Syria conflict: Switzerland welcomes and supports efforts of UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura

Bern, Press release, 22.09.2015

On 21 and 22 September 2015 a meeting took place in Geneva between the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and the four mediators deployed in the latest Syria initiative. Nicolas Michel of Switzerland has been appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the political and legal facilitator.

Nicolas Michel is an internationally recognised expert in international law. He has worked as a legal counsel and under-secretary-general of the United Nations, and was a special adviser and mediator in the border conflict between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

The latest initiative of the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan die Mistura, involves a comprehensive dialogue between all the main actors in Syria. Four thematic working groups will be set up in which the Syrian actors will be aided by international experts in finding solutions in the following areas: political and legal issues, humanitarian protection of the population, security and terrorism, reconstruction and institutions. Switzerland is providing the UN with special expertise and has already said it will host the process in Geneva, in accordance with its host state policy. Whilst the UN sees the participation of the Syrian parties as key to the process, the Security Council has stressed the importance of appropriate regional and international support.

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