Statute of the Syrian National Conference for restoration of sovereignty and decision
The tenth anniversary of the peaceful popular movement, which began in March 2011, has passed in difficult circumstances. One third of Syrians are dispersed between asylum, displacement and forced displacement. One third of the country’s territory is in areas of rival influences, while the remaining two thirds are in tragic circumstances under the rule of an authoritarian tyrannical government.
Countries intervening in the Syrian affairs, from all camps, have succeeded in removing the Syrian decision from Syrians. Each of these intervening countries seek to achieve gains on the ground to ensure the continuity of their influence on decisions taken in Damascus or in the areas under their control, in a destroyed country, torn apart, scattered between external spheres of influence and dead ends. It is clear today more than ever, the failure of non-Syrians in presenting acceptable and reasonable solutions for the future Syria, it is also clear that the solution to rebuild the relationships in the society can only be made by Syrians.
The conference has concluded, through studies, research, discussions and proposals that have lasted for more than two years since the initiative was launched; that the United Nation’s resolutions and international consensus are an integrated programme of work and that the principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led transition are the compass of change necessary to put an end to violence and destruction, a transition that guarantees a structural change in the current power order, a power order that is based on a tyrannical political system, a system of corruption that has trampled the country and the people. This change would include a structural change in state institutions, first and foremost the restructuring of the military and security institutions and defining their roles and tasks in serving the nation and the citizen. The change would also present constitutional and practical guarantees for the independence of the judiciary, the legislature and the electoral body, and the formation of an independent national fairness accountability and fact-finding body, as well as the formation of an independent national body for transparency and anti-corruption, the provision of a safe environment for fair and free elections under the auspices of the United Nations and the formation of a supreme assembly for rescue and reconstruction.
Article (1) Vision
The attending members agreed on a common national vision for Syria:
- – Syria is a unified state with full sovereignty over its entire territory. The ruling system is republican, enjoys the independence of its national decision and is free from tyranny, occupation, and terrorism.
- – The Syrian people are the source of all authority and power. This principle should be established in the new constitution, where all citizens are equal in rights and duties, regardless of religion, sect, origin, gender, and race.
- – The state adopts the principle of separation between the three authorities (executive, legislative, judiciary), and is keen on the independence of the judiciary from the legislative and executive authorities within the framework of democratic decentralization. The state’s political system is based on democratic values and principles and the peaceful transfer of power.
Article (2) the political solution
A – Implementation of the outcomes of the Geneva Communiqué and the international resolutions related to the Syrian issue, including UNSCR 2254 – 2118, in accordance with the priorities included in them, most important of which is the formation of a transitional governing body with full jurisdiction.
B – Work on the formation of an independent supreme body for justice, fairness, and reconciliation, from figures known for their ability, impartiality, and experience, to implement the principle of transitional justice, and accountability for anyone who committed crimes against the Syrian people from any party; And for the governmental body to ratify the Rome charter and to join the International Criminal Court.
C- Working towards the formation of a higher military committee of Syrian army officers and military and security expertise, whose mission is to develop a road map for restructuring the Syrian national army and reforming the security services.
Article (3) Organizational Structure
- The conference consists of Syrian national figures, who have adopted the concept of a civil, democratic state, and have a clean sheet, with regards to corruption, dependence, mercenary activities, and are not involved in the files of murder and attacks on the lives and properties of Syrians.
- The organizational structure of the conference includes:
- The General Assembly.
- The General Secretariat.
- The Executive Office.
- The Committees.
- The Offices.
- The Council of Elders.
Article (4) General Assembly
- The members of the conference constitute the general assembly which is thus composed of various civil and political movements, and ‘for change’ patriotic activists of the society. The General Secretariat is elected from the General Assembly, the selection of its members depends on the principles of ability and participation, geographical distribution, representation of the Syrian cultural and civic diversity, representation and empowerment of women and young men and women (from the age group above 18 years).
- Conditions of Membership:
- Should have completed eighteen years of age according to the solar calendar.
- Should not be affiliated with any party that contradicts the goals and vision of the conference.
- Must believe in the goals and vision of the conference and agree with its statutes.
- Types of membership:
- Founding member: every member who attended the inauguration of the Syrian National Conference for Restoration of Sovereignty and Decision and contributed to the approval of its documents.
- Affiliate member: Every member submitted an official affiliation request to join the conference after the date of approval of the conference documents and only if the request was approved.
- Supporting member: Every member who did not wish to join the conference and did not submit an official affiliation request but believes in the vision and objectives of the conference.
