28 ministers support Didier Reynders’ appeal for access to healthcare in Syria

date: 21 September 2013

At the end of 2012, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders took a humanitarian initiative to improve access to healthcare for the Syrian people. During the Syrian Humanitarian Forum on 19 February 2013, 55 states called the parties involved in the conflict to observe the international humanitarian law governing access to healthcare and to facilitate the job of the relief workers.

Unfortunately, the humanitarian crisis has deteriorated since then, in part due to the use of chemical weapons. This is why Minister Reynders feels that efforts must be made to ensure that the different parties observe their obligations and that they protect medical and humanitarian relief in Syria. The whole international community must bring influence to bear on the parties in this conflict.

On the initiative of Didier Reynders, 28 ministers * from all four continents will send out an appeal in the international media this weekend. This appeal requests the parties in the conflict to:

  • observe their obligation to protect civilians and medical personnel, facilities and transport with immediate effect;
  • provide access for humanitarian relief throughout the territory with immediate effect;
  • to guarantee the safety of relief workers in carrying out their work with immediate effect.

In addition to the efforts to find a political solution, the humanitarian problem is also of great importance. Next week, during the General Meeting of the United Nations Didier Reynders will draw the attention of the international community to this problem again.

* Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Ivory Coast, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and European Commissioner K. Georgieva.