UN committee chairman speaks at FGV about the Syrian conflict

Pinheiro gave a lecture - held in partnership with the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) - in which he presented the main difficulties in mediating the conflict in Syria.
Institutional
19 February 2014

FGV's Rio de Janeiro Law School welcomed on Monday, February 17, the Brazilian diplomat Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, chairman of the Enquiry Commission of the United Nations (UN) on Syria. Pinheiro gave a lecture - held in partnership with the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) - in which he presented the main difficulties in mediating the conflict in Syria to ambassadors, representatives of large companies, scholars from various institutions, students of the School and FGV's Continuing Training Program in International Relations.

The diplomat was introduced to the public by the director of Rio de Janeiro Law School, Professor Joaquim Falcão, and the president of CEBRI, Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves. According to Pinheiro, the Syrian conflict's main characteristic is the constant change of scenery and the existence of several armed groups. It is a difficult operation, in which we basically hear those who leave the country, because we cannot enter Syria. More than two million people left the country and remained in neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, he explained, highlighting the impacts of a civil war that has already lasted three years.

Syria is a country of 18 million people, of which six million are out of their homes, in addition to more than two million refugees. The economic situation is chaotic due to the applied sanctions. The currency depreciated by over 50%. The health service became completely unstructured, said Pinheiro. According to him, the UN Commission seeks to act according to International Law treaties, but it faces difficulties to get information about what happens inside the country.

Armed groups

Pinheiro said that the situation in Syria becomes worse due to the existence of foreign armed groups - which seek to influence the internal fighting between the government and opposing forces, reflecting the tensions across the region. This is for example the case of the Lebanese Hezbollah, which supports Bashar al-Assad and Isis regimes, linked to al-Qaeda.

More humanitarian aid will be required. The region is extremely destabilized, political forces are weakened. The longer the war lasts, the worse the situation becomes, he added.

Also according to him, it is impossible for a group to win this conflict, as many movements and factions fight for different regions of the country and different interests. The solution, therefore, must happen through a diplomatic agreement.

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