End-of-Year Update on the Work of the CSSR – December 2022

Dear Syrian civil society actors,
CSSR participants,

In this message, the Civil Society Support Room presents an update on its work of the CSSR since the last update message sent on 29 September, 2022.

1. Update on the work of the Thematic Working Groups:

  • Since its launch in September, the Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Local Governance and Decentralization has continued its internal discussions on the sub-issues identified by the various members of the group. OSE-Syria continues to engage the TWG on a periodic basis to accompany their progress and support their work, and will continue assisting the participants with advocacy opportunities. 
  • On 26 October, the CSSR team launched a TWG on “Protection priorities for Syrians”. The TWG will focus on protection issues from both human rights and humanitarian perspectives, and is expected, together with the Decentralization group, to complete its work in a few months and present it an in-person meeting in Geneva in 2023. 
  • For more background, you can find further information on the TWGs here.

2. Update on CSSR regional outreach missions: 

Following CSSR team outreach visits to other regional hubs since June, the team conducted an outreach mission to Amman, Jordan between 6 and 8 November. The team led by Deputy Special Envoy Najat Rochdi met with several civil society actors including from the human rights, women’s rights and development sectors. A summary report of this mission can be found here.
The CSSR team foresees conducting similar regional outreach in Erbil in February 2023. 

3. Regular virtual interactions:  

The OSE-Syria and the CSSR team regularly holds virtual meetings with Civil Society Organization (CSO) networks as well as other civil society groups. In this last quarter, the CSSR team continued to engage virtually with civil society actors in different areas inside and outside Syria. This helps expand the CSSR reach to new interlocutors as well as provides insights on topics of particular interest to different civic groups.  

4. Update regarding the CSSR collaborative platform

After over a year of monitoring the use of the CSSR collaborative working platform, especially by TWGs participants, the CSSR team noticed a lack of its use, and observed that participants organically deviated to other more commonly used communication tools. Given the need for resource efficiency, the CSSR team has thus decided to discontinue the platform and provide alternative digital channels to enable participants to connect remotely where needed. Nonetheless, the platform has been instrumental during COVID-19 time in enabling CSSR continuity. We would like to inform you that working group participants accounts and details will be wiped and won’t be stored by the service providers. We appreciate and thank you for your eager engagement with this pilot digital tool and will transmit lessons learned to others involved in peace technology. 


Despite the lack of tangible progress towards a political solution as called for in Security Council resolution 2254, civil society’s efforts to support their communities and build peace have nevertheless continued, and arguably have become even more indispensable than before. 

In these times, investing in Syrian civil society and providing them a safe space to contribute to relevant policy recommendations for the future of Syria remains absolutely essential. With this is mind, the OSE-S leadership and team, in regular discussions with our partners in Swisspeace and NOREF, donors and CSSR participants, we will continue to support the meaningful engagement of Syrian civil society in the political process. 

This being the last CSSR update for 2022, we wish all Syrians a peaceful new year. 

Best regards,