Let me start by thanking Special Envoy Pedersen for your briefing. We hope that the compromise proposal from the UN Special Envoy will lay the foundation for a continued constitutional process, leading to a reformed constitution for Syria, as part of the Syrian-led, Syrian-owned inclusive peace process.
We continue to support Pedersen’s call for concrete results in the next round. And we urge the parties to contribute to the process in good faith, in the interest of the people of Syria who need stability and peace. A political solution for Syria is overdue.
The Constitutional Committee is just one piece of the puzzle. Other parts of 2254 are also crucial for a political settlement.We remain deeply concerned about the countless missing persons in Syria, and those arbitrary detained. There is an urgent need for progress on this file, and to release those arbitrarily detained. This is so important, for so many people in Syria. There is a need for confidence-building measures to allow for a new dynamic in the process.
I would also like to repeat the need for broader international engagement. While the conflict remains highly internationalized, it is not enough that the Syrian parties alone negotiate. We should all contribute to a more coordinated and effective international engagement, as called for by the Special Envoy. In particular those engaged on the ground in Syria. The step-by-step approach proposed by the Special Envoy should be explored in order to bring progress to the stalled process. We need to build trust on all sides and prepare the ground for political reforms, and a political solution.
Let me again emphasise the importance of an inclusive process, and the participation of women as key to achieving sustainable peace. The Syrian Women Advisory Board plays an important role in this regard.
We deeply regret that today’s elections in Syria are not being held in line with resolution 2254. Elections should have been held based on a reformed constitution, agreed between the Syrian parties, and be free and fair for all Syrians. This is not the case.
Children are amongst those who have suffered the most during the conflict.
Norway remains alarmed by the abuses outlined in last month’s report by the Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict. As I conclude, let me reiterate that this report should serve as an urgent reminder to us all of our joint responsibility to do our utmost to end the conflict in Syria.