|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
United Nations Convenes International Support Group for Lebanon
At New York Headquarters, 25 November
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today convened a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG) to review progress since its inaugural meeting under the chairmanship of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 25 September, in the presence of President Michel Sleiman.
The United Nations Special Coordinator briefed on developments, the meeting also heard presentations by the Permanent Representative of Lebanon, as well as by representatives of the World Bank, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Participants underlined the continuing need for strong, coordinated support for Lebanon in response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the crisis in Syria. They noted the many ongoing pressures on Lebanon and again underlined the importance of burden-sharing.
Participants regretted the lack of progress on Government formation and encouraged all Lebanese parties to engage positively in this regard, given the urgency of the security, humanitarian and development challenges facing Lebanon. They stressed again the importance of commitment by all Lebanese parties to the Baabda Declaration.
Participants noted that the 25 September inaugural meeting had generated momentum, which was recognized when members of the Group met with President Sleiman in Beirut on 18 October.
Since then, the Road Map for Stabilization developed by the Government, in conjunction with the United Nations and the World Bank to address the most critical economic and social impacts of the crisis in Syria on Lebanon, has been approved. Agreement has also been reached on a multi-donor trust fund for Lebanon as an additional mechanism for channelling donor support to meet those critical needs. It should be operational in December.
Participants noted that the next United Nations Regional Response Plan for refugees from Syria, due to be completed in December, would also address the immediate needs of host communities. They underlined the importance of the pledging conference that the Secretary-General will convene in Kuwait on 15 January 2014.
In relation to the five-year capacity development plan for the Lebanese Armed Forces, participants noted the steps taken to implement coordination mechanisms, and welcomed Italy’s engagement in that regard. Participants also welcomed France’s readiness to hold a meeting of the ISG in Paris.
In addition to the Permanent Representative of Lebanon, the meeting was attended by the original participants in the inaugural ISG meeting — the Permanent Representatives of China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the Head of the European Union Delegation and the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States — together with the Permanent Representatives of Italy and Germany, which has given the lead on admission programmes to receive Syrian refugees. Participants welcomed the prospect of expanding engagement with a range of stakeholders, including through broader high-level meetings.
* *** *For information media • not an official record