A Peace Conference in Austria for Syria

Call for a conference on the future constitution of Syria from April 27th to 29th in Vienna and Schlaining, Austria

Syria is presently living the bloodiest conflict of its history due to the involvement of local, regional and international actors which make that the conflict has become not only a place for sending violent messages amongst Syrians, but also a playground for different agencies from abroad. This has contributed to the fact that the Syrian State and the Syrian civil society has lost its historical identity and become extremely vulnerable to the destruction of its values of citizenship.

In order to counteract this tragic situation we have decided to invite a relatively large number of Syrian personalities who represent the political, religious, ethnic and geographical diversity of the Syrian nation and who have the honesty and ability to express the concerns of all Syrians, no matter of how different their political visions are, on the basis of the common understanding that everybody has the right to participate in the construction of a new Syria.

Starting by discussing all matters related to a political solution and the role of each component of the Syrian civil society we will develop a collective vision of Syrian identity based on constitutional and human rights. Not all Syrians will be able to be present personally, but they will be present through the subject-matters put forward by the participants which concern all of us. For nobody can succeed individually with a solution no matter how comprehensive and logical it is, because the situation is very complex and involves a lot of actors on many different levels.

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Therefore we believe that in a democratic process, full of respect for each other, we should find the terms and definitions upon which all Syrians will agree – terms which will express the hope for a common future and can show to the country a way out of its present phase of conflict. That’s why the first indicator is to stop the Syrian bloodshed and to find an answer to the question how to build a new Syria by sitting together on a negotiation table.

The way this initiative proposes to get to a solution of the conflict will lead us definitely to a free, democratic and civilized country able to build good relations with all nations of the world; only by developing such a vision we will be able to fight terrorism under a fresh perspective. For that we must create action-oriented steps towards this goal and guarantee a consensus of all parties without denying the advantages achieved on the ground, nor adding value to our position at the expense of others. The success of these steps will depend on our capacity to put forward the interest of the Syrian people as a whole without violating the civil rights as it happens presently in this disastrous situation.

Based on the people’s right for self-determination and expressing our commitment to the value of true citizenship and its constitutional framework, we have to develop a system which guarantees freedom and equality for all, without discrimination, marginalization and exclusion. We will promote a system which will safeguard the basic human rights and a legal framework capable to govern the lives of the citizens on a daily base. This implies the legislation of civil and penal law and a redefinition of the executive, legislative and judicial authorities as well as a clear separation between them.

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We have to build institutions whose membership depend on qualification and equal opportunity for all, without any discrimination by race, religion, gender, class, family-structures or geographical criteria. Only by emphasizing the diversity of the Syrian character we will be able to highlight the greatness of Syrian values as a contribution to humanity.

In this way the conference can be the starting point of a common search for a new constitution. Let us rebuild Syria after this disaster, so that we can have a future as human beings and as Syrians.


Syrian Preparatory Committee of the Conference on a new Constitution in Syria

Translation and English wording by Ayham Taham and Leo Gabriel