The fifth round of the Constitutional Committee came days after UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told the UN Security Council that many subjects have been discussed for more than a year and it’s now time for the committee to ensure that "the meetings are better organized and more focused."
Syria’s nearly 10-year foreign-backed militancy has killed more than half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war 23 million population, including more than 5 million refugees mostly in neighboring countries.
"I believe that we need to ensure that the committee begins to move from `preparing’ a constitutional reform to `drafting’ one, as it is mandated to do," Pedersen said last week.
According to Syria’s elections law, presidential elections are scheduled to take place between April 16 and May 16, at least 90 days before President Bashar al-Assad’s seven-year term expires.
At a Russian-hosted Syrian peace conference in January 2018, an agreement was reached to form a 150-member committee to draft a new constitution, which took until September 2019. A 45-member committee known as the "Small Body" started its meetings in Geneva on Monday.
Monday’s meeting involved 15 people from each delegation and was taking place amid measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to AP.