|Former UN secretary-general has refused to be drawn out on a time-frame for the crisis-resolution process [Reuters]
Kofi Annan, the joint United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria, submitted on March 16 a six-point peace plan to the UN Security Council.
During talks with the Syrian government and opposition, Annan presented the plan as providing a blueprint for ending the violence and resolving the crisis sparked by a year-long uprising against Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.
On March 27, the envoy's office said that the Syrian government had accepted the peace proposal, and would be working to implement it.
While some members of the Syrian opposition, which is not represented by a single group, have rejected the proposal as not going far enough, others have said that they are willing to accept it if the government follows through on promises.
Below is the text of the six-point plan that is under debate. It asks the Syrian authorities to:
(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy;
(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilise the country.
To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centres, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres.
As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism.
Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with him to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism;
(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause and to coordinate exact time and modalities of the daily pause through an efficient mechanism, including at local level;
(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained, immediately begin organizing access to such locations and through appropriate channels respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons;
(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;
(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.