Syrian Women’s Political Movement holds several Bilateral Meetings on the aftermath of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey
- By: Mona Katoub
- updated: February 19, 2023
During the past week, the Syrian Women’s Political Movement held, via Zoom, two meetings with the France and Canada permanent missions in the UN. These meetings, requested from the Syrian Women’s Political Movement shed light on the tragic conditions and the emergency response to the humanitarian catastrophe, which followed the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria with a magnitude of 7.8, on the sixth of February, and its disastrous consequences.
The members of the movement presented comprehensive life testimonies, and recommendations, as well as the humanitarian reality and the need for an emergency response to the disaster.
From the French side, Sabrina Aubert, responsible for the Syrian file at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, and from the Syrian Women’s Political Movement, members of the General Secretariat, Ruwaida Kanaan, Maysa Al-Mahmoud, in addition to the coordinator of the Political Committee, Alice Mufarrej, and Mayada, who resides in northern Syria, and Safaa Al-Turki, who resides in Turkey.
The meeting with Canada was attended by: On the Canadian side, the political coordinator at the United Nations, Mr. Anthony Hinton, and Sarah Hunter, form the Canadian mission to the United Nations. SWPM Delegation was a group members of the General Secretariat, Suha Al-Qaseer and Ruwaida Kanaan. Members is Nabiha Al-Taha, a journalist in northern Syria, Malak Toma, who resides in Turkey, a member of the Political Committee, and Wijdan Nassif from the National Consultation Team.
During these meetings; Members of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement highlighted the devastating impact of the earthquake on several Syrian governorates, including Latakia, Aleppo, Hama, Tartous, and Idlib. SWPM members shed light on the humanitarian situation in northern Syria, where 4 million civilians reside. especially in search and rescue efforts, and the lack of qualified personnel and necessary equipment hampered efforts to provide relief in the area.
SWPM members explained that there are hundreds of injured, breathing under the rubbles, and many are still missing due to the huge amounts of destroyed buildings. Moving the rubbles requires machines and tools that are not available. leaving entire families under the rubble, several medical groups reported that they used to hear SOS calls, but these voices faded with the passage of time, due to the delay in the rescue process.
During these meetings, members of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement emphasised the following:
– Supporting the will of the Syrian men and women not to accept the floating of the Syrian regime and its rehabilitation after all these crimes that it has been committing against the Syrian people for 12 years. Turkey, and our use as a political card in the Turkish elections, and that Turkey encourages other countries to accept what Erdogan called a criminal some time ago.
– Today, our country shares different forces of influence, most of which work with foreign agendas and complete subordination to their regional and international allies and supporters. Therefore, pressure must be placed on these forces that see Syria as a playground to settle their scores and achieve their interests in order to push their local followers to the negotiating table and end the suffering of the Syrians.
– Pushing with your partners and all international bodies to get the political process out of the current state of stagnation in order to get rid of the current state of division and conflict in which tyranny is growing in all regions, especially the Syrian regime, which has become clear that it is an obstructing party to any step that might lead to political change.
– We renew our request to support women’s political groups and women’s and women’s organisations so that they can stand steadfast and play their participatory role with the Syrian authorities to ensure that women’s voice, needs and fair participation are included in the future.
– As for the earthquake disaster, we hope that you will pressure with us the international bodies and organisations operating on the stricken Syrian lands in order to support Syrian women and men in all their places of residence by supporting Syrian organisations, because we have no confidence regarding delivering of international aid from the Syrian regime or even the Turkish government.
-The response is gender sensitive, for example by providing support to women-led and women-led organizations; Supporting women’s health, including maternal and obstetric health; and promoting immediate psychosocial support for women and children as well as implementing sexual harassment prevention policies.
– We see the need for international supervision of the aid provided to ensure that it reaches those who deserve it. Perhaps this international supervision will help enter the path of serious negotiations leading to a political solution and ending the suffering of the Syrians.
Canada’s Minister of International Development announced within 24 hours an initial $10M for the
humanitarian response for Türkiye and Syria, in addition to the $50M in funding provided for the
disaster response in Syria.
During the meeting, the Canadian representative offered his condolences to the Syrian people, and that the Canadian government considers the security of the Syrians an important matter for the Canadian government, and explained that the Syrian people today have become part of the Canadian fabric.
They also confirmed that a meeting was planned the next day with members of the Security Council and other European Union countries on the humanitarian situation in Syria, and that Canada will work hard to convey our voices, especially the situation of children and women.
On the subject of normalization with the regime, the Canadian side affirmed that the Canadian government’s position has not changed, and the regime’s crimes will not be tolerated, and that they will continue to work to activate accountability for these crimes.
The French representative has as well affirmed France’s commitment not to rehabilitate the Syrian regime without a political solution, and its commitment to providing aid to those affected by the earthquake.