UN: Syrian govt., opposition agree to begin drafting constitution

The Syrian government and opposition groups have agreed to start drafting a new constitution, the United Nations (UN) says. The drafting committee is comprised of 45 members from the Syrian government, opposition, and civil societies.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee’s Small Body will meet in Geneva on October 18 to begin drafting the country’s new constitution, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen stated on Sunday.

“The two co-chairs now agree that we will not only prepare for a constitutional reform but we will prepare and start drafting for a constitutional reform,” he noted. 

“So, the new this this week is that we actually be starting a drafting process for a constitutional reform in Syria,” he added.

He said he had met with Constitutional Committee’s co-chairs Ahmad Kuzbari (from the Syrian government) and Hadi al-Bahra (from the opposition), as well as with 15 Committee members from civil society. He describe these meetings as “good.” In his words, the discussions were “serious and frank” and all the participants demonstrated commitment to the agreed principles of joint work. 

“I hope we will be able to continue the meeting in the same spirit,” he continued.

He gave to understand that the sixth round of the Small Body’s session will last for a week and promised to speak to the press by the end of the week. The sixth round is expected to discuss constitutional principles and then begin to discuss the draft constitution.

In January 2018 at the Russia-hosted Syrian peace conference in Sochi, an agreement was reached to form a 150-member committee to draft a new constitution until September 2019, equally represented by the Syrian government, political opposition, and civil society.

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