Ahead of the ministerial segment of the Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” the High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell attended, together with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, a virtual meeting with members of the Syrian Civil Society Support Room. This conversation was part of the ongoing extensive exchanges with a very broad range of Syrian civil society actors that have taken place throughout last week. The outcomes of these discussions will be feeding into the Ministerial Event on Tuesday.
“Syria’s civil society, in all its diversity, holds the key to the country’s future. The Civil Society Support Room plays an important part in support of the efforts of the United Nations. The EU is proud to support you and we will continue doing so,” High Representative Borrell said to the participants who shared with him and the UNSE Pedersen their perspective on their role in Syria’s political process and on the country’s future. Over the past days, representatives of the Civil Society Support Room have discussed topics related to the political process in Syria, progress in the work of the Constitutional Committee, and peacebuilding and early rehabilitation in the country.
The European Union has been working extensively with Syrian civil society organisations both inside Syria and in the region. The funding from the EU has for many years supported the civil society in areas such as human rights, humanitarian aid, women and youth voices, peacebuilding and resilience, cross-line dialogues and support for minorities in Syria.
“You provide hope and concrete support to the Syrian people today and for the future. Through your courage and your commitment, you are trying to make a difference; through your actions, you are trying to forge peace,” Josep Borrell said to participants of the virtual meeting.
He also stressed that the role of the civil society in the political transition in Syria would be crucial. Engagement with the civil society during the Brussels Conference is one of the many examples of the EU’s commitment to listen and offer prominence to civil society representatives.