Pedersen stresses the importance of addressing the issues of detainees, disappeared, and missing persons to move forward toward a solution in Syria

Pedersen stresses the importance of addressing the issues of detainees, disappeared, and missing persons to move forward toward a solution in Syria

May 31 2023

ARK News… Geir Pedersen, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Syria, said that the renewed diplomatic activity in the region - if it is seized - could constitute an opportunity and a shift in efforts to search for a political solution in Syria.

During a briefing he gave to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, Pedersen stressed the importance of the recent diplomatic moves being accompanied by specific actions, "because the Syrian people are still suffering greatly and have not witnessed any improvement in their daily living conditions." Referring to the Moscow meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, the Syrian regime, and Turkey, and the Amman meeting between the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Syrian regime and its return to the Arab League.

In his briefing, the UN representative stressed the growing importance of resuming a credible political track, starting with reconvening the meetings of the Constitutional Committee, saying, "Seeking to solve the challenges that prevent the committee from convening comes at the top of his top priorities."

Pedersen indicated that he is in contact with the concerned parties in a new attempt to overcome obstacles and hold meetings of the Constitutional Committee again in Geneva.

Regarding the issue of Syrian refugees and displaced persons, Pedersen stressed adherence to the principle of the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of refugees.

On the other hand, Pedersen stressed the importance of addressing issues related to the fate of the detainees, the disappeared and the missing, because they represent a vital issue to move forward in Syria and it is difficult to imagine that there will be a real building of trust without progress on this issue.

Pedersen urged member states to support the efforts of the United Nations towards the establishment by the General Assembly of an institution dedicated to the search for missing persons, based on the recommendation of the Secretary-General.

According to Pedersen, the latest survey conducted by UNHCR reported that most Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt still hope to return to their homes one day, but the participants in the survey expressed great concerns about the lack of basic services and housing on the one hand and concerns about military service. compulsory conscription and mobilization, and fear of arrest, detention, harassment, and reprisals on the other hand.

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