100+ Syrian Civil Society Groups, Local Councils, and White Helmets Reject Russia’s Sochi Conference

5 min readJan 4, 2018


Sochi Conference Threatens Syria Peace Process: Joint Statement by Syrian Civil Society

January 3, 2018

Russia has announced that it will host a “Syrian Congress on National Dialogue” in Sochi. The undersigned organizations believe that such a Conference would not allow meaningful representation and participation for all Syrians, and poses a serious threat to the potential for any viable peace process in Syria.

The signatories recognize the need for a fair and credible national dialogue process. However, the proposed “Syrian Congress on National Dialogue” is neither fair nor credible. It will instead only further undermine the Geneva Peace Process and all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2254.

Russia’s military intervention in Syria and its repeated use of the veto at the United Nations Security Council makes Russia a party to the conflict. Given its actions in Syria, Russia cannot be regarded as either a neutral mediator or a fair convener of a national dialogue process. The only process that is legitimate or credible is the UN-led process.

Syrian Civil Society acknowledges that the Geneva Process has many flaws, yet it remains the only legitimate political track and the only one perceived as neutral by the Syrian people. It is critical that the UN continue to reaffirm the primacy of Security Council resolution 2254, which established a clear sequencing for a credible political process, starting with political transition, followed by a constitutional referendum and free and fair elections. The Sochi Conference undermines the primacy of UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the UN-led peace process and risks providing legitimacy to the Assad regime. Any participation by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, in the Sochi Conference represents a dangerous departure from the UN-led Geneva process.

Any successful peace process must first begin by gaining the trust of the Syrian people. No real transition can occur without accountability for crimes and justice for victims and their families. Equally, no real transition can occur without an end to the ongoing airstrikes and besiegement of civilians or in the absence of a solution for detainees and missing persons.

The undersigned organizations demand the continuation of a credible political process that is UN-led and genuinely engages Syrian civil society, which is united on the need to end the indiscriminate attacks, break the sieges and secure the release of political detainees and arbitrarily-held persons. The international community must be clear that it will not allow the political process to be diverted from achieving the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, in Sochi or elsewhere.


1. Agriculture engineering syndicate of Daraa

2. Al-Gouta Youth Volunteering Team

3. Alkawakibi Organization for Human Rights

4. Alqunaitra free Governorate Council

5. Baytna Syria

6. Daraa Bar Association

7. Daraa free Governorate Council

8. Decostamine Initiative

9. Detainees’ Voice Team

10. Emergency Team in Daraa

11. Emissa for Development

12. Engineers Association — Hama

13. Family issues Directorate in Daraa

14. Free Agriculture directorate in Qunaitra

15. Free Daraa Seeds Association

16. Free Directorate of Real Estate in Daraa

17. Free Directorate of Transportations in Daraa

18. Free engineering syndicate of Daraa

19. Free Syrian Lawyers Aggregation

20. Free Syrian Writers

21. FREE-Syria Foundation


23. General Directorate of Civil Registry in Daraa and Qunaitra

24. Ghayth Charity

25. Help4Syria, UK

26. Houran Independent Journalists

27. House Of justice in Daraa

28. Jasmine Dream Organization

29. Kawakibi Center for Transitional Justice and Human Rights

30. Kesh Malek

31. Kurds House

32. Lawadessa Center

33. Local Council of Alghadir

34. Local Council of Alharra

35. Local Council of Alhirak

36. Local Council of Aljizah

37. Local Council of Alkahil

38. Local Council of Alkoum

39. Local Council of Allajat

40. Local Council of Almuhajrin

41. Local Council of Almusifra

42. Local Council of Alqahtanya

43. Local Council of Alsanamin

44. Local Council of Alsawara

45. Local Council of Alsheikh Maskin

46. Local Council of Alsheikh Saad

47. Local Council of Alshwa

48. Local Council of Ataman

49. Local Council of Beir Ajam

50. Local Council of Bousra Alsham

51. Local Council of Bouyda

52. Local Council of Busr Alharir

53. Local Council of Dael

54. Local Council of Daraa Albalad

55. Local Council of Dourwin

56. Local Council of Ebtaa

57. Local Council of Em Batnah

58. Local Council of Em Walad

59. Local Council of Enkhil

60. Local Council of Gharbya Gharya

61. Local Council of Jasim

62. Local Council of Jbab

63. Local Council of Jillin

64. Local Council of Jubata Alkhashab

65. Local Council of Karak

66. Local Council of Khan Arnaba

67. Local Council of Kharab Alshakhim

68. Local Council of Kharbit Ghazala

69. Local Council of Kodana

70. Local Council of Mashara

71. Local Council of Museika

72. Local Council of Muzirib

73. Local Council of Najih

74. Local Council of Namar

75. Local Council of Namir

76. Local Council of Nasib

77. Local Council of Nawa

78. Local Council of Qusaiba

79. Local Council of Rafid

80. Local Council of Saida

81. Local Council of Shariaa

82. Local Council of Sharqia Gharya

83. Local Council of Souesah

84. Local Council of Tafas

85. Local Council of Tal Shihab

86. Local Council of Yadoudah

87. Local Council of Zaizoun

88. Local Development and Small Projects Support (LDSPS)

89. Masar Research Center

90. Mazaya

91. Mouwatana for Civil Action

92. New Syrian Network

93. Obaida Organization

94. Office for the Documentation of Violations in the Southern Region

95. Orphans association in Nahta

96. Peace and Justice for Syria, London

97. Pro Media Group

98. Reformation Assembly in Houran

99. Rethink Rebuild Society

100. Revolutionary Council of Houran

101. Roia Organization

102. Sanad for People with Special Needs

103. Save The Rest Campaign

104. Scotland4Syria

105. Seeds increasing association in Qunaitra

106. Shahid Media Association

107. Shaml Coalition

108. Sonbola Group for Education and Development

109. Sound and Picture Organization

110. Syrian American Council (SAC)

111. Syrian Association of Yorkshire

112. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Information

113. Syrian Civil Defence (The White Helmets)

114. Syrian Concourse of Tomorrow

115. Syrian Freedom Youth for Citizenship and Secularism

116. Syrian Journalists Association (SJA)

117. Syrian Network for Human Rights

118. Syrian Nonviolence Movement

119. Syrian Revolutionary Committee

120. Syrian Society of Nottinghamshire

121. Syrian Welsh Society

122. Syrian Women Association for Development in Qunaitra

123. Syrian Women Association Slalam

124. Syrian Women Network

125. Syrians for Truth and Justice — STJ

126. Technical services directorate in Qunaitra

127. The Day After

128. The Syrian Authority for Sports and Youth

129. Women Now for Development

130. Working Group for Syria

131. Zaad — Syrische Jeugd Forum

132. Zaiton Magazine

133. Zenobia, Syrian Women’s Association




Shughl, hurriya, karama wataniyya