Political parties urged to maintain Ireland’s commitment to peace in Syria

Artist Brian Maguire with Concern Worldwide CEO Dominic MacSorley. Photo: Concern Worldwide.
Artist Brian Maguire with Concern Worldwide CEO Dominic MacSorley. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

Concern Worldwide is appealing to all political parties to maintain Ireland’s commitment to peace in Syria.

Next month, Syria will enter its tenth year of conflict. The war is estimated to have left more than half million people dead and almost 11.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance having lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.

The conflict has rapidly escalated again with 586,000 people displaced by warfare and hundreds of civilians killed in recent weeks. For those that have managed to flee, life has become almost unendurable.

A key role

People have been displaced not once, twice, but as many as a dozen times, picking up and running for their lives. This has to stop and we must all do what we can to end the conflict. Those newly elected politicians in Ireland and the new government must keep the Syrian crisis on the country’s agenda” said Concern’s Middle East Regional Director Bríd Kennedy.  

Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley said that Ireland has key role to play in global peace and this needs to be strengthened: “We must utilize our seat at the table at the European Union and our vote at the UN to promote peace and the resolution of conflict – particularly in light of the Irish government’s bid to secure a UN Security Council seat for 2021.”

Aleppo Paintings

Mr MacSorley will take part in a roundtable discussion in New York today (February 11) on the role of art in shining a light on conflict humanitarian crises, along with EU Special Representative for Human Rights and former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Irish artist Brian Maguire.

The discussion will take place at the Irish Mission to the UN against the backdrop of the launch of the ‘Aleppo Paintings’, an exhibition of works by Mr Maguire which opened last night. He embarked on his Aleppo Paintings series in 2016, working first from news photos and then making a trip to Syria later that year to see the destruction first hand. The exhibition takes place at the UN Headquarters Delegates Hall until February 21.

For media queries contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide, at 01 417 7712, 087 9880524 or eamon.timmins@concern.net

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