APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM)
(image by APEC 2013)
Subject : Representation for Kurds at Geneva II
Dear Mr Kerry
I commend your efforts to bring peace and security to the Syrian region by arranging the Geneva II conference. However, there is one part of Syria that has not yet received formal political recognition and representation and assistance for its humanitarian work in the country. After repelling the attacks of Al Quaeda forces last year, the Kurds of Rojava (northern Syria) have established three democratic, autonomous, gender-equal, self-governing cantons where, without any of the aid coming through Damascus, they are providing for the needs of internally placed persons such as war widows and orphans of all minority groups including Arabs and Christians, plus their own people who are still mounting defences against ISIS and Jhabat al Nusra forces. On a recent visit to Rojava, British human-rights activist Margret Owen described the enclave as a model for post war social and political reconstruction; see http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2014/1/syriakurd994.htm . But none of the leaders of this government have been invited to the upcoming Geneva II conference.
am appealing to you to invite Kurdish government leaders from the enclave of
Rojava to attend the Geneva II conference on behalf of the interests, welfare, and immediate needs of all the people they are protecting and providing for in
this region. It is an opportunity to promote a fledgling transparently
democratic secular movement operating under the rule of law with equal gender
participation at all levels of decision-making and participation in the
rehabilitation of tens of thousands of traumatized victims of war. The gesture
will no doubt profile the US on the world and UN stages as a supporter of peace
and human rights in the Middle East.
Below for your perusal is a commentary on the reasons why the Kurds are seeking to attend the Geneva II conference.
From KCK EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
TO OUR PEOPLES AND THE PUBLIC OPINION
Kurds want to take part in the Geneva II conference as an independent and democratic opposition force. From KCK EXECUTIVE COUNCIL TO OUR PEOPLES AND THE PUBLIC OPINION The Geneva II conference on Syria's future is going to be held on the 22th of January. This conference is supposed to play a role in forming the new Syria. Particularly, an agreement between USA, Russia, and France is expected. But another fact is that the viewpoints of the regime and those of the opposition are too far off to reconcile. With their major focus being on power struggle they seem to be too far from helping with the solution. However, the Kurds who prefer democratization and social development to any power and hegemony struggle are being hindered form taking part in Geneva II as an independent factor. Such an attitude reduces the hope for this conference to take positive steps towards peace and democratization in Syria. Democracy is commonly interpreted as a system self-rule for communities of all diversities. This is the only way of materializing true democracy. Syria is a land that harbors different ethnic and religious communities. These communities have the right of self-rule as well as establishing a free and democratic life for themselves. Syria has so many different ethnic and religious communities that it can no longer be ruled by a central state authority. The Rojava Revolution has already taken great steps towards a democratic system in which diverse ethnic and religious communities have achieved the capacity of self-rule.
The Kurds are the fourth-largest people in the Middle East. They have a population of 45 million in the four parts of Kurdistan. The Kurds demand and struggle for a free and democratic life shared with all other peoples in the region, with the present borders left intact. They have strongly manifested this desire in Rojava. They want to be a strong basis and an integral part of the democratic Syria. With its nearly 3 million population as Syria's second largest people, the Kurds have shown their resolve for a peaceful, free and democratic co-existence with other peoples of Syria in their 3 administrative cantons.
The Syrian opposition does not recognize this resolve. Their attitude is no different from that of the Baas regime. They don't take seriously the demands of the Kurdish people, just like Turkey's attitude which says "leave these to last; let's determine the new power in Syria first". The Kurds who have not yet been recognized and have been subjected to cultural genocide by regional governments will no longer accept the non-recognition of their rights. Therefore, the Kurds want to take part in the Geneva II conference as an independent and democratic opposition force. With their legitimate democratic demands, their organizations and their political democratic will, the Kurds deserve participation in Geneva II. It is the most natural right of a people, who have hitherto been denied and subjected to cultural genocide, to take part in the Geneva II conference as a democratic force and play role in the democratization of Syria.
However, at a time when all sides are being invited to the conference, the Kurds' demand for participation has been overlooked by the countries organizing the conference. They have denied the political will of the Kurds with over a 3 million population and of other peoples who live side by side with the Kurds in Rojava's three administrative cantons. Excluding the Kurds from the conference at a time when they can play a powerful and constructive role in the establishment and democratization of new Syria has from beginning rendered the legitimacy of the conference highly questionable. They lived one century suffering the outcomes of Lozan. Therefore, they will not allow the Geneva II to be another Lozan for them.
The Kurds will not recognize any assembly ostracizing them and failing to reflect their rights. With such irresponsible attitudes of the organizers towards the stability and democratization of Syria, the Kurds neither recognize nor associate themselves in the decisions taken there. We call on the political powers that organize and invite opposing sides and related countries to the conference to think twice about their decision, ensure the participation of the Kurds and take steps that will strengthen and render legitimate the Geneva II conference. If they take part as an independent delegation, the Kurds will strengthen the conference; if not, Geneva II will be an inconsistent and irresolute conference whose legitimacy will not be recognized by the Kurds. The exclusion of the most basic democratization force, that is, the Kurds, from a conference on the future of Syria invalidates Syria's democratization from the very beginning. Those ostracizing the Kurds will be held responsible for this. THE COPRESIDENCEY OF KCK EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 15 January 2014
Thank you for considering this appeal. I trust you will step out and act on it by inviting the Syrian Kurds, who are ready to participate, to Geneva II. Millions around the world, including the women and children of Rojava, will be indebted to you if you do.