Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ban Ki-moon's invitation to Geneva-2 on Syria

Secretary-General briefs the press at the UN Headquarters. 
24 December 2013
  The UN Secretary-General sent invitations to Syrian and international participants of the Geneva Conference on Syria. 
  The invitations were sent to these countries and organizations: UN Security Council P5 members, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, the High Representative of the European Union, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in addition to: Algeria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
    Here is the text of the invitation:
6 January 2014
       In light of the appalling human suffering and widespread destruction in Syria, including the grave and ever-deteriorating human rights situation, violations of international humanitarian law and the risk of deepening conflict and regional instability, it is imperative to reach a peaceful settlement with the greatest urgency.
The path towards such a settlement was outlined in the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 (Annex I), unanimously endorsed by Security Council resolution 2118 of 27 September 2013. The Security Council called for the convening, as soon as possible, of a conference to implement the Geneva Communiqué. Since the initiative of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, His Excellency Mr. Sergey V. Lavrov, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, His Excellency Mr. John F. Kerry, on 7 May 2013, intensive preparatory consultations have taken place.
Consequently, I am now convening the Geneva Conference on Syria, and am pleased to invite you to attend the high-level international meeting that will launch the Conference.
The Conference aims to assist the Syrian parties in ending the violence and achieving a comprehensive agreement for a political settlement, implementing fully the Geneva Communiqué, while preserving the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria. The Communiqué contains Principles and Guidelines for a Syrian-led transition. These set out a number of key steps, beginning with agreement on a transitional governing body with full executive powers, formed by mutual consent. As the Geneva Communiqué says, the public services must be preserved or restored. This includes the military forces and security and intelligence services. All governmental institutions and state offices must perform according to professional and human rights standards, operating under a top leadership that inspires public confidence, under the control of the transitional governing body.
The Geneva Conference on Syria will convene under my chairmanship, first in an international high-level format over one day at Montreux, Switzerland, on 22 January 2014, beginning at 9 a.m. Negotiations between the two Syrian parties, facilitated by the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, will follow immediately in Geneva on 24 January 2014. Adjournments and subsequent meetings may take place in accordance with a workplan to be agreed. The high-level international meeting may resume its deliberations as required.
I am confident that the international participants who gather in Montreux will offer meaningful support for constructive negotiations between the Syrian parties in Geneva. I am sure that all present will do their utmost to encourage the Syrian parties to reach a comprehensive settlement, fully implementing the Geneva Communiqué, within an accelerated time frame. In addition to participation in the high-level meeting, it may be necessary to call upon you to assist further as the negotiations between the Syrian parties progress.
In inviting the Syrian parties, I have reminded them that the Security Council has called on them to engage seriously and constructively at the Conference, and underscored that they should be broadly representative and committed to the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and to the achievement of stability and reconciliation. I have also reminded the Syrian parties that, consistent with the Geneva Communiqué as well as Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and other relevant resolutions (Annex II), full and effective participation of women is essential.
I look forward to confirmation of attendance of your delegation, and the list of delegates and advisers, at your earliest convenience.
Confirmation of attendance will be taken as commitment to the aims of the Conference stated above, in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué, in particular the Principles and Guidelines for a Syrian-led Transition contained in it.
A technical information note will be provided by the Office of the Joint Special Representative in due course.
The conflict in Syria has raged for too long, and has imposed too many sacrifices on the people of Syria. The Government and all parties must allow immediate and full humanitarian access to all conflict-affected areas. The violence must be ended expeditiously. All attacks against civilians should cease. All parties must work to put an end to all terrorist acts. The Geneva Conference offers a unique avenue towards these ends. I am deeply grateful for your cooperation in this venture, to help ensure that peace can be restored and the transition foreseen in the Geneva Communiqué can be implemented in a way that fully meets the aspirations of the Syrian people.
   Please accept, (...), the assurances of my highest consideration.
BAN Ki-moon
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