On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Syria crisis, the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) has hosted the online event
10 years Syria crisis – time for a new approach?
CHA Director Ralf Südhoff discussed the topic with the following distinguished guests:
- Dr. Rim Turkmani (Research Director, London School of Economics)
- Dr. Carsten Wieland (Syria Expert and former Senior Advisor to three UN-Envoys for Syria)
- Lena Schellhammer (Security and Access Officer, Maram Foundation).
A recording of the event can be accessed here:
German-speaking media resonance:
- ntv 2021/03/15: Es profitieren Kriminelle und Assad-Getreue (Interview with Rim Turkmani)
- inforadio 2021/03/15: Südhoff: Friedensprozess für Syrien kaum noch vorstellbar (Interview with Ralf Südhoff)
- Tagesspiegel 2021/03/11: Das Regime weiß, wie man Sanktionen umgeht (Interview with Rim Turkmani)
Background of the event:
The ongoing conflict, the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis in particular have accelerated the human suffering in the country with more than 11 million people in need today and 60% of the population suffering from hunger. At the same time, the government in Damascus is controlling large parts of the country and negotiations about a peaceful transformation are in a stalemate. In light of this, a controversial debate has started if a change in strategy is needed:
Experts argue that in particular Western governments may need to find a new approach, for example with respect to the sanction regimes against Syria. In a recent study Dr. Rim Turkmani, co-founder of the Syrian Civil Coalition and Research Director at the London School of Economics, analyses that “sanctions failed to change the regime or its behaviour”, while they result in a “weakening of legitimate business and civil society, and increased suffering from ordinary people”.
In a new CHA policy paper, Lena Schellhammer from Syrian NGO Maram Foundation analyses how Western counter-terrorism measures impact humanitarian negotiations and weaken aid workers access to people in need.
Based on these findings, what are lessons learnt after ten years of Syria crisis, and should policy and humanitarian actors adjust approaches? Dr. Carsten Wieland, former Senior Advisor to three UN-Envoys for Syria, will analyse the political set up in Syria and its regional and international implications.