The United Nations (UN) has become largely irrelevant to diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syria conflict. This report shows that the primary reason has been the fact that the main conflict parties never wanted to resolve the Syrian conflict by other than military means. Yet, the report also highlights secondary reasons within this unfavourable context, namely: the frames, methods and choices of the UN Special Envoy and his team at times misjudged or poorly corresponded with the realities of the conflict. Moreover, the capacity of the Office of the Special Envoy (OSE) remained too limited. The report suggests that the time is ripe for the OSE to reinvent itself as a principled thought leader and to develop an operational framework that brings a safe, calm and neutral environment (SCNE) closer as a practical conflict management modality.
Time to change track