For Immediate Release, August 28, 2012
Contact: David Early, 202-429-7817, or Steven Ruder, 202-429-3825

(Washington and Berlin) – "The Day After" project, a Syrian-led effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria, today released a comprehensive, inclusive plan for a transition in the event the opposition succeeds in bringing about the fall of the current regime. The report is the culmination of six months of intensive discussions among a diverse group of approximately 45 Syrians.  It represents a shared vision of Syria’s democratic future, defined goals and principles for a transition, and a detailed yet flexible transition planning document.

Participants in The Day After project identified the following as goals that should guide the efforts of transitional authorities. Progress toward the achievement of these goals will increase prospects for a successful post-Assad transition:

  • Citizenship and equality of all citizens, rather than sectarian, ethnic, or gender considerations, should be decisive in relations between individuals and the state.
  • Syria should be a civil state in which the role of the security forces should be to protect the security and human rights of all citizens.
  • Unity of state and territory together with elements of decentralization will allow for citizens’ participation on all levels.
  • The economy should be managed to realize social justice, human development, sustainable development, and the protection of natural resources.
  • The new political leadership and government should demonstrate a clear commitment to democratic principles and processes to break with authoritarian legacies.
  • A new national identity needs to be developed, strengthened and promoted. Unity needs to be fostered among all components of Syrian society, and a consensus on the core values and fundamental principles of the nation as well as the new framework for governance needs to be built. Also, citizens need to be educated and empowered on the principles and practice of democracy.
  • To ensure a successful and orderly process should Bashar Assad’s government fall, “The Day After” project convened approximately 45 Syrians representing the full spectrum of the opposition. The group includes opposition figures associated with the Syrian National Council, the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, as well as former generals, economists, and lawyers, among others, from within Syria and the Diaspora.  Men and women representing all major political trends and components of Syrian society and all the country’s religious groups participated

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), in partnership with the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), initiated the project in March 2011, and continued to provide technical support as the meeting commenced.

"USIP has a long, successful track record of working with countries in transitions – Iraq, Libya, the Philippines, and Kosovo, among others – and is recognized for its expertise in rule of law, security sector governance, post-conflict economic reconstruction, and constitutional design,” stated Institute President Richard Solomon.  "This expertise made USIP and its German partner, the SWP, natural homes for an effort to facilitate efforts by a diverse and representative group of opposition figures to deliberate about how to manage a post-Assad transition."

The full report and a summary are available at www.usip.org/the-day-after-project.

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