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Den 23-25 maj samlades 140 syriska kvinnor i Kairo där de grundade The Syrian Women Network. Nätverket samlar organisationer och individer som representerar mångfalden i alla Syriens regioner, olika generationer och yrkesidentiteter. Målet är att uppnå jämställdhet mellan män och kvinnor, och att arbeta för fred och demokrati.

Här nedan kan du läsa nätverkets pressmeddelande från den 25 maj 2013 som beskriver nätverket och dess syften. Nedan finns också det brev som Palmecentrets generalsekreterare Jens Orback tillsammans med en rad andra organisationer har skickat till bland annat FN:s sändebud till Syrien Lakhdar Brahimi, USA:s utrikesminister John F. Kerry och Sveriges utrikesminister Carl Bildt. * * *

Press Release

Cairo 25 May 2013 The founding conference of the Syrian woman network took place in Cairo from the 23rd until the 25th of 2013. It was attended by 140 participants from inside and outside of Syria. The network includes non-governmental organizations and individuals representing the diversity of all regions of Syria, various generations and professional calibre. The objective of the network is to achieve equality between women and men. It also aims at attaining democracy, human rights, peace reconciliation, and the participation of women in decision making both in the transitional period and in the new Syria.

The network wants women to be an influential power in a democratic transition process for a liberated, unified and sovereign Syria, a state of equal citizenship, and to abolish all forms of discrimination especially against women. Prior to the founding conference a meeting took place in Stockholm last February with the support of Olof Palme foundation (a non-governmental Swedish organization). And several preparatory meetings were also held for establishing the network.

Ten specialized working groups were established in the Cairo conference, including public relations, human rights, peace reconciliation and transitional justice, psychological support, medical support, empowering women, culture and media. The working groups will launch projects that go in line with the objectives of the network in various fields. A committee of coordination and follow up was elected at the outcome of the conference. Also, the internal status of the network was adopted.

The network was launched after deciding on its priorities. Representatives of European and international non-governmental organizations also attended the conference. They have shown the willingness to support the nascent network in its work in the different fields.

* * * Washington, D.C. May 23, 2013

Your Excellencies,

We welcome your efforts to renew the Geneva Process to bring about a resolution to the war in Syria. We are a group of international organizations dedicated to ensuring women’s effective and full inclusion in the mediation and negotiations of conflict. We support the Syrian women to strengthen and unify their voice through evolving coalitions including the Syrian Women’s Network.

As such, we write to you today to urge the inclusion of Syrian women in any and all forthcoming meetings. With the violence escalating, countless Syrian women have taken on the mantle of providing relief and humanitarian care for their compatriots. Syrian women leaders of all ages and ethnicities have also been consistent voices and actors in promoting peace and reconciliation, even in the midst of the fighting. They have a right to full representation in any ongoing or planned negotiations. More importantly, their involvement and input is essential to any effort aimed at finding a sustainable solution to this complex conflict.

As you know, women – especially those working in civil society and committed to the peaceful resolution of warfare – have been historically widely excluded from peace negotiations around the world. Their exclusion not only undermines the promotion and protection of women’s human rights, but also reduces the chances of reaching and ensuring a sustainable peace agreement for all. We understand that it takes political courage and leadership to ensure a more inclusive process. We look to you for that leadership.

To bring peace to Syria anytime soon, it is imperative to include independent Syrian civil society, especially women, in all the spaces and tables where dialogue and negotiations are taking place. Ensuring the inclusion of Syrian women from a range of civil society groups is of course in line with the UN Security Council’s Women Peace and Security agenda as articulated in resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, and 1889.

It is also in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution GA/65/283 (2011) that was co-sponsored by Turkey and Finland and endorsed by the majority of the GA members. Needless to say, this is also in line with the G8’s own commitments including the 2013 “Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence”. The commitment to women’s full representation in all decision-making pertaining to the prevention and resolution of conflict is also fully articulated in many of your National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security, and President Obama’s Executive Order 13595 (2011). In other words, the international community has laid out the policy framework to ensure women’s full and effective representation in such serious matters.

In the case of Syria it is absolutely essential to put the policies into practice. We, the signatories herewith, are working collectively to provide our Syrian counterparts the support and assistance they need to prepare and participate in the transition discussions. We need your leadership on this matter and look forward to your response. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the following:

Yours sincerely, Jens Orback, General Secretary Olof Palme International Center Stockholm, Sweden

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Executive Director International Civil Society Action Network Washington, D.C.

Michelle Bekkering, Director Women’s Democracy Network Washington, D.C.

Madeleine Rees, Secretary General Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Geneva, Switzerland

Ben Witjes, Director of Programmes Hivos The Netherlands

Sarah Taylor, Executive Coordinator NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security New York, N.Y.

Lena Ag, Secretary General Kvinna till Kvinna Stockholm, Sweden CC:

The Honorable John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada

Laurent Fabius Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, France

Frans Timmermans Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands

Espen Barth Eide Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Sergei V. Lavrov Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation

Carl Bildt Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden

The Rt Hon William Hague MP First Secretary of State, United Kingdom & Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

John F. Kerry United States Secretary of State

Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey Baroness

Catherine Ashton High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations

Lakhdar Brahimi United Nations Peace Envoy to Syria

Publiceringsdatum: 2013-05-27

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