Arab News Digest

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United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix today briefed the Security Council on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006). The Security Council was meeting in closed consultations to discuss the latest report of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the implementation of the resolution.

Deeply concerned by the escalation in the exchanges of fire across, and increasingly beyond, the Blue Line, the Special Coordinator said these repeated violations of resolution 1701 increase the risks of miscalculation and further deterioration of an already critical situation.

‘With prevention and de-escalation at the top of our agenda, our collective focus, advocacy, and pressure must be foremost on urging the parties to restore the cessation of hostilities,’ the Special Coordinator told the Council, adding that there is still space for diplomacy to forge a solution to prevent a larger

The Special Coordinator regretted in particular the impact of the fighting on civilians. ‘I have reminded relevant stakeholders of all parties about their obligation to comply fully with international humanitarian and human rights law, namely to protect civilians.’

The Special Coordinator said the current situation puts in focus the dangers that the incomplete implementation of resolution 1701 poses to Lebanon, Israel and the stability of the region at large. ‘It is no longer enough to return to the relative calm and stability that prevailed prior to 8 October. A political process, anchored in the full implementation of Resolution 1701, to address the root causes of the conflict and ensure long-term stability has become necessary,’ she said.

Noting that major obligations under resolution 1701 have remained outstanding and require action by each party, the Special Coordinator said it is imperative to focus anew on the overarching objective of a permanent ceasefire and long-term solution to th
e conflict.

She underscored the critical role of an empowered and well-resourced Lebanese Armed Forces to the full implementation of Resolution 1701 and encouraged additional international support to enable the army to carry out its duties to the fullest, including its cooperation with UNIFIL.

She also reiterated the urgency of ending Lebanon’s presidential vacancy to enable the full functioning of the country’s state institutions in this time of crisis.

The Special Coordinator said the unity of the Security Council behind the efforts to maintain Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political stability was also critical.

In conclusion, the Special Coordinator reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to continue standing by Lebanon and its people.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon