I just finished my last meeting with His Excellency President Michel Aoun. It was, as always, an honour to meet him and to thank him for Lebanon having hosted me for the last 14 months before I end my mission as the Acting Special Coordinator for the United Nations in Lebanon.
First and foremost, I thanked the President for the hospitality and the friendship and for the partnership I have felt since I got here. It starts out with the President’s leadership in the relationship between the United Nations and Lebanon. I also thanked the President for his continuous commitment to see full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701, which I believe is such an important element in enhancing stability and to ensure that Lebanon remains on the right course to what is enhanced peace and security. We will be continuing to support the work towards a permanent cease-fire between Lebanon and Israel, and as I said towards a full implementation of resolution 1701. In my meeting, I also as I have done before, reiterated my appreciation of the President’s desire and commitment to convene a national dialogue to start the discussion around a national defence strategy, which I hope will happen soon.
One of the great pleasures of my mission in Lebanon has been to witness Lebanon’s diversity and the country’s ability to manage it peacefully. It is one of those things that I really whole-heartedly believe that all the rest of us can learn from Lebanon. I hope this spirit of compromise and national unity will facilitate the formation of a new inclusive government very soon.
I would also like to reiterate my gratitude to the Lebanese people for their generosity and hospitality in hosting a refugee population that is proportionately unprecedented in size in the 21st century. This is one of those issues that deserves continued commendation and support internationally and is a further testament to Lebanon’s special model of openness and coexistence.
Finally, I reiterate the UN’s strong commitment to continue working with Lebanese authorities to support Lebanon’s stability, sovereignty and state authority, and to help state institutions deliver more effective governance that yields tangible results and benefits for all, and to promote human rights and the rule of law.
I Thank you all.