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Press Stakeout with Staffan de Mistura on Syria

Inside Syria Media Center publishes press stakeout with Staffan de Mistura following one of the latest UN Security Council Briefing

Staffan de Mistura on Sochi meeting and Russia’s role

On the political process, I explained the outcome of the recent Sochi conference, which has a final declaration – only one, there is only one final declaration and the Russian Federation very wisely and very effectively today distributed to the Security Council; and that one speaks very clearly on what is the UN role and what are the expectations of a UN role.  We will be working on that basis and working hard with a role of facilitating, in a most creative possible way, what is required for a UN-facilitated, but Syrian-led, constitutional process.  There is no country in the world where the constitution be written by foreigners, we all agree on that.  But in view of the major differences which exist among the Syrians, there is no surprise that 2254 – that is the only mandate I have – but also Sochi have indicated the need for the UN to facilitate that in Geneva and that’s what we plan to do.

Staffan de Mistura on his own role in implementing peace process in Syria

I’m a diplomat and I’m a facilitator, my job is not to call out anyone – it’s actually to make sure that we move forward.  And as I just said, we are working on the basis of a very clear Security Council mandate and basically on a very clear message I got from the Security Council today; and what is said in the final declaration is that we have a job to do with respect to the Syrian-led job to do in writing a new constitution, but we will implement what we’ve been asked to do.

Staffan de Mistura on French Ambassador’s comments

I think I said it actually, if you read or heard carefully what I said, I think that in four years of my current mandate I think there’ve been few moments where the danger, potential danger not only of an implosion inside but of an explosion in terms of regional spillover of unpredictable consequences is there; that’s why the Security Council needs to be united.  I must say I found in the private meeting [consultations] a lot of unity and frankly common concern about it.  Sometimes when things get so dangerous, that’s exactly when the Security Council is more motivated to be united.

Staffan de Mistura on s the proposal for a 30-day humanitarian ceasefire

First, I leave it to Russia to answer the second part, although in the meeting they were expressing themselves some concern regarding the lack of humanitarian action, but anyway I leave it to them.  Regarding a ceasefire, for humanitarian access, as you know I have a very senior and very respectable colleague which is Mark Lowcock who has that file – that’s why I didn’t elaborate on that, my file is more on the political, but you are right saying everything is connected; having political talks in Geneva with humanitarian tragedy or escalation obviously is not a good proposition at all, we have done that, through that before.  Bottom line what I think I would have said if I had more time to elaborate on that was, there is an urgent need for de-escalation which means ceasefire, specifically in order to allow convoys to reach the besieged and the hard-to-reach areas.  Now thirty days, forty days, twenty days, I leave it to Mark Lowcock to indicate – but sustained and sustainable yes–it can’t just be one day.

Staffan de Mistura on his plans to create success

The Sochi declaration says that the constitutional committee would at the very least comprise government, opposition representatives in the intra-Syrian talks (the opposition we convene in Geneva), experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders, and women.  Care would be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria ethnic and religious components. The final agreement is to be reached in the UN-led, UN-led Geneva process on the mandate, terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, selection criteria for the composition of the constitutional committee. And the Sochi declaration, which is the one Ambassador Jaafari was referring to says, we appeal to the UN Secretary-General to assign the Special Envoy for Syria for the assistance – facilitation – of the constitutional committee work in Geneva.  That’s what I will be doing. My mission is not an easy one. Thank you.

The full text is available here.

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