4. Civil Society Organizations

The UN, the regime, the opposition and external governments should:
• Recognize the neutrality and non-partisanship of CSOs and their roles and activities during the conflict and in the resolution of conflict. CSO roles and activities include: (i) supporting people through the problems and consequences of the crisis and representing their issues and needs; (ii) a channel and link between the people and the negotiating table; (iii) working with all actors to inform them of citizen’s issues; and (iv) monitoring effective implementation of processes;
• Certify and facilitate the access and work of CSOs in regime and opposition areas. Guarantee the safety and security of CSOs, ensuring that CSOs and their work are not violated or placed in danger;
• Affirm the importance of having people’s voices in the peace building process at all levels and ensure that people’s views and voices will be included through CSO engagement in/with Track 1;
• Guarantee in the political settlement from the negotiations to consult and engage fully with CSOs during the Transitional Governing Body phase. Commit to engaging and resourcing CSOs to assist with facilitating the engagement of all groups and segments in all peace building and reconstruction processes to ensure these are inclusive and meaningful, particularly in: (i) the National Dialogue process; and (ii) all processes for the review of the constitution and the legal framework;
• Accept and guarantee the role of CSOs to monitor implementation of the peace process and any process during the transitional phase;
• Commit to encourage the development of an active civil society in Syria. Guarantee protection for CSOs, their role and activities in the future in compliance with international treaties and standards. Ensure CSOs are permitted and enabled to: (i) develop an active civil society; (ii) carry out their work in providing services to people and advocacy for people; (iii) train officials in civil society awareness and relationship building; (iv) promote transparency; and
• Fulfill the obligations under international treaties to engage consistently with CSOs, including women’s CSOs, by enshrining in law a consultative role for CSOs with the future government and regional administrations; and do not pass any laws or policies that contradict engagement with CSOs.

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