Regional Outreach – Erbil

Mission Summary

The OSE-Syria Civil society Support Room (CSSR) conducted a regional outreach mission with Syrian civil society to Iraqi Kurdistan, on 07 and 08 February 2023 in Erbil. These regional visits enhance direct communication with Syrian civil society and provide an opportunity for civil society to advocate for priority concerns and for OSE to discuss regional developments and brief on efforts to advance a political solution in line with Security Council Resolution 2254.

In Erbil, Deputy Special Envoy Rochdi led the CSSR team – comprised of OSE-Syria and its implementing partners – through a series of meetings with active civil society interlocutors located inside Syria and in Iraqi Kurdistan. The team held a total of 11 bilateral meetings in addition to one group meeting with 15 civil society interlocutors who represented a diverse range of Syrian organizations and networks working on humanitarian aid, development, education, peace building, research, women’s issues and human rights.

As the mission coincided with the earthquake that hit several areas across Türkiye and Syria, its devastating impact featured prominently in the discussions, as interlocutors pleaded for rapid rescue assistance for Syrians still trapped under the rubbles and called on the Special Envoy to use his good offices to facilitate access and remove obstacles to the delivery of assistance to all affected areas. Many interlocutors also touched upon the situation on the ground including on local efforts and initiatives for aid delivery and support across conflict lines. Participants also raised the Kurdish representation in the political process, including in the Constitutional Committee, the situation in northern Aleppo, in Al Hol, Northeast Syria and civic space in the area.