“The Syrian people will decide the future of Syria ” United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254
On 30 June 2020, Ministers from around the world will gather virtually for the Brussels IV Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region”, co-organised by the European Union and the United Nations.
The European Union will continue mobilising all tools at its disposal in support of the Syrian people, to work towards a lasting nation-wide ceasefire and a negotiated political solution and to help create the conditions for a brighter future for all Syrians.
The Brussels IV Conference will be an opportunity to gather all relevant actors to effectively address the current situation, offer continued support to UN efforts for a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian conflict, mobilise necessary financial support for Syria and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.
The Brussels Conferences are an occasion to have initiatives that put Syrians at the centre of the international agenda, with side events organised by partners, a unique interactive platform for dialogue with civil society and NGOs active in Syria and the region and cultural events. You can find the full programme, including all the side events, of the conference here.
As the conflict in Syria is entering its tenth year, we asked Syrians from inside Syria and living in the neighbouring countries what these ten years of war have done to their lives; how they imagine their life would have been if there wasn’t a war in Syria for the past ten years; and what their dearest dream is. Watch the videos on our social media networks or here below:
Voices from Syria and the region – a virtual exhibition
A virtual photo exhibition – Voices from Syria and the region – was launched on 22 June, ahead of the Conference and sheds light on Syrians, but also the local communities whose lives have been affected by the war in Syria. Check the website, you can also find more information below.
Also featured is They Are Syria, a series of three short films by Syrian born filmmakers that explores the consequences of years of conflict. Three stories that naturally blend into a single narrative arc of exile – at home and abroad. Marwa, Saleh and their daughter twice displaced. Ula, torn between the prospect of a new life in Sweden and her commitment to Syrian women in Lebanon. And Khaled in the loneliness of his Damascus flat, where isolated in his own city he struggles to find inspiration for his writing.
Concert and cultural debate
Together with Bozar and Lagrange Points, on Wednesday 24 June, a concert took place with the soothing sounds of Damast Duo. Consisting of Syrian violin player Shalan Alhamwy and Belgian accordionist Jonas Malfliet, the duo bring a wide repertoire of Arabic and European folk music and inspired originals. If you missed it, you can watch it on Bozar's Facebook page.
Damast Duo was founded by Shalan Alhamwy, a violinist and composer born in Homs, Syria, and currently living in Belgium. Alhamwy is a former member of the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Arabic Music and the Damascus Chamber Orchestra. He studied classical violin at the Damascus conservatory and has written music performed by international orchestras such as the WDR Radio Orchestra, Kammersymphonie Berlin, EPO, the National Syrian Arabic Orchestra, Violet and others. In addition to Damast Duo, Alhamwy is the artistic leader of Jiraan Ensemble and Picea Orientalis.
On Monday 29 June, BOZAR invites two Syrian artists and cultural workers to zoom in on the role of arts in the ongoing conflict. The artists will discuss their work and vision via videoconference from their respective homes with moderator Brigitte Herremans.
A special screening of Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature “For Sama” is available to stream online until July 1, in partnership with Human Rights Watch, the UK Mission, the US Mission and the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union.
The siege of Aleppo is seen through the eyes of Waad al-Kateab, a citizen journalist and advocate for justice and accountability. Watch her message to you here and then, come to Syria, to share Waad, Hamza and Sama’s experience. The password is ForSama_IV_2020.
A message to Syrians, a message from Syrians
The Brussels Conference is an occasion for implementing partners, Syrian civil society organizations and institutions to come together and share their message on the Syria crisis.
Search for Common Ground has collected several Syrian voices sending a message to all the participants of the Brussels IV Conference.
The European Investment Bank is helping Syrian refugees and the neighbouring countries with several programmes. Here two examples of how they are helping: