New Humanity, a Focolare NGO, says the time for peace in Syria is now. An appeal has been sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Commission and the European Parliament. Many political, civil and religious authorities have expressed their support.
“We call for a suspension of economic sanctions against the Syrian government so that the people have access to international markets and financial services and can receive the medical supplies and funds necessary to defend themselves against the COVID-19 virus.”
This is the gist of the appeal promoted by New Humanity, an NGO of the Focolare Movement, in response – first and foremost – to the cry of the Syrian people who have reached the tenth year of civil war and are heavily affected by the pandemic that has now spread to their country.
But that’s not all: well-known figures from all over the world are supporting the cry of the people. A few days ago, Antònio Guterres, UN Secretary General, sent a message referring to the current situation that is uniting us in the fight the common enemy: “The virus is not interested in nationality, ethnic group or religious belief. It attacks everyone indiscriminately. Meanwhile, armed conflicts are raging in many parts of the world. And it is the most vulnerable – women and children, people with disabilities, marginalized, displaced people – who pay the price and risk the greatest suffering and devastating loss because of Covid-19.”
“Hundreds of humanitarian appeals have been made for Syria,” explains Marco Desalvo, president of the NGO, “but now we are in an exceptional situation. We are equally vulnerable to Covid-19 but the response that each state can give is very different. We have drafted this appeal for the Secretary-General of the United Nations and for the European institutions, calling for the suspension, at least temporarily, of the embargo on all medical and financial transactions so that Syria can obtain supplies of drugs and medical equipment.”
“This is not an issue regarding political division,” explains the Hon. Lucia Fronza Crepaz, former member of the Italian Parliament and one of the promoters of the appeal. “On the contrary, it wants to go beyond party membership because the objective of safeguarding the Syrian civilian population is above any political or ideological orientation.”
The appeal already has the support of several well-known political, academic, scientific and religious figures in Italy and beyond such as Romano Prodi, the Undersecretary for Labour and Social Policy, Sen. Steni Di Piazza, Patrizia Toia and Silvia Costa, Don Luigi Ciotti, founder of Gruppo Abele Onlus and LIBERA, Giovanni Paolo Ramonda, General Manager of the Pope John XXIII Association (APG23), Michel Veuthey, professor of international law at Webster University, Switzerland, Andrea Olivero, president emeritus ACLI, Cornelio Sommaruga, former president of the International Red Cross and P. Bahjat Elia Karakash, ofm, superior of the Franciscan Friars in Damascus.
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