The Constitutional Committee Starts Proceedings of the Last Day of the Eighth Session

The Constitutional Committee’s Small Body started the work of the last day of the Eighth Session of the meetings of the Constitutional Committee on Friday morning 3rd June. During the two sessions, the three delegations will again review the four constitutional principles presented over the past days of this session, looking into the amendments submitted by each of the three parties on those principles.

Before the beginning of the meetings, Mr. Hadi Albahra, Co-Chair of the Constitutional Committee,  said “today is the last day of the Eighth Session of the meetings of the Constitutional Committee, which were facilitated by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Geir O. Pedersen. In this session, deep discussions have taken place on key provisions of the constitution. There have also been serious discussions between the UN Special Envoy and the two Co-Chairs on mechanisms of the work of the Constitutional Committee. We discussed the timing and frequency of the sessions, and ways to achieve understandings in each session. We also looked for ways to accelerate the work of the Constitutional Committee and increase its effectiveness.

“A second meeting will be held today between the Co-Chairs of the Constitutional Committee and the UN Special Envoy to discuss a framework for this issue. There is an initial agreement on holding the coming session on the second half of July. We are discussing with Mr. Pedersen the frequency of the rest of sessions, proposing to meet for an entire week in every session, with a two-week interval between the sessions”. He added.

Meetings of the Eighth Session of the Constitutional Committee discussed in the past four days the principle of “maintaining and strengthening state’s institutions” presented by the regime delegation; the principle of “unilateral coercive measures from a constitutional standpoint” presented by eight members of the civil society delegation; the principle of “the supremacy of the Constitution and the position of international treaties” presented by the SNC delegation; and the principle of “transitional justice” presented by seven members of the civil society delegation.

It is noteworthy that the United Nations announced on 23 September, 2019 that an agreement had been reached between the “Syrian Government” and the “SNC” on the formation of a balanced, credible and inclusive constitutional committee, comprising representatives of the government, the opposition and civil society, to discuss and prepare a draft of a new constitution, or constitutional reform, within the path of a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué and based on Security Council Resolution 2254 of 2015 and relevant resolutions.

The Constitutional Committee is composed of fifty members from each of the three parties, and the Small Body is composed of 45 members comprising fifteen members from each party. The Small Body meets in Geneva, where it held its first meeting in October 2019.

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