Since 2017, Brussels has hosted the annual Brussels Conference which raises funds and coordinates them to support humanitarian operations in Syria and the region to help alleviate the ongoing crisis. The Conference is held with the presence of international delegations and figures who represent stakeholders of the Syrian conflict, UN agencies, international institutions, and Syrian civil society organizations.
Since the Brussels Conference aims to support the future of Syria, it should take the initiative towards acknowledging the multicultural, multilingual, and multi-ethnic composition of Syria’s population. These steps would send positive messages to Syrians that the European Union (EU), as well as governments and organizations involved in the Conference, support diverse societies in general and Syria’s in particular. Furthermore, an acknowledgement of Syria’s diverse minority groups is the first step towards working towards a future in which all Syrians enjoy basic human rights despite decades of discrimination against its minorities.
Therefore, the signatory organizations to this letter deem it necessary in any project or event that concerns Syria or discusses its future to include representatives of all components of Syrian society. The conference must address these representatives, especially those belonging to communities that were subjected to persecution, in their mother tongue and allow them to use it in their interventions. Supporting diversity and pluralism is the essence of the objectives Syrian organizations seek in their extensive consultation with the EU and it is the goal of many Syrian initiatives.
Allowing the use of mother tongue in Brussels Conference and other conferences would demonstrate inclusivity and ensure real and effective participation, helping minorities to feel like their role in finding solutions and implementing them is valued.
Accordingly, the signatory organizations to this letter call on the organizers of the Sixth Brussels Conference 2022 to take practical steps to include the Kurdish language and other Syrian mother tongues as primary languages at all stages of the conference, and in all upcoming activities concerning Syria.
- Afrin Platform
- Analysis and Strategic Studies Organization
- Aso News Network
- Center for Research and Protection of Women’s rights in Syria
- Development Seeds Center
- Dijla Organization for Development and Environment
- Ezdina Organization
- Hevdestî-Synergy for the Victims in North and East Syria
- Human Rights Organizations Afrin- Syria
- Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights
- Kurds Without Borders
- Nudem for Humanitarian Development and Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities Organization
- PÊL- Civil Waves
- Ras Al Ein (Serê Kaniyê) Platform
- Sara Organization to Combat Violence Against Women
- Shams Organization
- Shawshka Women’s Association
- Syrians for Truth and Justice – STJ
- West Kurdistan Intellectuals Union
- Wheat & Olive Platform