Forum on Syria: The Refugee Crisis, the Peace Process and Canada’s Role
Thursday, January 7 (7:00 pm)
Telus Building Room 150
(Corner of 111 Street & 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus)
Click here for map
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The Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism (ECAWAR) is organizing a forum on the refugee crisis in Syria.
The current refugee crisis is said to be the greatest in the history of the modern world, even greater than the exodus caused by the ravages of World War II. The United Nations reports that at the end of 2014 there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide. This included 14.4 million people under the mandate of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and 5.1 million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). There are about 4 million externally displaced refugees from Syria alone.
Many Canadians are taking part in acts of solidarity to welcome refugees. Actions have taken place across the country to say “refugees are welcome here,” and demand that Canada end its participation in military aggression in Syria and Iraq which is fomenting the crisis. During the federal election, the Liberals promised to bring 25,000 refugees by year-end. This was later scaled down to 10,000. As of December 28, only 2,961 refugees have arrived in Canada.
What is often missing from discussions about the Syrian refugee crisis is the broader context of the conflict that has created the terrible situation now facing millions of Syrians.
Donna Entz and Dr. Safana Makhdoom will discuss the refugee crisis and Canada’s role, as well as the initiatives being taken by Canadians in acts of solidarity.
US-NATO and their proxies in the Middle East claim that their intervention in Syria is necessary in order to degrade or defeat Da’esh (ISIS). Dr. Ghada Ageel will revisit the role of the US-NATO and their proxies in the Middle East from the invasion of Iraq to the rise of ISIS, the war in Syria and current intervention in the Middle East.
Canada justifies aggression and intervention using humanitarian as well as “security” pretexts. Peggy Morton will discuss the peace process, the stands of the US, Canada, and other NATO countries, including the “security agenda” and “responsibility to protect” which violate the UN Charter and international law and what is required for Canada to become a factor for peace.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Ghada Ageel is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Her most recent book (editor and contributor), Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences, will be released later this month.
Donna Entz is a support worker at the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers who is well know for her work with refugees and other recent immigrants.
Dr. Safana Makhdoom is a member of ECAWAR and a physician who recently spent two weeks providing medical aid in a refugee camp in Greece.
Peggy Morton is a spokesperson for the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism and life-long anti-war activist.
Organized by the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism, co-sponsored by Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton.