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Statement at the “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” Conference 30 June

Statement by Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide at the “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” Conference 30 June.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to start by thanking the EU and the UN for hosting us today. Let me also convey my gratitude to my colleagues from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan for their immense hospitality to so many Syrians

I will make three points:

First: Norway will remain a consistent partner of the Syrian people. We have delivered on our commitments and will continue to do so.

Last year we fulfilled our four-year pledge of 10 billion Norwegian kroner, made in London. We will maintain a high level of support, providing 1,75 billion Norwegian kroner this year. Lebanon and Jordan will remain significant partners in our efforts.

Education remains a central priority for our support.

Impressive results have been achieved through the commitment of neighbouring countries, key organisations such as UNICEF and donors.

Yet, one third of school-age Syrian children in the region still have no access to education.

Lack of schooling leaves children and youth with limited opportunities and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, including Sexual and gender-based violence. Education gives hope for a better future.

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Second: Access has been a severe challenge throughout the crisis.

As the direct and indirect effects of the covid-19 pandemic further increases the suffering of the Syrian people, it is more important than ever to remove barriers to humanitarian access and to ensure protection of civilians.

UN Security Council Resolution 2504 must be renewed. We would also like to stress that all sanctions must contain effective humanitarian exemptions. 

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Third: we need to see tangible progress towards a political solution in Syria.

The UN Special Envoy has our full confidence in his efforts to move the political process forward. We look forward to supporting his work through our seat in the Security Council from next year.

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Finally, let me thank our humanitarian and development partners, especially local actors, for their invaluable efforts on the ground.

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