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

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*

  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 85. Human Rights Documentation Organization (HURIDO)

  84. Human Rights First Society - Saudi Arabia

  85. Human Rights Now (HRN)

  86. Human Rights Watch (HRW)

  87. Hungarian Helsinki Committee

  88. Instituto Brasileiro de Analises Sociais e Economicas (IBASE)

  89. ICJ Kenya

  90. IHH Humantiarian Relief Foundation

  91. Independent Doctors Association (IDA)

  92. Insan for Psychosocial Support

  93. Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (INESC)

  94. Institute for Promotion of Civil Society (IPCS)

  95. Instituto Igarapé

  96. Intercultural Resources

  97. International Alert

100.International Association of World Peace Advocates

101.International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC)

102.International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

103.International Humanitarian Relief*

104.International Rescue Committee (IRC)

105.International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

106.International Supporting Woman Association - ISWA*

107.International Youth For Africa (IYA)

108.Irtiqaa Foundation*

109.Jonglei Development Agency (JODA)

110.Jugend Eine Welt – Don Bosco Aktion Österreich

111.Karam Foundation

112.Kesh Malek 113.KHOJ

114.Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS)

115.Maram Foundation for Relief & Development*

116.Médecins du Monde France

117.Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)

118.Middle East and North Africa Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (MENAPPAC)

119.Misiones Salesianas

120.Mother of Hope Cameroon (MOHCAM)

121.Mountain Foundation*

122.Najda now*

123.Nasaem Khair*


125.Non C'è Pace Senza Giustizia (No Peace Without Justice)

126.Norwegian Church Aid

127.Nuon Organization for Peace-Building

128.Ohaha Family Foundation (OFF)

129.Organization for Non-violence and Development (ONAD)

130.Orient for Human Relief*

131.Oxfam International

132.Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU)


134.Pax Christi Flanders

135.Peace and Development Collaborative Organization (PDCO)

136.People in Need (PIN)

137.People's Action For Rural Awakening (PARA)

138.People's Empowerment Foundation (PEF)

139.Permanent Peace Movement (PPM)

140.Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)

141.Protection Approaches

142.Qitaf Al Khair Relief Association*

143.Quaker Peace and Social Witness

144.Radanar Ayar Rural Development Association

145.Relief International

146.Relief & Reconciliation for Syria

147.Rethink Rebuild Society


149.Rideau Institute

150.Rwanda Green Initiative

151.Saed Charity Association*

152.Sanayee Development Organization (SDO)

153.Save A Soul*

154.Save the Children

155.Sedra Association For Charity*

156.Shama Association*

157.Shaml Coalition

158.Snabel Al Khyr*

159.Solidarity Ministries Africa for Reconciliation & Development (SMARD)

160.Souria Houria

161.South Solidarity Initiative

162.South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA)

163.South Sudan Christian Community Agency (SSCCA)

164.South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA)

165.South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)

166.South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization (SSYPADO)

167.South Sudanese Diaspora Civil Society Network (SSDCSN)

168.Sri Lanka-United Nations Friendship Organisation (SUNFO)


170.Stichting Vluchteling (Netherlands Refugee Foundation)

171.SUDO (UK)

172.Syria Charity

173.Syria NGO Alliance

174.Syria Relief*

175.Syria Relief and Development (SRD)

176.Syria Relief Network (SRN)

177.Syria Relief Organization*

178.Syrian American Council

179.Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)

180.Syrian Center For Legal Studies and Research

181.Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)

182.Syrian Center for Statistics and Research (CSR-SY)

183.Syrian Education Commission - SEC*

184.Syrian Engineers For Construction and Development Organization - SECD*

185.Syrian Expatriate Medical Association - SEMA*

186.Syrian Institute for Justice and accountability

187.Syrian Institute for Justice

188.Syrian League for Citizenship

189.Syrian Medical Mission*

190.Syrian Network for Human Rights

191.Syrian Orphans Organization*

192.Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ)

193.Takaful Al Sham Charity Organization*


195.The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT)

196.The Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KontraS)

197.The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS)

198.The Red Elephant Foundation

199.The Syria Campaign

200.The Syrian Establishment for Human Care & Enhancement – MASRRAT*

201.The Violations Documentation Center in Syria (VDC)


203.Tuba Dernegi*

204.Unified Revolutionary Medical Bureau in East Gouta*

205.Union Of Syrians Abroad*


207.Vision GRAM-International

208.Voice for Change (VFC)

209.War Child

210.White Hands - Beyaz Eller*

211.Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

212.Women Monthly Forum

213.World Federalist Movement–Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP)

214.World Renew

215.World Vision

216.Youth Forum on Foreign Policy

217.Youth for Peace and Development

218.Youth in Action Balochistan

219.Youth in Action Nepal


221.Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)

222.Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum *Members of the Syria Relief Network (SRN)


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