UN / SYRIA

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28-Sep-2021 00:03:23
UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen announced that an agreement has been reached for the next round of the Constitutional Committee and said, “With military frontlines largely frozen for eighteen months, and concerns from parties regarding the status quo, the time to push for a political process is now.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA
TRT: 3:23
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

21 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, flags outside UN headquarters

28 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“With military frontlines largely frozen for eighteen months, and concerns from parties regarding the status quo, the time to push for a political process is now.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“It is clear from all our engagements that trust is low – but it is also clear that common interests do exist, that things are not static, and that there is every reason to try now to build a more effective political effort.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“We should all now expect the Constitutional Committee to begin to work seriously on a process of drafting – not just preparing – a constitutional reform. If it does that, then we will have a different and credible constitutional process. We need that if we are to build a modicum of trust.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Rouba Mhaissen, Founder and Director, Sawa for Development and Aid:
"In order for any political settlement to be successful, We must be a focus on building local resilience and supporting Syrians, especially women's voices and agencies. It is time for societal structures, including leadership and legislative frameworks, to reflect the shifts in gender dynamics that are emerging every day at the community level."
10. Wide shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bassam Sabbagh, Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations:
"The war that was imposed on us by known governments by various means has led Syria to lose many lives, damaged the achievements of an ancient civilization, and the loss of great developmental gains achieved by the Syrian people of the past decades. The time has come to put an end to it and to completely end the illegal foreign military presence on Syrian territory represented by the American military presence in the northeast, and the Turkish military presence in the northwest."
12. Wide shot, delegates
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations:
"When will this hypocrisy end? How much longer will this Council ignore the elephant in the room. When will PKK/YPG's attack against the UN-supported Al Shifa hospital in Afrin be investigated by the UN? We will never condone supporting terrorism under the pretext of fighting Da'esh. Turkey will continue its resolute fight against all terrorist organizations, including Da'esh and PKK/YPG."
14. Pan left, Pedersen walking to stakeout
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“My hope is that tomorrow’s meeting will emphasize the importance of continued calm in Syria, that we could hopefully develop that calm into what I have asked the Council for many times, for a nationwide ceasefire, and building on that, that we can start moving the political process forward, and an encouragement for the government and the opposition to sit down and to start real negotiations, that’s my hope.”
16. Pan right, Pedersen leaving stakeout

STORYLINE:

STORY: UN / SYRIA
TRT: 3:23
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

21 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, flags outside UN headquarters

28 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“With military frontlines largely frozen for eighteen months, and concerns from parties regarding the status quo, the time to push for a political process is now.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“It is clear from all our engagements that trust is low – but it is also clear that common interests do exist, that things are not static, and that there is every reason to try now to build a more effective political effort.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“We should all now expect the Constitutional Committee to begin to work seriously on a process of drafting – not just preparing – a constitutional reform. If it does that, then we will have a different and credible constitutional process. We need that if we are to build a modicum of trust.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Rouba Mhaissen, Founder and Director, Sawa for Development and Aid:
"In order for any political settlement to be successful, We must be a focus on building local resilience and supporting Syrians, especially women's voices and agencies. It is time for societal structures, including leadership and legislative frameworks, to reflect the shifts in gender dynamics that are emerging every day at the community level."
10. Wide shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bassam Sabbagh, Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations:
"The war that was imposed on us by known governments by various means has led Syria to lose many lives, damaged the achievements of an ancient civilization, and led to the loss of great developmental gains achieved by the Syrian people of the past decades. The time has come to put an end to it and to completely end the illegal foreign military presence on Syrian territory represented by the American military presence in the northeast, and the Turkish military presence in the northwest."
12. Wide shot, delegates
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations:
"When will this hypocrisy end? How much longer will this Council ignore the elephant in the room. When will PKK/YPG's attack against the UN-supported Al Shifa hospital in Afrin be investigated by the UN? We will never condone supporting terrorism under the pretext of fighting Da'esh. Turkey will continue its resolute fight against all terrorist organizations, including Da'esh and PKK/YPG."
14. Pan left, Pedersen walking to stakeout
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“My hope is that tomorrow’s meeting will emphasize the importance of continued calm in Syria, that we could hopefully develop that calm into what I have asked the Council for many times, for a nationwide ceasefire, and building on that, that we can start moving the political process forward, and an encouragement for the government and the opposition to sit down and to start real negotiations, that’s my hope.”
16. Pan right, Pedersen leaving stakeout

STORYLINE:

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen announced that an agreement has been reached for the next round of the Constitutional Committee and said, “With military frontlines largely frozen for eighteen months, and concerns from parties regarding the status quo, the time to push for a political process is now.”

Addressing the Security Council today (28 Sep), Pedersen reminded the Council of the grim statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who had announced last week that more than 350,000 people could be individually confirmed - by name, date, and location - to have been killed during the first decade of the Syrian conflict. He said more than 12 million Syrians, representing half of the country’s pre-war population, are displaced, and thousands more remain detained, abducted, or missing.

