Representatives of some 70 countries, international organisations and non-governmental organisations will take part in the high-level meeting on 5 April. The conference is being organised by the European Union and the United Nations, together with Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the United Kingdom. The Swiss delegation will be led by Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). It will focus on finding a lasting political solution to the conflict as well as on reconstruction and humanitarian efforts.
It will also aim to strengthen support for refugees and internally displaced persons as well as for the neighbouring countries which are assuming the main burden of caring for refugees. An initial meeting on the humanitarian challenges of the conflict will take place on 4 April. Ambassador Manuel Bessler, Delegate for Swiss Humanitarian Aid, will head the Swiss delegation during this initial part of the conference.
In addition, over 50 Syrian civil society organisations will be present in Brussels next week to discuss the role of civil society in promoting peace in Syria. Switzerland has long supported efforts to involve Syrian civil society in the national peace process. Ambassador Heidi Grau, head of the FDFA’s Human Security Division, will take part in the final part of this three-day civil society conference.
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