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Launching Constitutional Committee, What Does It Mean?

Launching Constitutional Committee, What Does It Mean?

Works of the Syrian Constitutional Committee were launched last Wednesday, October 30, more than a year and a half after the Syrian National Dialogue Conference in Sochi on January 30, 2018.

For the first time since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the Syrian parties are sitting face to face, side by side, in one hall. This is after many years of exclusionary discourse based on the polemical confrontation (quelling the opposition vs. overthrowing the regime). In other words, this meeting constitutes an implicit and practical recognition by all parties, particularly the extremists, that dialogue and political solution based on UNSC resolution 2254 and Sochi's outcomes, constitute the only way out.

Despite the various difficulties expected, part of which has appeared since the early hours, and were expressed through some degree of tension and distress, but this is expected and normal if we take into consideration that this meeting comes after all these years. This means that the process of breaking the ice has already begun.

The Constitutional Committee, as we have repeatedly said, is the key to the political process, and this key is now in the hands of the Syrians, and the next steps remain dependent on the knowledge of how to use this key to unlock the door of the political process, in parallel with the work within the Constitutional Committee. This process is ultimately, in terms of its content, the full implementation of the UNSCR 2254, and, in terms of its essence, the creation of the appropriate platform and tools to enable the Syrian people of having self-determination without external interference, i.e. the process also includes a reversal of the internationalization of the Syrian issue back towards its solution within the national framework.

In the same context, it is necessary to intensify work in two clear directions: the first is to expedite the work of the Committee so that it does what is required within reasonable time, in parallel commencing the work on the other issues within the political process; the second is to push for the relocation of the work of the Constitutional Committee to Damascus, based on clear and sufficient guarantees, so that the process of drafting the Syrian constitution is conducted on the Syrian soil and facilitated by the United Nations, and this in essence means moving towards the actual implementation of the UNSC resolution 2254 on the Syrian soil in particular, through giving the necessary momentum to the constitutional issue as a milestone in launching the political life in the country after a long absence.

The various formal barriers that stood for almost two years in the face of the formation of the committee were nothing more than an expression of the weakness of the political will to go towards a solution, and the formation of the committee was a preliminary declaration of breaking the will of those who hinderer the process, but not definitively of course; for those hinderers would try to find any breach in order to delay the process. Therefore, it is also useful, in the near term, to turn the Constitutional Committee's discussions into public debates heard and seen by the entire Syrian people, as this is of great importance in imposing broad popular control over the entire process, so that the Syrians can know day by day, and in each detail, the views and contributions of each side, party and person.

Kassioun Editorial, Issue No. 938, October 04, 2019