He stressed that the Syrian people desperately need a Syrian-led and owned political process to deliver, and as part of that, they also need the sustained attention of the international community in support of a wider effort that could solidify calm and ease their suffering.

The Special Envoy reminded Council members that any humanitarian effects of sanctions that could exacerbate the plight of ordinary Syrians need to be avoided and mitigated, particularly in terms of over compliance.

Pedersen noted that it was clear from all his engagements in recent weeks “that trust is low – but it is also clear that common interests do exist, that things are not static, and that there is every reason to try now to build a more effective political effort.”

The Special Envoy said, following eight months of intensive facilitation with the Co-Chairs, an agreement is in place on methodology for the Constitutional Committee’s work and invitations have been issued for a 6th session. He said the Small Drafting Body will convene in Geneva as of 18 October, and the Co-Chairs will for the first time meet the day before together with him to prepare the session.

He said, “We should all now expect the Constitutional Committee to begin to work seriously on a process of drafting – not just preparing – a constitutional reform. If it does that, then we will have a different and credible constitutional process. We need that if we are to build a modicum of trust.”

Pedersen highlighted the need for a genuine intra-Syrian political dialogue, and through this, a genuine process of Syrian political reform. He expressed his conviction that Geneva can be the place where Syrians committed to durable peace can begin to work with each other in a constructive manner.

The Special Envoy stressed, however, that the issues are not solely in the hands of the Syrians. He underscored the need for a constructive Syria diplomacy to help save lives, ease suffering, promote stability and further the implementation of resolution 2254.

Rouba Mhaissen, Founder and Director of Sawa for Development and Aid, said as long as Syrians inside and outside the country have not obtained their human rights as protected by international law and as long as a fair political settlement and a holistic transition has not been reached, the Syrian dossier must remain on the international agenda.

Mhaissen said there have been some gains that Syrian women made, but a lot remains to be done to ensure that women are truly participating and are included at all levels.

She said there is continued evidence of returnees leaving Syria again, as well as an increase in internal migration, as refugees and displaced person continue their search for a decent life, flowing to Egypt, Turkey, and Europe through newly formed trafficking channels.

Mhaissen said, "In order for any political settlement to be successful, WE must be a focus on building local resilience and supporting Syrians, especially women's voices and agencies. It is time for societal structures, including leadership and legislative frameworks, to reflect the shifts in gender dynamics that are emerging every day at the community level."

Syrian ambassador Bassam Sabbagh said his government facilitated the work of the constitutional committee. He reaffirmed the need for this process to be Syrian-led and owned, without outside interference or any attempts to impose false timelines or pre-determined outcomes to the work of the committee.

Sabbagh said agreements reached in Daraa Province proves once again that the Syrian Government is keen on re-establishing security and stability all over the country.

He stressed that some countries have used the role of the Security Council in uphold international peace and security to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria and destabilize the country.

The Syrian ambassador said, "The war that was imposed on us by known governments by various means has led Syria to lose many lives, damaged the achievements of an ancient civilization, and led to the loss of great developmental gains achieved by the Syrian people of the past decades. The time has come to put an end to it and to completely end the illegal foreign military presence on Syrian territory represented by the American military presence in the northeast, and the Turkish military presence in the northwest."

Sabbagh said the time has also come to lift the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US and the EU, to support the efforts by Syria and its allies to counter terrorism, and to support reconstruction efforts.

Turkish ambassador Feridun Sinirlioğlu said the increase of violence in Idlib is a serious cause of concern, with ceasefire violations by the government reaching alarming levels. He said attacks targeting civilians must stop immediately and underscored that the protection of civilians is non-negotiable.

Sinirlioğlu said PKK/YPG remains a major threat to the security of Syria, which he said is not relenting in its attacks against civilians. He said the group, along with hits offshoot the Democratic Alliance, has killed at least 118 civilians this year alone while the international community remains silent.

The Turkish ambassador said, "When will this hypocrisy end? How much longer will this Council ignore the elephant in the room. When will PKK/YPG's attack against the UN-supported Al Shifa hospital in Afrin be investigated by the UN? We will never condone supporting terrorism under the pretext of fighting Da'esh. Turkey will continue its resolute fight against all terrorist organizations, including Da'esh and PKK/YPG."
Speaking to reporters following the Council meeting, Special Envoy Pedersen said the calm Syria is currently witnessing is fragile. He called on the Syrian parties and key international actors to move forward in what he called the ‘step-for-step approach’ and challenged them to put forward what they can do, and not only ask what the other side can be doing.

Asked about the expected meeting tomorrow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Pedersen hoped that the meeting would “emphasize the importance of continued calm in Syria, that we could hopefully develop that calm into what I have asked the Council for many times, for a nationwide ceasefire, and building on that, that we can start moving the political process forward, and an encouragement for the government and the opposition to sit down and to start real negotiations, that’s my hope.”
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