Secretary-General remembers Hariri killing with call of solidarity for Lebanon

14 February 2008 –

Marking the third anniversary of the Beirut bombing that killed Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed the United Nations’ solidarity for the country’s people and their Government, restating the world body’s longstanding determination to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

“This solemn anniversary comes at a perilous moment for Lebanon,” Mr. Ban said in a statement released by his spokesperson, adding “there could be no greater homage paid to the memory” of Mr. Hariri than for Lebanon’s divided political forces “to redouble their efforts to achieve national reconciliation and to ensure… stability, security and prosperity.”

For months Lebanon’s parties have been unable to agree on a choice for president of the Middle East country, which has been hit by a wave of car bombings and other terrorist attacks during the past few years.

Mr. Ban said in the statement that he continues to prepare for the establishment of the Special Tribunal, as authorized by the Security Council, “convinced that impunity must not prevail and that the tribunal process cannot be reversed.”

The Special Tribunal is tasked with trying those responsible for the assassination of Mr. Hariri and for other recent political killings in Lebanon. This week the Secretary-General set up a management committee for the court, which is to be based in the Netherlands. The committee, which will among other tasks provide advice and policy direction on all non-judicial aspects of the tribunal’s operations, is composed of the body’s main donors.

Today’s statement emphasized the UN’s commitment “to assist Lebanon in establishing the truth and in bringing to justice those who instigated, planned and executed this and other callous political assassinations and terrorist attacks in the country.”


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