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Brussels Conference on Syria.. New Effort to Save Lives amidst Armed Conflict

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Doha, April 04 (QNA) – A high-level international conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region will kick off at the European Union headquarters in Brussels today with participation of representatives of 70 countries in a new effort to save lives striving for freedom and stop the enduring humanitarian sufferance resulted by wars and armed conflicts.

The conference will be co-chaired by Qatar, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, the United Nations and the European Union. HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani will chair Qatar’s delegation to the conference. The delegation includes diplomats and representatives from the government, civil society, funds and Qatari donors, aiming at highlighting Qatar’s efforts in support of the Syrian people and exploring peaceful and sustainable solutions to the Syrian crisis.

Moreover, the State of Qatar will also co-chair a trilateral meeting devoted to the follow-up of the outcome of London Conference in support of the Syrian people with Germany and Britain.

Brussels Conference is being held amidst extremely difficult humanitarian conditions faced by the Syrian civilians inside Syria and the Syrian refugees to neighboring countries and Europe. The United Nations has appealed to the international community to provide eight billion dollars this year to confront one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world with the displacement of five million Syrian people.

Besides the humanitarian situation, the conference will also focus on the crimes committed against the civilians in Syria. Brussels Conference seeks to launch a political declaration and hold accountable the perpetrators of human rights violations in the war-torn country for more than six years.

In a statement last night, the Amnesty International urged Brussels Conference to ensure the achievement of justice for the victims of the conflict and the accountability of those responsible for human rights violations, saying that victims and survivors of the mass atrocities committed in
this conflict have the right to truth, reparations and justice.

Brussels Conference will follow up the outcome of London Conference which was held in February 2016. The conference was co-chaired by the United Kingdom, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations with participation of donor countries, civil society organizations, relief organizations. 
Brussels Conference will assess the level of cooperation of the international community in fulfilling the commitments made at London Conference, and will agree on additional efforts to meet the needs of those affected by the continuation of this crisis. 
The conference will also reaffirm the existing commitments and will identify additional support for the needy Syrian people inside Syria and neighboring countries, in response to the United Nations appeals. 
The discussions will focus on the support of the international community for a peaceful transition in Syria under a Syrian leadership based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, in particular UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Declaration. 
London Conference 2016 had pledged to provide more than $10 billion to support the humanitarian situation in Syria and neighboring countries, including $6 billion that will be provided directly and allocated during the current year, while more than $4 billion will be spent in batches until 2020. 
On Monday, European Union foreign ministers held a meeting in Luxembourg in order to adopt the European strategy for Syria which will form the basis of the European contribution at the Brussels Conference. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said that conflicts will continue unless there are specific strategies for the phase following the signing of any agreement between the conflicting parties including the situation in Yemen and Libya as well as Syria’s core issue. 
Earlier on Sunday, Doha hosted the Consultative Meeting of Humanitarian Organizations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Syria’s neighboring countries (Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon). The participants pledged about $262 million allocated for humanitarian projects to be implemented in Syria over the next two years. 
The final communique of the consultative meeting, which came in preparation for Brussels Conference, called to adopt a shared vision that gives priority to enhancing capabilities of the Syrian people to face this humanitarian crisis and support humanitarian initiatives aimed at promoting self-sufficiency of the Syrian society. 
The State of Qatar is keen to remind the international community of the importance to resolve the complicated humanitarian situation in Syria and to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes. 
The conference will be an opportunity for the European Union and its international partners and major donors to discuss the future strategy towards Syria, aiming at determining greater EU role in reaching a lasting political solution in the country, consolidating stability and supporting reconstruction. 
The EU strategic objectives for Syria are focused in six key areas: an end to the war through a genuine political transition, promote a meaningful and inclusive transition in Syria in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique, save lives by addressing the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable Syrians across the country in a timely, effective, efficient and principled manner, promote democracy, human rights and freedom of speech by strengthening Syrian civil society organizations, promote accountability for war crimes with a view to facilitating a national reconciliation process and transitional justice, and support the resilience of the Syrian population and Syrian society. 
The EU seeks to open a political dialogue with key actors in the region under its regional initiative on the future of Syria in order to define common ground for the final status, conditions of reconciliation and reconstruction process. 
Talks with United Nations agencies and other international organizations, non-governmental organizations and members of civil society are scheduled to begin today at EU headquarters, before the Ministerial Conference the meeting to be held Wednesday. 
Today’s discussions focus on various aspects of international support provided in response to the crisis in Syria and the region, in the presence of major donors, members of civil society and humanitarian and development organizations over two sessions. 
The first session addresses the humanitarian situation in Syria, needs and challenges. The meeting will be opened by the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. The second session will tackle the support for the host countries of refugees. The session will conclude with a speech by European Commissioner for the European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Han. (QNA)

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