Ladies and Gentleman,
To start, I would like to thank the EU delegation and OCHA for organizing this event. I would also like to thank Ambassador Almeida and Under-Secretary-General O’Brien for their comprehensive debriefing.
The Brussels Conference was an important opportunity to build on the progress made at the previous conferences in Kuwait and London.
In Brussels, over 70 countries and numerous international organizations
- reaffirmed their support to the millions of victims of the Syrian conflict;
- acknowledged the tremendous generosity shown by the host countries Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq as well as Egypt and confirmed their continued backing for them, and
-reiterated their full support for the UN-led political process and the tireless efforts of Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.
At the conference a remarkable sum of 6 billion USD was pledged for 2017 to assist Syrians in need inside Syria and in host countries.
Germany will again be contributing its share and has pledged 1.39 billion USD for 2017. UN agencies will continue to be our most important partners in fulfilling these pledges.
But to ensure that these contributions reach those in need inside Syria, it is absolutely urgent that rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access be granted.
Besides the remarkable amount of funds for Syrians in need, the Brussels conference was a success, because it gave us an opportunity to reconfirm our solidarity with host countries Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
Since the beginning of the conflict these countries have offered shelter, protection and prospects to millions of Syrian refugees. In our view, it is equally important that we support host communities.
And this is why we consider the documents jointly agreed with Lebanon and Jordan on “supporting resilience and development efforts of host countries” a crucial outcome of the conference.
Together with our partners in the region, we will continue to work hard to create employment opportunities for host communities and refugees. The same goes for access to education for Syrian children.
But we must not forget that: without a political solution, we will be treating only the symptoms instead of addressing the causes of the devastating Syrian conflict.
The UN-moderated intra-Syrian talks in Geneva need to continue. The UN and Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura have our full support.