Challenges for the Syrian Conflict Scenario: Is There a Role Left for International Mediation?

MidEast Breakfast with Carsten Wieland

Time: Wednesday, 22 January 2020 08:30-09:30
Place: PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo

Challenges for the Syrian Conflict Scenario: Is There a Role Left for International Mediation?
Aleppo in 2013. Photo: IHH Human Relief Foundation CC BY
In its ninth year, the Syrian conflict scenario has become more asymmetric and complex both on the ground and with regard to regional and international constellations as ever before. For the Syrians, the timing of the Arab Spring and their aspirations for political change proved to be bad with international constellations disinclined for concerted humanitarian intervention or any other multilateral action towards committed conflict resolution.

After "invited interventions" by Iran and Russia, after a tolerated Turkish intervention, and after multiple other proxy activities on the ground: What role is still left for a UN mediation or any other kind of multilateral approach?

This and other questions will be discussed over breakfast with Carsten Wieland:

What are the scenarios that emerge from today's perspective?
How has the Syrian war influenced dynamics in the region and internationally, and how is it likely to continue?
What are the strategies of the UN Special Envoy Pedersen in this complex quagmire? Will the Constitutional Committee ever meet again, and if so, what will it be able to produce?
Will the opposition be torn apart between Turkey and Arab supporters?
Will European states be able to toe a common line when it comes to the R-issues such as refugee return, reconstruction, reform or relations with Damascus in the future?

Dr. Carsten Wieland is a German diplomat, senior UN consultant, Middle East and conflict expert with high-ranking mediation experience.

In 2014 and from 2016 till November 2019, he has served with three UN Special Envoys for Syria as Senior Expert for Intra-Syrian Talks and political advisor. In addition, he is a Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).

Dr. Wieland had worked in the Syria team of the Foreign Office in Berlin and as director of the German Information Center for the Arab World in Cairo. He worked and lived in Syria several times and speaks Arabic.


Comments will be given by Director of the PRIO Cyprus Centre Harry Tzimitras.

Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director of the PRIO Middle East Centre, will moderate the event.


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