The European Union will organise a second Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region in spring 2018. This was announced yesterday by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini during a high-level event on the Syria crisis, hosted by the EU in the margins of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York and attended by close to 50 countries and partners.
The 2018 Conference will come as a follow up to the 2017 Brussels Conference, and will aim at keeping the international community’s attention and response to the Syrian crisis on top of the international agenda, and will encourage the full implementation of commitments taken in Brussels in April 2017. This includes continued support to the UN-led process for a negotiated political solution in line with UNSCR 2254, and ensuring respective needs for Syrians inside Syria and in neighbouring countries are met.
“Syria remains a top priority for the EU. The EU is the leading humanitarian donor for Syrians, both inside Syria and in the region. We are the ones supporting Syrians and we are ready to help even more, to see how we can help to bring back normal life in areas where violence has de-escalated, and to start working on reconstruction, only once a political agreement has been reached in Geneva. This is why we will be hosting the second Brussels Conference next spring. In this way, we will launch a Brussels process that will put our convening power at the service of the Syrian people – all of them. Those that are still inside the country and those that are in the region,” said Federica Mogherini.
“The conflict in Syria continues to cause great suffering for millions of people, both inside Syria and across the region. The conflict is still characterised by a great lack of protection of civilians, disregard for international humanitarian law, and the obstruction of humanitarian access; the international community needs to continue to address the most pressing humanitarian and resilience needs of civilians,” said Commissioner Christos Stylianides.
The European Union will continue mobilising all its resources – political, diplomatic and humanitarian – in support of the UN efforts to put an end to the crisis, to assist stabilisation and post-agreement planning and to keep delivering vital humanitarian and non-humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and their hosting communities.
In New York, the participants reconfirmed their commitment towards implementing the historic pledges made at the 2017 Brussels Conference worth €5.6 billion ($6 billion), out of which two thirds, i.e. €3.7 billion ($4 billion), came from the EU and its Member States.
The European Commission also pledged an additional €560 million ($601 million) for 2018 for inside Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, thus maintaining the level of its engagement with these countries. The EU is tracking the fulfilment of the international community commitments made during the Brussels Conference, and will release the first financial tracking report by mid-October.
The EU is the leading donor for Syrians, with almost €10 billion mobilised collectively in humanitarian, development, economic and stabilisation assistance for Syrians inside Syria and in neighbouring countries since the onset of the conflict.