LIC Delegation Holds Meetings at the United Nations

Press Release

10-02-2015

 

Between September 28th and October 1st a delegation from the Lebanese Information Center in the US, headed by LIC President Dr. Joseph Gebeily, held a series of meetings at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City with representatives of member nations and key UN institutions. 

The LIC presented a set of recommendations regarding the current situation in Lebanon to the members of the UN Security Council as well as members of relevant UN Offices. “Our recommendations, addressed to the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISGL), stressed the need for continued strong, coordinated international support to Lebanon to help it withstand one of its most precarious political and security positions yet,” said Dr. Gebeily. The ISGL, which met in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA, issued its own recommendations that fall in line with the points recommended by the LIC, especially with regards to the election of a president, maintaining security in Lebanon, and assisting with refugees’ crisis.

In New York, the LIC delegation met with the Vatican’s Foreign Minister His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, who expressed the Holy See’s deep concern regarding the situation in the Middle East broadly and Lebanon in particular, especially with regards to the presidential vacuum. His Excellency pledged to continue following up on this issue. Archbishop Gallagher said Europe was facing a “huge crisis” in the massive refugee flows from the Middle East, requiring meaningful European and global efforts to monitor the crisis. The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer to the United Nations, as well as Deputy Permanent Observer Reverend Monsignor Simon Kassas.

The LIC’s delegation also held a series of meetings with officials from international organizations, including the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag, as well as Middle East Division Chief Antonella Caruso at the office of the Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. “Now more than ever, it is critical that the United Nations and Lebanon’s international partners prioritize Lebanon’s security and stability,” Dr. Gebeily said. “With the region spiraling deeper and deeper into turmoil, it is in the international community’s interest to protect Lebanon from this volatility.”

The delegation met with Ms. Nicola Davies, assistant to the UN Special Representative for the Implementation of UNSCR 1559 Terje Roed-Larsen, with Mr. John Solecki from UNHCR’s Lebanon office and with OCHA official Elin Asgeirsdottir. “With the largest refugee-to-citizen ratio in the world, Lebanon’s truly unprecedented position needs a continued commitment from all of the UN’s humanitarian institutions. Meeting with UNHCR, OCHA, and other UN institutions allowed the LIC to get this valuable point across,” Dr. Gebeily added.

The recommendations presented by the LIC focused on the most critical issues currently facing Lebanon, including the presidential vacuum which will soon pass the 18-month mark and continues to paralyze state institutions. The LIC has always stressed the importance of international pressure on local and regional players in order to hold presidential elections.

The document also urged the international community to preserve security and stability in Lebanon and to protect it from regional volatility. It is imperative that the international community continues to support Lebanon’s armed and security forces and prevents the politicization of military post appointments in Lebanon.

 In its meetings, the LIC emphasized that the international community must rein in any negative Iranian role in the region, particularly after the signing of the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Finally, it is essential that the international community and global aid organizations continue and increase their support to Lebanese host communities, which are under serious strain due to the tremendous refugee population in Lebanon. The LIC sees the solution to regional instability, and to the massive flows of refugees into Europe, lies in a meaningful end to the Syrian conflict.  

 

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