- Duties and powers:
- Setting the political and strategic vision for the conference.
- Adopting and modifying the political vision.
- Electing members of the General Secretariat and withdrawing confidence fully or partially from its members (by an absolute majority).
- Approving and amending the Statute.
- Discussing the proposals and recommendations presented by the General Secretariat, offices, and committees, and approving or amending them.
- Approving the general policy of the conference and setting its foundations, controls, and boundaries.
- Approving plans and programs for work on rights, the constitution and laws that serve the goals of the Syrian revolution and seek to achieve them.
- Cooperation and coordination with all Syrian patriots.
- Approving the work plans of offices and committees in line with the revolution’s goals (legal, political, social, economic, cultural, and environmental).
- The General Assembly may expand its activities and objectives as necessary.
- General Assembly meetings:
- Regular meeting: (Ordinary General Conference)
- The General Assembly meets periodically within a time frame ranging between 12-24 months, at the invitation of the General Secretariat, which sets its agenda.
- Quorum of attendance: The quorum is complete with the presence of the absolute majority (i.e. half plus one) of the members of the general assembly, and decisions are taken by a majority of half plus one. If the quorum is not complete, another date is set within /24/ hours from the first date, in this situation the quorum will be complete with those who attend, and decisions are taken by a majority of two-thirds of those present.
- Extraordinary meeting:
- The General Assembly meets exceptionally at the invitation of one-third of its members whenever necessary, with a request submitted to the General Secretariat, which sets the agenda.
- The quorum of attendance is complete in the presence of the absolute
majority of the members of the General Assembly.
If the quorum is not complete, another date is set within /24/ hours of
the first appointment. Here, the quorum is complete in the presence of one-third of the members, and decisions are taken with the approval of two-thirds of the attendees.
Article (5) General Secretariat
- It is the organizational form where its members are in continuous assembly between the two conferences. It consists of thirty-one members who are elected by the general body from among its members by secret, direct election (the next in the vote is considered a reserve member in case of a vacancy for an emergency reason), and the Executive Office emanates from it.
- External duties:
- Communicating and coordinating with regional and international bodies concerned with the Syrian issue, in order to achieve the goals of the Syrian revolution represented in bringing down the dictatorship in all its symbols and security services and building a state of citizenship.
- Communicating with all components of the Syrian civil and political society to achieve coordination and cooperation with these components.
- Communicating and coordinating with all human rights and intergovernmental bodies and organizations (the Human Rights Council…) and non-governmental organizations to organize mechanisms for:
- Holding the Syrian regime and its militias, security services and allies accountable for all war crimes and crimes against humanity they committed against the Syrian people, and holding all other sectarian, terrorist, and mercenary militias accountable for their crimes.
- Addressing the issues of the detainees in the regime’s prisons and other areas outside its control and revealing the fate of the forcibly disappeared.
- Apply the principles of transitional justice.
- Internal duties:
- It exercises its entrusted tasks and the tasks of the General Assembly outside the latter’s sessions.
- Elects the Executive Office from amongst its members and has the power to withhold confidence in the executive office wholly or in part (by an absolute majority).
- Assists and monitors the work of the Executive Office and verifies its proposals.
- Elects from among its members a coordinator, one or more deputy(s), and a secretariat, by direct secret ballot.
- Structural duties:
- It links between the general assembly of the conference and the executive office.
- Supervising the Executive Office and following up its work and the work of committees and offices.
- General Secretariat meetings:
- Regular meetings:
- It meets periodically every month.
- Quorum of attendance: the quorum is complete in the presence of the absolute majority. If not, another date is set within /24 to 72/ hours from the first date, and decisions are taken by an absolute majority.
- Extraordinary meeting:
- It meets exceptionally at the request of the Executive Office or the request of one third of its members whenever necessary.
- Quorum of attendance: The quorum is complete in the presence of the absolute majority of the members of the General Secretariat. If not, another date is set within /24 to 72/ hours from the first date, and decisions are taken by an absolute majority.
Article (6) Executive Office
- It consists of an odd number of 7 to 13 members elected by the General Secretariat from amongst its members, according to the immediate needs of political action through a direct secret election (the next in the vote is considered a reserve member in case of an emergent vacancy). From the executive office emerge the committees and offices.
- Representing the General Assembly in Syria and internationally.
- Distribution of tasks amongst its members and names the head of the office, the deputy (s), and the secretary.
- Follows up on the technical offices that assist in carrying out its duties.
- Is responsible to the General Secretariat and the General Assembly and works to implement the general policy of the assembly.
