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...