Brussels IV Conference ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region’: highlighting the role of civil society

The fourth edition of the Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region’ (#SyriaConf2020) will culminate on Tuesday with the Ministerial segment. Co-chaired by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination, Mark Lowcock, it will gather over 80 delegates from more than 60 countries and a dozen international organisations. Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, will also participate to address together with all participants the crucial political, humanitarian and regional development aspects of the crisis. Civil society representatives from inside Syria and the region will convey the main recommendations resulting from the online consultation process that preceded the Ministerial segment. The entire Ministerial meeting will be webstreamed and starts at 10:00, followed by plenary sessions. A press conference will take place at 12:30. The Conference pledges will be announced in the closing session at +/- 17:45. The opening ceremony, press conference and pledge announcement will be broadcast live on EbS. The Conference is also giving voice to those directly caught up in the conflict, which is a theme at the heart of the Conference’s virtual exhibition. During the past week, it has placed particular emphasis on dialogue with civil society. On 22-23 June, the ‘Days of Dialogue’ virtually gathered civil society organisations, including from the region, Ministers and senior decision-makers from refugee-hosting countries, the EU, the United Nations and other international partners to discuss the main issues at stake in the Syrian crisis. More than 35,000 people have followed these discussions, which were designed around 1,400 responses to an online consultation run by the European Union in May. From 24 to 29 June, a number of side events hosted by EU Member States, partner countries, UN agencies and other international organisations also took place online. The speeches of Commissioners Várhelyi and Lenarčič at the Days of Dialogue and side events are available online.This afternoon High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, will have exchanges via videoconference with a diverse group of representatives from Syrian civil society and Syrian women. BOZAR will also host tonight at 19:00 aconversation with visual artist Sulafa Hijazi, and clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh on the role of arts in the Syrian conflict. Follow it live here. More information on the Conference, including the full programme and link to the live webcast, is available on the dedicated website. See also our factsheets on the EU and the Syria crisis and on the EU assistance’s impact inside Syria, in Lebanon, in Jordan and in Turkey