About the CSSR
The role of civil society actors in relation to the political process
Civil society plays an advisory role by providing suggestions and recommendations to the UN SE and his team on issues that are directly relevant to the mediation process. Over the past five years CSSR participants have meaningfully contributed to at least five key areas:
Firstly, they have shared their knowledge of the Syrian context with the SE and his team.
Secondly, through their participation, they have consistently advocated for a political solution to the conflict.
Thirdly, they have provided their unique perspectives and insights on a wide range of thematic issues being addressed by the SE in the political process.
Fourthly, CSSR participants have managed to establish networks among organisations and actors working in various geographical locations and across the political divide, thus becoming an important element of social cohesion.
Fifthly, through their contributions and advocacy, CSSR participants have generated more space and future possibilities for the meaningful inclusion of civil society in the Syrian political process.
Impact of the CSSR on the political process
The main indicator of the CSSR’s impact is the use of information, knowledge and ideas shared by CSSR participants with the SE and his team, ISSG member states, and international organisations.
Over the past five years the regular participation of civil society actors in the CSSR has contributed to formalising and institutionalising their role as informed, influential and invested stakeholders in the mediation process.
For further information, please see the Q&A.
Under the strategic guidance of the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Syria (UN OSE-Syria), the Civil Society Support Room (CSSR) is jointly implemented with two organisations with long-standing expertise on peacebuilding and process support, among others. The CSSR implementing partners are the Swiss Peace Foundation (swisspeace) and NOREF Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF). The CSSR team thus consists of the UN OSE-Syria, swisspeace and NOREF.
swisspeace is a practice and research institute dedicated to advancing effective peacebuilding. As an affiliated institute with the University of Basel, swisspeace values partnerships with local and international actors, which are at the core of its work. It offers its expertise and creativity to reduce violence and promote peace in contexts affected by conflicts. swisspeace was established in 1988 and is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.
NOREF Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution is an independent foundation that works towards the prevention, mitigation and resolution of armed conflicts. It builds on a long tradition of Norwegian informal diplomacy, and its work focuses on initiating and supporting informal dialogue, providing mediation support to peace processes, and offering relevant thematic expertise. NOREF was established by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008 and is based in Oslo, Norway.