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29 September 2015, New York – Closing Remarks by European Union High Representative for Foreign Policy  Federica Mogherini at the High Level Ministerial Event on Syria Crisis – United Nations

– Check against delivery –

Let me start by thanking all of our panellists and all of you in the audience for your engaged and constructive contributions today.
And. Dear Deputy Prime Minister Judeh and Minister Fakhoury, many thanks for having co-chaired with Johannes, Christos and myself this important event.

We discussed many challenges related to the Syria crisis, notably the issue of access and protection, the issue of education for Syrian children and the protracted refugee crisis.

There cannot be donors’ fatigue in the face of such a tragedy. Let’s be clear. We would collectively pay a dear price if we were failing to mobilise the necessary political will and funding to address this crisis. A dear price for the regional and international security and stability. A dear price for the human consciousness.

Humanitarian assistance should not be a matter of controversy. It should be the rallying point of the international community. We should all exert pressure on the parties to the conflict to care for their own people. How can they pretend to represent the future of Syria if they fail their own people and keep them hostage of this conflict? Syria should no longer be the battle ground for battles of influence and proxy wars. It can only be a losing game, in which only terrorism thrives.

Today’s exchanges and interventions have shown a good deal of consensus. The urgency to act should be clear to everyone. We need to step up our assistance in support of the victims of this war, in particular the civilians, above all, children and women, the humanitarian workers, the medical staff. We must not forget the host populations and host countries that are bearing the blunt of the crisis.

– There should be renewed efforts to make progress in safe passage for relief assistance inside Syria in hard to reach or besieged areas.

– Parties to the conflict – if they pretend to represent a credible political force and agenda for negotiations on the future of Syria should commit themselves to respect basic rules of engagement and provide sanctity to medical facilities and schools

– there should greater focus on the plight of children (and women) to provide them with better protection and education.

– refugees should be offered dignified assistance allowing them to live in decent conditions and not as beggars. We must give them hope. And not push them into illegality or in the arms of extremists because of insufficient support.

I welcome the many constructive efforts proposed today, such as the Norwegian initiative for a donors’ conference or the German-French initiative to follow-up to Berlin I Conference and respond to the growing refugees needs.

I would wish this were the the fourth and last event we organised on Syria humanitarian crisis. I wish next year around, we would focus our discussions on reconstruction. But to make this happen, we have to muster all our political energy and spare no effort.

Thank you for your attention.

Ref: EUUN15-131EN
EU source: European Union
UN forum: Other
Date: 29/9/2015

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