Syria Salvation Conference in Damascus – 23 September 2012
An Overview of the New Syria
-Syria is a sovereign State, its people are free and in full control of the State and all their territory. The sovereignty of the Syrian territories, State and people are one in the same. The Syrian people have a right to struggle by any means necessary to reclaim their occupied territories.
-The Syrian people are the source of sovereignty and legitimacy; this is enshrined through a civilian multi-party democratic republic, which is constituted by democratic institutions and where the rule of law prevails. Any monopoly of power is illegal, and power cannot be inherited under any circumstance.
-The Syrian State is to be built on the basis of complete equality of its citizens, in their rights as well as their duties. This includes the absolute equality of men and women, and the prohibition of any form of discrimination on the basis of race, family, gender, sect, political opinion, language, ethnicity or religion.
-The Syrian State must respect and protect the social diversity and privacy of all its citizens. It must acknowledge the cultural, civil and political rights of all the social groups that compose Syria. The Syrian State must consider every social group a genuine and crucial component of the Syrian nation.
-The Syrian State must protect all public freedoms, including the right to free information and freedom of the press; the right to create and join unions, civil organisations and political parties; freedom of conscience and worship in private and in public, individually and as a group; the right to peacefully protest and strike. The State must ensure that clear and effective laws are in place to protect these fundamental freedoms and rights of the people from the hegemony of the markets and political power.
-The State is to uphold all international human rights treaties, and all international agreements on social and economic rights. These rights are to be guaranteed to all citizens and residents.
-Syria is part of the Arab nation; it upholds and works on all forms of cooperation and unity with other Arab countries. The Syrian State is also to respect and uphold the social and cultural aspirations of all the nationalities that make up Syria.
-The Syrian people are to uphold their responsibility to support the Palestinian people and their right to a free and sovereign State, with Jerusalem as its capital. The Syrian people are also to support all peoples that resist oppression and struggle to achieve their liberation.
-The historical and cultural links between Syria and Islamic peoples are to be respected, a link based on the humanitarian message of religion.
-The Syrian state is to be based on the total separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers, and on the principle of rotation of power through free and secret elections.
-The Syrian army is the national institution that guarantees popular sovereignty and public freedoms. It is the pillar of the state and guarantor of national unity. The army is to defend national security, the constitution and its principles. The army is never to intervene in political life.
-A new constitution is to establish the basis of the democratic plural system and the method of election. It is also to insure the representation of all Syrians, all segments of Syrian society, and all provinces in the legislative powers. The constitution must protect the equal rights of all ideological currents and political parties, without the hegemony of one over all others. It is to insure the stability of the parliamentary system and the circulation of power by parliamentary majority through general election. The constitution is to regulate in detail the income of political parties and their spending.
-The President of the republic is to uphold the constitution and national security, as well as the concept of the separation of powers. The President is to be elected by a direct general election. The presidential position cannot be held for more than two terms and each presidential term is to last four years only.
-The Prime Minister is to represent the parliamentary majority. He or she is responsible for the executive power of the State and is accountable to the people, who are represented by parliament. Each minister has full ability to manage the matters of their ministry according to the ministerial statement that is entrusted to the ministerial cabinet by parliament.
-The State is to ensure that public money and property are used only to the benefit of the citizens, under a policy of social justice, sustainable and equal development, and the redistribution of wealth and resources through a taxation system that takes into account class and province. The State is to also ensure economic freedoms, and to regulate them in a way that prevents monopolies and speculation. The State must also protect the rights of workers and consumers.
-The Syrian State must uphold its responsibility to eradicate all forms of poverty in the country, fight unemployment, and work on providing fair and meaningful employment in dignified conditions for all capable citizens. The state must provide basic services to all citizens.
National Conference for Syria Salvation