Dr. Bechealany From the Vatican: “It is time to move from only relief and development to a Refugees Sustainable Solution”.

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Dr Souraya Bechealany, Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) participated in the conference organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on September 13-14 in the Pontifical Urban University. The meeting was attended by more than fifty Catholic charitable organizations, representatives of the local episcopates and ecclesial institutions and religious congregations operating in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and neighboring countries, as well as some Caritas branches, charity committees, and the apostolic nuncios in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey.

Dr Bechealany emphasized on the great need to continue providing humanitarian relief to the refugees, as well as enhance the developmental intervention for the host communities to avoid tensions but also to prepare the return home.

Second, it should be admitted that there is an urge to reevaluate the intervention process of the Churches in the relief missions, as well as a need to engage with the engagement in positive influence to reach a political settlement of the crises that we face, for that would be a long-term solution. This demands changing mindsets and building reconciliation rules among the groups in conflict.

Dr Bechealany also demanded that communication and media platforms be built; these would pursue developing values such as peace, justice, and reconciliation. Pedagogical investments should be made to avoid conflicts instead of striving to solve their consequences. All that can only be achieved by following the rule that investing in building democracy, freedom, social justice, as well as protecting multiple identities, is capable of putting an end to the identity conflict that tears apart Syria and Iraq in special.