The Joint Political Vision for the Features of the Transitional Phase as Approved by the Syrian Opposition Conference held Under the Auspices of the League of Arab States in Cairo
July 2-3, 2012
Removal of power and transitional phase
The removal phase is a stage of struggle and determination until Bashar al-Assad and the symbols of power are toppled.
The transitional phase is the stage between this removal and the election of a President and a Parliament on the basis of a new constitution for the State of Syria, and the emergence of a government representing the elected parliament. For their achievement, both phases require compromise actions between the forces of opposition at political, legal, security, economic and social levels, as well as at the level of transitional justice.
Justice for the sacrifices and the sufferings of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity will only be through the removal of the main symbols of power, because their presence represents an obstacle for the construction of the democratic pluralistic civil state, a state of equality in citizenship and freedoms, which all Syrians are going to produce. Struggle will continue for this goal on the following basis:
- The political solution in Syria starts with the removal of Bashar al-Assad and the figures of his authority, and holding accountable those involved in the killing of Syrians.
- Revolutionary persistence, popular will and revolution would continue until the removal of the ruling authority.
- Desired change will not take place unless by the will and sacrifices of the Syrians, through an Arab and international effective mobilization, to protect the unity, sovereignty and stability of Syria and setting an abiding mechanism for the protection of the Syrian civilians and a timetable for the immediate and full implementation of the resolution of the relevant Arab League and Security Council Resolutions, and demanding the Security Council to take the necessary measures to impose the immediate implementation of these resolutions.
- The need to unite the efforts of the opposition at all levels in order to achieve the toppling of the regime as soon as possible.
- Supporting the revolutionary movement and Free Syrian Army, and working on uniting its forces and leaders, so as to serve the objectives of the revolution of the Syrian people.
- To invite all parties to act with full keenness on the protection of civil and national peace.
This phase starts on the moment of Bashar Al-Assad and the official regime figures fall and ends with the election of a free legislative council based on a permanent new constitution.
Political and legal reference
- Immediately as Bashar Al-Assad and regime icons fall, the government shall be dismissed, the current parliament shall be dissolved and a caretaker government shall be installed with agreement among political and revolutionary opposition powers, and the authority of the national fait-accompli and those whose hands are clean from the blood of Syrians or from embezzling public funds, relying on basis that comply with the documents and resolutions of Cairo Conference, until the formation of a transitional government.
- As soon as the caretaker government assumes authority, the ruling Baath Party shall be dissolved along with all its affiliated institutions, and their properties will be seized and returned to the state, while its members will be allowed to practice political work according to the new laws.
- To call for a wide national conference in Damascus to include all political powers and society segments without exception, in order to ratify the establishment of a temporary legislative body (General Authority to defend the goals of the revolution and democratic transition) and a transitional government of personalities known for their efficiency and integrity.
- The temporary legislative body shall work on issuing a constitutional declaration relying on the national compact document adopted at the Cairo Conference and that includes the status of the presidency in the transitional phase, as well as the Supreme Judicial Council, National Security Council, Supreme Authority for Accountability and Reconciliation, the General Authority for Social Re-compensation and Reconstruction. This body shall be responsible for observing the executive authority, issuing temporary laws organizing daily life during the transitional phase, including freedoms of media, demonstration, establishment of parties, syndicates and associations, and it will cancel all the discriminatory declarations and laws against the Kurdish, Turkmen and Azurite nationalities in Syria or any other segment of the Syrian people. It shall establish a law for elections of a constituent council and draft for a permanent constitution based on the national compact.
- The transitional government shall be responsible for administering the country’s affairs under the control of the legislative body formed by the national conference and it shall handle the priorities for eliminating the social and urban effects of the previous regime and to enhance the national economy.
- Within the maximum of one year of its establishment, the temporary legislative body and the transitional government shall work to hold elections for the constituent parliament, which shall approve the constitution draft and present the constitution to a public referendum within a maximum period of six months.
- As soon as the constituent parliament is elected, the temporary legislative body shall be dissolved and a new government will be formed based on the majority that resulted from the elections.
Military and security establishment
- As soon as Bashar Al-Assad and figures of authority fall, the honorable elements of the regular army whose hands were not stained by the blood of Syrians shall sign with the free Syrian army and armed resistance a memorandum of understanding that regulates the operations of a ceasefire and withdrawal of the army back to its barracks, establishing security, and preserving civil and national peace under the care and supervision of the Security Council, if necessary.
- The transitional government shall establish a National Security Council headed by the chairman of the executive authority and it shall include among its members honorable military leaders whose hands were not stained with the blood of Syrians as well as elements of free army, armed resistance and relevant civilian figures, and this National Security Council abides by the regulations established by the temporary legislative body.
- The National Security Council shall oversee the restructuring of the armed forces and security agencies after they submit to the Council’s authority in order to rid these agencies of whoever is proven to have been involved, dissolve armed militias (Shabiha), withdraw weapons from civilians, and to recruit revolutionaries who want to join the armed forces. This Council shall also protect the records and documents to facilitate the establishment of transitional justice, protection of prisons and maintaining safety of public and private properties against any vandalism.
