Joint Statement of the International Support Group for Lebanon
We wish to congratulate the Lebanese people and authorities for the completion of Parliamentary elections on 6 May, their first in nine years, in a generally calm and peaceful climate.
The elections have been essential in renewing the democratic mandate of the Parliament strengthening Lebanon’s institutions. We note the preliminary findings of the EU Electoral Observation Mission and other observer missions, and call on all parties to continue working in a spirit of calm and unity as results are confirmed, as electoral disputes are resolved and violations and recommendations followed up, and as consultations for government formation get underway. We have noted in particular the enthusiastic participation of women in this election. We urge the incoming Parliament and Government to take every possible step to ensure that women can play a full part in Lebanese politics.
We take this opportunity to encourage the swift formation of a new government that can sustain the positive momentum created by recent legislative gains, and by the ambitious agenda for international support to Lebanon set out at the Paris ISG Conference of 8 December 2017 and carried forward during 2018 at the Rome II, CEDRE and Brussels II conferences.
In this context, we look forward to working with the new government as it follows up on its international commitments, including under resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006) to extend the authority of the Lebanese state across all of its national territory and to ensure its monopoly over the legitimate use of force. In this regard, we look forward to the resumption of a Lebanese-led dialogue towards a National Defense Strategy in the post-elections period, as set out by the President of the Republic in his statement of 12 March. It will also be critical to Lebanon’s stability for the new government to continue to take tangible steps in implementing Lebanon’s policy of disassociation in accordance with the Baabda Declaration (2012).
Building on this election, it will be important for a new government and legislature to move swiftly to enhance the economic climate in Lebanon by implementing structural and sectoral reform measures that would enhance investments in Lebanon’s vital infrastructure and services, consistent with the agenda set out during the CEDRE conference. Recognizing the ongoing challenges posed to Lebanon by the temporary presence of Syrian refugees in the country, we reiterate our commitment to our partnership with Lebanon in supporting both host communities and refugees.
Note to Editors
The International Support Group has brought together the United Nations and the governments of China, France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, together with the European Union and the Arab League. It was launched in September 2013 by the UN Secretary-General with former President Michel Sleiman to help mobilize support and assistance for Lebanon’s stability, sovereignty and state institutions and to specifically encourage assistance for the Lebanese Army, Syrian refugees in Lebanon and host communities and government programs and public services impacted by the Syrian crisis.