World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed great hopes for the success of the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, which has begun its work this week.
Almost one year after his appointment by the UN secretary-general as special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen convened the 150 members of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva on 30 October to launch a “Syrian-led and Syrian-owned” process aiming at reforming the constitution or drafting a new one for the country.
“The WCC is hopeful that this committee, including representatives of the government, the opposition and a wide range of civil society actors, will contribute to bringing a sustainable end to the tragic long-running conflict in Syria that has devastated the country and done such terrible harm to its people”, said Tveit.
“We are also hopeful”, added WCC director for international affairs Peter Prove, “that these meetings will provide a new opportunity for the UN-facilitated peace process to broaden the political process in line with UNSCR 2254, which designed a road map towards a ‘credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance’”.
Since 2011, WCC has been facilitating numerous encounters and discussions among a broad spectrum of representative and influential Syrians to promote dialogue and cooperation on issues related to democratic change, equal citizenship and social cohesion. Tveit observed: “We have accompanied the Syrian people through their deepest sufferings, and we hope very soon to be able to share with them their joy and relief at an end to the conflict and the establishment of peace with justice.”
Tveit concluded: “We pray that everyone in Syria now shares the conviction that military actions cannot bring a just peace to the country. Only a political and social dialogue can contribute to the elaboration of principles for living together, in dignity and equality, under the rule of law. We invite our member churches to accompany the people of Syria, now that they have resumed their internal dialogue, on the path of a social, economic and political healing and recovery.”