Security Council urges Lebanese parties to make haste on government formation efforts

Security Council President, Ambassador Liu Jieyi of China. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

26 November 2013 – As consultations continue on the formation of a new government in Lebanon, the United Nations Security Council today urged all parties there to engage constructively to achieve this goal ‘as soon as possible.”

Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and members of his administration remain in office in a caretaker capacity, while Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam is continuing consultations on the formation of a new Government.

“Security Council members urged all parties in Lebanon to engage constructively to facilitate the formation of a government as soon as possible that respects Lebanon’s democratic and constitutional principles, responds effectively to the many security, humanitarian and development challenges facing Lebanon and fulfils Lebanon’s international obligations,” Ambassador Liu Jieyi of China, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for November, said in a statement read out to the press.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also stressed the importance of forming a new government, particularly in light of the various challenges the country faces, not least of which is the influx of more than 800,000 refugees from neighbouring Syria since the start of the conflict there in 2011.

“The formation of an empowered government is increasingly urgent, given the multiple security, humanitarian and development challenges that Lebanon now faces. It has now been seven months since the Government of Prime Minister Mikati resigned. I urge all parties to act in the interests of the Lebanese people and engage with Prime Minister-designate Salam to form a new government capable of effectively meeting such challenges,” Mr. Ban wrote in a recent report.

Council members also welcomed the mobilization of support by the UN-backed International Support Group for Lebanon, which was inaugurated in New York in September on the margins of the 68th session of the General Assembly, and “encouraged continued efforts to rally support for Lebanon.”

The Support Group undertook to work together to mobilize support for the sovereignty and State institutions of Lebanon and to highlight and promote efforts to assist the country where it was most affected by the Syrian crisis, including in respect of strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces, assistance to refugees and vulnerable communities affected by the crisis, and structural and financial support to the Government.

At a meeting at UN Headquarters yesterday, the Group noted the many ongoing pressures on Lebanon and again underlined the importance of burden sharing. They also regretted the lack of progress on government formation in Beirut and encouraged all Lebanese parties to engage positively in this effort.

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