Government supports end to Syrian violence at Geneva II

Media release

22 January 2014

The Australian Government will emphasise its support for the Syrian people and the need for an end to the violence in Syria during peace talks at the Geneva II conference scheduled to begin today in Switzerland.

Australia has contributed more than $112 million to humanitarian efforts since the crisis began in 2011, providing much needed assistance to the Syrian people caught up in the conflict, including $2 million to aid the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

The Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Mr Peter Woolcott will represent Australia at the conference.

The Australian Government advocates a political solution to achieve an end to the violence and urges the participation of both the Syrian regime and the opposition Syrian National Coalition.

As a member of the UN Security Council, the Government has been active in international efforts to address the Syria crisis. Last week Australia brought its total of humanitarian aid to $110 million after committing an additional $10 million to assist the Syrian people.

More than 2.3 million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries in the region and 100,000 people have been killed. The violence continues to threaten security in the region.

Ambassador Woolcott is co-chair of the High-Level Group on Humanitarian Challenges in Syria.

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