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Member Cities' Activities
The Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace held a conference
for the eighth anniversary of the start of the Syria conflict
March 15, 2019
Report from the Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace
On March 15, the Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace held a conference in Barcelona to remember eight years of conflict in Syria. The violence in Syria has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees and displaced persons, and tens of thousands of cities and towns destroyed by bombs. It is considered one of the most serious humanitarian crises of the 21st century.
For that reason, the Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace and Catalan NGO Fundipau co-organized the conference “8 years of conflict in Syria. The role of cities: solidarity, refugees and peacebuilding”, coinciding with the beginning of a peaceful popular revolt on March 15, 2011, against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in the framework of the Arab springs.
The event was divided into three round tables made up of Syrian refugees, political analysts, experts and local actors from Catalan institutions and organizations. The first round table “From Syria to Catalonia: voices of the conflict and forced displacement” invited Shahd Zaroor and Nour Salameh, two refugee women sheltered in Catalonia, to share their testimonies about fleeing from the horror in Syria. The second round table “Analysis of the eight years of conflict” involved the participation of two experts on Syria conflict, Lurdes Vidal and Eduard Soler, who provided some key points to understand the situation in the country. The third colloquium “The role of cities: refugees and international advocacy” served to evaluate what cities have done and what they can do from this point forward. The table was composed of Manel Vila, General Director of the Cooperation to Development Department of the Government of Catalonia, David Llistar, Director of the Global Justice and International Cooperation Department of Barcelona City Council, David Minoves, Coordinator of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, and Mayor Josep Mayoral of Granollers, a Vice President of Mayors for Peace and the Lead City of the Catalan Chapter. The panel agreed that “the Catalan cities should build bridges with Syrian cities because the only way forward is dialogue and a closer relationship with people.”
The event ended with the adoption of a final statement expressing solidarity with the victims.
The conference had the collaboration of Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, the Cooperation to Development Department of the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona Provincial Council.
(Photos Coutesy of the Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace)