Key Speeches

Introduction > General Assembly of the United Nation – September 24, 1991

We want our rights

Mr. President,

Lebanon addressed your organization this time, after having successfully overcome fierce wars and crises. We were successful due to the attachment of the Lebanese to their country, their determination to achieve unity, the support and the friendship of other countries and the support of your organization in defending our right to sovereignty, independence and peace.

Allow me to congratulate you on your election as President of the forty-sixth session, in particular because you represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which ties us to it deep relations of brethren and friendship. Lebanon extends its gratitude and appreciation to the Kingdom, led by King Fahed Bin Abdul Aziz, for supporting out process to peace and salvation.

Allow me to commend the success of the presidency of the previous session of the General Assembly, and place on record my appreciation to His Excellency the General Secretary for the genuine interest accorded to Lebanon and the distinct role in promoting international solidarity.

I would also like to welcome the new states that have acceded to the United Nations.

Mr. President,

I assure you today that Lebanon has emerged from the series of imposed wars and is regaining its world presence and role.

Our commitment to the application of “The National Pact” has enabled our central government in few months, to empower the State’s authority:

Areas have been opened, unity has been re-established and the people have come together around the state. Militias have been dissolved, and the usage of their weapons has halted due to our efforts to eradicate the causes of the war. There are no arms, except that of the state, Moreover, we have worked on the deployment of the Lebanese Army and the legitimate security forces in the capital and the regions, and we started moving south to stretch national sovereignty along with the temporary international forces, to which we extend our gratitude.

We started launching the state’s institutions in preparation for its reconstruction; we are also working on our national political action on the basis of democracy and the respect of beliefs within the rule of law and public safety, as we achieved several reforms and introduced constitutional amendments based on freedom, participation and justice.

As the world is following today the policy of large conglomerates, cooperation and convergence, along with the launch of Europe 1992, the Organization of American States, the Council of Cooperation between Arabian Gulf Countries and the Arab Maghreb Union, the Lebanese have proven through their tradition to be people of openness. As a conclusion, Lebanon and Syria have made a treaty of cooperation and coordination on the basis of mutual respect for each country’s sovereignty and independence. In this context, Lebanon cannot but acknowledge the sacrifices made by President Hafez Al-Assad to help us push forward the process of accord and uphold the authority of the State.

Mr. President,

These achievements carried Lebanon:

From despair to hope

From chaos to order

From fragmentation to harmony

Because our people stand for peace and reconstruction, they tend by nature to accord on the basis of respect for democracy and freedom.

The state is back in Lebanon, and the country has regained a stable security.

Nevertheless, we are still working on putting end to the residues of the crises we have been through, including the crisis of hostages which resulted from the lack of security and the absence of the legitimate Lebanese authority in large areas for years. Lebanon was one of the first to condemn these acts as they violate out traditions, habits, and the simplest principles of law and human rights. The Lebanese government stresses its determination to cooperate with everyone in order to put an end to this issue. Our will has prevailed when it thwarted an attempt by some to overthrow the successful release of the hostages and detainees.  

Mr. President,

The Lebanese government has accomplished most of the provisions of the National Pact that the Lebanese people agreed upon in Taef with the support of the Arab League, the tripartite Arab committee, our friends, and the international community; namely, the permanent members of the international security council.

Nonetheless, there is one more provision that we are still working hard to accomplish which is the sovereignty of the state over all the Lebanese territory decreed by the Security Council Resolution 425, which protects the rights of Lebanon to regain its sovereignty over its land in the western Bekaa and in the south, occupied by the Israeli forces. And you have sent the international forces to overlook the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces back to the internationally recognized borders and help the Lebanese state spread its authority there.

It is our right to ask for the execution of the Resolution 425 while insisting on separating South Lebanon’s cause from the Middle East crisis. We will remain committed to what our friends will agree upon and we will support all international efforts for a just and lengthy peace in the Middle East.

We want our rights,

Our citizens in the South are living under the Israeli occupation and their basic rights, life, properties are violated daily. We have had enough of tragedies and wars of others. Lebanon is a country of coexistence, and peace in Lebanon means peace for all.

Our right to live freely in our lands is a sacred right. To Lebanon, its lands are scared too. The diversity in Lebanon in which its takes pride, is rooted deeply in its soil, and its lands in the southern areas are profoundly integrated and tied to the northern, eastern and western ones.

