(Brussels) Today foreign ministers will be meeting in the framework of the initiative “supporting the future of Syria and the region”, that is, the third conference on Syria which began in Brussels on 12 March. Hundreds of representatives from the civil society and NGOs have exchanged views in the past two days on two main priorities – resilience and regional development, on the one hand; and humanitarian assistance on the other.
Last night, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the UN special envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen attended a dinner with Syrian women and “leading female figures from the civil society”. Today, 80 ministerial delegations from 50 countries and several regional organizations will be working on “keeping Syria and the Syrian people on top of the international agenda”, Federica Mogherini said in her opening remarks. “Key aspects of the Syrian crisis” will therefore be discussed in an attempt to “maintain international engagement in delivering assistance to the Syrian people and host communities”. The EU has invested nearly €17 billion in support of Syrian refugees since 2011, and Mogherini announced in her opening remarks that the EU would allocate an additional €2 billion in aid in 2019. However, Mogherini stressed, besides the EU’s “financial commitments”, it is also crucially important to relaunch “the UN-led political process”.