|Date: 30/06/2012 Time: 11:38:00 PM
The UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria
Kofi Annan said Saturday the Action Group on Syria pledged action, and they
are sending "a message of determination and hope," but "today's words must not
become tomorrow's disappointments."
"We are determined to work together urgently and intensively to bring about
an end to the violence and human rights abuses, and the launch of a Syrian-led
political process, leading to a transition that meets the legitimate
aspirations of the Syrian people, and enables them independently and
democratically to determine their own future," he underscored.
"The hard work starts now. We must work together to implement what has been
agreed but we cannot do this alone. I hope all in Syria will embrace what has
been laid out here and work with us to stop the killing and build a better
future," he pointed out.
He called on all sides to commit themselves to a transitional process that
could lead to a real democracy through free, transparent multi-party elections
with full respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Annan urged the armed group to cooperate with the UN observers and the
Syrian government to; release all detainees; ensure free movement for aid
workers and journalists; and respect the right to peaceful protests.
The Action Group agreed upon a number of directive principles regarding the
transitional process in Syria, presenting a vision in which everyone
participates in a pluralistic democratic country with free elections that
respects human rights, the rule of law, equal access to rights, and respecting
the rights of minorities, noting that this requires clear steps within a
specific timeframe, Annan disclosed.
The transitional period involves establishing a "governing society" that
establishes a neutral environment to affect change, with this transitional
body consisting of members of the current government and opposition figures
and formed through mutual agreement.
The political process must be implemented in a secure and quiet
environment, which requires the disarming of all armed groups, he went on.
The Special envoy stressed that the Syrians are the ones who can decide the
future of their country, and that all social groups must be able to
participate in comprehensive national dialogue that has to lead to practical
results, highlighting the need for women's representation at the
constitutional and legal systems.
Annan added that time is running out, and that quick steps are needed to
reach an agreement and resolve the conflict through peaceful dialogue and
negotiations only, adding that conditions for peaceful settlement must begin
immediately, and that violence must cease and all sides must be prepared to
appoint negotiators to work on the transitional process.
He affirmed that the international community is ready to support any
agreement reached by all sides, and that the work group members will pressure
all sides to carry out the discussed points, opposing any further
militarization of the conflict.
"Today's hopes must not turn to disappointment in the future -- we must
work together to carry out what we agreed upon, and we can't do this alone,"
The conference gathered the foreign ministers of the permanent members of
the UN Security Council - the US, UK, France, Russia and China - alongside
with their peers from Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey, as well as the
representatives of the Arab League, the UN and the EU.