mechanism for popular consensus and the way to legalize or activate the Constitution, adding that no party has the right to manipulate it.
Moreover, Al-Hariri went on to say that the Commission is still within “the framework of the negotiating process and we have not yet reached the stage of implementation.” He stressed the need to abide by the logical sequence set out in the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254. “We cannot hold elections before drafting a Constitution or conduct elections and the Constitution under the current regime.”
Al-Hariri stressed that the Constitutional Committee is “a gateway or entrance and is not enough to implement UN resolution 2254 in full. We must go to the implementation of the rest of the provisions laid out in the resolution,” he said, stressing the importance of adhering to the six-month timetable outlined in UN resolution 2254 with regard to the work of the Constitutional Committee.
He added that the formation of the Constitutional Committee is a positive progress and an opportunity to launch direct negotiations. However, he expressed fears that the regime will continue to try to procrastinate and use the Committee as a card to attract reconstruction funds or send the refugees to unsafe areas.
Al-Hariri called on the international community to continue to show cooperation and put pressure on the regime to bring it to the negotiating table in order to reach a political solution in accordance with international resolutions. He called for confronting all attempts to obstruct as he stressed that “diluting the issue will make it void of any meaning.”
Al-Hariri pointed out that the Syrian Negotiations Commission has made extensive preparations with regard to the Transitional Governing Body (TGB) and the safe, neutral environment essential for the referendum and the safe return of refugees.
A real political solution in Syria depends on three main steps: the safe and neutral environment related to the arrangements for TGB, the drafting of a new constitution, and the holding of free, fair elections under the supervision of the United Nations.
He pointed out that work is underway to activate the issue of detainees as he expressed the hope that a large number of detainees will be released in parallel with the launch of the work of the Constitutional Committee as a motivating factor to gain the confidence of the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)