- Conducting consultative meetings with intellectual, political, social, and economic figures.
- Coordination with the General Secretariat in accepting gifts and donations or returning them.
- Makes logistical preparations, in coordination with the General Secretariat, for convening the National Conference and prepares its agenda.
- Follows up on members’ affairs, evaluate their work and take the necessary decisions on them and submit these to the General Secretariat, which in turn submits them to the General Assembly at its first meeting.
- Suggesting amendments to the statute.
- Accepting requests to join the conference.
- Holding media conferences and seminars periodically and whenever necessary.
- Adopting permanent headquarters inside Syria and a temporary one abroad.
- Submitting its proposals to the General Secretariat for approval.
- Regular meeting:
- The Executive Office meets periodically every week.
- Attendance quorum: The quorum is complete in the presence of the absolute majority, and if not, another date is set to ensure the attendance of the absolute majority, and where this is not possible, the General Secretariat involved to arbitrate.
- Extraordinary meeting:
- The Executive Office meets exceptionally at the invitation of the head of the office or at the request of one third of its members whenever necessary.
- The quorum of attendance is complete in the presence of the absolute majority of the members of the Executive Office. In the event of a lack of quorum, another date is set to ensure the attendance of the absolute majority and where this is not possible, the General Secretariat is invited to arbitrate.
Article (7) Committees
Committees and offices are formed upon a proposal from the Executive Office to the General Secretariat for ratification. The members of the committees and offices are members of the conference, and Syrian experts who did not participate in the conference are sought as advisors. The committees are:
- Political Committee, its mission is to communicate and coordinate with all the Syrian national, political, and civil components.
- Foreign Relations Committee, its mission is to communicate with countries and international organizations.
- Constitutional and Legal Committee.
Article (8) Offices
The following offices emerge from the Executive Office, and these are ratified by the General Secretariat:
- The Human Rights Office, which is divided into four units:
- Unit for Documenting Violations, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.
- Unit of prosecuting the perpetrators of atrocities against the Syrian people.
- Unit of refugees and displaced persons.
- Unit to follow up on detainees and the forcibly disappeared.
- Transitional Justice Office.
- Planning, organization, and follow-up office.
- Media office.
- Office of Women, Children, and Family Affairs.
- Youth office.
- Financial office.
- Education and Rehabilitation Office.
Article (9) Council of Elders
- The general assembly elects by a secret, direct election, a council of seven personalities known for their experience, ability, knowledge, and wisdom from amongst the members of the conference. This council’s mission is to be the reference in the event of disagreements over important political initiatives or specific stances, or disagreement in interpretation of a topic approved in the conference, or different political or negotiating interpretations.
- Members of the Council cannot combine such membership with membership at the General Secretariat or in any office or committee.
- The Council holds its sessions in the presence of at least five of its members.
Article (10) Violations and penalties
- It is imposed on members in order of severity according to the following:
- Warning of dismissal.
- Temporary membership suspension from three months to one year. 4-
- Mechanisms for imposing penalties:
- The Executive Office has the right to impose the penalties mentioned in paragraphs (A:1,2). It also proposes imposing the other penalties mentioned in paragraphs (A: 3,4) on the General Secretariat, which in turn makes its decision by an absolute majority.
- The sanctioned member has the right to object to the penalty within a month from its date, and the matter is submitted and discussed in the first meeting of the Office of Organization, Planning and Follow-up. The latter joins the sanctioned member before the Council of Elders, and the decision of the Council is final and cannot be appealed.
- Insulting the conference, its institutions, and its members.
- Violation of the general principles and statutes of the conference.
- Committing a human and moral offense.
- Exploiting the affiliation to the conference with the aim of obtaining illegal gains.
- Breach of trust regarding their duties and secrets of the work entrusted to them.
- Violation of any of the membership conditions.
Article (11) Revenue
A- The revenues consist of:
- Joining fees (to be left to the discretion of the Financial Office).
- Member fees (to be left to the discretion of the Financial Office). 3-Unconditional gifts and donations.
B – The financial office sets a unified financial system for the Assembly, considering the harsh financial conditions inside Syria. It also defines the spending sections and submits it to the General Secretariat for approval and then for presentation at the General Assembly conference.
C- A legal auditor shall be appointed one month before the convening of the general conference (following the adoption of the statute) to audit the annual budget for the purpose of presenting it to the general conference.
Article (12) Final Provisions
This statute shall come into force after its approval by the majority of the members of the General Secretariat (half plus one).