Friends of Syria meeting should focus on ensuring Syrian voices are central, and stopping the violence

Published: 10th January 2014

Oxfam France Conflict and Humanitarian Advocacy Officer Nicolas Vercken said: “The debate about which countries are on or off the guest list risks becoming a distraction. The Geneva (or Montreux) talks are the best chance of alleviating the suffering of Syrians caught up in the conflict.

“The Friends of Syria meeting in Paris this weekend must focus on progress on measures that will quickly improve the humanitarian situation and stop the violence.

“Every second in Geneva (Montreux) will count and there will be no time to go over old ground. All participants to the talks must endorse the principles in the Geneva Communique and commit to fully implementing them.

"While the Geneva (Montreux) talks will not deliver peace immediately, they should deliver a clear timeline and process for a resolution of the crisis.

“Syrian voices must be at the heart of the debate about the future of their country. For the talks to really deliver a genuine and sustainable peace, all voices – in particular those of women and civil society organisations - should be heard.

“Oxfam believes the peace talks should involve all governments and institutions involved in the conflict and those intending to play a part in Syria’s reconstruction. Just as the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has publicly stated, we think there is an important role for Iran at the conference due to the conflict’s regional dimensions.”

Contact information

For more information or to arrange interviews with Nicolas Vercken please contact Magali Rubino on +33 (0)1 56 98 24 45 | +33 (0)6 30 46 66 04.

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Oxfam's humanitarian response to the Syria crisis