As the Syrian war enters its ninth year, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Over 11 million Syrians still need humanitarian assistance, and more than 5 million Syrian refugees are displaced outside the country.
The EU and the UN will co-chair the third conference on ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region’, which will take place in Brussels on 12-14 March 2019. The conference will seek to further mobilise the international community behind efforts to support the Syrian people and achieve a lasting political solution to the Syria crisis, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
The third Brussels conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” will take place in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels. On 14 March, the foreign ministers’ conference will take place in the Europa building – the ‘Space Egg’ of the European Union.
The conference will kick off with one and a half days of dialogue on 12 and 13 March 2019 bringing together more than 1000 participants: civil society representatives from Syria and the region, ministers and decision-makers from countries neighbouring Syria, donor countries, regional organisations, UN agencies, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Together, they will discuss key themes affecting the Syrian people and the international response to the crisis. This one and a half day event will take place in the hemicycle of the European Parliament.
The outcome of this dialogue will feed into the foreign ministers’ conference on 14 March in the Council’s Europa building. This last day will gather Foreign Ministers for a political discussion on the multiple aspects of the Syria crisis and the pledging part of the conference.
Programme of 12-13 MARCH 2019 – days of dialogue
Place: Hemicycle of the European Parliament, Brussels
13.00 Welcome of participants – Access for accredited journalist
14.00 Opening session
16.00 Parallel panel sessions
Panel 1 – Youth – economic and social empowerment
Panel 2 – Displacement and comprehensive solutions
09.00 Welcome, keynote address and NGO voices (Record will be available on EbS), including statements by:
– Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament
– Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
– Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
– Ute Klamert, Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships, World Food Programme
10.30 Parallel panel sessions
Panel 3 – Regional socio-economic recovery
Panel 4 – Protection
14.30 Parallel panel sessions
Panel 5 – Justice and social cohesion in Syria
Panel 6 – Education and child protection
16.30 Press point by the High Representative Federica Mogherini and UNSG Special Envoy Geir Pedersen (available on EbS – LIVE)
17.00 Reporting from the six panels, wrap-up and closing remarks (Record will be available on EbS), including closing remarks by:
– Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice President of the European Commission
– Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
– Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations
On the same occasion, there will be a photo exhibition on the European Parliament Esplanade, displaying portraits of Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and Lebanese beneficiaries of EU projects funded by EU Trust Fund in Response to the Syria Crisis, which will run until 18 March.
On the evening of Tuesday 12 March, the concert “Common ground: singing for Syria” will take place at Lagrange Points (Galerie Ravenstein 19). This interactive musical experience will feature the Syrian singer Khaled al Hafez amongst others.
On the evening of Wednesday 13 March, the High Representative Federica Mogherini and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen will host a dinner with Syrian women. It will bring together leading female figures of Syria’s civil society, foreign ministers as well as EU and UN representatives. The dinner will be a unique opportunity to hear the perspectives of Syrian women regarding the future of their country. This event will take place in Palais d’Egmont.
Programme – foreign ministers conference
Place: Europa building, Brussels
10.00 Opening session by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini followed by representatives of the UN and by representatives of the three main refugee-hosting countries in the region, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey (roundtable)
11.15 First plenary session
Co-chaired by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen
14.30 Second plenary session part 1
Co-chaired by European Commissioner Johannes Hahn and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi (Introductory remarks: live streaming)
16.15 Second plenary session part 2
Co-chaired by European Commissioner Christos Stylianides, and UN Under-Secretary-General Marc Lowcock
17.45 Closing remarks and announcement of final amount of pledges
European Commissioner Christos Stylianides, and UN Under-Secretary-General Marc Lowcock (live streaming)
We have already had exchanges with the new UN Special Envoy for Syria [Geir Pedersen] on how to use this conference not only for a humanitarian pledge that we want to keep as high as possible on the international and European agenda, but also for defining how we can support a political transition in Syria and the UN role in this respect.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, 1 February 2019
Building on the two previous editions, the conference will address the most critical humanitarian and resilience issues affecting Syrians and communities hosting Syrian refugees, both inside the country and in the region. Specific attention will be placed on hearing the perspectives of Syrian women.
The conference will reaffirm the international community’s political and financial support for Syria’s neighbours, in particular Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Iraq and Egypt’s efforts will also be highlighted.
It will also be the main pledging event for Syria and the region in 2019.
Highlights of the Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region | 25 April 2018 – Brussels
This year hundreds of Syrian, regional and international NGOs and civil society organisations will gather in Brussels as part of the conference’s days of dialogue.