Kubis Urges Lebanon to 'Resume Discussions on Defense Strategy'

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United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis has issued a statement marking the first anniversary of the Rome II Conference for supporting Lebanon's army and other security forces.

In the statement, Kubis reflected on Lebanon’s “commitment to strengthening the security, stability and sovereignty of the country and continuing relevance of the International community’s support to Lebanon as it works towards this endeavor.”

He lauded the 41 countries that had participated in Rome and expressed their commitment to Lebanon in its efforts to strengthen its security institutions on the basis of Lebanon’s five-year capacity development plans for the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces.

“Having had discussions with the constitutional leaders, respective ministers as well as with the LAF, ISF, and General Security leadership during my short time in country on the security challenges and progress to date, I am impressed by their professionalism and determination to ensure the security of the country, its borders and its population,” said Kubis, echoing the praise expressed in Rome.

“Within the framework of Security Council Resolutions 1701 (2006), 2373 (2017) and 2433 (2018), UNSCOL, in close coordination with UNIFIL, welcomes all steps taken to date by the Government of Lebanon in extending and consolidating the presence of the Lebanese State across its territory, including towards the deployment of a LAF Model Regiment and the gradual build-up of the LAF Navy,” he added.

Echoing the Rome joint statement that the LAF are “the only legitimate armed forces of Lebanon, as enshrined in the Lebanese Constitution and the Taif Agreement,” Kubis also commended the “robust deployment of the LAF’s Land Border Regiments along the northern and eastern borders, an important marker of the country’s extension of State authority.”

Kubis also encouraged Lebanon to continue in these efforts throughout its territory as well as to “resume the discussions on a National Defense Strategy.”

He also urged Member States to continue supporting the LAF and ISF.

Separately, Kubis said “the U.N. welcomes the steps taken by Lebanon towards increasing respect for human rights and the participation of women in the armed and security forces, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security and as pledged in Rome.

“The increased participation of women in the security forces, and the implementation by the LAF and the ISF of codes of conduct are important steps towards greater effectiveness, respect for human rights and accountability as is the recent appointments of the members of the National Human Rights Institution, including its National Preventive Mechanism against torture. I look forward to it becoming operational,” he said.

Kubis further observed that “a strong and sustained security environment in which human rights and rule of law are respected will contribute to building the confidence necessary for increased economic investment and long-term development for a more stable and prosperous country."

SourceNaharnet
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Thumb chrisrushlau 10 days

Kubis cautioned against giving the citizens the power to determine the government, referring to Article 24 of the Lebanese Constitution which reserves half of the seats in the legislature, the Chamber of Deputies, to Christians who are perhaps a quarter of the population, effectively disenfrachising Shia Muslims who, says Noam Chomsky, are more than half the national population. Kubis said, "Just look at Iran: that's what happens when you let Arabs choose their government: or Egypt. Thank God for military coups!" He did caution Lebanon on its beret policy: "Many of your military berets are fourth- or even third-generation, and let me tell you, Israel laughs at much of your beret wear."