Press release | Date: 2017-03-09 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Norway is to co-host an international conference on the future of Syria and the region on 5 April in Brussels. ‘In order to be able to address the humanitarian needs and support efforts to find political solutions to the Syria crisis, it is important that international attention remains focused on the crisis,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The conference will be co-hosted by the European Union, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United Nations. It will be co-chaired by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende, and ministers of the other countries. On 4 April, thematic sessions will be organised with UN agencies, international organisations and civil society, on various aspects of international support provided in response to the crisis in Syria and the region.
‘In Syria alone, 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. In addition, there are almost 5 million Syrian refugees in the region, and a major humanitarian crisis in Iraq. There will be a huge need for assistance for many years to come, and it is vital that the international community continues to make a concerted effort to help,’ said Mr Brende.
‘The conference in Brussels will be important for demonstrating the continued and strong international commitment to finding political solutions to the crisis. It will also be important for maintaining donor engagement. A year after the London conference for Syria and the region, I am pleased to see that the international community’s pledges have been translated into concrete action. For example, the funds have been used to provide schooling for several hundred thousand Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan,’ said Mr Brende.
The Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the Region’ will follow up the donor conference that was held in London a year ago, on Norway’s initiative. Mr Brende stressed that Norway has honoured its pledges from the London conference; so far, it has contributed NOK 2.7 billion in assistance to Syria and its neighbouring countries. Norway’s aim is to contribute NOK 10 billion over a four-year period.