Joint Statement: It is the Syrians Who Write Their Constitution

Syria Constitution

To: TE Syrian negotiating parties
TE Ministers of The International Syria Support Group (ISSG)
HE Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General
HE Staffan Di Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy to Syria

We, the undersigned Syrian organizations, received with great indignation and alarm, the news of the Russian government handing a group of Syrian dissidents a copy of its suggested version of a Syrian constitution. We consider this action as an affront to the right of the Syrian people to decide the constitution and the future of their country. It is an action that reveals a mentality of an occupier that dictates its will on the occupied people, and in a way that violates the rules of national sovereignty, international law, and the right of the people to self-determination.

The undersigned Syrian civil society organizations, reaffirm their position on the need to end the war in Syria, and their commitment to a politically negotiated solution based on a peaceful political transition process to be reached in negotiations in accordance with international resolutions issued in this regard, and in line with the terms of the Geneva I Communique of the Syria Working Group issued on June 30, 2016. The undersigned organizations believe that the process of drafting a permanent Syrian constitution must come at a later stage at the end of the transition period, and that the constitution should be drafted by a National Constituent Assembly. The negotiating parties should agree upon the composition of this assembly and the procedures for electing its members. The membership of the Assembly should be based on legal and constitutional expertise, and the status of individuals and their integrity. After that, the proposed constitution should be submitted to a referendum to ensure the consent and buy in of the Syrian people.

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