Deputy Special Envoy Khawla Matar highlights importance of engaging Syrian civil society

© swisspeace/Gian-Berno Fark

On January 21, 2022, UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Khawla Matar was invited to speak at the Basel Peace Forum where she participated in the panel discussion on “Reflecting on Multitrack Approaches to Peace Processes”, along with Ambassador Simon Geissbühler, Head of the Peace and Human Rights Division of the Swiss Foreign Department of Foreign Affairs, and Esther Omam Njomo, Executive Director of Reach out Cameroon.

In her remarks, Ms. Matar noted the complexity of the Syria crisis, the oversized role of the international players and the efforts to promote a coordinated international diplomacy on Syria. She underlined the importance of including as many voices as possible in the political process, and of fostering a sense of collaboration between various stakeholders. DSE Matar commented on the current state of the political process and the efforts of the Special Envoy and herself to push the political process forward as well as convene another round of the UN-facilitated Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva. She stressed the relevance of frameworks like the Civil Society Support Room and the Women’s Advisory Board, to ensure that the diverse voices of civil society and women’s perspectives are considered throughout the political process.