top of page

Promoting diversity of governance in northeast Syria.


Executive summary.

According to the United Nations independent expert on minority issues, there are four general obligations that the State must assume to respect and guarantee the rights of minorities:
  1. Protection of the existence of minorities, including ensuring their physical integrity and preventing genocide.

  2. Protect and promote cultural and social identity, including the right of individuals to choose which ethnic, linguistic or religious group they wish to be known, and the right of such groups to affirm and protect their collective identity and to reject forced assimilation.

  3. Ensure effective equality and non-discrimination, including an end to systematic or structural discrimination.

  4. Ensure the effective participation of members of minorities in public life, particularly concerning decisions affecting them.

First of all, we would like to emphasize that the term "minorities" is often rejected because of its negative connotations, which leads to unintended stratification and signs of weakness. We believe that the focus should be on managing positive diversity rather than searching for terms.

Returning to the previous four standards as a measurement tool for the performance of diversity in the north and eastern Syria, we find that Autonomous-Administration achieves two of the four criteria, namely protection, and promotion of cultural and social identity, but for the third and fourth criteria, there are still a series of immediate obstacles and challenges that negatively affect the promotion of participation and inclusion.

Political conflicts between political parties, divided into streams of parties involved in self-administration and under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), parties involved in the Syrian opposition coalition, namely the Kurdish National Council and the Front for Peace and Freedom, and independent parties represented by the al-Wahd and al- Taqadomi political Party, Another form of political polarization is between Syrian Government loyalists and opposition parties. The inability of dialogue processes to produce tangible results has also contributed to a negative impact on political pluralism.

Regional and international political polarization has had a profound impact on the state of multilateralism and diversity, continues military operations and threats by ISIS cells have contributed to hate speech among social components, undermining political, economic, and social stability efforts The absence of law and non-operation of the rule of law/continued violations of human rights, including minority rights, due to a lack of clear accountability mechanisms, and inadequate consideration and inclusion of social components in the law-making industry before their promulgation.

Widespread corruption in governance institutions, apparent dissatisfaction with the community and the work of the authorities, weak integration with governance structures due to different political backgrounds, and the performance of international and local organizations, while there is no focus on basic needs as much as on donor policies, and the exploitation of human and service resources (such as water, electricity, and health) and their monopoly by the merchants of war instead of investing them, as well as the economic blockade and penal code against Syria in general and it's a northern and eastern area in particular as well as the media that follows a certain ideology and the absence of an alternative media that covers gaps and problems.

Other challenges have affected the positive management of diversity, such as the high illiteracy rate and the existing educational conflict due to multiple educational curricula and the lack of reliance on a curriculum that promotes relations among all cultures present, as well as inherited customs and traditions that contribute in one way or another to the division of social groups and sometimes take some form of hierarchy within the community.

Choose language to view paper


bottom of page