Statement by the UN Resident Coordinator's Office

Feb 23, 2012

The UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, Mr. James Rawley, wishes to clarify the position of the United Nations towards the process of making a new Constitution in Egypt.  There have been a number of erroneous quotations following the mis-translation of the Resident Coordinator’s remarks at the Prime Minister’s Office Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) and Social Contract Centre co-hosted workshop on “Participation and Consensus Building in the Constitution-Making Process: Learning from International Experience” on 21 February in Cairo.  

The workshop was attended by senior Egyptian officials from the Government, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a number of Members of Parliament, Egyptian Constitutional lawyers and representatives of a broad spectrum of national interests.  

In his remarks, Mr. Rawley emphasised that “drafting a new Egyptian constitution is a nationally-owned process” and that “as an Egyptian process it is important that the broad interests of all segments of Egyptian society are represented.”  Mr. Rawley underscored the importance of an inclusive and open process for making a new constitution which will be put to the referendum which the people of Egypt voted for in Article 60 of the Constitutional Declaration of 30 March 2011.  

At the workshop on “Learning from International Experience” Mr. Rawley pledged the UN’s commitment to “support Egypt in its drafting of a new constitution by sharing best practices”, which can “expand the options available to the Constituent Assembly” as the body responsible for drafting the new constitution.  There has never been any suggestion that the United Nations would draft a new constitution for Egypt.

Mr. Rawley concluded by emphasising the Secretary-General’s commitment to support Egypt’s transition to greater democracy.

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