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HNC Press Statement

Date Posted: 26 January 2016

PRESS STATEMENT

The HNC held its fourth meeting this evening to discuss preparations for the negotiations anticipated to take place at the end of this month. 

Dr. Riad Hijab, the Commission Coordinator, expressed gratitude to the United Nations and all friendly states for their efforts to invigorate the peace process and in seeking a political solution to end the suffering of the Syrian people.

The Commission reaffirmed its preparedness to positively consider participating in a political process which would ultimately lead to a political solution in Syria on the basis of the Geneva Communiqué (30th June 2012) and UNSCR 2118 as a reference point for negotiations.  In this context, a transitional governing body with full executive powers will be established and function while maintaining state establishments and restructuring military and security institutions.  In addition, the Commission expects the implementation of UNSCR 2254 without exception or selective implementation.   Furthermore, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has been notified that a letter has been sent to UN Special Envoy, Mr. de Mistura, requesting clarification on ambiguous points contained in the letter of invitation.

The Commission emphasized the need to achieve real improvement on the ground before embarking on negotiations, in particular:  ending the siege on cities, delivering aid, releasing detainees, especially women and children, and a moratorium on executions.  The Commission also stressed the need to separate the negotiating process from the humanitarian obligations which must be addressed in accordance with articles (12) and (13) of UNSCR 2254, and highlighted that the real obstacle to fulfilling this UNSCR are those who are setting preconditions for its implementation through linking the improvement on the humanitarian front with progress on the political front.  Without doubt, leveraging political gains by using human suffering is deplorable, and the international community will certainly not accept it under any circumstances.

The Commission calls for the urgent need to cease all violations against the Syrian people without conditions, including the removal of foreign forces who continue to target populated areas and impose an unjust siege on civilians in various areas of Syria, especially in: Madaya, Zabadani, Moadamieh, Ghouta, Darayya and Al Waer.  The Commission further cautions from allowing these foreign forces to continue undeterred, using savage violations as a pretext for achieving political progress during the prospective negotiations in Geneva.

The Commission awaits response from UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who has on the 14th of January 2016, declared that the bombing, siege and policy of starving the Syrian people is: “a war crime”. 

 

Letter to H.E. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

 

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon 

Secretary General 

The United Nations

New York

 

Your Excellency

We extend our deep gratitude and appreciation to the United Nations for its manifest efforts to help resolve the Syrian conflict and bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.

Similarly, we hope that you have been informed of the Supreme Commission for Negotiation's efforts to enable the success of the political process to end the Syrian conflict. In that vein, I would like to draw your attention to the Supreme Commission for Negotiations meeting today 26/01/2016 and its serious endeavour to achieve positive outcomes that maintain the unity of Syria and the interests of the Syrian people. 

The Supreme Commission for Negotiations has agreed to consider positively the participating in the political process which would ultimately lead to a political solution in Syria, based on the international resolutions passed by the UN Security Council and Geneva Communiqué (30th June 2012), as the foundation for the negotiation process, where it was clearly stated that a " Transitional Governing Body" with full executive powers will function while maintaining state establishments and restructuring military and security institutions. 

The UNSC2254 (2015) should be fully respected and implemented without any exceptions on the ground prior to the upcoming Geneva negotiations on 29th January 2016; specifically, vis-à-vis the following: 

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  • Cessation of all types of siege and starvation tactics against civilians in all cities and areas in Syria

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  •      Lifting the siege imposed on cities and regions to enable humanitarian agencies to deliver the necessary aid immediately to all those suffering   

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  • The immediate release of all detainees including vulnerable groups such as women and children who have been detained in clear violations of human right principles 

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  • Cessation of aerial shelling and artillery attacks against civilians and civilian targets 

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  • Cessation of all kinds of forced displacement and demographic changes to the Syrian landscape

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The Supreme Commission for Negotiations emphasizes that fighting terrorism in Syria is by no means an alternative narrative to the Geneva Communiqué. 

In order to achieve a successful negotiations process in Geneva, the international community should exert all its efforts to help bring an end to all illegal actions that hinder the full implementation of UNSCR2254 whether by the Assad regime or its allies.

We have written to Special Envoy, Mr Staffan de Mistura, requesting some clarifications pertaining to  the letter of invitation received.

Finally, I sincerely hope that this letter will draw your attention to several important considerations to help consolidate the efforts of the international community towards a genuine beginning for the political process and in line with the aims and aspirations of the Syrian people.

 

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