United Nations (UN)

Supporting the future of Syria and the region - Brussels Conference, 30 June 2020

The European Union and the United Nations will co-chair the fourth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”, which will take place on 30 June 2020. In light of the necessary social distancing measures, the Conference will be held in a virtual format.




The Conference’s Ministerial meeting will take place on 30 June and will be web-streamed. Events will already start the week before.

The Conference’s Days of Dialogue Side Events will take place on 22 and 23 June, allowing to pursue dialogue between civil society, NGOs, International Organisations, refugee-hosting countries, the EU and the UN community.



Virtual civil society consultations

In light of the social distancing measures in place in Europe and the Middle East, this year's consultations with civil society organisations active in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and elsewhere in the region will be held online ahead of the conference.

The aim of these consultations is to gather recommendations on key issues affecting the Syrian people and their possible solutions, so to streamline the international community’s response to the conflict and mobilise the necessary resources. These recommendations will feed into the Ministerial event on 30 June.


Further information

The Conference schedule, including side events, will be released in the next few days. Please check this page for regular updates.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 00:00
Organiser or Host: 
European Union and the United Nations

ECOSOC HAS side Event:Humanitarian consequences arising from the use of explosive weapons on populated areas

Invitation to ECOSOC HAS side event via Zoom


Friday 12 June, 11am - 12.30am EDT / 5pm - 6:30pm CET

Co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, Mozambique, New Zealand, Norway and Uruguay.


Data shows that when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, approximately 90% of those reported killed and injured are civilians. Beyond those killed, injured and psychologically traumatised, an even greater number of civilians are affected as a result of damage and destruction to essential infrastructure and services. Hospitals are damaged, hampering the provision and quality of medical care to civilian populations. Damage to sanitation systems creates additional problems around maintaining basic levels of hygiene, resulting in further illness and disease. In the current context of the COVID 19 pandemic, the impact of explosive weapons on access to healthcare and water and sanitation is potentially catastrophic for civilian populations.

The side event will give an overview of the humanitarian consequences resulting from use of explosive weapons in populated areas, in Yemen in particular, and the practical actions states and other actors can take to address short and long-term harm to civilians.

Chair Mr. Brian Flynn, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Ireland in New York.

Introductory remarks: Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Permanent Representative of Ecuador in New York


Ms. Alison Bottomley, Humanity & Inclusion (HI)

Ms. Eirini Giorgou, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Mr. Simon Bagshaw, Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)

Ms. Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta, on behalf of International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW)


To attend the side event, please register HERE. Read the technical note attached with guidelines to attend 

Event Date: 
Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 17:00 to 18:30
Organiser or Host: 

ECOSOC HAS side event on counterterrorism and humanitarian space

Counterterrorism, Sanctions and Principled Humanitarian Action in the COVID-19 response

We look forward to welcoming you to this virtual side event during the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment.

Date: Thursday 11 June
Time: 13.00 - 14.30 New York
19.00 - 20.30 Geneva
Platform: The Side Event will be convened virtually. Registered participants will receive a link the day before the event.
RSVP herecall details to follow.

This event will explore the impact of counterterrorism and sanctions measures on principled humanitarian action, as well as how they impact the humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of challenges are reflected in a growing body of research, and in the daily operational difficulties they present to humanitarian organisations as they carry out their work, such as the independent selection of beneficiaries, carrying out bank transfers, engagement with non-state armed groups and the provision of healthcare. The discussion will look at steps taken by humanitarian actors to overcome these challenges, as well as how they monitor and mitigate the risks that may arise from the need to comply with counterterrorism and sanctions measures.

Chair and moderator:
Ms Mihela Zupancic, Head of Unit, International and Inter-institutional Relations, Legal Framework, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO), European Commission.

Panel composition:
Gabriella Waaijman – Humanitarian Director, Save the Children
Emma O’Leary – Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, Norwegian Refugee Council
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
Marc Porret, Legal and Criminal Justice Coordinator Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate


Event Date: 
Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 13:00 to 14:30
Organiser or Host: 
NRC, Save the Children, EU, Belgium, Switzerland

ECOSOC HAS Side Event Inclusive Humanitarian Action = Effective Humanitarian Action

ECOSOC HAS Side Event Inclusive Humanitarian Action = Effective Humanitarian Action


Co-Sponsors: Asia Pacific Network of Refugees, Australia, CARE, Danish Refugee Council, Finland, Global Independent Refugee Women Leaders (GIRWL), HelpAge, Humanity and Inclusion, International Disability Alliance (IDA), Plan International, Settlement Services International, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN OCHA, United Kingdom, Women Enabled and the Women’s Refugee Commission


Wednesday, 10 June 2020 at 2:30-4:00pm ET Virtual event


This is one of the side-events to be convened during the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS), which builds on this year’s HAS theme: “Reinforcing humanitarian assistance in the context of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations: taking action for people-centred solutions, strengthening effectiveness, respecting international humanitarian law and promoting the humanitarian principles.”


Discussion point-  Participants will discuss how to accelerate progress for inclusive humanitarian action and ensure meaningful participation by using an intersectional approach. The event will discuss best ways on how to support those most affected and their representative organizations, acknowledging that diverse factors can shape an individual’s experience and contribute to multiple forms of discrimination.


Format The 90-minute moderated dialogue will feature 3-5 min interventions by select panelists on current and future challenges and recommendations. After the panel, the moderator will open the floor for questions to panelists from audience members.

Chair and moderator: Charlotte V. McClain-Nhlapo, Global Disability Advisor, World Bank Group

Opening Remarks H.E. Ambassador Mitch Fifield, Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN



  • Mia Farah, Self-Advocate Lebanon
  • Foni Joyce Vuni, Co-Founder of Youth Empowerment Mentoring Initiative and Co-chair of UNHCR’s Global Youth Advisory Council
  • Rahma Mustafa, Sudan National Union of Persons with Physical Disability
  • Kizito Chiwala, Country Director, HelpAge-Mozambique


Concluding remarks from Finland


A link will be sent to those who register at: https://forms.gle/NHNUiHg2v43D2b9HA


Event Date: 
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 14:30 to 16:00
Organiser or Host: 
Asia Pacific Network of Refugees, Australia, CARE, Danish Refugee Council, Finland, Global Independent Refugee Women Leaders (GIRWL), HelpAge, Humanity and Inclusion, International Disability Alliance (IDA), Plan International, Settlement Services Interna
Online meeting

COVID-19 and People on the Move



Wednesday, 10.06.2020, 16h -17h CET

A discussion to be led by the Director-General of IOM, António Vitorino, as Coordinator of the UN Network on Migration.

In support of the UN Secretary-General’s Policy Brief on COVID-19 and People on the Move.

Other speakers TBA.


To register here for this webinar



Event Date: 
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 16:00 to 17:00
Organiser or Host: 
UN Network on Migration
Webinar online