Thursday, February 23, 2017

MEMBERS OF ISG ENCOURAGE EARLY COMPROMISE FOR APPROPRIATE ELECTORAL FRAMEWORK FOR LEBANON


22 Feb2017

MEMBERS OF ISG ENCOURAGE EARLY COMPROMISE FOR APPROPRIATE ELECTORAL FRAMEWORK FOR LEBANON

Joint Statement of the International Support Group for Lebanon

The Members of the International Support Group (ISG) reaffirm their commitment to the stability and security of Lebanon. The current political momentum has re-activated Lebanon's institutions of state.

The ISG Members encourage all parties to arrive at an early compromise, which would present an appropriate electoral framework for Lebanon. The timely conduct of peaceful and transparent parliamentary elections are an important step to preserve Lebanon's democratic tradition, and to meet the aspirations of the Lebanese people.

The ISG Members stand ready to provide support.

Note to Editors

The International Support Group has brought together the governments of China, France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, together with the European Union and the Arab League.  It was launched in September 2013 by the UN Secretary-General with President Sleiman to help mobilize support and assistance for Lebanon's stability, sovereignty and state institutions and to specifically encourage assistance for the Lebanese Army,  Syrian refugees in Lebanon and host communities and government programs and public services impacted by the Syrian crisis.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Feb 14 2017

Excerpt  

**Lebanon
We've been asked about recent remarks attributed to President Michel Aoun of Lebanon concerning Hizbullah's weapons.

I'd like to recall that Security Council resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701 clearly call for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.  Previous reports by the Secretary-General have said that militias should be disarmed and that the maintenance of arms by Hizbullah and other groups outside the control of the State restricts Lebanon's ability to exercise its full sovereignty and authority over its territory.

We consider continued adherence to all relevant resolutions to be of vital importance to Lebanon's stability.  We encourage Lebanon to seize the current political momentum to resume discussions on a National Defense Strategy as part of a Lebanese-led and Lebanese-owned process.


Monday, February 13, 2017

SIGRID KAAG: Recalling SCR 1701 vital 4 Lebanon's stability-security. Resolution calls 4 disarmament all armed groups. No arms outside control of state

 
Recalling SCR 1701 vital 4 Lebanon's stability-security. Resolution calls 4 disarmament all armed groups. No arms outside control of state

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

UNIFIL AND LAF CONDUCT LIVE FIRING EXERCISE

8 Feb 2017
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) today carried out a joint exercise combining armoured assets, machine gun and small arms live fire in an area one kilometre south of the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, southern Lebanon.

The exercise, named "Steel Storm," is one of several joint exercises, conducted regularly between the LAF and UNIFIL peacekeepers. It strives to improve the skills and expertise of the two forces, maintain their efficiency and mutual knowledge, train on the procedures of execution of fire support, establish the appropriate coordination mechanism and liaise at all levels between LAF and UNIFIL.

The exercise was led by the UNIFIL Force Commander Reserve (FCR/French) and LAF's 5th Brigade elements, 7th brigade elements and 5th intervention regiment. The live firing was also conducted by UNIFIL specialized units from Slovenian, Spanish and French contingents constituting each sector and the FCR.

Today's exercise, witnessed by senior UNIFIL and LAF officials, involved a dynamic presentation of the two forces' respective infantry and armoured assets. Dozens of machine gun rounds were fired at targets located off the coastline. The targets were located at sea in order to minimize disturbance to the population.

Lebanese Navy ships, supported by UNIFIL Maritime Task Force, ensured safety at sea.


UNIFIL DONATES VEHICLES, ENGINEERING AND IT EQUIPMENT TO LAF AND LAF INTEL

8 Feb 2017

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today donated a number of UN-owned vehicles and other assets worth US$ 658,000 to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the LAF Intelligence at a ceremony held at the UN Mission's headquarters in south Lebanon.

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary, UNIFIL Director of Mission Support Wolfgang Weiszegger, Lebanese Government Coordinator to UNIFIL and LAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Brigadier General Mohammed Janbay and LAF Intelligence Chief (Southern region) Brigadier General Khodor Hammoud signed the respective handover documents.

Today's donation, which is the largest one-time UNIFIL contribution to LAF so far, took place under the framework of the Strategic Dialogue, the mechanism by which UNIFIL seeks donor support to ensure LAF capability development in south Lebanon.

"Donations such as this are a clear and important demonstration of how UNIFIL is striving to increase the capacity of both the LAF and LAF Intel here in south Lebanon," said Major General Beary. "I sincerely hope that this equipment will facilitate an increase in the number of joint operations that both UNIFIL and the LAF already take part in, as we strive together as partners and friends, to maintain the cessation of hostilities and provide an environment that will allow the civilian population of south Lebanon to continue to live a normal life."

Today's handover ceremony was also attended by UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Sandeep Singh Bajaj, LAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning Brigadier General Claude Al Hayek and LAF South Litany Sector Commander Brigadier General Khalil Al Gemayel, and other senior LAF and UNIFIL officials.

Among the vehicles and equipment donated to the LAF and the LAF Intelligence today included 62 vehicles, 18 engineering assets and 757 information technology assets. The support is in line with the UN Security Council resolutions 1701 (2006) and 2305 (2016), which urged international support for the LAF for its capabilities development.

Since the beginning of the Strategic Dialogue process in 2010, UNIFIL has donated various resources to LAF including vehicles, prefabricated buildings, generators, sea containers and computer equipment worth more than US$ 2.5 million. This is in addition to the assistance provided by UNIFIL's Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) on a bilateral basis.

Friday, February 03, 2017

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS UNIFIL PATROLS

3 Feb 2017
This morning, two UNIFIL patrols in the general area of Al Mansouri-Majda Zun (Sector West) were obstructed by groups of aggressive men who attempted to cause physical harm to the peacekeepers and UN assets.
In separate incidents, civilians attempted to block the way of UNIFIL patrols and attacked the peacekeepers. While exercising utmost restraint, UNIFIL patrol vehicles had to push aside some civilian vehicles used as roadblocks in order to safely pull out from the locations. There were no injuries to UN peacekeepers, but severe damages were caused to UNIFIL vehicles.
UNIFIL was in immediate contact with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and is working with the LAF to determine the precise circumstances and the cause of the incidents.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary reiterated the importance of UNIFIL's safety and freedom of movement in its area of operations in south Lebanon, which is central to maintaining peace and stability in the area.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

UN DELEGATION VISITING UNIFIL TO CONDUCT STRATEGIC REVIEW

16 Jan 2017
A UN delegation is currently visiting Lebanon to conduct a Strategic Review of UNIFIL. This is pursuant to a request made by the UN Security Council in its resolution 2305 of August 2016 in order to ensure that the Mission is configured most appropriately to fulfill its mandated tasks.
 
In line with peacekeeping good practice, it is imperative to keep all peacekeeping operations under close review in order to ensure a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments. UNIFIL and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) have been engaged in preparatory work, including taking stock of progress achieved since the last Strategic Review of 2012.  
 
The Strategic Review of UNIFIL is aimed at improving the mission's effectiveness and efficiency, and to ensure that UNIFIL is best configured and resourced to deliver on its mandate. The Security Council confirmed its "strong continuing commitment to UNIFIL's existing mandate."
 
In Lebanon, the UN delegation led by Mr. El Ghassim Wane, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, will be meeting with UNIFIL and Lebanese officials as well as with diplomatic representatives in Beirut.