Three things to know about the Geneva Communique - Tucson News Now

Three things to know about the Geneva Communique

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Kerry and Lavorv are working toward a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria. (Source: MGN Online) Kerry and Lavorv are working toward a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria. (Source: MGN Online)
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(RNN) - In a joint statement Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergy Lavrov would work "under the auspices of the Geneva Communiqué."

The Geneva Communiqué was drafted in June 2012 by Foreign Ministers from a number of countries, along with the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and League of Arab States who met as the Action Group for Syria.

The goal of the six-point plan is to end the civil war and ensure the sovereignty, independence, national unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

The Communiqué was unfortunately sidelined becuase of the increasing instability and violence in Syria.

"It is very unfortunate that for a long period the Geneva Communiqué was basically abandoned," said Lavrov.

As Kerry and Lavrov work to achieve a diplomatic solution to the situation in Syria, it is important to point out that the protocol set forth by the Geneva Communiqué would do three major things for the country.

It will bring an end to the violence

More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war that began in March 2011. The recent use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians has prompted calls to action in response to the crisis.

The Geneva Communiqué requires an end to all forms of violence. This must be sustained by the Syrian government with immediate, credible and visible actions.

Further, it requires both the Syrian government and opposition rebels to abide by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2042, which authorizes a team to monitor compliance with a ceasefire, and Resolution 2043, which sets up a Supervision Mission to observe the Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria.

As the transitional government is being formed, all parties must cooperate in order to maintain calm and stability. Armed groups must be disarmed, demobilized and reintegrated.

It will address human rights

According to the UN, factions on both sides of the conflict have committed human rights violations, including rape, murder, torture and hostage-taking.

The Geneva Communiqué requires that effective steps be taken to ensure that vulnerable groups are protected. The pace and scale of the release of arbitrarily detained persons must increase.

The Syrian government will be required to allow complete access to humanitarian organizations. It must also adhere to international law with regard to the protection of civilians.

The Communiqué also ensures freedom of movement throughout the country and requires the government to offer equal opportunity for all, regardless of ethnic, religious or other differences.

It will provide guidance for a Syrian-led transition

A wide range of Syrians have expressed to the U.N. their wishes for the future of their country. Syrians want a multi-party democratic state that has fair and equal elections, government officials to be held accountable for their actions and equal opportunities for all citizens.

The Syrian-led transition from a war-torn country to a cohesive one will be guided by principles set forth by the Action Group for Syria. The Communiqué requires that conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialog and negotiations by a transition government that includes members of the present government, members of the opposition and other groups.

Additionally, all parties must cooperate with the transitional government, and all parties must work together to be sure that all segments of Syrian society are heard during the transition. Women must be represented during all phases of the transition.

Once a transitional government is established, they must immediately begin preparing for and then conduct free and fair multi-party elections.

Action Group members will work to facilitate a Syrian led-political process and will step in to assist if additional steps or actions are needed.

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