If the use of chemical weapons in Syria is once again determined, the international community needs to find an appropriate way to identify those responsible and hold them to account. Without such an avenue, we are allowing the use of chemical weapons to take place with impunity.

Secretary-General António Guterres in remarks to Security Council, 18 Jan. '18

Intra-Syrian Negotiations

Syrian children shelter in a doorway amid gunfire and shelling.
Syrian children shelter in a doorway amid gunfire and shelling., by UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi

About the Intra-Syrian Negotiations 

Since March 2011, Syria has been in the throes of a conflict that has forced more than half of all Syrians to leave their homes. An estimated 5 million Syrians have fled the country and more than 6 million are internally displaced. The crisis, described as the worst humanitarian disaster of our time with more than 13 million people in need of assistance, has caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, is working tirelessly to bring the parties to the negotiating table and an end to the war. 

The Special Envoy has convened the parties to the United Nations Office at Geneva for the next round of intra-Syrian talks on the 10th of July 2017. Previous rounds were held on these dates:
  • From 23 February to 3 March 2017
  • From 23 to 31 March 2017
  • From 15 to 19 May 2017

As mandated by Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015), the talks focus on governance, a schedule and process to draft a new constitution and the holding of elections as the basis for a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned process to end the conflict. Discussions include counter-terrorism strategies.

Previously, the parties met in Geneva in February, March and April 2016.

In parallel, parties were convened in Ankara, Turkey in December 2016, by Russia, Turkey and Iran, agreed to a nationwide ceasefire that began on 30 December 2016. Between January and May 2017, parties attended Astana talks in Kazakhstan. These talks, convened by the three guarantors: Russia, Turkey and Iran, resulted in an agreement to create four "de-escalation zones" in Syria.

For all the key dates of the Syrian peace process, click here.


The UN humanitarian response

Over 250,000 people have been killed and over one million injured since the onset of the crisis in 2011. More than half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, often multiple times, making Syria the largest displacement crisis globally. Human rights violations and abuses continue to occur in the context of widespread insecurity and in disregard of international law, international humanitarian law, and human rights law. The UN is working with partners to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.

UN agencies & humanitarian partners

Statement by Humanitarian Principals marking five years of the Syrian conflict

  • Humanitarian Coordination – OCHA
  • Children – UNICEF
  • Food Security – FAO | WFP
  • Refugees – UNHCR
  • Health – WHO
  • World Heritage – UNESCO


In east Aleppo City, Syria, boys and a man collect water from a UNICEF-supported water point in Shakoor neighbourhood.

International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism

On 21 December 2016, the UN General Assembly established the IIIM "to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses and to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings ... in national, regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes".

  • General Assembly resolution 71/248 ( A | C | E | F | R | S )
  • Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 71/248 ( A | C | E | F | R | S )
  • Terms of reference of the IIIM, annexed to the report of the Secretary-General ( A | C | E | F | R | S )
  • Frequently asked questions on the IIIM ( A | E )
  • List of voluntary contributions to the IIIM 'as of 1 July 2017'

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