- A General Authority for Accountability and National Reconciliation will be established under the supervision of the temporary legislative body and then the constituent parliament, based on the basics of the national compact, to:
- Achieve justice for all the victims who were subjected to systematic violations of their humanitarian rights or abused, to compensate them and hold accountable those who committed such actions, as well as finding mechanisms for additional social compensations that would prevent the aggravation of social conflicts.
- To establish transparency in publishing the documents and facts regarding the behavior of those who committed the crimes in addition to the experiences of the victims.
- Creating mechanisms for accountability and transparency to prevent the occurrence of new violations during the implementation of transitional justice and regaining the faith and confidence of citizens in state institutions, as well as contributing to enhancing the authority of the law and democratic institutions and their legitimacy; aiming at consolidating a suitable environment for mending the cracks and achieving a comprehensive, inclusive reconciliation at national and local levels.
- To treat the individual and mass effects of violence, oppression and tyranny and to provide physiological support for children, women and victims of violence.
- To eliminate the effects of previous discriminative polices, including the cancellation of law no. 49 for the year 1980, removing the injustice towards the displaced of Golan, the victims of the events of the eighties, the 2004 Kurdish intifada, the confiscations and their effects, and to compensate afflicted people, and find fair solutions for accumulating problems.
- To eliminate the effects of discriminative and unjust policies and laws against the Kurdish nationality in Syria and their consequences, and compensate all afflicted Syrian people, and restoring the rights to its deserving people.
- The General Agency of Accountability and National Reconciliation includes specialists in different legal, social, rights, psychological and cultural fields in addition to national, social and artistic figures that enjoy credibility and the ability to influence in order to implement the mechanisms of transitional justice through the following steps:
- An independent judicial authority to decide about the crimes committed by the regime including the high officials of the regime such that it becomes fair and objective and achieves the proper speed in accountability operations.
- The fact-finding committee shall work on collecting statements and investigating the crimes of the regime during the revolution and refer them to the judicial authority, including high leadership and front lines of the regime.
- A historical committee that aims at investigating the long term crimes and revealing the facts regarding the crimes of the Syrian regime against Syrian people, such as Hama massacre, the issue of political detentions, field executions and the issue of forcibly migrating and arbitrary displacing people.
- Local reconciliation committees to include influential patriotic and social personalities benefiting from social nature to start working on a process of national reconciliation and national dialogue using different means and taking into consideration in its formation local privacies of the Syrian social structure.
- Arbitration committees to work on settling small civil conflicts created by the revolutionary period with regard to individuals, which shall take into consideration settling minor issues and civil disagreements and work on national reconciliation.
- The authority shall establish a Commemoration Office that will honor the memory of martyrs and detainees and to establish memorial statues for the martyrs in order to morally and psychologically compensate the society.
- To insert the principles of transitional justice in the educational and school curricula, as well as within religious, social and cultural establishments.
- Issue amnesty for some minor crimes related to recent events.
- Regarding crimes related to revolution events that involved individuals and gangs (Shabiha), the ordinary courts shall continue to operate according to Syrian law and look into these crimes – parallel with reforming these courts – and will guarantee the adequate speed in issuing verdicts related to these crimes and guarantee the right of all citizens to utilize the law, appeal personally, and have access to a fair trial.
- To establish a psychological and social support teams affiliated with a specialized office in the agency and in cooperation with civil society organizations specialized in treatment of shock cases related to all kinds of violence practiced against women, children, and detainees in order to rehabilitate them and offer them the necessary medical care and recovery needed for re-integrating them.
- This Agency works in cooperation with the judiciary to establish regulations for accountability and reconciliation regarding members of the former authority and armed groups (Shabiha) and to guarantee the right of all citizens in fair trials that would secure their rights.
- As soon as Bashar Al-Assad and regime figures are toppled, the properties of the members of the former regime, their families and relatives involved in embezzling public funds inside and outside, should be put seized until the whole issue is dealt with according to the regulations to be established by the temporary legislative body or the parliament, including money retained abroad.
Economic and social situation
- A General Agency for Social Compensations and Reconstruction will be established under the supervision of the temporary legislative body and then the parliament, based on the basics of the national compact to:
- Support the afflicted by current developments and reconstruct their private properties that were demolished.
- Support the families of all martyrs, detainees, injured and disabled persons and compensate them fairly.
- Return displaced and internally- and externally-migrated people and resolve their situations.
- Contribute with the government in reconstructing the infrastructure and public establishments affected by recent developments, and in funding urgent economic and social procedures.
- All international and foreign aid shall be put under the jurisdiction of this Agency in coordination with donors. Appropriations of the Agency of Accountability and National Reconciliation shall be spent from the appropriations for this agency.
- As soon as Bashar Al-Assad falls, demand the international community cancel all comprehensive sanctions imposed on Syria and its institutions and to assist the state in regaining funds of the authority that are kept abroad.
- The transitional government shall work on establishing polices that would quickly address the following:
- Re-launching the national economy at all levels
- Securing the essential commodities
- Poverty and increased poverty in areas afflicted by the incidents
The first draft for this document has been drafted and approved by the preparatory committee to be presented to the Syrian Opposition Conference. It has been discussed in the first session of the conference. The Drafting Committee that was formed by the Conference introduced the amendments to the document based on the suggestions presented by the participants in the Conference. Then, the document was discussed, and traditional amendments were introduced and approved in the concluding session of the conference in the evening of July 3, 2012.