Brussels V Conference on supporting Syria highlights civil society’s role

The Ministerial sessions on Tuesday will be entirely live-streamed

Photo: EU Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region’ in session.

The fifth edition of the Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region’ started on Monday with the Day of Dialogue with civil society organisations from Syria and the region.

The discussions with civil society, ministers and senior decision-makers from refugee-hosting countries, the EU, the United Nations, international NGOs and other international partners focused on the main issues at stake in the Syrian crisis. The debates are designed around an online consultation run by the European Union in March. Pledges will be announced in the closing session on Tuesday.

Panels on economic development and sustainable livelihoods in the region, on food security and livelihoods humanitarian response and on ‘A Path to Justice and Peace: Accountability, Detainees Release and Missing Persons in Syria’ are live-streamed.

On Tuesday, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination, Mark Lowcock, will co-chair the opening session of the Ministerial section of the conference. It will be entirely live-streamed.

Interventions will have UN Secretary General António Guterres, UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, representatives of the three main refugee-hosting Neighbours Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey and other participants.

The forum will gather over 77 delegates from more than 50 countries and over a dozen international organisations. Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, will also address the crucial political, regional development and humanitarian aspects of the crisis.

Civil society representatives from inside Syria and the region will convey the main recommendations resulting from the online consultation process.

From 15 to 26 March, a record number of 40 side events hosted by EU Member States, partner countries, UN agencies and other international organisations also took place online. The side events focused on a wide range of topics, from disability to independent media.

To highlight the diversity and the richness of Syrian culture, the EU, in cooperation with Lagrange Points Brussels, is organising four virtual concerts featuring a variety of Syrian musicians, Sufi whirling and poetry artists, an online introduction to Syrian cuisine and an exhibition at Lagrange Points Brussels. Portraits from the exhibition ‘Voices from Syria and the Region’ are still available online and around Brussels.


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