The Constitutional Committee on Wednesday convened for the first time at the United Nations Office in Geneva with the participation of all members. Co-chairman of the Committee Hadi Al-Bahra stressed the importance of the success of the work of the Committee and the completion of the political process to reach a just political solution in accordance with UN Resolution 2254.
In his opening speech, Al-Bahra pointed to the importance of reaching a common vision for the Constitutional Committee to end the unimaginable suffering of the Syrian people. He said that with the launch of the work of the Constitutional Committee, “we open a new chapter of modern Syrian history.” He stressed the importance of completing this move as having significant effect on the political process and the social situation in the country.
Al-Bahra expressed “great pride in our common heritage” which is shared by all the people of Syria, pointing to the importance of participation in making a future for all Syrians; revive the country and does not discriminate against anyone; and respects political pluralism and ethnic and social diversity.
“To make this a reality, we must change the status quo. We Syrians need to change the way we think,” Al-Bahra said.
Al-Bahra stressed the importance of preserving what is left of Syria after the destruction that has befallen it which exceeded the scale of destruction in Germany during World War II.
Al-Bahra called for the release of detainees and the forcibly disappeared people as one of the most important issues that must be addressed as soon as possible and in the most effective ways. He stressed the importance of this issue in building confidence among the Syrian parties, strengthening confidence-building in the political process, and proving the seriousness of all parties involved.
“It is time to believe that victory in Syria is all about achieving justice and winning peace, not winning war. This is the only victory that all Syrians can share and be part of,” he stressed.
Moreover, Al-Bahra pointed out that the decisions that will be made by the Committee will significantly impact the future of the Syrian people. “The future of the Syrian people is in our hands. I hope that we will not deprive them of a prosperous future that they deserve in a country that safeguards the dignity of its citizens and guarantees their personal and collective freedoms in a state that is based on equal citizenship.”
The UN envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen described the launch of the Committee as “a historic moment” to discuss the most important issues of Syrian society, noting that the Committee has a mandate to draw up a draft constitution.
The UN envoy pointed out that the Committee will discuss the constitution in the context of the overall Syrian constitutional experience and will either put together a constitutional amendment or draft a new constitution. He said that the constitution is owned by the Syrian people only who will decide the future of their country. He noted that the UN role will be limited to facilitating the work of the Constitutional Committee. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)