Why I am proud of the third Brussels Conference on the future of Syria

Why I am proud of the third Brussels Conference on the future of Syria

I write after a week spent in the United States and in Brussels, for the third Conference on Syria. I am proud of three things. First of all, this year the Conference revolved around the many Syrian women and men working in civil society – who came together, in spite of their differences, with 500 NGOs engaged every day on the ground. We offered them a safe space to meet and to exchange ideas, and we brought their voice to the table of decision makers: because Syria belongs to Syrians, and the only way to end the conflict is to help them – together with the United Nations – build a democratic, inclusive, united and reconciled Syria. Here are my meetings with civil society and the women who are taking part in the negotiations, here is the press conference with the UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen. And here is my speech that opened the ministerial meeting, after we had listened together to the story of an incredible young woman from Syria, Asmaa. Second, in a moment when Syria risks to be “forgotten” and when divisions still run deep within the international community, we mobilised 8o countries and international organisations to support the political process led by the United Nations – our only hope to end the war. From Russia to the US, from Iran to Turkey, we tried to build some common ground to help the United Nations relaunch the negotiations in Geneva. Finally, we managed to gather an extraordinary amount of resources – more than six billion euros for 2019 only – in support of Syrians and their host communities, particularly in...
At the UN general Assembly. Investing in multilateralism is our “national interest”

At the UN general Assembly. Investing in multilateralism is our “national interest”

I write after coming back from the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York: a full week at work to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, to restart peace talks in Syria, to keep alive and relaunch the two-State solution for Israel and Palestine, to work with Africa on our future, to protect rights and create new opportunities for all. (I will write more on Iran, Syria and the Middle East in the next post). But first and foremost it was a week to restate that we will find solutions to the great issues of our times only if we work together, and the United Nations are the natural centre of gravity for all our collective work on peace, security and growth around the world. This week, some described the United Nations as an obstacle on the path to achieve our “national interests”. The exact opposite is true. In a complex and difficult word like ours, the only realistic and effective solutions are born when we join forces, among global powers and continents, in the framework of the United Nations. This is the European Union’s choice, the European way. We confirmed it in our meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and in the one – that I convened for the first time ever – with the ministers of the European members of the UN Security Council. It is a choice that we put in practice every day. We do so, for instance, reinforcing trilateral cooperation among the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations – on migration, economic growth, peace and security (here is a report...