Syria crisis: Brussels IV Conference “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” kicks off today
From 22 to 30 June, the European Union will be hosting the fourth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” (#SyriaConf2020), co-chaired with the United Nations. This year the Conference will take place in a virtual format.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell said: “Syrians have suffered for too long. After nine years of conflict, there is a risk that the world becomes immune to the pictures and accounts of unacceptable and unnecessary suffering but we cannot allow that to happen; we cannot ignore their plight. It is our moral duty to continue supporting the people of Syria.The Conference aims to further mobilise the international community behind UN-led efforts to achieve a lasting political solution to the Syria crisis in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254. This is the only way to bring back stability and peace for all Syrians.”
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi commented: “Syria continues to find itself in protracted instability. The needs of the Syrian refugees remain acute, not least in view of the potentially devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. In this context, our commitment to supporting Syrian refugees in the region remains unwavering. The 2020 Brussels IV Conference will provide an opportunity for the international community to mobilise the necessary financial assistance for Syria and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.”
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič added: “The humanitarian situation in Syria is at even greater risk as the coronavirus pandemic threatens the most vulnerable. The EU will not abandon the Syrian people in most urgent need for assistance inside the country as well as in the region.”
The Conference will be the main pledging event for Syrians and Syria’s neighbouring countries in 2020 and will also provide a unique platform for dialogue with civil society organisations from the region. The Conference is starting today with the Days of Dialogue, will continue with side events throughout the week and will be concluded by a Ministerial meeting on 30 June.
22 and 23 June are devoted to the virtual Days of Dialogue, with four high-level panel discussions between civil society, Ministers and senior decision-makers from refugee-hosting countries, the EU, the United Nations and other international partners. Prior to this, extensive online consultations have taken place with civil society organisations from Syria, its refugee-hosting neighbours and the diaspora. The recommendations resulting from the online consultations and the panels will be conveyed to the Ministerial meeting on 30 June by a number of civil society rapporteurs from Syria and the region.
On 22 June, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi will chair the session on regional response and recovery in the face of coronavirus crisis, while on 23 June, Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, will co-chair the session on immediate needs in response to the humanitarian situation. More information on the Days of Dialogue is available here and the remarks from the Commissioners during their respective panels will be available on EbS.
From 24 to 29 June, a number of side events hosted by EU Member States, partner countries, UN agencies and other international organisations will take place online.
On 30 June, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell will co-chair, together with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, the Ministerial segment of the Conference. Around 80 delegates from neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, partner countries, EU Member States and international organisations will virtually gather to address key political, humanitarian and regional development aspects of the Syrian crisis. Political commitments and pledges will be made on this occasion.
As of today, a virtual exhibition “Voices from Syria and the region” is available online, with photos and video portraits shedding light on the lives of people affected by the Syria crisis and showing their extraordinary resilience and determination to carry on.