The Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria CCSDS, in cooperation with Peaceful Change Initiative PCI, has completed the Peace Resources Forum held between 28th/February – 04th/ March 2014
The forum gathered a group of efficient peace resources brought from inside Syria based on their activities and initiatives they made for making peace such as: reconciliation between conflicting parties, handling internal disputes between the armed groups, breaking the siege of some cities, ceasefire actions, releasing detainees and exchanging kidnapped people. Those experiences played an effective role on the discussions along the five days forum, where diverse points of views and differences, however constructive, dominated. There were representatives of all Syrian components and diverse communities.
The topics were inspired from the Syrian situation and the discussions handled a number of concepts like violence, peace and conflict, besides focusing on the goal of this forum: establishing a network of active players who are capable of achieving cessation of the conflict in their communities or at least mitigating it, in addition to making many steps that could promote active societal participation in the peace process, working on an action plan and coming up with recommendations for other parties to help the peace resources fulfilling their initiatives in order for the peace process to be an inclusive and participatory process.
It is worth mentioning here that participating in the forum was a complimentary step, which was preceded by a number of activities that included: 49 key interviews and 25 focused group discussion with peace resources CCSDS met them, as a first step for developing a map and effective network of figures who are considered a symbol of peace, each in his/her region. During the form, we studied preliminary models of involving civil society in the peace process, ways of linking track 1, 2 and 3 with each other and creating communication loops among peace building players from the grassroots and international levels.
The fifth day witnessed the participation of a wide range of civil society organizations, which exchanged with the participants the most important mechanisms for activating communication, coordination, promoting the role of civil society in the peace process in addition to presenting suggestions and examples of mechanisms for linking the tracks.
The importance of peace resources forum lies behind being the first event on ground for enhancing communication among CSOs, the grassroots and the international level. At that day also, the pamphlet of CCSDS’s vision about the peace process, and “Negotiation in Brief” booklet were distributed, and both insist that the solution of the Syrian crisis won’t be of any kind but a political solution.