Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Security Council Press Statement on Situation in Lebanon (19 December 2017)

Published on 19 Dec 2017 
SC/13130

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Koro Bessho (Japan):

The members of the Security Council welcomed Prime Minister Saad Hariri's return to Lebanon and his decision to continue his term. In that context, they commended the convening in Paris on 8 December 2017 of a ministerial meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon, chaired by the United Nations and France and attended by the Prime Minister of Lebanon, and the joint statement issued at the end of the meeting. They also welcomed previous efforts which contributed to the resumption of the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2017.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong support for the stability, security, territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1701 (2006), 1680 (2006) and 1559 (2004), as well as other relevant Security Council resolutions and statements of the President of the Security Council on the situation in Lebanon.

The members of the Security Council recalled the need to protect Lebanon from the crises that are destabilizing the Middle East. In this regard, the members of the Security Council called upon all regional States and organizations to work for the political, social, economic and financial stability and security of Lebanon, in full respect of its sovereignty and integrity.

The members of the Security Council called upon all Lebanese parties to implement a tangible policy of disassociation from any external conflicts, as an important priority, as spelled out in previous declarations, in particular the 2012 Baabda Declaration.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the ongoing efforts of the Lebanese authorities to restore normal functioning of institutions and prepare for the holding of legislative elections by May 2018. They also called upon the Government of Lebanon to further accelerate its programme of reforms in order to ensure political and economic stability built on a functional, transparent and democratic State, with full participation of both women and men.

The members of the Security Council reiterated the need for full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 1559 (2004), 1701 (2006) and 2373 (2017). They commended the role of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in maintaining calm along the Blue Line and its cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces with the aim of extending the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory. The members of the Security Council recalled the proactive steps that UNIFIL has taken to operationalize resolution 2373 (2017) and encouraged UNIFIL to continue these efforts.

Given the security challenges faced by Lebanon, particularly the terrorist threat, the members of the Security Council commended the role played by the Lebanese Armed Forces and by all security institutions of the State in protecting the country, its borders and its population. They recalled the importance of implementing previous commitments which require that there will be no weapons other than those of the Lebanese State and called on all Lebanese parties to resume discussions towards a consensus on a National Defence Strategy. They recalled that the Lebanese Armed Forces are the only legitimate armed forces of Lebanon, as enshrined in the Lebanese Constitution and in the Taif Agreement.

The members of the Security Council commended the generous and long-standing efforts made by the Lebanese people and the Lebanese authorities to host Syrian refugees. They recalled that any returns of refugees, when conditions allow, must be in full compliance with international law, including international refugee law, and with respect for humanitarian principles, and the principle of non‑refoulement.

The members of the Security Council encouraged the international community to continue and increase its support to Lebanon's political, social and economic stability, including through the appropriate provision of assistance for Lebanese host communities and refugees in Lebanon.

They took note of the agenda set out in the International Support Group for Lebanon Final Declaration in support of Lebanon.

The members of the Security Council urged the International Support Group for Lebanon to continue its work, in coordination with the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, to seek opportunities to help address the challenges to Lebanon's security and stability.


Friday, December 08, 2017

Ministerial meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon

Paris, 8 December 2017

– Joint Statement –

A meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG), chaired by the United Nations and France and attended by the Prime Minister of Lebanon, was held in Paris on 8 December. China, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, the League of Arab States, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the World Bank also took part in the meeting.

The participants reaffirm their commitment to the stability, security and sovereignty of Lebanon and their support for the ongoing efforts of the Lebanese authorities to restore normal functioning of institutions and prepare the holding of legislative elections by May 2018 and in accordance with international standards. The Group recalls the need to protect Lebanon from the crises that are destabilizing the Middle East and calls upon all regional States and organisations to work for the political, social, economic, and financial stability and security of Lebanon, in full respect of its sovereignty and integrity.

The Group expresses satisfaction for the return to Beirut of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a key partner for safeguarding the unity and the stability of Lebanon. It welcomes his decision, made in agreement with the President of the Lebanese Republic, Michel Aoun, to continue his term at the head of the Government. The Group notes the resumption of the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2017 and its decision on disassociation from any regional conflicts and wars and from internal affairs of Arab countries. It will pay close attention to the implementation of the Council's decision by all Lebanese parties in the spirit of national concord and compromise. In particular, it calls upon all Lebanese parties to implement this tangible policy of disassociation from and non interference in external conflicts, as an important priority, as spelled out in previous declarations, in particular the 2012 Baabda Declaration.

The Group reiterates the need for full implementation and full respect of all UN Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006). It commends the role of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in maintaining calm along the Blue Line and its cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with the aim of extending and consolidating the authority of the Lebanese State across the whole of the national territory. It expresses its deep concern at all violations in connection with resolution 1701 (2006) in particular the incidents detailed in the reports of the Secretary General to the Council on the implementation of resolution 1701. It calls upon the LAF and UNIFIL to step up their cooperation, with the goal of speeding up the effective and durable deployment of the LAF in southern Lebanon and the territorial waters of Lebanon, in accordance with resolution 2373 (2017), and encourages the LAF to continue the initial steps it has taken in this regard.

Given the security challenges faced by Lebanon, particularly the terrorist threat, and recalling the importance of implementing the previous commitments that require there will be no weapons other than that of the Lebanese State, the Group calls on all Lebanese parties to resume discussions towards a consensus on a National Defense Strategy and welcomes the President of the Lebanese Republic's statement in this regard. The Group commends the role played by the LAF and by all State security institutions in protecting the country, its borders and its population. It recalls that the LAF are the only legitimate armed forces of Lebanon, as enshrined in the Lebanese constitution and in the Taif agreement. The Group calls upon the international community to continue, coordinate and step up its support to these institutions, which are crucial to cement Lebanon's sovereignty and unity. In this context and in order to support Lebanese efforts in this endeavour, the Group welcomes the holding of the "Rome II" meeting to be hosted by Italy.

