Japan-Syria Relations

March 31, 2021
Supporting the future of Syria and the region, Brussels V Conference, 2021
On March 30th , 2021, the fifth conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region" (Brussels V Conference, 2021),co-chaired by the European Union and the United Nations,was held as on-line meeting. From Japan, Mr. WASHIO Eiichiro, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the conference through video statement. The overview of the conference is as follows;

1 Background and Overview

(1)Following the prolonged Syrian crisis, the conference aims to secure continuous support by the international community toward the Syrian people and the neighboring counties/regions, and reaffirms the support for a political solution to the crisis.

(2) The conference brought together 78 delegations comprising 52 countries, 9 regional organizations and international financial institutions (IFIs), and 17 UN agencies.  (List of the participants(PDF))

(3) In the Conference, participants reviewed progress in the commitments made by the participants at the Brussels IV Conference in 2020, and announced new commitments for this year or as multi-year pledges. The total of the new pledges was approximately USD 4.4 billion for 2021, and approximately USD 2 billion for multi-year pledges after 2022. In addition, IFIs and donors announced a total of USD 7 billion for loans. (List of Pledges' breakdown(PDF))

(4) Mr. WASHIO Eiichiro, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, pointed out in his video statement (Statement by State Minister WASHIO (PDF)Open a New Window) that the Syrian people should not be left in the current unstable circumstances while this month marks the tenth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, and he reaffirmed Japan's unwavering commitment towards the political solution of the crisis and improvement of the humanitarian situation. In this regard, he announced that Japan decided to provide an additional contribution of about 200 million USD for assistance to the people in Syria and its neighboring countries in the year 2021. (Overview of Japan's assistance to the people in Syria and its neighboring countries (PDF))

(5) Japan's new commitment for 2021 was ranked 6th after Germany (USD 1,121 million), the European Commission (USD 660 million), USA (USD 596 million, UK (USD 286 million), Canada (USD 262 million).

2 Evaluation

(1)In the conference, participants reaffirmed that the international community needs to respond all the more flexibly, through providing assistance in various areas such as WASH(water/sanitation/health) education, women/gender, livelihood and resilience support, considering diversifying humanitarian needs due to the prolonged crisis as well as the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.

(2) Many participants stressed the importance of extending the UN Security Council Resolution 2533 that enables cross-border humanitarian assistance, in order to secure the humanitarian access, and reaffirmed the need for continuous support to the host communities in neighboring countries that accept many Syrian refugees.

(3) The importance of a political solution to the Syrian crisis in line with relevant UN resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolution 2254, was repeatedly underlined by many countries, and participants, as the international community, renewed their commitment  to continue diplomatic engagements and support for the resolution of the Syrian crisis.

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