Uniting for Peace in Syria: Global Civil Society Appeal to UN Member States

1 Dec, 2016 | Press Releases

1 December 2016
The UN Security Council has failed Syrians. In almost six years of conflict, close to half a million people have been killed and eleven million have been forced to leave their homes.

Most recently, the Syrian and Russian governments and their allies have carried out unlawful attacks on eastern Aleppo with scant regard for some 250,000 civilians trapped there. Armed opposition groups have also fired mortars and other projectiles into civilian neighbourhoods of western Aleppo, though according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “indiscriminate airstrikes across the eastern part of the city by Government forces and their allies are responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties.” Efforts to stop these atrocities and hold those responsible to account have been blocked repeatedly by Russia, which continues to misuse its veto power in the Security Council.

The UN’s special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has warned that the UN must not allow “another Srebrenica, another Rwanda, which we are sadly ready to recognize written on that wall in front of us, unless something takes place.” Yet, there is no sign that the Security Council deadlock will end anytime soon. The guardian of international peace and security has failed to fulfill its task under the UN Charter and has failed to uphold its responsibility to protect the Syrian people.

This is why we, a global coalition of 223 civil society organizations, urgently call upon UN member states to step in and request an Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly to demand an end to all unlawful attacks in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria, and immediate and unhindered humanitarian access so that life-saving aid can reach all those in need. Member states should also explore possible avenues to bring perpetrators of serious crimes under international law on all sides to justice.

We welcome Canada’s leadership in seeking UN General Assembly action and we strongly urge all Member States to join the 73 countries from all regions by endorsing their initiative. These countries should work toward an Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly at the earliest opportunity, as UN member states have done in the past when the Security Council was deadlocked.

We call in particular upon the 112 supporters of the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) Code of Conduct, which includes a pledge to support “timely and decisive action” aimed at preventing or ending the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, to join this effort and actively promote meaningful action through the UN General Assembly.
Inaction should not be an option. UN member states should use all the diplomatic tools at their disposal to stop the atrocities and protect the millions of civilians in Syria. History will judge harshly those that fail to step up.


