UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (C) speaks after the closing session of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi Kids Jake Elliott Jersey , Russia, on Jan. 30, 2018. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura was upbeat on Tuesday about the outcome of the just concluded intra-Syria talks in Sochi, Russia, hailing an agreement on the formation of a committee to be tasked to draft a new constitution for the war-torn country. (XinhuaAmmar Safarjalani)
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- UN special envoy for the Syrian crisis Staffan de Mistura was upbeat Tuesday about the outcome of the just concluded intra-Syrian talks in Sochi, Russia, hailing an agreement on the formation of a committee to draft a new constitution for Syria.
In the final declaration on the Sochi talks that were brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the participants agreed to form a constitutional committee to be composed of representatives from the Syrian government, the opposition and independents for drafting a constitution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, De Mistura told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York via an audio link.
He emphasized that the achievement at Sochi is a contribution to the UN-led Geneva process for Syria.
The constitutional committee, which will consist of 45-50 members, will become a reality in Geneva, not elsewhere, he stressed.
"The UN-led Geneva process will agree on the proposals the special envoy will make on the mandate, terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure and selection criteria for the composition of the constitutional committee in Geneva," said the UN envoy.
De Mistura said he would conduct wide consultations and come up with 45-50 names based on criteria to be announced soon by himself.
He said the composition of the committee will be balanced and will include people who did not attend the Sochi talks.
The constitutional committee, if implemented, will be a concrete contribution to the Geneva process, said the UN envoy.
He noted that the Syrian government and the opposition had not previously engaged in talks for a new constitution. With the agreement in Sochi on the constitutional committee, "we have reached that point."