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Kurdish and Syriac must be incorporated in the 5th Brussels Conference


25 Syrian organizations call on the European Union to include local Syrian languages at every stage of the Brussels Conference

by bassamalahmed
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Beginning 18 February 2021, the 5th Brussels Conference sent invitations to attend its conference and participate in online consultations with civil society. The conference introduces itself as a platform for civil society, refugee-hosting countries, EU, and UN members to engage in dialogues about the future of Syria and the region. However, while the invitations to attend the conference were distributed in multiple languages, the organizers ignored important local languages spoken by millions within Syria and throughout the region like Kurdish and Syriac.

If the Brussels Conference aspires to speak to the future of Syria and the region, discussions about solutions must engage all actors affected by the challenges facing the region so that they can be informed of and participate in the decisions shaping their futures. This is especially important for minority Syrian communities who, after decades of marginalization and persecution, must be given the opportunity to raise their concerns and offer solutions. The organizations signing this letter believe that in order for the conference to result in equitable and sustainable outcomes, participation in the conference must be inclusive and meaningful. The first step to positively engaging with diverse components of Syrian society as partners, rather than as spectators, is to address them in their first language.

To live up to its aspiration of providing an inclusive platform to discuss Syria’s future, the signed organizations call on those organizing the Brussels conference to take practical steps to incorporate Kurdish and other local Syrian languages like Syriac into the conference’s written materials and live discussions. Furthermore, if the Brussels Conference and other European Union endeavors seek to engage the region in inclusive dialogue, they must work towards adopting local Syrian languages as necessary to future activities related to Syria. Only by fairly and inclusively engaging all the diverse communities in Syria can we hope to find solutions which make lasting and meaningful change.

Signed,
  1. Al Rajaa Organization for Relief and Development
  2. ASO for Consultancy and Strategic Studies
  3. ASO News Network
  4. Civil Cooperation Team
  5. DAN for Relief and Development
  6. Dawlaty
  7. Dernaa for development
  8. DOZ_Syria
  9. Euphrates ERDO
  10. Ezdina Organization
  11. GAV for Relief and Development
  12. Hevdestî Association (Taazour) for the Victims of Turkish Military Offensives in NES
  13. House of Citizenship Organization
  14. International War and Disaster Victims Protection Association – IPV
  15. Kurdish legal Committee
  16. Nabd Team
  17. NGO PLATFORM in NES
  18. Peace land
  19. PÊL- Civil Waves
  20. Publish Path
  21. Shar for Development
  22. Syrian Kurdish Journalists network
  23. Syrians for Truth and Justice
  24. TEVN Corporation
  25. Weqaya

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