Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Statement of the International Support Group

Statement of the International Support Group
Beirut, 13 May 2020
The ISG takes due note of the unanimous adoption by the Government of Lebanon of its Financial Recovery Plan as a constructive framework for future reforms as well as its decision to request an IMF program as a first step in the right direction.

The ISG also takes due note of the assessment by the World Bank that the Plan recognizes the nature and depth of the crisis, the necessary structural reforms and adjustments needed to ensure a vibrant economy with sustainable growth and productive sectors, in a business climate and conditions favorable for private sector development and the prosperity of the Lebanese people.

Recognizing the importance of domestic political support necessary for successful conduct and rapid completion of negotiations with the IMF, the ISG encourages the Government of Lebanon to engage all relevant stakeholders, most importantly the Lebanese people in consultations on the contents of the plan and ways to expedite its implementation. 
Equally, the ISG encourages the Government and Parliament to work together in creating the necessary conditions for timely
implementation of the needed reforms and to ensure full transparency and accountability as demanded by the citizens of Lebanon. Recalling the statement of the International Support Group meeting in Paris on 11 December 2019 and on the basis of the necessary reforms, including the implementation of the commitments made in the framework of the CEDRE Conference, the ISG expresses support to Lebanon to help it overcome the current economic, monetary, and fiscal crisis and to address economic, social, security, humanitarian challenges, as well as the impact of COVID-19 facing the country, and calls upon the international community, including international organizations and financial institutions, to support Lebanon as it seeks to address the current crisis.

The ISG notes with concern the worsening economic situation, the growing poverty and the hardships on the population. It encourages the Government to remain committed to protect the rapidly growing number of poor and vulnerable segments of the population and encourages the Government to quickly finalize all necessary measures to unlock additional external financial assistance to address the increasingly dire humanitarian needs of the population.

The ISG reaffirms the need for internal stability and the right to peaceful protect to be protected.

The ISG welcomes the press elements from the Security Council following its meeting on 4 May 2020 on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 and reiterates its strong support for Lebanon and its people, for its stability, security, territorial integrity, sovereignty, political independence and non-interference into internal matters in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1701 (2006), 1680 (2006), and 1559 (2004).

Note to Editors
The International Support Group has brought together the United Nations and 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 former President Michel 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.