Final Statement of the Fifth Space for Collaboration

28th February – 1st March 2020

We are a group of Syrian women, from a wide segment of Syrian society. Over the last five years we have challenged ourselves and each other as the basis for building relationships to strengthen solidarity, cooperation and coordination between our organisations and with women across Tracks 1, 2 and 3.[1]

We have taken responsibility for seizing the initiative to identify, explore and follow up on various critical issues for Syrian women and men.
We exchange experiences, provide gender sensitive analysis of the political context and situations on the ground and work to support the evolution of a political process founded on UNSC resolution 2254. We strongly advocate women’s inclusion in the political and constitutional process and highlight women’s aspirations for the future in line with the UNSC resolutions on women, peace and security.[2]

Our shared perspective is that Syria will only arrive at a secure solution through political negotiation and not by military force. We strongly believe that this political solution must be inclusive, fair and comprehensive to be capable of delivering sustainable peace.

In our Fifth Space for Collaboration we arrived at a number of recommendations for the political and constitutional process and confidence building measures.

Political and Constitutional Process

  1. Cessation of Violence: We call for the absolute and permanent cessation of all hostilities across all Syrian territories, including sexual and gender based violence.
  2. Political Process: Syrian women and civil society must be included in the process to reach political agreement between the different parties through raising the percentage of female representation to at least 30% in all stages of the political process in line with full implementation of UNSC resolution 1325.
  3. Constitutional Process: We urge the Constitutional Committee to work urgently and thoroughly on the constitution; and to ensure that the constitution upholds equality of rights and freedoms for all Syrians including full citizenship rights for all without any discrimination; and guarantees a comprehensive, secure social contract, gender inclusion in all stages of the constitutional process and full gender equality mainstreamed throughout the constitution.

Confidence Building Measures

  1. Detainees: Ending detention operations and making progress on the release of detainees and the fate of the forcibly disappeared is essential before Syrians will accept any political solution as credible. We urge the formation of a gender sensitive Special Committee under the auspices of the UN Security Council to deal with all matters concerning detainees, kidnapped and missing people; this Committee would monitor treatment of prisoners, the release of detainees and kidnapped persons, the fate of the forcibly disappeared and establishment of measures to overcome the negative effects and support for all those affected and their families.
  2. IDP and refugee: A sustainable political solution depends on retaining the interdependence of all parts of Syria’s rich diversity. Manipulation of IDP and refugee return to achieve demographic change must be rejected, so that IDPs and refugees can exercise their full and free choice on voluntary and safe to return to their areas or the areas that they choose. We urge a comprehensive assessment of refugee needs alongside urgent commencement of a programme to ensure secure, volunteer and dignified return. In preparation for reaching political agreement on the basis of UNSCR 2254, specific arrangements must be made to ensure that all refugees are fully included in the referendum for the constitution and all elections should these take place before they are able to return.

In conclusion, we raise our collective voice in the Fifth Space for Collaboration to push the political and constitutional process forward towards a successful outcome to achieve the aspirations of Syrians and guarantee their equal rights, freedoms and dignity.
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