Thank you Special Envoy Pedersen and Mr. Omar Alshogre for your briefings.
We appreciate your updates, Special Envoy, from the last session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. It is positive that the delegations were able to discuss the submitted revisions to the text, and that areas of common ground were identified.
We do, however, share the Special Envoy’s view that there is a need for more expediency in its work, and strengthened efforts by all parties to produce concrete results. We welcome the new round at the end of July.
Norway continues to urge the members of the committee to contribute constructively, and with a spirit of compromise. We note that the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board also met recently in Geneva. Their contributions to the process are important. Norway is pleased to support their work, and will continue to urge full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in the political process.
Let me now turn to the Syrian authorities’ announced amnesty decree. The issue of detainees and missing persons in Syria is a matter of great concern. We are following the implementation of the amnesty decree closely, and we call for more information from the Syrian authorities about: the scope of the amnesty, and what systems will be put in place to verify, systematise, and provide transparency.
We worry about the escalation we have seen in the northern parts of Syria. Such escalations of violence lead to increased human suffering for the population. We urge all actors to contribute to de-escalation and to uphold international law.
Let me end by quoting the UN Secretary General who recently repeated:
That the only way to end the humanitarian tragedy in Syria is through a truly nationwide ceasefire, and a political solution that enables the Syrian people to determine their own future.
We urge the Syrian parties, and countries involved in Syria, to move forward towards an inclusive political solution. One that will first and foremost benefit the Syrian people; but also neighbouring countries, and the broader international community.