Monday 3 October 2016
Chairs’ Summary of the Supporting Syria & the Region UNGA side event, which took place in New York on 21 September 2016.
1. The February 2016 Supporting Syria & The Region Conference marked a step change in the international community’s response to the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. At the conference, co-hosted by Germany, Kuwait, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United Nations, donors signed ambitious statements with refugee hosting countries to help them expand job and education opportunities. On 21 September 2016, the conference co-hosts convened a meeting in the margins of the UN General Assembly to review progress since February.
2. Co-hosts were joined by refugee hosting countries, over 20 top Syria Conference pledging donors, civil society representatives, Syrians and others affected by the conflict. Seven months on, the Syria Conference agreements are starting to deliver for those who need it. Of the $6 billion pledged for 2016 the international community has delivered $4.7 billion. The fulfillment of financial pledges will allow food, water, shelter and medical assistance to continue to be delivered to those most in need; it will allow more children to go to school and more jobs to be created for refugees from Syria and host country citizens.
3. We have reviewed progress towards the delivery of pledges and policy commitments on education and employment opportunities in Syria and the region. Impressive progress has been made by Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. At the same time, we recognise that many challenges remain, particularly with regard to securing access to safe education as well as protection inside Syria. Accelerated delivery is needed to ensure we reach our London Conference commitments of getting all refugee and host community children into quality education and creating at least one million jobs for Syrian refugees. Donors and refugee hosting countries agreed to step up their efforts to reach these goals. Donors will provide funding for education and private sector investment in the region and continue to engage in dialogue with the hosting countries. All welcomed Unicef’s role on tracking Syria Conference education goals in alignment with host Government national education results frameworks and in consultation with all education development partners.
4. We also reviewed the situation on the ground inside Syria, looking at progress on implementing the London commitments on humanitarian access and protection, as well as planning efforts on post-conflict stabilisation, peace building and recovery efforts. We condemned in the strongest terms, that the Syria conflict continues to be characterised by the large scale abuse of civilians and lack of unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to all those in Syria in need. The Syrian conflict can only be ended through a negotiated political settlement on political transition. Co-hosts stated our continued commitment to supporting a sustainable political solution that will bring an end to this crisis and create the conditions for Syrian refugees to return home voluntarily and safely. The UN outlined its progress on planning stabilisation and post conflict peace-building and recovery. Recognising the enormity of the post agreement challenges, the UN looks forward to strengthening its partnerships with all stakeholders on the planning process.
5. The Syria Conference agreements are delivering. However, we cannot be complacent. All parties need to be held to account for our promises and delivering at the scale and pace needed. A few large donors make up a large share of all pledges and funding provided so far. Further support is required to meet needs, in particular with regard to the UN-coordinated humanitarian inter-agency appeals which are only 43% funded. We must all step up efforts to deliver on our pledges and consider what more we can do.
Agreed by the Governments of Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the UK, & the United Nations, New York, September 2016.