Lebanon faced ongoing insecurity amid regional tensions and weak international cooperation
Overlapping crises and regional tensions amid a weakened international system have led to economic, political, and institutional insecurity in Lebanon, the President of the Council of Ministers told the UN General Assembly Wednesday evening.
Mohammad Najib Azmi Mikati argued that one of the primary challenges facing Lebanon was filling the presidential vacancy, along with instituting reforms needed to achieve economic recovery, ease the financial crisis, and promote institutional and political stability in the country.
He expressed hope that the Lebanese Parliament would elect a president the Lebanese people could rally behind.
“I sincerely look forward to the Lebanese Parliament exercising its sovereign rule by electing a president of the republic in the coming period, a president around whom the Lebanese will unite and who will enshrine the return of the republic,” he said.
Mr. Mikati also issued renewed criticism of Israel’s continued occupation of southern Lebanon, daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty, and its violation of Security Council resolution 1701.
He also reaffirmed his country’s commitment to cooperation with the peacekeeping mission.
“The mission entrusted to the UN force is not complete without close cooperation and permanent coordination with the Lebanese Army. This would contribute to consolidating peace and security in the region and would restore the authority of the Lebanese state over its entire territory within our internationally recognized borders,” he said.
International cooperation has become weakened, said Mr. Mikati. Increased coordination and cooperation among UN Member States is necessary as the world faces international challenges such as regional stability, food security, cybersecurity, irregular migration, extremism, and viral pandemics, he argued.
He emphasized Lebanon’s unique cross-border challenges with neighbouring Syria, criticizing the international community's inability to find sustainable solutions to the displacement of Syrian refugees.
“Twelve years into the Syrian crisis, Lebanon is still bearing the burden of successive waves of displacement, with far-reaching economic and social repercussions on all aspects of life, thus threatening Lebanon’s very existence,” he said.
“Although we have already voiced our concerns in all international forums and in particular this forum, the international community’s response to this humanitarian tragedy is still timid and falls short of an effective sustainable solution,” he continued.
These challenges can only be confronted with concerted efforts between Governments, international organizations, and others, he stressed.
“International cooperation based on the principle of partnership and inclusiveness has become a vital need for the security, safety and well-being of peoples. The UN, and its specialized agencies, are at the heart of this international effort.”
Full statement available in Arabic here.