Lebanese Army Launches Code of Conduct on Human Rights
(Press Release from the Lebanese Armed Forces)
Under the patronage of the Lebanese Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun launched today the Code of Conduct for the LAF in Law Enforcement, in cooperation with the Regional Office of the High Commissioner’s office for Human Rights for the Middle East and North Africa.
The launch took place in the presence of the EU Ambassador to Lebanon Ms. Christina Lassen, the Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ms. Pernille Kardel, the regional representative of the High Commissioner’s office for Human Rights, Ms. Roueida el Hage and the head of the Human Rights committee, MP. Michel Moussa in addition to several official and military authorities, diplomatic agencies and representatives of civil society organizations in Lebanon.
General Aoun delivered a speech on the occasion in which he confirmed the commitment of the military institution to the implementation of humanitarian boundaries while performing security missions and to enforcing accountability in order to guarantee the commitment to Human Rights. General Aoun stated that the LAF strives “to develop our combat capabilities and raise the level of personnel professionalism. The LAF is keen to cultivate the human sense and build a moral discipline”, emanating from the belief of the military institution in the importance of this role and its positive impact on society and citizens.
The representative of the of the High Commissioner’s office for Human Rights, the UN special coordinator in Lebanon and the EU Ambassador delivered speeches in which they mostly highlighted the importance of this code of conduct as a core document reflecting human rights and an indispensable tool for the harmonization of the relationship between those who enforce the law and citizens or residents in Lebanon.
This document enshrines the fundamental principles that would protect lives, properties and innocent individuals and mainly preserve peace. It also highlights the necessity of protecting women, children, the elderly, refugees and victims of Human trafficking.
At the end of the ceremony, General Aoun presented shields of appreciation to the EU Ambassador, the Acting UN Special coordinator and the High Commissioner’s office for Human Rights for their contribution to this major achievement for Lebanon
Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel
Remarks at Launch of the Lebanese Armed Forces’ Code of Conduct on Human Rights
Thank you for the invitation. I am pleased to be here today, on my last full day in Beirut as the Acting Special Coordinator of the United Nations.
Today’s launch of the Lebanese Armed Forces’ Code Conduct on human rights is another tangible demonstration of the will of the LAF and the Lebanese authorities to deliver on the commitments made in Rome in March last year. This is an important step towards increased respect for human rights and accountability, to mainstream human rights in law enforcement tasks performed by the LAF.
As recognized in LAF’s 2018-2022 Capabilities Development Plan, this Code of Conduct is vital to enhance LAF’s accountability and responsiveness, especially towards vulnerable groups. The full implementation of the Code of Conduct is particularly necessary as the National Human Rights Institute is yet to become operational, despite the appointment of its members last May. Allow me to reiterate our appeal that the National Human Rights Institute is adequately resourced in order to function effectively and independently.
I am also pleased that the Code of Conduct is the result of good collaboration between LAF and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights. The UN family remains committed to continue supporting LAF as the only legitimate armed forces in Lebanon, as we work together to build up the institutional capacities of the Lebanese security institutions and consolidate human rights and the rule of law.
Commander Aoun and many of you know how much I have enjoyed visiting LAF’s outposts across Lebanon, over the past year. I have often emphasized – to both Lebanese and international partners – that LAF’s development is a clear demonstration of the professionalism that Lebanese institutions can achieve when there is sufficient will in the country, as well as active support from international partners. Once again, I applaud LAF’s dedication and its commitment to extend state authority and protect Lebanon’s treasured sovereignty.
Thank you again for your invitation.