We must bring what is happening in Belarus to the world’s attention and hear from those on the ground. Briefers on #BYHumanRights: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin; Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya; Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic; Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich. The meeting is chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

UN Security Council Press Elements on Lebanon

USG Rosemary Di Carlo briefed the Security Council on the situation in Lebanon and presented the last report of the Secretary General during the regular consultations on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004).

The Members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon, in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions, and that the preservation of Lebanon’s stability is essential to regional stability and security.

The Members of the Security Council underscored their previous calls on all Lebanese parties to recommit to Lebanon’s policy of dissociation and to cease any involvement in any external conflict, consistent with their commitment in the Baabda declaration.

They recalled the importance of fully implementing UNSCR 1559, which require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon so that there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than those of the Lebanese State, and they recalled that the violations of the Lebanese sovereignty, by air and land, should immediately stop.

They also recalled that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) are the only legitimate armed forces of Lebanon, as enshrined in the Lebanese constitution and in the Taif Agreement and encouraged the international community to continue its support to the LAF’s capabilities.

The Members of the Security Council discussed the urgent need for the Lebanese authorities to respond to the aspirations of the Lebanese people by implementing meaningful economic reforms, and notably the commitments made in the framework of the CEDRE conference as well as at the International Support Group for Lebanon meeting held in Paris on the 11th of December. On the basis of those necessary reforms, the Members of the Security Council expressed support to Lebanon to help it exit the current crisis and to address the economic, security, humanitarian challenges , as well as the impact of COVID-19 facing the country, and called the international community, including international organizations, to do so. The Members of the Security Council took due note of the approval by the Government of Lebanon of an economic plan as well as of the commencement of negotiations between Lebanon and the IMF.