Pursuant to the “Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure for a Syrian-owned, Syrian-led, credible, balanced and inclusive Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations in Geneva” agreed between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Negotiations Committee announced by the Secretary-General on 23 September 2019 and welcomed by the Security Council on 8 October 2019, the Constitutional Committee was formally launched on 30 October 2019 at the Palais des Nations.
This historic opening ceremony took place in a dignified and forward-looking manner with opening statements of United Nations Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen, Co-Chair Ahmad Kuzbari, and Co-Chair Hadi al-Bahra. This ceremony was a sign of hope for all Syrians that it might be possible to begin a new chapter for Syria.
The Constitutional Committee Large Body of 150 members met on 31 October and 1 November in working sessions under the chairmanship of the two Co-Chairs. All Committee members were invited to make opening statements offering initial ideas on constitutional issues and suggestions for the drafting body.
The Committee also adopted by consensus a Code of Conduct for Members of the Constitutional Committee and Initial Procedural Practices of the Co-Chairs of the Constitutional Committee. The United Nations is releasing this today.
The Special Envoy thanks the two Co-Chairs for working professionally with him and for their effective chairing of the first meetings.
He expresses his appreciation, and the appreciation of the Co-Chairs, to members of the Committee for their initial contributions and the professional manner of the first deliberations. He is pleased to confirm that the Constitutional Committee continues its work in Geneva next week when a Small Body of 45 members begins its first working sessions on 4 November 2019 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The names of the members of the Small Body are being released today.
The Special Envoy expresses his gratitude and that of the Co-Chairs to the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations Office at Geneva for their generous hospitality and continuing support for the work of the Constitutional Committee.
Geneva, 1 November 2019