17 October 2018 UN Syrian Envoy resigns

Staffan de Mistura, United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria, declared on Wednesday 17 October that he would resign from office at the end of November, after 4 years and 4 months in that position. The Italian diplomat will thus become the third chief mediator for Syria to resign since the war began in 2011. De Mistura, who announced his resignation during a meeting of the Security Council, alleged that his decision was due to “purely personal reasons” and “family commitments”. “I’m fine, and not even tired, because this has been giving me a lot of adrenaline”, he added, referring to the challenges his position involves. Nevertheless, some point to a high degree of exasperation due to the failure in reaching a political settlement to the conflict. His predecessor, Kofi Annan, quit the job saying that it was “mission impossible”. De Mistura, nonetheless, claimed: “A month can be a century in politics […] We will still have a very intense and, hopefully, fruitful month ahead. I am not laying down the charge until the last hour of the last day of my mandate.” He said he would use his last month in office to push forward the creation of a Constitutional committee, an initiative undertaken within the Geneva process framework, that would be formed by 150 members equally distributed between Syrian government, the rebel opposition, and the UN.