The Group commends the generous efforts made by the Lebanese people and the Lebanese authorities to host Syrian refugees. It recalls the importance, when conditions allow, of a safe, dignified and non-coercive UN-facilitated return of refugees, in accordance with international law and humanitarian principles, including the principle of non-refoulement. It calls upon the international community to increase its support for Lebanese host communities and refugees in Lebanon, and looks forward, to this end, to the holding of the "Supporting the future of Syria and the region" Conference, at the invitation of the European Union.

The Group calls upon the government of Lebanon, and in liaison with all Lebanese institutions and parties, to further accelerate its programme of reforms in order to enable all Lebanon's institutions, economic players and citizens to ensure political and economic stability built on a functional, transparent and democratic State. In the light of the difficulties faced by the Lebanese economy, and in particular the economic consequences of the Syrian crisis, the Group calls upon private sector players and all regional and international actors to support Lebanon. It welcomes the holding of an international investors conference in support of the Lebanese Government's reforms and investment plan aimed at jumpstarting growth, creating job opportunities and renovating infrastructures. It calls upon private and public players to contribute to these efforts. The group commends the important role played by the Lebanese Central Bank in maintaining financial stability in the country.

The Group welcomes the prospect of future meetings with different configurations and levels as needed, and reaffirms its commitment to support all efforts to overcome pressing challenges.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

UN SECRETARY GENERAL APPOINTS PERNILLE DAHLER KARDEL OF DENMARK AS ACTING SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR LEBANON

Wed 22 Nov 2017
NNA - United Nations Secretary- General Antonio Guterres today announced the appointment of Pernille Dahler Kardel of Denmark as Acting United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). 
Ms. Kardel succeeds Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands, who concluded her assignment on 26 October 2017. The Secretary-General is thankful for Ms. Kaag's dedication and leadership of UNSCOL. 
Ms. Kardel brings 25 years of experience in diplomacy, political affairs, international cooperation and economic development, spanning several continents. 
Most recently, Ms. Kardel served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) since 2016. 
She was previously the Ambassador of Denmark to Egypt (2012-2016) and served as Ambassador to Ethiopia as well as to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti (2007-2012), as well as Permanent Representative to the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). 
She has held several positions with Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ranging from Counsellor with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations to Deputy Head of Mission in Moscow, Russian Federation, and Second Secretary in New Delhi, India. She also served as the Head of the Asia Department in the Ministry. 
Ms. Kardel holds two master degrees, one in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and one in interdisciplinary planning from Roskilde University in Denmark. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Secretary-General's remarks at press stakeout [scroll down for Q & A] 10 November 2017

Excerpt
Question:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. I want to ask about the rising tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and especially about Lebanon and the situation in Lebanon and the fate of our... the Prime Minister there, Saad Hariri. Do you have anything to say about that?
Do you... are you going to use your good offices in order to reduce tensions in the region?
And when are you going to appoint your new Special Coordinator for Lebanon since the situation is very dangerous?
Secretary-General:  First of all, I've been in very intense contacts the day before yesterday and yesterday at the different levels, political level and diplomatic level, with namely Saudi Arabia and Lebanon but also with several other countries of the region or with an influence in the region.
This is a matter of great concern to us. And what we want is for peace to be preserved in Lebanon. It is essential that no new conflict erupts in the region, it could have devastating consequences.
And at the same time, it is important to preserve the unity, the stability of Lebanon, and the functioning of Lebanese institutions. That is the logic of the demarches I have been doing. They are delicate, you will allow me not to elaborate on them, they will go on today.
We are indeed very worried and we hope that we won't see an escalation in the region that would have tragic consequences.
Question: The replacement of Sigrid Kaag?
Secretary-General: We will be doing the replacement as quickly as possible.
https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2017-11-10/secretary-generals-remarks-press-stakeout-scroll-down-q


Sunday, November 05, 2017

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Lebanon

5 November 2017 
The Secretary-General is concerned by news of the offer of resignation of Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He hopes all sides will focus their efforts on supporting the continuity of Lebanon's State institutions, in adherence with the constitution, and safeguarding the country's security and stability. 
The United Nations remains committed to supporting the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon.
Stephane Dujarric
Spokesman for the Secretary-General


Thursday, October 19, 2017

TTHE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S PRESS ENCOUNTER

TTHE SECRETARY-GENERAL'S PRESS ENCOUNTER
New York, 18 October 2017 

Excerpt 

Question:  Also, on Lebanon, does the… Hezbollah is heavily participating in the fight against terrorism. Does that give Hezbollah any legitimacy to keep their arms in Lebanon and beyond? Thank you.

Secretary-General: And, in relation to Lebanon, we are strong believers that the state of Lebanon must be a state with the monopoly of the use of force inside the country, like my own state and any other state, and this is something that I believe should be a goal for all Lebanese, knowing all the difficulties and complexities of the situation.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Michel Aoun, President of the Lebanese Republic

21 September 2017
The Secretary-General met with H.E. Mr. Michel Aoun, President of the Lebanese Republic. They discussed developments in the region. The Secretary-General thanked Lebanon for its generosity in hosting refugees. 
The Secretary-General and the President discussed efforts to increase international support for the country.