On 30 March 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the Brussels Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” aimed at mobilizing the international donor community in support of the Syrian people.
In his video address, the Foreign Minister affirmed Latvia’s solidarity with the Syrian people, underlining the importance of continued involvement and support from the international community to finally bring a protracted civil war to an end. The Minister underlined in particular the need for constructive engagement in seeking a political solution in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, as well as the need to call for further pressure to be put on the Syrian regime and its allies, and this includes holding perpetrators accountable for their serious violations of human rights and the use of chemical weapons. The people of Syria, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs said, have earned a better future, in which peace, security, and mutual respect is assured for them, and achievement of this objective is our common responsibility.
This is the fifth Syrian donors’ conference, and it coincides with the tenth anniversary of the start of the conflict. The civil war in Syria broke out in March 2011 with the Syrian regime responding violently in its crackdown on peaceful protestors. More than 400 thousand people have lost their lives as the result of the conflict while more than 11 million Syrian people, for the most part, women and children, have been forced to abandon their homes.
Latvia has been providing support for the residents of Syria since 2011, including through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the Syria Regional Response Plan fund of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme fund, the Syria Humanitarian Fund of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) established by the UN General Assembly.
In the early 2021, Latvia, in partnership with a non-governmental organisation, Un Ponte Per, implemented a project in the Raqqah region in the north of Syria to support prevention of violence against women and girls, including in refugee camps.
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