In July we asked our members and supporters to sign a petition calling on President Obama and President Putin to set a date for a peace conference in Geneva, and to do everything in their power to ensure that talks are successful in stopping the bloodshed.
UNA-UK has joined forces with Oxfam International and others on this initiative and we are delighted to report that we have already amassed more than 25,000 signatures.
However, with the conflict having left more than 100,000 dead and the number of Syrian refugees now fast approaching two million, the crisis in Syria continues to deepen with no sign of the necessary political will to convene peace talks.
Speaking to at the UN Security Council last month, the chief of the UN refugee agency, Antonio Guterres, said refugee numbers had not risen "at such a frightening rate" since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. UN aid chief Valerie Amos went on to explain that at least 6.8 million Syrians needed urgent help.
The only way we will see a sustainable solution to this suffering is via negotiations that must include representatives of the peaceful majority of Syrians, including women’s groups and refugees. These talks must be backed unequivocally by the international community.
UNA-UK and its partners will continue to call for a negotiated settlement to this crisis and urge Presidents Obama and Putin to put their political weight behind making the peace talks a reality, and a success.
Image: Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan
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This issue of the UNA-UK Magazine looks at the seemingly intractable crisis in Syria, and in particular, the UN’s response to it. We are delighted and fortunate to have Lakhdar Brahimi guest editing this issue of the magazine.