Panel Discussions - Thursday, October 11, 2012
Bassma Kodmani on the Syrian Uprising
The way out of the Syrian quagmire is through a unified, representative political authority that is responsible for channeling support to armed opposition groups and providing services to the Syrian people, Dr. Bassma Kodmani, Syrian academic and former spokesperson for the Syrian National Council, told an IPI audience on October 11th.
Speaking at an event in IPI’s Arab Intellectuals Series, Dr. Kodmani offered insights into the current situation in Syria and made the following points in outlining how Syrian and international actors could bring the country out of its ravaged condition:
1. The Free Syrian Army, made up of opposition groups from all segments of society, has mostly found support from Islamist sources. Groups that identify with liberal ideals have not found anyone to turn to for armaments and financing.
2. To address this imbalance and unite the opposition, representatives from all sectors of Syrian society need to form an umbrella political authority that is entrusted with responsibility for channeling financial support and armaments as well as providing services to the Syrian people.
3. By working with local groups already providing a range of social and security services on the ground and ensuring the full participation of members of all political affiliations, such an authority would have the legitimacy required to lead both before and after the fall of the regime, until a transitional phase begins. It is particularly important to include those who have defected from the regime and members of the Ba’ath party.
4. International actors should announce their readiness to recognize such a political authority as soon as it is created, granting it legal recognition later. To ensure it can provide services and a centralized source of support—the main sources of its legitimacy—the international community must also ensure this umbrella body has the means to do so.
5. The international community needs to start preparing for the aftermath of the Syrian conflict. In this context, the UN–Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi can play a valuable role by exploring ways to reach an orderly transfer of power. And while an International Criminal Court indictment of Bashar al-Assad would not make the regime more or less likely to negotiate today, it will be needed for justice and reconciliation.
6. Any call for Kurdish separation from Syria could trigger a similar call from the Alawite community. An agreement that is Syrian, regional, and international in form should provide guarantees to the Kurdish community, with a view to opening the discussion again with an elected body at a later date.
Dr. Kodmani concluded by emphasizing the need for new creative thinking and instant action to avoid a “drift scenario” in Syria.
The event was moderated by Abdullah Alsaidi, IPI Senior Adviser.
The Global Observatory
New Threats in Africa Mean New Questions for Peacekeeping: Interview with Patrick Cammaert
UN peacekeepers are encountering threats never seen before in Africa, and it may be time to re-examine peacekeeping, said Major General Patrick Cammaert.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 26, 2013
Addressing the Crisis in Central African Republic
How to prevent catastrophe in the Central African Republic (CAR) was the topic of an event at the International Peace Institute on November 26th. Ten months after a military coup brought the current transitional government to power, the Central African Republic is wracked by massive human rights violations, sectarian violence, attacks on civilians, and reprisals by self-defense groups.
December 10, 2013
Human Rights in Peacekeeping
December 09, 2013
Video: Heraldo Muñoz on Benazir Bhutto's Assassination
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]