The road to civil peace that we started will remain incomplete as long as the Israel has not immediately withdrawn its forces from Lebanon, which remains committed to its independence, and complete sovereignty.

Is it acceptable that your organization applies the resolutions of the Security Council in the Middle East against a state that has challenged international resolutions, and which does not apply the Security Council resolution pertaining to Lebanon?

For thirteen years now, Israel has refused to execute the UN Resolution 425 that calls for the liberation of South Lebanon and has kept its troops in our beloved land.

 The United Nation is asked to pressure Israel to execute Resolution 425 as part of the commitment of the UN toward Lebanon and the respect of its decisions; namely, that your organization has asked Lebanon to push forward the Taef accord in 1989 which clearly stipulates the necessity of applying Resolution 425.

 Lebanon is one of the founding members of the organization and we have contributed in shaping the declaration of Human Rights and we believe in its international legitimacy and support its principles.

Mr. President,

The grave situation in the Middle East is a source of instability and a threat to international security and peace, and the Palestinian people are still enduring the worst conditions while the Jews worldwide are still immigrating massively to Israel. The Israeli government is not making the peace process easier, nor is it granting the Palestinians their right to self-determination by refusing the Arab openness and by insisting that peace be made based on injustice and subjugation.

Lebanon has greatly suffered from the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in particular, and is looking forward to a peaceful, comprehensive and just solution in the Middle East. The Lebanese model of coexistence, dialogue and openness remains an ideal for innovative coexistence in the region.

Mr. President,

Now that the security is enforced and confidence in Lebanon has been regained, opening the way to the return of the displaced to their homeland, we look forward to the support of our friends in the rebuilding process. Peace may only be re-established in the framework of a developmental process that guarantees human dignity and harmony with others.

The civil war in Lebanon destroyed all the vital facilities and infrastructure of the country. Our economy is suffering and the state is indebted. Tourism and services which are the basis of our economy need to be reshaped and modernized. Finally, the Gulf War came and only made things worse.

The Lebanese government is facing difficult challenges at all levels, but we intend to get things back to normal by supporting our free market economy and with the help of our businessmen all over the world. We also count on your organization and other international organizations to help Lebanon survive this difficult period.

We intend to start by rebuilding the capital Beirut and help the displaced return to their villages, homes and lands.

Beirut is calling upon investors from the Arab countries and the whole world to return to Lebanon and support its reconstruction. We have received donations from our friends and organization, but we are also looking forward for an international fund for the reconstruction of the country to which the industrial countries and organizations can contribute.

When the world has watched my country fall apart in the past fifteen years, will it remain still as it as Lebanon fights the challenges of reconstruction?

Lebanon’s decision to end the state of war and face the residues of battles, is a testimony of its ability to renew and revive. The Lebanese people who have participated in the construction of America, Africa, Europe, Australia and the gulf, deserve that you help in reconstructing their country. The international community has always supported post-war countries, and solidarity with wounded countries and support to their rising process is the basis and aim of your organization.

Mr. President,

 Lebanon is looking forwards to starting a new political era at the dawn of the twenty first century that is based on solidarity and aims at promoting humans on the basis of brotherhood, mutual respect of freedom, security and prosperity. Lebanon plays a cultural role in the region and world and works for the interest of its brother states and world peace.

We will defend freedom, prosperity and peace and the road to a regional prosperous future starts with cooperation inside a political system that has been re-established by the bold Arab resolutions.

The political system also stems from our culture of understanding, diversity, liberation and consensus over the values of stability, freedom and dignity.

The latest agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union to put an end to nuclear armament have made this world a safer place and minimized the nuclear fear. We hope that in the near future we will see the same agreements on chemical and biological weapons and hopefully to see the Middle East a region free from weapons of mass destruction.

Engaging in dialogue and openness in solving regional problems across the globe has proven its effectiveness and gained unanimous support. It will also bring more trust to the UN and its role in finding the dynamic and appropriate frames for resolving crises and normalizing situations.

Lebanon reaffirms its commitment to further cooperating with the nations at all levels and in different fields.

Mr. President,

After fifteen years of daily tragedies my country didn’t die.

We are more resolute and more determined to keep advancing.

Lebanon is a modern example of the willingness of a people to live, holding a message of peace and understanding. The “Lebanisation” remains to be a source of pride and should no longer be a synonym of fighting and killing but rather synonym of work, creation and peaceful evolution.

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