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Abu-Ghazaleh Calls for a Strategic Plan for the Safe Return of Displaced Syrians

11-Jan-2014 | Source : | Visits : 6834
Special to ag-IP-news Agency

AMMAN - a high level symposium was organized by the Economic Policy Development Forum (EPDF) at the Talal Abu Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum on Sunday January 5th 2014 to review a proposed study by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Consultancy, TAG- Consult.

The purpose of the study is to draw a strategy for the safe and dignified return of Displaced Syrians, once the situation permits. The same strategy is also set to ensure that their needs are met whilst they await their eventual return.

Speakers at this high level symposium were H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Saif, Jordan's Minister of Planning; H.E. Dr. Abdallah Al Dardari, Director of Economic Development and Globalization Division UN-ESCWA; Dr. Khaled AL- Wazani, Chairman & Founding Partner of Issnaad Consulting,; HE Dr. Simona Marinescu, Director for the UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) and Ms. Iman Abou Atta, Director of Social Change through Education in the Middle East (SCEME).

Additional participants in the symposium included ambassadors, government officials, U.N organizations, civil society, the private sector and the media.

Following 5 hours of intensive discussion, the symposium issued an important declaration in support of the return of the Displaced Syrians calling for:

First: The adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the UN body, all intergovernmental, international and civil society organizations, as well as all concerned business communities and others. The MOU is to include all the agreed upon principles relating to the return of Displaced Syrians.

Second: The immediate production of a study to be undertaken by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Consulting (TAG-Consult) to facilitate “the safe and dignified return of the Displaced Syrians”.

In particular, the declaration urged that:

1. The main aim of the International Community should be the safe and dignified return of all Syrian displaced persons from all locations. As such, participants declared that instant and immediate coordination by all concerned parties is required for coping with the pressing consequences of the crisis.

2. While awaiting their return, all displaced Syrians (whether registered or non-registered displaced) should be guaranteed their humanitarian needs including shelter, health care, food, education, security as well as their social and sound environmental requirements.

3. It is necessary to devise constructive ideas to support the displaced Syrians to achieve their potential and participate fully in the labour market, through the initiation of productive projects, within and outside their camps, and through engaging the local private sectors to provide employment opportunities, provided that such projects would not compete with the local labor force. Emphasis shall also be on jobs that are often sought by expatriate workers, so as to enhance local economies and build host countries’ national incomes.

4. It is necessary to devise financing opportunities, in addition to those expected form UN bodies, such as supporting the host countries to transform their debts (when any) to development projects for the benefit of Syrian displaced persons and host communities.

5. Preparing the displaced Syrians for safe and dignified return, through enhancing their ability to contribute to the reconstruction of their country.

6. Informing the displaced of their rights and their duties, on the basis of the relevant International conventions as well as international statute and customary laws. UNESCO, UNHCR and TAG- Consult will prepare explanatory pamphlets in Arabic and English to be widely distributed to all the displaced as comprehensive rules for the displaced communities.

7. The fiscal economic and social consequences of the crisis have been recognized by a myriad of studies. These consequences must be examined towards mitigating their negative impact on all parties.

8. UN organizations, donor countries, and other international organizations are applauded for their assistance, and recommended that part of such assistance be directed to enhance the productive capacity of the displaced.

9. There is no other alternative for the displaced than their eventual return to their country. As such, the only goal for all concerned actors should be to facilitate their safe and graceful return.

10. The entire human community to unite in providing the displaced Syrians with their material and human needs until their return; provided such facilities do not discourage their timely return when circumstances permit. There must be no alternative considered other than the eventual return of displaced Syrians to Syria.

“The Syrian people right to return home to Syria with due dignity and respect is an irrevocable right”.


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