Press Releases Syria: Statement by the High Representative on the 13th anniversary of the beginning of the conflict

Syria: Statement by the High Representative on the 13th anniversary of the beginning of the conflict

Today marks thirteen years since peaceful protests began throughout Syria and were brutally repressed by the Assad regime, provoking a conflict which continues to this day.

This unsolved conflict should not be forgotten. It remains a crisis that has terrible consequences for the Syrian people and a destabilising impact on the region.

The European Union reiterates its call for a sustainable and comprehensive political solution for Syria in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (UNSCR 2254), as the only viable way forward.  The European Union supports the continuous efforts of UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen to advance on all aspects of this resolution. We insist on the necessity for Damascus to deliver on its obligations under UNSCR 2254 and we call for an urgent resumption of the Constitutional Committee, which has not met since 2022.

A whole generation of young Syrians has only known their home country in conflict. The Syrian conflict claimed well over 400 000 lives and deprived millions of Syrians of their homes, with 6.6 million registered refugees abroad and another 6.8 million people displaced within Syria.

In this context, the European Union welcomes the recent establishment by the UN General Assembly of a new Independent Institution on Missing Persons and stands ready to support it. Accountability must be ensured for human rights abuses and grave violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties, in particular by the Syrian regime and its allies.

The European Union and its Member States remain the largest donor for the Syrian people, having mobilised over EUR 30 billion since 2011. The European Union is organising the 8th Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” on 30 April and 27 May 2024, which remains essential to generate donors’ pledges for assistance to Syrians and their host communities, to reaffirm the international community’s commitment to a political transition in line with UNSCR 2254 and to engage with Syrian civil society.

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