Guest Blogger: Camilla Jelbart Mosse, Syria Campaign Manager, Oxfam International
What an amazing display of support for the #WithSyria campaign for the third anniversary of the Syria crisis – congratulations one and all for a truly moving display of solidarity!
From refugees in Sahrawi camp in Algeria, to Justin Bieber, people literally all over the world stood #WithSyria. It was just fantastic to be able to describe this to some of the kids who gathered with balloons and candles in Za’atari camp last week here in Jordan (below).
In Melbourne, Oxfam teamed up with seven other NGOs including Amnesty, World Vision and Save the Children to run a vigil on Friday 14th March. 400 people took to Federation Square to show their support and show they are standing #WithSyria.
On Tuesday 19th March the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development hosted an event with Oxfam, CARE and a number of other NGOs in Parliament House on Syria. The event aimed to remind Parliamentarians of the dire circumstances the Syrian people are facing, including refuges in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Around the world
Oxfam supporters and staff played a remarkable role alongside our many partners in ensuring widespread public mobilisation for this global campaign.
We saw an amazing 115,000 tweets using the hashtag, from over 111 countries, reaching some 235 million people!
In addition to trending in the US and most of Western Europe, #WithSyria also trended in the Middle East – in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and for the first time in Syria – as well Pakistan, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and South Africa.
The campaign has been supported by several high profile figures and celebs such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Desmond Tutu, Melinda Gates, Michelle Dockery, Justin Bieber, and Madeleine Albright. Other high-profile voices include a number of actors such as Simon Pegg who posted a link to the video and was retweeted by Nick Frost, Hugh Grant who tweeted Banksy’s image, and Idris Elba who tweeted a link to the fantastic campaign video.
I’m #WithSyria because even one day of conflict is too much. 3 years is unimaginable. http://t.co/rJkp2ZhAX2 #WithSyria love, yoko
— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) March 11, 2014
A wide range of diplomats and politicians tweeted their support to the campaign. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s support for the campaign was echoed around the world, including by Prime Minister Cameron and Foreign Minister Hague of the UK, Foreign Minister Fabius of France, Foreign Minister Steinmeier of Germany, Prime Minister Di Rupo of Belgium, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Prime Minister Bettel of Luxembourg, and President Zeman of the Czech Republic.
Former Canadian Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy also showed his support for a prompt resolution of the conflict. Former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende retweeted Jan Egeland’s tweet announcing Brende’s clear stand #WithSyria and the European Commission tweeted 3 times.
In Turkey, the official Turkish Public Diplomacy account of the Turkish Prime Minister also tweeted its support to the campaign, with a link to pictures of a #WithSyria vigil with red balloons in Istanbul. In the Middle East, Saudi media personality (host of ‘Kalam Nawaem’ on MBC) also tweeted her support many times.
Support also came in from Javier Solana, Ana Palacio (who re-tweeted a picture of herself with former Finnish President and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari standing with red balloons), John Holmes, Alistair Burt, Bahia Hariri and Amre Moussa. The UK International Development Minister Justin Greening pledged to do “everything she can” and we hear the Prime Minister of Belgium is on his way…
Please retweet their tweets and thank them as much as you can for their support.
How will this have impact?
We’ve shown world leaders that people all over the world care about the fate of Syrians. Now we have to get them to act. The global display will give a significant boost to ongoing advocacy from international organisations in partnership with Syrian civil society as we work to push for an end to the bloodshed, access to desperately-needed aid for affected people and a political solution to the conflict with the full participation of all segments of Syrian society.
Let’s continue to stand #WithSyria and try to make this the beginning of the end.
Send a message to Australia’s leaders to stand with #WithSyria and do all they can to end the appalling suffering