UN Security Council Adopts Resolution on Initiating Political Transition in Syria
The United Nations (UN) Security Council adopted unanimously on Friday a resolution on initiating a process of political transition in Syria.
The resolution gave the UN an enhanced role in guiding the opposing sides to talks for a political transition, with a timetable for ceasefire, a new consitution and elections all under the auspices of the UN.
The Security Council, which met at the level of foreign ministers, asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to convene representatives of the government and opposition in formal negotiations early next month on a political transition as a step to lasting peace.
Ban Ki-moon noted that this was the first resolution to focus on the political path to resolving the crisis, marking a very important step.
The UN Secretary-General called on International Syria Support Group (ISSG) states to pressure the sides to immediately implement confidence-building measures, including an end to the indiscriminate use of weapons against civilians, unhampered access for humanitarian aid convoys and the release of all detainees.
The Security Council called for a Syrian-led political process facilitated by the UN to establish "credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance" within six months as well as setting a schedule for drafting a new constitution, with free and fair elections to be held within 18 months under UN supervision with all Syrians.
The resolution asked the Secretary-General to determine the modalities of ceasefire and plan to support its implementation and called on member states, above all ISSG members, to accelerate all efforts to achieve a ceasefire.
The Security Council reiterated earlier calls for member states to suppress terrorist acts by Islamic State (IS), Al-Nusra Front and all other terrorist groups.
The resolution called on all parties to immediately cease attacks against civilians, including medical facilities and personnel.
Ban Ki-moon specifically recognised the statesmanship of US State Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who were both present at the meeting on Friday.
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