Syrian National Council
The Syrian National Council was founded in an effort to unite the opposition and form a political front to support the rights of the Syrian people. The goal was to support the revolution in achieving freedom and democracy for Syrians. The role of the SNC evolved as the revolution evolved and its current task is to overthrow the regime and the establishment of a pluralistic democratic system.
The Council is committed to achieving its goals by following these basic principles:
- Working towards overthrowing Assad by all available means.
- Guaranteeing national unity of all components of Syrian society and rejecting any divisive measures.
- Preserving the peaceful nature of the revolution and its characteristics.
- Protecting national sovereignty, and protecting national independence.
The impetus for forming the Syrian National Council was the creation an experienced and mobile team to act as the political umbrella for the Syrian revolution in international venues in order to support the cause of a free Syria. It took more than five months for this vision to crystallize in the form a council that joined national political figures with opposition activists.
To build the SNC its founders brought together a team of experts, technocrats, and political figures to create a new mechanism to select members of the Council. The process involved:
- Drawing a map of Syrians in support of the revolution, and creating lists of active persons from which to elect candidates.
- Identifying the qualifications and roles of members could play on the Council and outlining duties of each position.
- Setting standards for the representation of various groups in Council in order to fairly reflect the varied social and political ideas of the Syrian people.
- Building a council those members fulfill the diversity, integrity of skills and competencies desired.
The SNC’s goals:
1) Drawing international Support
The Syrian National Council seeks to gather support, specifically political support, for the Syrian revolution beginning with the Arab League and then increase support by reaching out to the European Union, the United States, the United Nations, and other nations across the globe. The Syrian National Council aims to create positive relationships with the Arab League and the United Nations to building political confidence in the new Syria, which will be stable and secure with a civilian government that is democratically elected.
2) Uniting Syrians during a transitional period
The role of the Syrian National Council is to promote national solidarity among all Syrians, and to build strong alliances within the revolution to ensure the success and unity of Syrians during this transitional phase. It also embodies the goal of reconciliation between all Syrians and represents their aspirations to build a tolerant society in the spirit of Syria’s historical past of tolerance. The Council will continue to work to strengthen national sovereignty and ensure the unity of Syrian territory.
3) Developing a roadmap for democratic change in Syria
The SNC has a clear vision to build a modern civil Syrian state. The political program published on November 20, 2011 lays out a roadmap to lead Syria on the right path to progress and prosperity.
4) Ensuring that there is no political vacuum
Through the technocratic and professional experience accrued by its members, the Syrian National Coalition will be able to form an interim government as set out in its political platform. The platform calls for the Council’s political office to hold a national conference and enact electoral reforms. The Council should also elect an interim parliament to prepare and draft a new constitution, and hold free general elections. There are many experts available in the Council who can ensure that a political vacuum does not arise during any part of the transitional period. Furthermore, the diversity of the political groups represented by the SNC guarantees the unity of the Syrian people around the political goal of establishing a free and democratic state.
5) Transmitting the demands Syrians to the international community
The revolution was launched by a generation of youth who do not hold loyalties to any class, party, or particular group. The members of the revolutionary movement are represented by 50-60% of the Council members. This ensures that the voices of everyday Syrians are taken into consideration in making decisions regarding the revolution and are heard by the international community.