VIRGINIA: The U.N. Security Council Monday called on the international community to help Lebanon tackle its spiralling economic crisis and humanitarian challenges.
"Security Council member states expressed support to Lebanon to help it exit the current crisis and to address the economic, security, humanitarian challenges,” a statement from the permanent mission of France to the U.N. said after the council met for its regular meeting on the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.
Members states also discussed the impact of COVID-19 on Lebanon and called on the international community and international organizations to help Lebanon in containing the pandemic.
Speaking of an economic rescue plan that Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government recently passed, the UNSC “took note of the urgent need for the Lebanese authorities to respond to the aspirations of the Lebanese people by implementing meaningful economic reforms, and notably the commitments made in the framework of the CEDRE conference as well as at the International Support Group for Lebanon meeting held in Paris on the 11th of December.”
U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis and Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Security Council members on the latest situation in Lebanon.
Touching on UNSCR 1701, which put an end to the July 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, the Council praised the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for its cooperation with the Lebanese Army as well as its efforts to maintain calm along the U.N.-demarcated Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel.
The members reiterated the aim of the Lebanese government to extend its control “over all Lebanese territory and stressed the importance of UNIFIL being able to fulfil its mandate.”
But the Security Council expressed deep concern over recent violations of UNSCR 1701, “including by land and air.” Israel continues to violate Lebanese borders by air, land and sea, including using Lebanese airspace to attack targets in Syria.
“All parties should make every effort to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is sustained, exercise maximum calm and restraint and refrain from any action or rhetoric that could jeopardize the cessation of hostilities or destabilize the region,” the statement said.
Attacks against UNIFIL peacekeepers were also condemned during Monday’s meeting. Hezbollah supporters have reportedly attacked UNIFIL troops by pelting them with rocks on multiple occasions in south Lebanon.
“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 relevant UNSCRs,” Monday’s statement said.