The SWIPD Welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution Regarding the Humanitarian Situation in Syria
The success of Geneva II is the Responsibility of all Parties
The Syrian Women’s Initiative for Peace and Democracy (SWIPD) welcomes UN Security Council’s Resolution 2139, which calls for the delivery of humanitarian aid into the besieged areas in Syria.
We hope that Res. 2139 is a serious step toward resolving the catastrophic humanitarian situation in which all Syrians – children, women, and men – are living. As the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate beyond the capacity of any international organizations concerned with humanitarian, human rights, and refugee affairs, we underscore the importance of the international community’s role in monitoring the situation to ensure full implementation of the resolution.
Furthermore, we fully understand that the fundamental solution to these humanitarian crises, from which Syrians are suffering, lies in ensuring the success of the negotiation process, ending the violence, and initiating the democratic transition process.
In some parts of Syria, the state has collapsed, and certain groups have become the de facto authority. Therefore, preserving the state – united land and people –and bringing it back together, is a tremendous responsibility for all of us, whether inside Syria or abroad. All the involved parties are thus held responsible for committing to work in order to prevent the state from collapsing.
We believe “presence as a negotiating party” indicates responsibility for what is happening in the country and the ability to positively influence it. Thus, we call upon all parties participating in the Geneva II negotiations to assume their national responsibilities and work seriously toward ensuring the success of the negotiations.
Furthermore, rather than leading to a solution, we deem that the continued influx of international and regional support to the conflicting parties is diverting from progress in the negotiations between the Syrian parties.
Therefore, we urge international and regional players to agree among themselves on the basis of a unified successful solution, one that is directed toward the interest of Syria and Syrians in establishing a united and safe democratic nation. We also demand that these sides abide by the Geneva I Communique, which emphasizes not fueling the violence and non-militarization of the conflict.
As for the Syrian parties, they must show a genuine will to achieve peace, and this should be reflected in their public narrative and media statements, in order to save the country and put an end to the violence and destruction.
The situation in Syria cannot sustain the utter disregard for the future of the country and its people and does not allow for any failure that may impede achieving significant and effective progress or a suspension of the negotiations. Everyone must implement the first item of the Geneva I Communique, which was accepted by all parties and which emphasizes that “all parties must be committed to permanently stop armed violence in all its forms.”
To achieve this, the systematic violence against civilians must stop, including airstrikes using missiles and barrel bombs. Moreover, the siege and starvation policies, as well as using civilians to pressure the other side, must cease. Furthermore, all foreign armed forces must leave the country.
Launching the political process and committing to it should be translated on the ground into a cessation of violence in all its forms, in parallel with the formation of a transitional governing body, to start the democratic transition process, in which all Syrians, men, and women may participate.
As we direct this message to the negotiating parties, our actions are also dictated by our responsibilities, both as civilians and as feminists with a keen interest in achieving peace and democracy in Syria. We are also actively communicating with other actors to ensure the success of every step that brings us closer to a solution that relieves the human suffering of our people; ends oppression in all its forms; and establishes a civil, democratic, pluralistic Syria in which all societal components are equal, a Syria that guarantees equality to all citizens, and that respects human and women’s rights.
We believe that the path to this peace and this nation cannot be achieved, and its sustainability cannot be ensured, without the meaningful, direct participation of Syrian women and civil society throughout the stages of the peaceful political process.
The Syrian Women’s Initiative for Peace and Democracy
25 February 2014