6 January 2014

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Sending Invitations to Geneva Conference on Syria,

‘Unique Opportunity to End the Violence’

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

Today, the Secretary-General is sending invitations to Syrian and international participants of the Geneva Conference on Syria.  The list of invitees was determined at the 20 December trilateral meeting among the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Nations.

The Conference is the result of an important initiative announced by Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and United States Secretary of State John Kerry on 7 May 2013 in Moscow.  It aims to bring two broadly representative and credible delegations of the Syrian Government and opposition to a negotiating table in order to end the conflict and launch a political transition process through the full implementation of the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012.

The Secretary-General views the Conference as a unique opportunity forending the violence and ensuring that peace can be restored, and the transition foreseen in the Geneva communiqué can be implemented in a way that fully meets the aspirations of the Syrian people.  At the core of this effort is the establishment of a transitional governing body based on mutual consent.

The Conference will convene under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General, first in an international high-level format at Montreux, Switzerland, on 22 January.  Negotiations between the two Syrian parties, facilitated by Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, will start at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 24 January.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record