Geneva, 17th of March 2016
Kamiran Hajo, chairman of the Foreign Relations Office of the KNC: “PYD and UN seem to have clear stances towards federalism, but neither one has discussed about what it really means”
According to the media, the PYD announced an unspecified kind of federal system for the Northern region of Syria yesterday (16 March 2016). The Kurdish National Council in Syria strongly denounces this step by the PYD. Although the KNC is in favour of federalism since 2012, it strictly opposes any attempt to impose federalism on the Syrian people without a preceding discussion. Besides, according to international law an unilateral proclamation of federalism has no legal effect.
Kamiran Hajo, chairman of the Foreign Relations Office of the KNC: “Announcing federalism all of a sudden, lacking the urgently needed debate and democratic participation to possibly come to that decision, is just another form of dictatorship.”
The international reactions to the alleged federalism announcement were negative, but it is rather federalism they consider a problem, than the undemocratic way of decision-making. The UN Deputy Special Envoy Ramzy Ezzeddine Ramzy commented on the question about the UN’s opinion to the reported announcement at the press encounter yesterday as follows: “The UN stance is clear […]. All the Syrians I talked to are for a united, sovereign Syria; this is something clear and non-negotiable.”
The Kurdish National Council objects the hereby implied correlation between federalism and the breakdown of Syria. On the contrary, one of the essential principles of most federal systems is “unity in diversity”, hence, federalism could strengthen the unity in Syria, providing for democratic participation of diverse groups on diverse levels of government at the same time.
Kamiran Hajo remarks: “PYD and UN seem to have clear stances towards federalism, but neither the one nor the other had discussed about what it really means. We call upon all involved parties in the Geneva talks to take into consideration every possible solution for Syria, which can ensure democratic participation, social justice and the respect for human rights. At the end of the day inclusive talks cannot only mean to speak to everyone but to speak about every potential approach for a future Syria. Federalism is one of them.”