Final statement of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, Sochi, January 30, 2018

Country/entity
Syria
Region
Middle East and North Africa
Agreement name
Final statement of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, Sochi, January 30, 2018
Date
30/01/2018
Agreement status
Multiparty signed/agreed
Agreement/conflict level
Interstate/intrastate conflict(s) (Syrian Conflicts (1948 - ) (1976 - 2005) (2011 - )
The agreements relate to three different conflict contexts. Israel-Syria and Syria-Lebanon. The Syrian-Israeli conflict was a key factor for the Syrian intervention during the Lebanese Civil War, with Syrian-backed Palestinian Liberation Army units intervened in 1976 against the Palestinian/Leftist militias. Following a massacre at Tel al-Zaatar that year, Syria was forced to accept a ceasefire at a meeting of the Arab League. However, the Arab League also mandated an Arab Deterrence Force, consisting of mostly Syrian soldiers with token contributions from other Arab League states, thus further legitimizing the Syrian presence in Lebanon. During a second bout of fighting that began in 1989, caused by the formation of rival Lebanese regimes in East and West Beirut, the Syrian-backed regime won and in 1991 the ‘Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination’ was signed to legalize the Syrian occupation as a means to ensure the security of Syria. Syrian forces were forced to withdraw in 2005 following possible involvement in the assassination of Lebanon’s President Hariri.

Syria-internal. In 2011, domestic upheaval following a wave of protests across the Arab World soon led to violent repression of protestors by Syrian government troops. The violence progressed steadily and by July 2011 the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was formed consisting of defected military units and new recruits. The FSA and rebel umbrella group known as the Syrian National Council represented the first attempt at coordinating rebel factions in late 2011. However, a steady influx of foreign fighters and increased sectarianism radicalised opposition groups, which relied on foreign funding. The nature of the conflict changed drastically in late 2013 as infighting among the opposition groups increased. One of the more significant developments was the split between the al-Qaeda outfits the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS), and Jabhat al-Nusra in early 2014 in addition to the intensified targeting of other rebel factions by ISIS fighters in particular, including the Kurdish Peshmerga, the FSA and other jihadist outfits. Since the summer of 2014, the conflict was further internationalized when ISIS announced the formation of an Islamic state eroding the state line between Iraq and Syria and also in mid-2015 when Russian forces intervened on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad government in Damascus.

Syrian Conflicts (1948 - ) (1976 - 2005) (2011 - ) )
Stage
Pre-negotiation/process (Principles)
Conflict nature
Government
Peace process
130: Syrian peace process
Parties
delegates of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, representing all segments of Syrian society, its political and civil powers, ethnic, confessional and social groups,
Third parties
Russian Federation
Description
12 Point statement primarily affirming the unity and nature of state of Syria, emphasising good governance and best practice including non-discrimination, human rights, equality regardless of group or gender, fair socio-economic development and the preservation of tangible and intanglible cultural heritage.

Agreement document
SY_180130_Final statement of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, Sochi.pdf

Main category
Page 1, 4. The [Syrian Arab Republic / state of Syria] shall be a democratic and non‐sectarian state based on political pluralism and equal citizenship irrespective of religion, ethnicity and gender, with full respect for and protection of the rule of law, the separation of powers,judicial independence, the full equality of all citizens, the cultural diversity of the Syrian society, and public freedoms, including freedom of belief, featuring transparent, inclusive, accountable and answerable governance, including before the national law, with necessary effective measures to combat crime, corruption and mismanagement;

Page 2, 9. Respect and protection of human rights and public freedoms, especially in times of crisis, including non‐discrimination and equal rights and opportunities for all without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, cultural or linguistic identity, gender or any other distinction, with effective mechanism for their protection, which give due regard to the political and equal rights and opportunities of women, including by the taking of active measures to ensure representation and participation in institutions and decision‐ making structures, with mechanisms aimed to achieve a level of representation of at least 30% for women, and the goal of parity;

Page 2-3, The Constitutional Committee would at the very least comprise Government, Opposition representatives in the intra‐Syrian talks, Syrian experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders and women. Care would be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria`s ethnic and religious components. Final agreement is to be reached in the UN‐led Geneva process on the mandate and terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee.

Women, girls and gender

Participation
Gender quotas
Page 2, 9. Respect and protection of human rights and public freedoms, especially in times of crisis, including non‐discrimination and equal rights and opportunities for all without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, cultural or linguistic identity, gender or any other distinction, with effective mechanism for their protection, which give due regard to the political and equal rights and opportunities of women, including by the taking of active measures to ensure representation and participation in institutions and decision‐ making structures, with mechanisms aimed to achieve a level of representation of at least 30% for women, and the goal of parity;
Effective participation
Page 2-3, The Constitutional Committee would at the very least comprise Government, Opposition representatives in the intra‐Syrian talks, Syrian experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders and women. Care would be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria`s ethnic and religious components. Final agreement is to be reached in the UN‐led Geneva process on the mandate and terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee.
Equality
Equality (general)
Page 1, 4. The [Syrian Arab Republic / state of Syria] shall be a democratic and non‐sectarian state based on political pluralism and equal citizenship irrespective of religion, ethnicity and gender, with full respect for and protection of the rule of law, the separation of powers,judicial independence, the full equality of all citizens, the cultural diversity of the Syrian society, and public freedoms, including freedom of belief, featuring transparent, inclusive, accountable and answerable governance, including before the national law, with necessary effective measures to combat crime, corruption and mismanagement;

Page 2, 9. Respect and protection of human rights and public freedoms, especially in times of crisis, including non‐discrimination and equal rights and opportunities for all without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, cultural or linguistic identity, gender or any other distinction, with effective mechanism for their protection, which give due regard to the political and equal rights and opportunities of women, including by the taking of active measures to ensure representation and participation in institutions and decision‐ making structures, with mechanisms aimed to achieve a level of representation of at least 30% for women, and the goal of parity;
Particular groups of women
No specific mention.
International law
No specific mention.
New institutions
No specific mention.
Violence against women
No specific mention.
Transitional justice
No specific mention.
Institutional reform
No specific mention.
Development
No specific mention.
Implementation
No specific mention.
Other
No specific mention.

The University of Edinburgh