The goal of Brussels Conferences, since its start in 2017, has been to reassert the international community’s continued support for the Syrian people affected by the ongoing conflict and to the UN and UN Special Envoy’s efforts for a negotiated political solution, based on the UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The annual Brussels Conference is a continuation of the three international conferences to support Syria that were held in Kuwait in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and also the conference which was held in London in 2016.

The conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” was held at ministerial level, bringing together 70 countries, international and Syrian civil society organizations. The European Union, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United Nations co-chaired the first Brussels Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region, on 5 April 2017. The participants pledged $6 billion (€ 5.6 billion) for 2017 to meet the massive needs of the populations inside Syria and in neighboring countries and to strengthen the resilience of host communities. On 4 April, parallel thematic sessions were organized by the EU and the co-chairs with UN agencies, other international organizations and key actors from the NGO, civil society community, and women’s and feminist organizations,  focusing on various aspects of international support provided in response to the crisis in Syria and the region.

The Second Brussels Conference was hosted by the European Union and co-chaired by the United Nations. Brussels II brought together 86 delegations including 57 States, 10 representatives of regional organizations and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) as well as 19 UN agencies. More than 250 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) were also associated throughout the preparations of the two days Conference. One year after Brussels I and following the previous three pledging conferences in Kuwait as well as the London Conference in 2016, the Conference renewed and strengthened the political, humanitarian and financial commitment of the international community to support the Syrian people, the neighboring countries. Participants pledged, for both Syria and the region, $4.4 billion (€3.5 billion) for 2018. Civil societyو and women’s and feminist organizations, and NGOs associated with Brussels II and its preparations, including through extensive consultations with NGOs implementing humanitarian and resilience programs in the region. The first day of the Conference was devoted to a high-level dialogue with representatives from 164 NGOs, including 15 from Syria and 72 from the three main refugee-hosting countries. Syrian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from across Syria and neighboring countries discussed their role in the future of Syria in a closed-door side event undertaken by the EU and the Office for the Special Envoy for Syria. The international community, and the EU emphasized that they would continue to work with Syrian civil society as essential stakeholders towards reaching a peaceful solution to the conflict. Participants also stressed the importance of women’s engagement in the political process, including through their adequate representation within the delegations of parties to the conflict. The Conference expressed its strong support for the work of the UN Special Envoy for Syria in his mandate to facilitate the political process. The Conference reiterated the importance of preventing and combating terrorism in Syria in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The co-chairs expressed their strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by any party to the conflict and under any circumstances which represents a clear violation of international law.

The conference was hosted by the European Union and co-chaired by the United Nations. Building upon the previous conferences, Brussels III renewed its support to the political process and welcomed the new Special Envoy to Syria. Brussels III saw an unprecedented effort to involve Syrian and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) throughout the preparations and the three days of the Conference. The conference put a special emphasis on Syrian women and on organizations representing their views and recognized their importance in efforts to bring sustainable peace to Syria. The Days of Dialogue brought over 1,000 participants, including representatives from more than 400 Syrian, regional and international NGOs/CSOs, to the Brussels Hemicycle of the European Parliament for a one-and-a-half-day interactive exchange with Ministers and senior officials from refugee-hosting countries, donors and UN agencies. Syrian civil society organizations also met in closed-door sessions on the margins of the Conference to exchange views on the future of Syria and the political process in Geneva.4.2.4 Brussels IV Conference, June 30th, 2020:

The Fourth Brussels Conference took place on 30 June 2020 in a virtual format due to the spread of COVID-19. The Conference was preceded by virtual Days of Dialogue and by a week of side events. The Conference brought together 84 delegations including 57 States, 10 regional organizations and International Financial Institutions as well as 17 UN agencies. In spite of the logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brussels IV saw an impressive effort to reach out to civil society representatives in Syria and the region. More than 1400 organizations were consulted on all key topics pertaining to the international response to the Syria conflict throughout the preparations for the Conference. Two Days of Dialogue were held virtually on 22 and 23 June where Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Turkish and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) interacted with Ministers and senior officials from refugee-hosting countries, the EU and UN agencies. A diverse group of Syrian civil society organizations also met in closed-door sessions of the Civil Society Support Room (CSSR) on the margins of the Conference to exchange views on the future of Syria, the political process in Geneva, and the needs and challenges facing Syrian civil society.

It reflects what is the closest to a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) consensus on the roadmap for the political solution for Syria. The resolution was adopted unanimously on December 18th, 2015. It focuses on the political transition, including a stable and neutral environment, a negotiation process, the meaningful participation of women in the process, a timetable for the transitional process for the sake of credible and inclusive governance, the drafting of a new constitution for the country, and free and fair elections under the supervision and auspices of the United Nations. It calls on all parties to allow immediate, humanitarian assistance to reach all people in need, in particular in all besieged and hard-to-reach areas, and to release any arbitrarily detained persons, particularly women and children. Formally, it adopts the final statement issued by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) after the Vienna meetings in 2015.

The Conference on 9-10 May gathered EU institutions and representatives of 55 countries including EU member states, as well as 22 international organizations, including the United Nations. The conference attendees pledged €6.4 billion for 2022 and beyond. The Conference brought together over 75 delegations from neighboring countries hosting Syrian refugees, partner countries, EU Member States, and international and local organizations, including the United Nations, to address the humanitarian situation in Syria and the region and renew the support to a comprehensive political solution to the conflict. It also provided a unique platform for dialogue with civil society. On 9 May 2022, the Day of Dialogue provided a unique platform for dialogue between civil society actors from inside Syria, the region as well as the diaspora, refugee-hosting countries, operational partners engaged in the Syria response, the European Union and the participation of other key partners, including the United Nations and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

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