Lebanon: Security Council Press Statement
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Vitaly Churkin ( Russian Federation):
Security Council members have been briefed by the Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the Director of Asia and Middle East Division at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations following the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006).
Security Council members are encouraged by the calm that continues to prevail across the Blue Line and in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon’s (UNIFIL) area of operations. They urged all parties to make every effort to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is sustained, and emphasized the need for them to continue working with the Special Coordinator and UNIFIL, including through the tripartite mechanism, to build upon it and to move forward on all outstanding issues in the implementation of Security Council resolutions 1701 (2006), 1559 (2004) and other relevant Security Council resolutions. They also stressed the necessity for all parties to ensure that the freedom of movement of UNIFIL is fully respected and unimpeded.
Security Council members underscored their grave concern over repeated incidents of cross-border fire which caused death and injury among the Lebanese population, incursions, abductions and arms trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border, as well as other border violations. They underlined the importance of full respect for Lebanon’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and the authority of the Lebanese State, in accordance with Security Council resolutions.
Security Council members expressed also their deep concern at the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s stability. They appealed to all Lebanese people to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability, and stressed the need for all Lebanese parties to respect Lebanon’s policy of disassociation, and to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis, consistent with their commitment in the Baabda Declaration.
Security Council members welcomed the continued efforts of President [Michel] Sleiman to preserve Lebanon’s unity and stability. They encouraged all parties in Lebanon to make swift progress to ensure that parliamentary elections take place on a consensual basis within the legal and constitutional framework. They also recalled the need to put an end to impunity in Lebanon and reiterated their full support for the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Security Council members also acknowledged the important role played by the Lebanese security and armed forces in sustaining national unity and sovereignty, and welcomed steps being taken to further develop their capacities, including through the strategic dialogue with UNIFIL, and encouraged further international assistance to this end.
Security Council members, gravely concerned at the impact of the growing flow of refugees fleeing violence in Syria, now totalling over 360,000 in Lebanon, called upon the international community to follow through on humanitarian aid pledges made during the Kuwait Conference of 30 January 2013. They commended Lebanon’s generous efforts in hosting and assisting those refugees.