The SRTF Participates in the Ministerial-Level Meeting on the Syrian Crisis Held on the Margins of the UN General Assembly

New York – Tuesday, 29 September 2015 – The SRTF Management Unit participated in the “Ministerial-Level Meeting on the Syrian Crisis” organized by the delegation of the European Union on the margins of the General Assembly in New York today. The SRTF-MU was represented by the Director-General, Eng. Hani Khabbaz.


Convened under the title: “Rethinking the international response to the biggest crisis of times – How to respond better to growing and evolving needs”, the event was co-chaired by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the European Union. Bringing together countries of the region, including those hosting Syrian refugees, major donors and leading aid institutions and agencies, the meeting discussed ways to re-energise international humanitarian efforts and step up vital assistance.


Among other senior officials, the meeting was addressed by Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the European Commission, Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Frank-Walter Steineier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, Lubna Khalid Al-Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development of the United Arab Emirates, Antony J. Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State of the United States of America, Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy for the Syria Crisis.


In his opening remarks, Commissioner Stylianides described the Syrian conflict, now in its fifth year, as “the greatest humanitarian tragedy of recent times.” He said: “more than seven million are displaced in their own country and more than four million have been forced to flee to neighboring countries.” “The deepest and most pressing needs are inside Syria. If the conflict deteriorates further, the 7.6 million IDPs today might become the refugees of tomorrow,” he added.


The participants at the meeting have collectively emphasized in a final communiqué the need to continue and even increase international assistance to those in need. The communiqué underlined the “need to ensure that our response goes beyond the immediate needs and caters for the long-term well-being of the Syrian population and provide them with hope for a better future.”


In her closing remarks, Vice President Mogherini said: “there cannot be donors' fatigue in the face of such a tragedy... We would collectively pay a dear price if we were failing to mobilise the necessary political will and funding to address this crisis.” She welcomed the many constructive efforts proposed during the meeting, such as the Norwegian initiative for a donors' conference, and concluded that this was the fourth and last event organized by the EU on the Syrian humanitarian crisis and expressed hope that “next year around, we would focus our discussions on reconstruction.”




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