UN Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly Visits Tripoli
Tripoli, North Lebanon
Thursday, 26 June 2014
I am delighted to be back in Tripoli and to see its residents able to move freely following the implementation of the security plan. This is a welcome development after months and years of senseless armed clashes.
I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the army and the security forces for all they have done to safeguard security and stability in Tripoli recently and across the country. It is also an opportunity to recognize the difficult work of the army and security forces in putting an end to terrorism as we saw yesterday in Beirut. Recent events in Beirut and the Bekaa have reminded us how valuable that security is.
Earlier this morning, I met with representatives from the Lebanese Armed Forces who briefed me on the security situation here. My meeting with the Mufti and with other political, religious and civil society representatives in Tripoli during the course of the day will also help me understand better the reality of Tripoli on the ground.
I also had the opportunity to tour Syria Street for the first time earlier today. There and in all my discussions today, I noticed that people are impatient to move on with their lives. I am impressed by the dedicated efforts shown by many and by members of civil society. I visited a project where women from Jabal Mohsen and Bab El-Tabbaneh are working together. It speaks both to the need for sustainable projects, cooperation and reconciliation and demonstrates how coexistence is at the very heart of what Lebanon stands for.
But I am also aware of the difficult socio-economic situation and the need for rebuilding and for longer term development: job opportunities, health clinics, schools, parks and many other challenges facing the city and particularly the neighborhoods of Bab El-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen. Tripoli now has an excellent opportunity to work in that direction. I warmly welcome the government’s commitment in that regard and its recent decision to fund several large-scale development projects here. I am also discussing with different UN agencies what more the United Nations can do to help.