This website represents the delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC) in the Constitutional Committee (CC).
A background of CC, its mandate and composition:
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced on 23rd September 2019, the reaching of an agreement facilitated by his special envoy to Syria among the Syrian parties regarding the formation of the establishment of the Syrian Constitutional Committee after one year and eight months of negotiations. And in the official letter of UNSG addressed to the president of the Security Council on 27th September 2019, No: S/2019/775*, he informed him of the agreement between the two Syrian parties, the Syrian Negotiations Commission and the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, on the Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure for a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, credible, balanced and inclusive Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations.
The agreement to establish the Constitutional Committee represents the first concrete Syrian-led and -owned political agreement furthering the implementation of resolution 2254 (2015) to reach a genuine political solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people to achieve freedom, justice, dignity, democracy, and equal citizenship.
“I strongly believe that the launch of the Syrian-owned and Syrian-led Constitutional Committee can and must be the beginning of the political path out of the tragedy toward a solution, in line with resolution 2254 (2015) that meets the legitimate aspirations of all Syrians and is based on a strong commitment to the country’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. The Constitutional Committee’s launch and work must be accompanied by concrete actions to build trust and confidence as my Special Envoy discharges his mandate to facilitate a broader political process forward,” noted the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres in his announcement on 23rd September 2019.
The Constitutional Committee was launched on Wednesday 30th October 2019 in Geneva. And the members of the Large Body adopted by consensus a Code of Conduct and Initial Procedural Practices of the Co-Chairs of the Constitutional Committee on Friday 1st November 2019.
The constitution’s draft, that CC is working on, is for the stage that comes after reaching a comprehensive political solution to implement the UNSCR 2254 (2015), and after implementing the following items of the resolution:
- Implementing all the elements related to the trust building measures, stated in the articles 10, 12 and 13, mainly the release of detainees and knowing the fate of the disappeared.
- Establishing a credible, inclusive, and non-sectarian governance, meaning establishing the transitional governing body.
- Establishing the safe and neutral environment in which the political transition process could take place to conduct the first free and fair elections under the supervision of the United Nations, to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate, as set forth in the 14 November 2015 ISSG Statement. The public referendum on the new constitution draft is the first free and fair electoral process that will be conducted in Syria after achieving the safe and neutral environment.
The Constitutional Committee shall, within the context of the UN-facilitated Geneva process, prepare and draft for popular approval a constitutional reform, as a contribution to the political settlement in Syria and the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). The constitutional reform shall, inter alia, embody in the constitution and constitutional practices of Syria the letter and spirit of the Twelve Living Intra-Syrian Essential Principles.
The Constitutional Committee may review the 2012 Constitution including in the context of other Syrian constitutional experiences and amend the current constitution or draft a new constitution.
Composition and Structure:
The Constitutional Committee shall have a large and a small body.
The large body shall comprise 150 men and women – 50 nominated by the Syrian Government; 50 nominated by the Syrian Negotiations Commission; and 50 civil society.
The small body shall comprise 45 men and women – 15 nominated by the Government from among its 50; 15 nominated by the Syrian Negotiations Commission from among its 50; and 15 from among the 50 civil society.
The small body shall prepare and draft the constitutional proposals and the large body shall adopt them. The large body may be convened, in parallel or periodically as the work of the small body proceeds, to discuss and adopt proposals.
As called for forcefully by the Special Envoy, almost 30 percent of members of both the large and small bodies are women.
The Constitutional Committee should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement aimed at reaching general agreement of its members which would enable the outcome to receive the widest possible support by the Syrian people, and to this end the Constitutional Committee large and small bodies move forward and take decisions by consensus where possible but otherwise by voting requiring support of a minimum of 75% of members in the respective body (i.e. 113 members present and voting in the large body, 34 members present and voting in the small body). The 75% voting threshold shall be a fixed one.
The Constitutional Committee shall have balanced chairing arrangements with two Co-Chairs – one nominated by the Government of Syria and one nominated by the Syrian Negotiations Commission.
Co-Chairs shall proceed in consensus in chairing the large and small bodies. And Co-Chairs shall in consensus exert the prerogatives necessary for ensuring the observance of the rules of procedure and the good functioning of the Constitutional Committee
The Special Envoy shall facilitate the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned Constitutional Committee’s work, including by supporting the Co-Chairs to reach consensus and by bringing closer viewpoints among the members through exerting his good offices when needed.
Confidence, Safety and Security of Constitutional Committee Members:
There is a strong and shared commitment to build confidence beginning with guaranteeing that members of the Constitutional Committee and their relatives or political and civil society organizations and entities of which they are part are not subject to threat or harassment or actions against person or property directly related to their work in the Constitutional Committee and to addressing and resolving any incidents and concerns should they arise.