More than five years after the start of the popular movement in Syria, a group of civil society organizations in Syria and neighboring countries announced the launch of the Syrian Civic Platform (SCP) on February 10, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey, in response to the international community’s failure to support cease fire efforts, protect civilians and release Syrian detainees.
In 2016, the SCP consisted of 11 local platforms distributed in 11 out of 14 Syrian provinces, as well as three local platforms in Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraqi Kurdistan region. The SCP comprised 191 NGO as well as 145 community leaders.
The SCP was launched in Istanbul during a meeting attended by 28 members of the National Committee which represents the local platforms. These local platforms included a wide spectrum of local civil society organizations working in different sectors on the ground.
During the meeting, the attendees presented several points to be addressed through the SCP, such as supporting cease-fires, lifting sieges, finding mechanisms to win the support of the international community, and effectively channeling the voice of civilians to the negotiating table.
Given the important role of civil society in politics as a community-based mechanism, as well as the need for civil peace, the SCP called on these local organizations to participate effectively and play an advisory and monitoring role in the political transition process.
Additionally, the SCP urged all parties involved in the Geneva talks to take into account the Statement of Principles paper it had announced, and which was adopted after an in-depth consultation sessions with all local platforms to reflect the needs and aspirations of the Syrian civil society.