The second UN-EU conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region starts in Brussels

Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Scenes from the side event at the second conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region', taking place in Brussels from 24 to 25 April, co-chaired by the European Union and the United Nations. Photo credit: Tineke D'haese/OXFAM
Scenes from the side event at the second conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region', taking place in Brussels from 24 to 25 April, co-chaired by the European Union and the United Nations. Photo credit: Tineke D'haese/OXFAM

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) are co-chairing the second conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region', which will take place in Brussels from 24 to 25 April.

The conference will bring together participants from more than 85 countries and organizations at ministerial level and the first day will focus on a dialogue with NGOs from Syria and the region.

Side event at the second conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region', taking place in Brussels from 24 to 25 April. Photo credit: Tineke D'haese/OXFAM
Side event at the second conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region', taking place in Brussels from 24 to 25 April. Photo credit: Tineke D'haese/OXFAM

In its eighth year, the Syrian crisis has deepened, with an estimated 13.1 million people currently in need of humanitarian assistance, of whom 5.6 million people have fled the country and registered as refugees, mainly in neighbouring countries, and 6.6 million people are internally displaced. The first three months of 2018 witnessed some of the highest levels of displacement since the beginning of the crisis, according to the latest figures from OCHA.

The escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria has devastating and specific consequences for women and girls. From food insecurity to loss of education opportunities, lack of safe water supply or health services, and high rates of gender-based violence, women and girls are at the frontlines of the crisis. In 69 per cent of the communities assessed, early marriage was reported as a concern.

At the sidelines of the conference, UN Women, together with the European Union, UNFPA, Kvinna till Kvinna, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, CARE International and Oxfam, is organizing a side event on 24 April. The side event will feature a discussion between policy makers and ten Syrian women who will present their distinct perspectives on the conflict. Read the Media Advisory>

Speaking at the side event, UN Women Deputy Executive Director, Yannick Glemarec, said: “We know that women, their organizations and their networks have pragmatic solutions to offer. And that empowering women and girls is an essential part of building peaceful communities that are less susceptible to the threat of violence and radicalization.”

“Women’s organizations and women leaders have the knowledge, experience and expertise needed to help broker a sustainable settlement. And we simply cannot afford to ignore this in Syria,” he added. Read the full speech>

Follow #SyrianWomen, UN Women Arab States/North Africa websiteFacebook  and Twitter for more updates.

Related links:

Watch the public parts of the ministerial conference on 25 April via the European Council live streaming platform at http://video.consilium.europa.eu.

Follow hashtags #SyriaConf2018 and #InvestinHumanity and OCHA Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as Mark Lowcock@UNReliefChief for updates.