Monday, 15 February 2016
TOPIC-1:War and possible peace in Syria
The agreement reached in Munich by major world powers, including the United States and Russia, to work towards a cessation of hostilities in Syria within a week is the most constructive step yet to find a political solution to the country’s civil war. For years, the world looked away when Syria was transformed into a geopolitical battlefield where several countries were involved, either directly or through their proxies, to maximise their interests. The war has nearly destroyed the country, triggering an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. A report released last week by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research paints a picture graver than what even the UN had estimated. About 470,000 people have been killed and 1.9 million injured since the crisis began in March 2011. Nearly 45 per cent of the population has been displaced, while life expectancy has dropped from 70 to 55.4 in five years. That a civil war in a small nation of about 23 million people was allowed to get this catastrophic, itself points to the failures of the international system.