Syrian Crisis, humanitarian dimension and diplomatic initiatives - PAM High Level Parliamentary Hearing in Amman on 10 November 2013

While the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile in Syria, following the UN Security Council resolution and currently being carried out by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), starts to gain momentum, the 'humanitarian tragedy' remains high on the agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean.

Similarly, the United Nations Security Council, through a presidential statement on 2 October 2013, has urged the Syrian authorities, as well as the armed groups, to immediately end the widespread violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Immediate action is required to facilitate safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance, including the safe passage of convoys along key routes in conflict areas.

PAM has been particularly active during the last months through its parliamentary diplomacy network, which culminated in July, in a series of high level meetings in Damascus and Beirut with Government Ministers and Parliamentarians, as well as UN Agencies operating in Syria and the neighbouring countries struggling under the weight of more than two million refugees.

Building on the outcome of the July mission in Syria and follow up consultations in Geneva and New York, PAM is now organizing, within the framework of its 1st Standing Committee, a High-Level Regional Parliamentary Hearing in Amman dedicated to the "Crisis in Syria, its humanitarian dimension and diplomatic initiatives", which will be hosted by H.E. Senator Taher El-Masri, President of the Jordanian Senate. The event will take place on 10 November 2013, and will be followed on the next day, by a field visit to the Syrian refugees' camps at the Jordanian border with Syria.

The main objective of the meeting is to offer an opportunity to PAM member countries, other parties at the international level and UN agencies to exchange views on the humanitarian situation in Syria and that of refugees in neighbouring countries, as well as, on the political side, to look at  strategies of effective use of parliamentary diplomacy in supporting confidence building measures and ongoing diplomatic peace initiatives, including the USA and Russian efforts to convene the second round of the Geneva Conference aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

The conclusions of this Parliamentary hearing in Amman will be discussed, at the end of November 2013, with H.E. Ban Ki-moon and other relevant UN Senior Officials, the US Congress and Senate, and the Department of State, on the occasion of a subsequent PAM visit to New York and Washington, as well as with the Russian Duma and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow. These issues will also be analysed in Brussels with the Office of Baroness Catherine Ashton, in order to have a wider picture of the Euro-Mediterranean perspective of security and stability in the region.//


ISSUED ON: 7.10.2013

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