Syrians in diaspora and in refugee camps send a letter to Mr. Antonio Guterres
The White House in Arabic website posted a letter written by Syrians in diaspora and Syrians in refugee camps to Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in which they indicated that the mandate of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations obligates him to search for mechanisms for implementing the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 supporting Security Council Resolution No. 2118 and Resolution No. 2254 of 2015.
The letter regretted that Mr. Geir Pederson exceeded the limits of his mandate, by behaving him as a Russian envoy who only facilitates the work of the constitutional committee that emerged from the Sochi conference.
Below is the full text of the letter:
Mr. Antonio Guterres
As millions of Syrian children and their families are still living in refugee camps this holiday season, we want to express our dissatisfaction with the United Nation’s inadequate response to protecting and caring for them.
This generation of hopeless children lost any dreams of a better life watching the impotence of the whole world while also facing the brutality of the Assad regime and his Iranian and Russian backers -- whose crimes against humanity and war crimes continue with impunity.
The UN and its different agencies have not lived up to its own Charter, failing to uphold international law. It seems the UN was used as a political cover under which the Assad regime along with the Iranians and the Russians continued their crimes against Syrians.
We are calling on Mr. Geir Pederson to resign as the Special Envoy of Syria. Mr. Pederson was appointed in 2018 as a special envoy in hope of bringing peace to Syria after 7 years of war. Mr. Pederson was supposed to lead UN efforts to facilitate an inclusive and credible political solution that meets the demands and aspirations of the Syrian people. Mr. Pederson has failed in finding mechanisms to achieve the Geneva Communiqué that was supported by UNSCR 2118 as well as UNSCR 2254 in 2015.
During his tenure, the process of negotiating between the main backers of the Assad regime and the opposition has shifted to running the Constitutional Committee. The idea to form the Constitutional Committee was originally put forward by the Russian government in Sochi. By successfully securing the UN’s support for the Constitutional Committee, the Russians were able to reduce the negotiations concerning the fourfold transition envisioned in UNSCR 2254 – which as you know includes Governance, Constitution, Election, and Counterterrorism. It is now 3 years later and as expected, this plan has achieved no concrete results regarding either a constitution reform process or a new constitution in Syria.
By keeping the UN-led process on life support through the Constitutional Committee, the pro-Assad backers bought time to create facts on the ground through military offensive without having to fear greater political pressure from the international community.
Mr. Pederson failed to be transparent with the Syrian people that he has not achieved any success in committing the Syrian regime to follow a road map within a specific time frame as detailed in article 4 of UNSCR 2254. He was not able to impose articles 12, 13, 14 of UNSCR 2254 that called for the release of arbitrarily detained persons especially women and children who continue to be tortured and killed at the hands of the Syrian government. He has not exposed the Syrian regime delegation’s refusal to stick to the protocol or the Syrian regime overall distancing from the committee. Mr. Pederson never froze the Constitutional Committee during the military offensives and never made it clear that a resumption of meaningful discussion would be conditional on ceasefire.
During his tenure, efforts to achieve political transition via the Constitutional Committee has become intermittent “publicity stunts” that have not resulted in any tangible success, all the while providing disinformation that a political solution is underway.
Mr. Pederson continues to conceal the lack of progress which perhaps unintentionally gives the impression that the political process is ongoing. By doing that, he is losing credibility in the eyes of the Syrians and is becoming a person that is ill-fit to complete his task.