Header image for news printout

Supporting the future of Syria and the region
Brussels IV Conference

Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

30 June 2020

After nearly a decade of devastating conflict, it has become almost impossible to overstate the suffering of the Syrian people. Their human rights situation is appalling. The continued commitment of Member States to supporting people throughout Syria is essential to their dignity and survival.

This conference, and the days of dialogue which preceded it, have been an invaluable opportunity for States and civil society to interact, share experiences, and discuss the way ahead in this extremely difficult context.

As these discussions about Syria’s future move forward – and as States commit to continued support for this work – we must ensure that our efforts are firmly grounded in the framework of human rights.

Only a human rights-based approach can build a just and sustainable future, in which all the people of Syria can live together in peace and dignity.

The voices of Syrians must be at the center of this work. It is they – the people who have endured this conflict and violence: victims, widows, refugees, youth, members of civil society groups and many more – who will build the future of their country. It should be these women and men who chart the way forward.

I ask the international community to lift up the voices of people in Syria, so that they can lead us towards a much-needed and enduring peace. We must support the Syrians in realizing a future of equality, rights and dignity for all.