  1. ABBAD
  2. Abrar Halap Association for Relief and Development*
  3. ActionAid International
  4. Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT)
  5. Afghanistan Global Civil Society Consortium (AGCSC)
  6. Africa Atrocities Watch
  7. African Centre for Transitional Justice (ACT-J)
  8. African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET)
  9. Ahl Horan*
  10. Alkawakibi Organisation for Human Rights
  11. Al Seeraj For Development And Healthcare*
  12. Amnesty International
  13. Amrha* 1
  14. Antiwar Committee in Solidarity with the Struggle for Self-Determination
  15. Arab Human Rights Organization – Libya
  16. Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (APHRA)
  17. Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  18. Assistance Mission for Africa (AMA)
  19. Associação Brasileira de Organizações Não Governamentais (Brazilian Association of NGOs)
  20. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
  21. Association Medina
  22. Assyrian Human Rights Network (AHRN)
  23. Association de Soutien aux Médias Libres (ASML)
  24. Attaa for Relief and Development (ARD)*
  25. Attaa Association*
  26. Avaaz
  27. Badayl-Goa
  28. Badhon Human Development Organization (Badhon Manob Unnayan Sangstha)
  29. Balad Syria Organization*
  30. Basmeh & Zeitooneh For Relief and Development
  31. Basmet Amal Charity*
  32. Baytna Syria
  33. Big Heart Foundation
  34. Bihar Relief Organization*
  35. BINAA for Development
  36. Bonyan*
  37. Bridge of Peace
  38. Broederlijk Delen
  39. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  40. Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
  41. Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)
  42. Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
  43. CARE International
  44. Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP)
  45. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
  46. Center for the Development of International Law (CDIL)
  47. Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE)
  48. Christian Aid UK
  49. Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC)
  50. Collectif pour une Syrie Libre et Démocratique
  51. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
  52. Concern Worldwide
  53. Conectas Human Rights
  54. Control Arms Foundation of India
  55. Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu)
  56. CCFD-Terre Solidaire
  57. Damascene House Foundation for Society Development*
  58. Deir Elzzor United Association – FURAT*
  59. Democratic Republic Studies Center
  60. Doctors of the World UK
  61. East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF)
  62. Economic Justice Network Sierra Leone
  63. Education without borders – MIDAD*
  64. Emaar AL Sham Humanitarian Association*
  65. Emissa for Development 66. End Impunity Organization (EIO)
  66. Enjaz Development foundation*
  67. Equitas
  68. EuroMed Rights (Euro-Mediterranean Network for Human Rights)
  69. Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG)
  70. Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights
  71. Fundación Jóvenes y Desarrollo
  72. Ghiath Matar Foundation*
  73. Ghiras Al Nahda*
  74. Ghiras Syria*
  75. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  76. GOAL
  77. Greater Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal & Equatoria Youth Association (GUBEYA)
  78. Insan for Psychosocial Support*
  79. Halina Niec Legal Aid Centre (HNLAC)
  80. Help 4Syria
  81. Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia (MHC)
  82. Humanitarian Relief Association – IYD*
  83. Human Appeal
  84. Human Rights Documentation Organization (HURIDO)
  85. Human Rights First Society – Saudi Arabia
  86. Human Rights Now (HRN)
  87. Human Rights Watch (HRW)
  88. Hungarian Helsinki Committee
  89. Instituto Brasileiro de Analises Sociais e Economicas (IBASE)
  90. ICJ Kenya
  91. IHH Humantiarian Relief Foundation
  92. Independent Doctors Association (IDA)
  93. Insan for Psychosocial Support
  94. Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (INESC)
  95. Institute for Promotion of Civil Society (IPCS)
  96. Instituto Igarapé
  97. Intercultural Resources
  98. International Alert
  99. International Association of World Peace Advocates
  100. International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC)
  101. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  102. International Humanitarian Relief*
  103. Rescue Committee (IRC)
  104. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  105. International Supporting Woman Association – ISWA*
  106. International Youth For Africa (IYA)
  107. Irtiqaa Foundation*
  108. Jonglei Development Agency (JODA)
  109. Jugend Eine Welt – Don Bosco Aktion Österreich
  110. Karam Foundation
  111. Kesh Malek 113.KHOJ
  112. Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS)
  113. Maram Foundation for Relief & Development*
  114. Médecins du Monde France
  115. Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)
  116. Middle East and North Africa Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (MENAPPAC)
  117. Misiones Salesianas
  118. Mother of Hope Cameroon (MOHCAM)
  119. Mountain Foundation*
  120. Najda now*
  121. Nasaem Khair*
  123. Non C’è Pace Senza Giustizia (No Peace Without Justice)
  124. Norwegian Church Aid
  125. Nuon Organization for Peace-Building
  126. Ohaha Family Foundation (OFF)
  127. Organization for Non-violence and Development (ONAD)
  128. Orient for Human Relief*
  129. Oxfam International
  130. Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU)
  131. PAX
  132. Pax Christi Flanders
  133. Peace and Development Collaborative Organization (PDCO)
  134. People in Need (PIN)
  135. People’s Action For Rural Awakening (PARA)
  136. People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF)
  137. Permanent Peace Movement (PPM)
  138. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
  139. Protection Approaches
  140. Qitaf Al Khair Relief Association*
  141. Quaker Peace and Social Witness
  142. Radanar Ayar Rural Development Association
  143. Relief International
  144. Relief & Reconciliation for Syria
  145. Rethink Rebuild Society
  146. Revivre
  147. Rideau Institute
  148. Rwanda Green Initiative
  149. Saed Charity Association*
  150. Sanayee Development Organization (SDO)
  151. Save A Soul*
  152. Save the Children
  153. Sedra Association For Charity*
  154. Shama Association*
  155. Shaml Coalition
  156. Snabel Al Khyr*
  157. Solidarity Ministries Africa for Reconciliation & Development (SMARD)
  158. Souria Houria
  159. South Solidarity Initiative
  160. South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA)
  161. South Sudan Christian Community Agency (SSCCA)
  162. South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA)
  163. South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
  164. South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization (SSYPADO)
  165. South Sudanese Diaspora Civil Society Network (SSDCSN)
  166. Sri Lanka-United Nations Friendship Organisation (SUNFO)
  167. STAND
  168. Stichting Vluchteling (Netherlands Refugee Foundation)
  169. SUDO (UK)
  170. Syria Charity
  171. Syria NGO Alliance
  172. Syria Relief*
  173. Syria Relief and Development (SRD)
  174. Syria Relief Network (SRN)
  175. Syria Relief Organization*
  176. Syrian American Council
  177. Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
  178. Syrian Center For Legal Studies and Research
  179. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  180. Syrian Center for Statistics and Research (CSR-SY)
  181. Syrian Education Commission – SEC*
  182. Syrian Engineers For Construction and Development Organization – SECD*
  183. Syrian Expatriate Medical Association – SEMA*
  184. Syrian Institute for Justice and accountability
  185. Syrian Institute for Justice
  186. Syrian League for Citizenship
  187. Syrian Medical Mission*
  188. Syrian Network for Human Rights
  189. Syrian Orphans Organization*
  190. Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ)
  191. Takaful Al Sham Charity Organization*
  192. Tearfund
  193. The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT)
  194. The Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
  195. The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS)
  196. The Red Elephant Foundation
  197. The Syria Campaign
  198. The Syrian Establishment for Human Care & Enhancement – MASRRAT*
  199. The Violations Documentation Center in Syria (VDC)
  200. Trócaire
  201. Tuba Dernegi*
  202. Unified Revolutionary Medical Bureau in East Gouta*
  203. Union Of Syrians Abroad*
  204. URNAMMU
  205. Vision GRAM-International
  206. Voice for Change (VFC)
  207. War Child
  208. White Hands – Beyaz Eller*
  209. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
  210. Women Monthly Forum
  211. World Federalist Movement–Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP)
  212. World Renew
  213. World Vision
  214. Youth Forum on Foreign Policy
  215. Youth for Peace and Development
  216. Youth in Action Balochistan
  217. Youth in Action Nepal
  218. Yuwalaya
  219. Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
  220. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
  221. 11.11.11 *Members of the Syria Relief Network (SRN)