Preparation begins for Syrian Peace Conference

The United Nations announced on Monday that in preparation for the Syrian peace conference, which will take place in Geneva later this month, it has sent out more than 30 invitations to participating Member States.

The first-half of Geneva Conference regarding Syria will begin on January 22 at the Montreux in Switzerland and will be led by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The second-half of the event, led by Joint Special Representative of the U.N. and League of Arab States for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, will begin on January 24 in the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The international community is hopeful the negotiations will bring peace to the nation, which has experienced violent warfare since March 2011. The goal of the conference is to implement the Geneva communiqué, which was originally adopted during the first round of negotiations in June 2012 and calls for the creation of a transitional government and the holding of elections.

The opposition groups have yet to name members of its delegation and a decision on the participation of Iran has yet to be made. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are set to meet on January 13 to discuss the issue, through which Ban hopes the country is granted participation.

More than 30 Member States will be participating in the Conference, including the P5, European Union, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and representatives from 26 other countries.