WORLD Syrian Constitutional Committee authorized to draft new constitution


Syrian Constitutional Committee authorized to draft new constitution


08:32, September 29, 2019

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The newly formed Constitutional Committee in Syria has been authorized to draft a new constitution for the war-torn country, according to its terms of reference, which have been agreed on by the government and opposition.

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Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Moualem addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Photo: VCG)

"The Constitutional Committee may review the 2012 Constitution (of Syria), including in the context of other Syrian constitutional experiences and amend the current constitution or draft a new constitution," reads the "Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure" released by the United Nations on Saturday.

The Constitutional Committee will have a large body and a small body, with the small body of 45 members responsible for preparing and drafting the constitutional proposals for their adoption by the large body of all 150 members of the committee, according to the document.

The large body comprises 50 members nominated by the government, 50 nominated by the opposition, and 50 representatives of civil society. The small body comprises 45 members -- 15 members each from the 50 representatives of the three groups.

The names of the 150 members of the Constitutional Committee will be made public in due course by the United Nations once all nominees have formally confirmed their participation, said the world body on Saturday in a note to correspondents.

Decision-making by both the large and small bodies require the support of a minimum of 75 percent of members in the respective body, while they are encouraged to take decisions by consensus where possible.

The Constitutional Committee will have two co-chairs, one nominated by the government and one nominated by the opposition. The UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, will facilitate the work of the Constitutional Committee.

The Constitutional Committee shall agree on the means of popular approval and transposition into the Syrian legal order of the constitutional reform adopted by the Constitutional Committee. The parties have agreed that the Constitutional Committee shall work expeditiously and continuously to produce results and continued progress, without foreign interference, including externally imposed timelines.

The formation of the Constitutional Committee was officially announced by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday.

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