We the women of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and South Asia, with our colleagues from North
America and Europe, together in Istanbul, from September 12through ,16 ,2012for the first regional “What the Women Say” Forum on Women’s Rights, Peace and Security organized by the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), express our solidarity with our Syrian sisters. In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution ,1325SCR 1820and SCR ,1612we strongly condemn all the on-going atrocities, including killings, rape, torture, disappearances, kidnappings, arrests and detention of civilians, and especially of women and children. In addition we condemn the ongoing displacement, instability and increasing security threats that civilians are facing. Syrian women are being victimized in unimaginable ways yet they are also finding the strength to care for the young, the elderly and the injured. They are the front line humanitarian actors and need the world’s assistance now.
We call for an immediate end to all hostilities.
The continuing reports of rape and other forms of gender-based violence perpetrated against women, men and children are of particular concern to us. We, therefore, call on the UN and all its member states to use all legal means to bring an end to the violence. They should ensure immediate humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees including protection and medical and psycho-social care for victims of torture and sexual violence. In addition we demand immediate unfettered humanitarian access to all violence-affected Syrians. We urge investigation into all the crimes against humanity, and all other atrocities. We further urge the UN and its member states to ensure the structured and systematic participation of women in ongoing mediation efforts including interactions and meetings with relevant parties and contact groups. In the event of preparations for a peace process or transition, in accordance with SCR 1325and SCR 1889and related commitments (notably national action plans on women peace and security) we expect the full inclusion of Syrian women at all stages and levels of the processes, so that women’s perspectives are fully respected and their rights and security become an integral part of Syria’s future. Thank you for your attention.