Syrian Civil Society Mission to
The Hague and Brussels 2018
“Thank you. It is so important that you share these positive stories as the media does not highlight them. These stories are important for peace. We need to hear more success stories,”
Syrian audience members.
The Center for Civil Society and Democracy (CCSD) is an independent non-profit Syrian NGO with a mission to support and strengthen civil society and democracy and promote the values of freedom, justice, and coexistence. As part of this goal, and in coordination with its partner networks, I Am She, the Syrian Civic Platform, and the Aman Network, CCSD facilitated an advocacy mission to The Hague and Brussels in November 2018. The delegation consisted of representatives of civil society organizations and women leaders, coming from diverse backgrounds and areas in Syria, who have rich experience in peace-building as well as human rights, women’s rights and democratic activism.
The main purpose of the mission was to raise the voices of Syrian civil activists while the political discussions and policies around Syria are ongoing. These legitimate voices must be heard as they are able to identify the priorities and needs of the Syrian people, and their work and achievements not only make life more bearable in Syria but also influence policies and strategies. This document outlines the key messages and recommendations shared by delegates during the advocacy mission.
The delegation consisted of CCSD members as well as partner networks working in nearly all provinces of Syria, as well as neighboring countries. Fifty percent of delegates were women, representing CCSD, the I Am She Network and the Syrian Civic Platform. A representatives of the Aman Network was not able to participate due to travel restrictions.
The advocacy mission was the culmination of a long process that consisted of consultations with Syrians from diverse backgrounds on the ground in Syria and from refugee communities, and countless hours of discussions to produce relevant recommendations to share with high-level decision-makers on issues of concern to Syrians
Due to the ongoing restrictions on travel for Syrians, this delegation was an important and rare opportunity for the high-level decision-makers to hear directly from people who have first-hand experiences working on the ground that can inform the public and help create better approaches to solve the Syrian conflict. By bringing Track III Syrian civil society leaders face-to-face with key stakeholders in Europe, the mission amplified the voices of Syrian women, men, and civil society; introduced their recommendations and input to many European stakeholders, and built partnerships with high-level decision-makers and INGOs in Belgium and the Netherlands.