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Geneva peace talks ‘best chance of a future for Syria’s children'


London, UK (June 18, 2013) — The G8’s confirmation that the Geneva II peace conference will definitely go ahead is finally some good news for Syria’s children, says aid agency World Vision.

"These talks represent the best chance Syria’s children have had in more than two years for a future free from fear and violence," said Anita Delhaas-van Dijk, World Vision’s National Director in Lebanon. "Including all relevant parties, however, is vital so the G8 pledge is a welcome first step, and we hope they can use their collective influence to bring all parties to the table in Geneva."

"On the agenda, first and foremost, must be negotiating an immediate end to hostilities. Experience has shown the need for concerted action over time, consistent investment of political will, technical, financial resources, and the desire and commitment on all sides to progress towards sustainable peace and security. This will require compromise. However, what cannot be compromised is the safety and security of children," said Delhaas-van Dijk. "Violations of children’s rights that are happening as a result of this conflict must stop. This can only be meaningfully done through a full cessation of hostilities and a peaceful resolution to the conflict."

"More than 93,000 Syrians have died in this conflict so far and we know that many thousands of children who have been killed, maimed, displaced, or forced to fight. This humanitarian crisis is why it is so urgent for all parties to work tirelessly to end the fighting and work towards a peaceful solution. Targeting of civilians is a reason to negotiate and show not be used as an excuse to avoid negotiations. The children of this crisis are going to pay a very heavy price for the failure to negotiate peace, which is why we welcome these talks as a promising step in that process," said Nathaniel Hurd, Policy Advisor for Conflicts & Disasters at World Vision.

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World Vision calls for Geneva II peace conference:

  • All parties to the conflict must prioritize ending use of force and ensuring safety of civilians.
  • All parties to the conflict must provide aid organizations, and ordinary, unarmed Syrian civilians trying to help those in need with safe and unimpeded access throughout Syrian territory to provide humanitarian assistance to children and families in need.
  • The international community needs to ensure that the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (RRP 5), as well as individual NGO appeals, are fully funded to provide urgent relief to people in need in Syria, refugees, host countries and communities. Particular attention must be paid to the needs of children.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews.