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|UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (C) speaks after the closing session of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi , Russia, on Jan. 30, 2018. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura was upbeat on Tuesday about the outcome of the just concluded intra-Syria talks in Sochi, Russia, hailing an agreement on the formation of a committee to be tasked to draft a new constitution for the war-torn country. (XinhuaAmmar Safarjalani)
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- UN special envoy for the Syrian crisis Staffan de Mistura was upbeat Tuesday about the outcome of the just concluded intra-Syrian talks in Sochi , Russia, hailing an agreement on the formation of a committee to draft a new constitution for Syria.
In the final declaration on the Sochi talks that were brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the participants agreed to form a constitutional committee to be composed of representatives from the Syrian government, the opposition and independents for drafting a constitution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, De Mistura told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York via an audio link.
He emphasized that the achievement at Sochi is a contribution to the UN-led Geneva process for Syria.
The constitutional committee , which will consist of 45-50 members, will become a reality in Geneva, not elsewhere, he stressed.
"The UN-led Geneva process will agree on the proposals the special envoy will make on the mandate, terms of reference, powers , rules of procedure and selection criteria for the composition of the constitutional committee in Geneva," said the UN envoy.
De Mistura said he would conduct wide consultations and come up with 45-50 names based on criteria to be announced soon by himself.
He said the composition of the committee will be balanced and will include people who did not attend the Sochi talks.
The constitutional committee, if implemented, will be a concrete contribution to the Geneva process, said the UN envoy.
He noted that the Syrian government and the opposition had not previously engaged in talks for a new constitution. With the agreement in Sochi on the constitutional committee, "we have reached that point."
He also noted that countries of influence on the Syrian crisis are also determined to push for engagement of the Syrian parties. "We are going from theory to practice."
De Mistura refused to set up a timetable for the formation of the constitutional committee , saying that he would begin his work as soon as possible. He indicated that the constitutional committee might ultimately lead to UN-led and UN-supervised elections, both presidential and parliamentary.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent De Mistura to the two-day talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi after the world body received Russia's pledge that the outcome of the Sochi talks would be brought to Geneva.
The Sochi talks were boycotted by Syria's key opposition and rebel groups. Western powers also shied away.
Sudan's Vice President Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman addresses a forum on refugees in Khartoum, Sudan, on Jan. 31, 2018. The United Nations on Wednesday said the number of South Sudanese refugees living in Sudan has now reached 800,000. Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman reiterated Sudan's commitment to hosting the refugees and providing them with necessary needs. He further urged the UN and donor countries to change some practices in allocating funds for the refugees and the hosting communities. (XinhuaMohamed Khidir)
KHARTOUM , Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Wednesday said the number of South Sudanese refugees living in Sudan has now reached 800,000.
Noriko Yoshida, representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan, told a forum on the refugees issue that other sources estimated that this number is even higher.
This makes Sudan the country hosting the second largest number of South Sudanese refugees in the region, he said.
Sudan's Vice President Hassabo Mohamed Abdul-Rahman, speaking at the forum , reiterated Sudan's commitment to hosting the refugees and providing them with necessary needs.
He further urged the UN and donor countries to change some practices in allocating funds for the refugees and the hosting communities.
"We want most of the funds to go to the refugees and the host communities, and not to the organizations' administrative operations," he said, adding that is necessary to ensure that any money paid by donors actually goes to the refugees.
Sudan is hosting around 2 million refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad , Somalia, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Yemen and Syria.
On Aug. 15, 2016, Sudan decided to consider the South Sudanese fleeing the war in their home country as refugees , opening the door for the UN to provide aid to them in Sudan.
A large number of South Sudanese refugees have fled their homes to Sudan since the eruption of a civil war in mid-December 2013.
She recently traded her luscious long blonde longs for an edgy pixie crop.
And for a recent fashion shoot in Sydney, Australia, actress and model Isabel Lucas certainly showed off her new versatile style.
The 28-year-old was styled in two very distinct looks for the shoot, one with high-octane jet set glamour, and another with an androgynous feel wearing a cricketing outfit.
First stepping out as if she was going to sashay down the nearest fashion runway, the model then joined an adorable group of young lads for a game of cricket.
Her new pixie crop perfectly suited her preppy attire complete with a cricket jumper , and black tie.
However, the actress also displayed her super-thin frame in a long white gown, with chunky sparkly jewelry worn loose over her skinny wrists.