Call for Action – Stop Arms Deliveries to Syria
The tragedy of war and the horrendous suffering of the Syrian people continue without respite. In a recent statement, Pax Christi International expressed its belief that this armed confrontation – which continues to destabilize the region affecting mostly civilians – can be stopped if the international community focuses on promoting serious political negotiations and discourages violence in all its forms.
International actors – including governments – are fuelling the armed conflict by supplying or financing weapons and ammunitions, training combatants and even sending military contingents to one or more sides. Some think-tanks have made efforts to document arms transfers but, in general, there is a serious lack of accountability in this regard. The European Union imposed an arms embargo on the Syrian government that lasted for only a few months. Arms transfers have continued throughout the war with levels of international involvement that suggest a “proxy war” in Syria. This international involvement has also created frequent deadlocks in UN Security Council debates on issues regarding Syria.
Pax Christi International does not believe that there is a military solution to the Syrian conflict – on the contrary, its ramifications are becoming more and more deadly for the region. The international community, especially state actors directly or indirectly providing military support to the parties in conflict, should redirect their efforts and launch immediately a bold diplomatic initiative to facilitate a negotiated solution. The international engagement that led to the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons was a positive effort and shows that effective collaborative action is possible.
Call for Action
It is in the spirit of reconciliation that we request your action on this initiative. Pax Christi International strives to engage the governments of its member organisations regarding the Syrian conflict, especially in regard to arms transfers.
Weapons such as barrel bombs and sarin gas have been used in Syria, but much of the conflict is fuelled by small arms. Many of these small arms are provided by foreign entities. Arms transfers to Syria allow the conflict to continue; they also worsen a growing disinterest in dialogue.
We encourage you to write to your Government urging an end to the delivery of arms to all fighting parties in Syria. Below you find the links to three documents:
- General letter that can be addressed to any state in the world
- Letter specifically addressed to EU member states
- Informational briefing on selected countries where there are Pax Christi Sections
We will appreciate your collaboration and will welcome any feedback from you.