The Geneva peace talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war must “take into consideration” the needs of Christians, the Vatican has told the UN.

The talks – due to start on 29 Jan. and last for six months – are aimed at finding a political solution to the on-going Syrian crisis. The UN said the first priority is a broad ceasefire, providing humanitarian aid, and halting the threat of the so-called Islamic State.

“We hope the specific needs of the Christians, the Yazidis, and other communities that are not part of the Muslim majority be taken into serious consideration,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.

In the first nine days of the January 2014 Geneva peace talks to end Syria’s civil war, more than 1,800 people died, including 470 civilians, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.