Sophie Mangal |
According to the sources close to Astana talks, the resignation of the current UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, may occur in near future. It is expected that the decision regarding the resignation would be taken after another round of talks in Geneva over a political center for Syria. The next such discussion is scheduled for February 20. De Mistura was appointed to the position of UN special envoy in July 2014.
Since his appointment in July 2014, De Mistura has failed to prove himself as a qualified diplomat truly interested in stabilizing the situation in Syria, immersed in war since 2011.
The office of de Mistura has declined to comment on the information connected with his possible resignation. In addition, the spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric has stated that the international organization completely shares efforts and initiatives of the envoy.
Mistura failed to deliver so far
The appearance of such rumors is not an accident. Actually, the issue of his resignation has been brewing for a long time. Since his appointment in July 2014, De Mistura has failed to prove himself as a diplomat truly interested in or capable of stabilizing the situation in Syria, immersed in war since 2011. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, it is feared that more than 300,000 people have died, of whom 90,000 were civilian non-combatants. Many Syrians are therefore dissatisfied with the special envoy’s work.
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Dissatisfaction of Syrians
It is expected that the decision regarding the resignation would be taken after another round of talks in Geneva over a political center for Syria.
Syrians are especially dissatisfied with the special envoy’s work. They are tired of listening to his empty promises and hypocritical statements. They want to see his early resignation. According to them, Staffan de Mistura, occupying such a high position in the international organization has not fulfilled his obligations.
The Syrian people have organized a petition calling for Mistura’s resignation and addressed to UN Secretary-General. It has already been signed by more than 20,000 people.
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Representatives of the Syrian opposition are also critical of the special envoy’s activity. Influential members of the opposition have said, on condition of anonymity, that they intend to boycott the coming Geneva talks, which have been organized at the initiative of de Mistura. They said they do not see any signs of progress in the political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
The next round of the Geneva talks may become the last chance for de Mistura to prove a commitment to defending the interests of the Syrian people. Hopefully, circumstances will actually change and the special envoy will adhere to a neutrality principle during the talks. He should have done so long ago.
Sophie Mangal is a freelance writer and a member of the Inside Syria Media Center. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a media and journalism major, Mangal monitored the refugee crisis in Europe, drawing parallels between the Syrian conflict and the Balkan problem, and has visited Syria on several occasions.