On 24 and 25 April, the EU and the UN co-chaired the Brussels II Conference “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region”. The Conference brought together delegations from over 85 countries, international organisations, and civil society who collectively committed to continued engagement and support for a UN-led political solution in Syria and its neighbouring countries.
At the joint EU-UN press conference yesterday, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “There was common ground in reconfirming that there is no military solution to the war in Syria and that there is a need, recognised by everybody, to relaunch the political process. There is also agreement on the key role of the UN in leading this process to ensure that the political process is meaningful, inclusive, and represents all Syrians in intra-Syrian talks, and that this takes place in line with the UNSC resolutions already adopted.”
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, concluded the Conference by announcing the global commitment of €3.5 billion for 2018, as well as multi-year pledges of €2.7 billion for 2019 to 2020. The EU and Member States contributed with €4.8 billion out of the €6.2 billion pledged until 2020, which corresponds to some 77% of all funds pledged during the Conference.
The Commission pledged new funding of €560 million for 2019 for the assistance of refugees inside Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. This new pledge reaffirms the EU as the leading donor for the Syria crisis.
Commissioner Stylianides said in his closing speech: "The European Union, as a whole, has pledged almost 6 billion dollars until 2019 (three quarters of the total pledge). We are again leading by example by being the largest donor. Now, every single cent we pledged today, needs to be swiftly translated into action, spent in an effective and transparent way. This is our common responsibility. Our objectives have not changed. We must fight to help secure a better future for the people of Syria. We want to make sure that next generation of Syrians will live in peace and prosperity. Today we reaffirmed our concrete commitment to these objectives. With solidarity, determination, and an acute sense of urgency."
The co-chairs, supported by all the participants, adopted a Joint Declaration including specific annexes on the pledging commitment and on supporting the resilience of host countries (Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey). The Joint Declaration reflects the breadth of the international community's continued engagement for Syrians and neighbouring countries for the coming years. This includes both significant political and financial support, and will be accompanied by renewed, coordinated and collective efforts for securing a peaceful future for Syrians, as well as regional stability.