The Homeland and Citizen Charter

The main political and civil movements in Syria have agreed on a set of foundational rules for a sovereign constitutional state. These basic principles are proposed by the Syrian National Conference to all Syrians, as a basis for the new social cohesion among all Syrians. We propose to all national and social forces these principles as a project for a comprehensive national pact for the future of Syria – a homeland for all its sons and daughters; based on the values of freedom, justice and peace. The pact considers the state as a historical entity of cultural awareness that is based on partnership, equal citizenship, and the independence and neutrality of the civil institutions from

any kind of ideology.

  1. The Syrian people are one, united on equal citizenship, and in rights and duties; without discrimination because of color, sex, language or sect. This citizenship is based on a comprehensive national consensus where religion belongs to God and the homeland belongs to all citizens. No one has the right to impose a belief or ideology on anyone or to prevent one from choosing and practicing his/her ideology freely.
  2. Human Rights are the ultimate goal of the relationship amongst the Syrians, a foundation that is based on respect for international conventions, examples include the economic, social, political, civil, cultural and environmental rights, which have all been enshrined by humanity, as well as guaranteeing the practice of these rights for all citizens and residents alike.
  3. The Syrian people are free and sovereign on their land and in their State, both indivisible and must not abandon any part of it, especially the occupied Golan Heights. The Syrian people recognize their right to pursue the restoration of their occupied territories by all the legitimate means of resisting occupation.
  4. The Syrian people are one, consisting of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Circassians, Armenians, and the rest of the Syrian People’s components. They have the full right to enjoy legitimate and equal national rights in accordance with international covenants and charters under the full sovereignty of the Syrian state.
  5. The Syrian people are proud of their rich civilization, culture and religions, which all form an integral part of its culture and society. The state is built on the basis of “unity of diversity” with the participation of all its different elements without discrimination or exclusion.
  6. Individual, public and collective freedoms form legitimate rights that cannot be overridden. The state guarantees public freedoms, including the right to access information and media, the right to establish non-governmental organizations (NGOs), unions, political parties, as well as freedom of beliefs and the right of religious practice, the freedom to demonstrate, the right to strike and peaceful sit-ins. All these rights should be guarded by laws and rules to protect them from the financial powers or the political authority. The Syrian State guarantees respect for the social diversity which includes beliefs, interests and the characteristics of all sectors of the Syrian people. It also recognizes the cultural and political rights of all its components in addition to their aspiration to development and welfare.
  7. The constitution guarantees the state’s neutrality towards religion and religious institutions, ensuring that state institutions are separated from religious institutions, and that power is not used by religion or religion abused by power. The protection of human beings, their dignity and their safety on the Syrian territories requires the criminalisation of sectarianism, political sectarianism, terrorism and violence.
  8. The protection of the environment, the national heritage, and the heritage of humanity in Syria is an inseparable element of the protection of the human and the homeland.
  9. Acknowledge the principle of equality between men and women in the national constitution, in which the constitution guarantees the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and stresses the need to create a legislative and legal environment that ensures women’s political, economic and social empowerment and participation in accordance with all relevant international charters, notably CEDAW.
  10. The Syrian State, along with its Constitution and laws, emphasises its respect and commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it should express its clear commitment to children’s right to life, natural development and the right for an opinion. The necessary standards and policies should be implemented for health, psychological, educational, social, civil and legal services for children.
  11. Emphasizes respect of the rights of wounded and disabled persons, and provide them with health and social security, as well as providing means for full participation in work and in public activities as well as social and cultural communications.
  12. Syria is a founding member of the United Nations and its sub-organizations and is part of the international community. It is committed to its charter and works with other countries in order to establish a world order that is free from all central conflicts, domination, and occupation. An order based on balance in relationship, common interests and collective responsibility to face the challenges and dangers that threaten the world peace and security. Syria, a founding member of the Arab League, is looking forward to strengthening various forms of cooperation among with the Arab countries and with all people and countries in the region.
  13. The people are the source of legitimacy, and justice is the base for the relationship among citizens. Syrian sovereignty is recognized by achieving the link between the homeland and the citizen through both democratic republic governance and civil state. A State governed by both institutions and law where its constitution regulates its social cohesion. A State in which the monopoly of power and its inheritance in any form are prohibited.
  14. The authority is based on periodic elections and complete separation between the executive, legislative and judicial authorities, on the principle of deliberating power via secret and free elections, with respect for the results of elections organized by an independent body, the outcomes of the elections are decided by the ballot box.
  15. The new constitution should establish the foundations of a civil democratic regime; a modern and fair electoral system that guarantees the participation of all intellectual and political views, within a framework of the most comprehensive representation of the people as well as the stability of the parliamentary system. These foundations will ensure strict control over the financial resources and expenditure of political parties and associations.
  16. The Syrian army is the national institution that is responsible for protecting the country and maintains its independence and sovereignty on its territory. It is also responsible for national security and does not interfere in political activities.
  17. The State adopts the principles of administrative decentralization, in which the local administration has its own representative executive bodies that manage citizens’ affairs and development in the governorates and regions in order to achieve sustainable and balanced development.
  18. The State protects the various forms of the civil society organisations. It guarantees the representation and participation of such organizations in executive and legislative decisions, as well as in building the independent judiciary, the National Human Rights Commission and the national reconciliation, accounting, transparency, and regulatory bodies.
  19. The State should protect private ownership which must not be acquired except in cases of general interest and in accordance with the law and subject to the allocation of fair compensation. The law prohibits any form of public fund usage for private interests.
  20. The State should protect both the public funds and the public sector for the benefit of the people. Its policy should be based on social justice, sustainable balanced development, protection of vulnerable groups, redistribution of income and wealth through the tax system taking in considerations the diversity of social classes as well as the regions. It also should guarantee the freedom of investment, economic initiative, and equal opportunities and markets within restrictions to stop monopoly and protect the rights of workers and consumers.
  21. The Syrian State adopts the sustainable enhancing of education programs as the forefront of its national responsibilities, in order to prepare the future generations equipped with all the theoretical and practical knowledge and expertise to lead the comprehensive and sustainable development process in the country. Disseminating modern culture that aims to develop popular awareness based on rational and objective values is an essential task of the state and society. The state has an obligation to end literacy.
  22. The Syrian State will work on pursuing an effective policy for communication, interaction and integration between the Syrian diaspora and their homeland. The Syrian State should provide them with the appropriate environment in order to ensure their effective contribution to the development of their homeland and defending the just causes of their people. In this regard, it should effectively implement policies that encourage all those with expertise to return to their homeland to contribute to the reconstruction and development, as well as the state benefiting from the experiences and abilities of those whose situation does not allow them an imminent return.
  23. The Syrian State is committed to eliminating all forms of poverty, discrimination and unemployment with a view to full and decent employment and fair salaries, justice in the distribution of national wealth, balanced development and protecting the environment, and providing the basic services to every citizen: Housing, clean drinking water, sanitation and electricity, telephone and Internet, roads and public transport, quality education and qualification, comprehensive health service, pensions and unemployment support at rates commensurate with living standards.