The CSSR launched its first Thematic Working Group on Monday 14 June on Civic space/civil values. Participants selected following an expression of interest will collaboratively use the CSSR online platform to organise their own work and work schedule, and to interact with their fellow group members. Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) are aimed at facilitating more substantive engagement with the Special Envoy, the Deputy Special Envoy and the OSE political team and providing broader opportunities for civil society advocacy on key thematic issues.
Other TWGs will be launched in the coming weeks. Registration for this group is currently closed. Registration for upcoming TWGs will be announced shortly.
The Civil Society Support Room (CSSR) was established in January 2016 by the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria (OSE-Syria) as a mechanism to consult with a broad and diverse range of civil society actors. Through the CSSR civil society actors can meet, interact, and provide their insights and ideas to the OSE-Syria, relevant UN actors and international stakeholders. This mechanism aims at making the UN mediation process more inclusive.
The OSE-Syria CSSR team endeavours to regularly review the CSSR’s format and processes as opportunities to do so arise, based on the inputs and insights of stakeholders during consultations and the priorities they convey to the OSE-Syria during CSSR consultations.
UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) has mandated the UN SE to seek a sustainable solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria through an inclusive Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. As frequently highlighted in his briefings to the UN Security Council, the UN SE, Geir O. Pedersen, firmly believes that the voices and views of civil society organisations (CSOs) play a crucially important role in achieving this aim.
Furthermore, comparative research undertaken by the UN and other international organisations clearly suggests that efforts to include civil society in any political process is bound to have positive effects on the sustainability of both a peace accord and related peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts. Several international studies also suggest that civil society can provide invaluable insight and support to a formal mediation process.