Syria Conference for Change Final Declaration
Antalya, June 2nd, 2011
Today, Syria is witnessing the most difficult and painful days; however, it is also witnessing the birth of a new dawn of freedom quenched by the blood and sacrifice of the Syrian youth demonstrating peacefully in the ground. This puts the burden of urgent action on the shoulders of all Syrians, living all over the world, to work along side their brothers and sisters in and outside Syria to build a new future for their country.
Therefore, a number of patriotic Syrians, from all different backgrounds, came together and called for the Syria Conference for Change. Invitations were sent to a wide variety of political and populist Syrian activists with the purpose of stopping the blood shed of our people and to take a decisive stand towards the events in their homeland and towards the insistence of the oppressive regime on using the military and security forces in rejecting the just demands of the people of freedom and democracy.
The Syria Conference for Change took place in Antalya, Turkey, May 31 – June 3, 2011, in solidarity with the Syrian Revolution and to search for solutions that would save Syria from oppression and place it on the road to freedom and dignity. As such, participants agreed to the following:
1- Participants are committed to the demands of the Syrian people in calling on the Syrian president to step down, in demanding the toppling of the regime, and in supporting the great, peaceful revolution of the Syrian people towards freedom and dignity.
2-Participants call on president Bashar al-Assad to resign immediately from all of his duties and positions and to hand over authority to his vice-president in accordance with constitutional procedures until the election of a transitional council which will draft and implement a new Syrian constitution that shall call for free and transparent parliamentary and presidential elections within a period not to exceed one year from the resignation of president Bashar al-Assad.
3- Participants assert their continuous support of the Syrian revolution until it achieves its objectives while emphasizing peace, patriotism, the unity of Syrian soil, the unequivical rejection of foreign military intervention and national unity of Syrian revolution – one that does not represent any partisan directionn nor does it target any particular group of Syrian society.
4- Participants affirm that the Syrian people are of many ethnicities, Arab, Kurd, Caldean, Assyrian, Syriac, Turkmen, Chechen, Armenian and others. The conference establishes the legitimate and equal rights of all under a new Syrian constitution based on national unity, civil state and a pluralistic, parlemantary, and democratic regime.
5- Participants commit to exert all efforts towards achieving a democratic future of Syria which respects human rights and protects freedom for all Syrians, including the freedom of belief, expression and practice of religion, under a civil state based on the separation of legislative, judicial and executive powers, while adopting democracy and the ballot box as the sole medium of governance.
6- Participants are committed to the hard and serious missions of ensuring economic prosperity, scientific and cultural advancements under the umbrella of justice, peace and security.
7- Participants call on all Arabs, the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Arab League and the International Community to take legal and ethical responsibility in order to stop the violation of human rights and crimes against humanity committed against unarmed civilians, and to support the ambition of the Syrian people of freedom and democracy.
The conference concluded with the election of a follow up consultative body through a slate-vote. Voting lists were selected by a group of participants. The consultative body shall appoint an implementation body which, in turn, will establish and implement an action plan to coordinate all activities supporting the Syrian revolution for a peaceful change.
Message from Dr. Othan Shibly (Video in Arabic and English)
Please watch this You Tube about removing Assad picture from my house as a result of the loss of innocent lives. The murder of civilians, children and women are considered crimes against humanity. Please also read the statement of the interreligious concern committee.
Statement of interreligious concern committee of Western New York regarding Syria:
“As people of faith we feel called to speak about against the continuing actions of the Syrian regime, which have resulted in the deaths and large scale arrests of nonviolent protesters including children such as Hamza Al Khateeb a thirteen year old child tortured and killed by Syrian security forces last week .
We are in total agreement with Amnesty International that serious action is needed to halt the killing and suppression of the right to peaceful expression and protest. We also believe very strongly that the reported withholding of food and water from whole communities is cruel and unjust.
We, therefore, urgently request all members of our community to act to prevent further violence. Please contact your elected representatives in Congress, the State Department and the President appealing for them to take immediate action, including:
• imposing an arms embargo on Syria
• holding members of the Syrian government accountable for their actions in the International Criminal Court
• freezing the foreign assets of the Syrian President and his senior associates
We also encourage messages to President al-Assad of Syria calling for an immediate end to the human rights violations and abuses taking place in his country, including the unlawful killings, use of excessive force, arbitrary detention and withholding of food and water from Syrian citizens. For further information click “Help stop the bloodshed in Syria” on Amnesty International’s homepage, www.amnesty.org.”