Key Speeches

Introduction > Independence Day – November 21, 1993

Our achievements shall only be reinforced when we complete the reconstruction of the state
Fellow Lebanese,
Even though the Parliament was hindered by the arrest campaign that took place on November 11, its Speaker Subeir Hamada, and Parliament Members Saeb Salam, Henry Faraoun, Mohammed Al Fadl, Maroun Kanaan, Rasheed Baydoun and Saadi Al Mounla did convene.
Parliament Members Henry Faraoun and Saadi Al Mounla drew the colors of the new Lebanese flag; red-white-red with a cedar tree centered in the white band, and all parliament members approved it as the future flag of the independent sovereign Lebanon.
We stand in awe of the founding generation that has embodied the essence of freedom and dignity.  We acknowledge those who have sacrificed for a homeland that exemplifies peaceful coexistence.
We honor the martyrs who have sacrificed for the sake of democracy and in defense of the nation’s existence.  Their memory confirms the firm existence of our homeland.
Your strength comes from the people’s faith in you and your unity mirrors their enduring unity.  Your weapon is the State’s weapon to regaining its sovereignty over the South and Western Bekaa, and to respecting laws and freedoms on all Lebanese territories.  You have honorably served your country and enhanced citizens’ faith in the State and its path to reform and reconstruction.
Along with our security forces and agencies, you are responsible for protecting our nation’s accomplishments.  You commitment helps fulfillment of our hopes and goals.
We have authorized implementation of military service so our youth learn from your valor and so everyone commits to honor, sacrifice and loyalty for Lebanon.
Continue your leadership role.
Fellow Lebanese,
Independence is a heritage we are proud of and an achievement we renew today.  In fifty years, we have succeeded a lot and failed a lot.
We have been rebuilding in the midst of dire regional and international circumstances.  Nations have fallen, alliances have failed and balances have been overturned.
Our nation has endured despite it all.  We freed ourselves from the bonds of crisis on November 22, 1943.
We gained our independence from foreign hegemony fifty years ago and today, we have to grant citizens independence from fear, uncertainty, factionalism, corruption and regression.
Demands and complaints must necessarily change over the course of half a century.
This independent nation has attempted to rebuild itself and the repercussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict have weighed on it.
This peaceful nation is prospering. We must not allow signs of reconciliation to limit the strength of its defenses. 
Fellow Lebanese,
Our accomplishments will be for naught if we do not complete our nation-building.
Lebanese politics are characterized by their patriotism.  We must learn to lift the State up and be lifted by it and for its sake.  Some of us have had a crisis of faith:  Some fear for themselves, while others put themselves ahead of the nation, or believe its strength will weaken them and its weakness will strengthen them.
National reality is mostly non-sectarianism while politics is plagued with sectarian considerations.  The State is working hard to bring everyone to the national reality.  In order for this change to be made positively, it cannot be implemented by force or rejected by force.
The crisis has imposed upon us the battle of others.  Peace is urging us to fight our own battle:  The battle of reconstruction and re-endorsing Lebanon’s position.
In the past four years, we worked hard on reviving the state, today we work on rebuilding life in and for the nation.
We know what we have to achieve and we do not have far to go.  It is a matter of completing the implementation of the National Accord Document.
We must deepen popular participation in rebuilding the nation and society.
Accord is not a truce between the factions but a desire for communal life in a single homeland and for a single homeland.  We have faced critical challenges this year.  However, our decisions have reflected our national unity.
Should we not abide by the State’s decision to:
•    Refuse absorption of Palestinian detainees?
•    Confront the Israeli occupation last July? 
•    Forge ahead with the battle of peace to liberate our land from Israeli occupation?

Lebanon has proven it is no longer the field for other’s battles and no longer a means for other’s peace at its expense or the expense of Arab dignity.
We have worked together to achieve peace because peace is in our heritage and a necessary condition to rebuilding the State.  But, we are not whole if the South and Western Bekaa remain under Israeli occupation.  There is no peace for the entire region without peace for Lebanon.
We will not be an obstacle to peace.  However, we cannot give up our land and sovereignty.  Reaching peace is part of peace.
Implementation of international resolutions, including Resolution 425, is the guarantee to achieving just and comprehensive peace.  Lebanon is part of this region and must have an impact on drawing its future.  Hesitation and avoidance of strong stances to protect the nation’s higher interests have cost us a lot.
We have started facing reality with courage.  Lebanon is a final home for all of its citizens and an Arab and sovereign leader.
We have worked hard but many needs remain.  To work even harder requires capabilities that exceed those we have left due to wars and their aftermath.
Citizens have experienced better electric service in most areas.  We are working to repair public administrative buildings, the Lebanese university and telephone networks.  We are rehabilitating the Southern Suburb.
Work has begun and inflation has reached its least in the past twelve months. Construction projects have flourished, the budget deficit has declined by about five hundred million US dollars, and bank deposits have increased to about five hundred million US dollars.  The trade deficit has been addressed and our growth rate has increased to 8%.
The above achievement, amongst others, have been accomplished despite the challenges we faced which include the Israeli aggression in July, the repercussions of the Israeli-Palestinian accord and the delay in international and Arab assistance to the process of reconstruction.
We are putting our own resources to work but we know that our needs exceed our means.  Our problem-solving skills are being tested.
We must rehabilitate our homeland to strengthen its role in this increasingly competitive era. 
We must adopt an economic and social vision that protects the desire for internal development and Lebanon’s importance in the region.
We must work even harder to complete the process of returning the displaced to their land and homes.
We urge those capable of doing what they can to push this national achievement forward.  They should participate, as much as they can, in building a part of a neighborhood, village or district.  The spirit of cooperation has a long history in our heritage and souls.  This homeland is for all of us and will prosper with our help.
Media, education and socioeconomic development must complement each other, paralleled with making production opportunities available, facilitating healthcare and social reform to bring the generations together, as well as refraining from internal disaccord and laziness.  The spread of social disparities weakens national unity.  Co-existence is only possible based on a balanced and healthy social foundation for citizens and regions.  It is a lifestyle rather than an idea.
We are preparing to have 1994 witness the start of the first actual reconstruction since 1975.  This preparation can be enhanced by working to reinforce the return of skills, expediting technical and administrative qualification to encourage investments and employment, affirming free trade as well as modernizing legislation and organizations capable of supporting our economic role.
Most importantly, we must work to develop links with Lebanese immigrants who have excelled abroad.  They are a crucial part of Lebanese power and can contribute to rebuilding Lebanon so long as we ensure their continued faith in a modern Lebanon.
We are in the midst of a crucial transformation that must continue to push forward.
Fellow Lebanese,
Your sacrifices and suffering have not gone to waste.
We have succeeded in forging a new and successful beginning for our nation.
Because we have succeeded, we must thank the brethren and friends who have helped us.  First and foremost, we must thank Syria, with the leadership of President Hafiz Al Assad.  It helped us set the path for success and supports us today on the path toward liberation and peace.
Today, heroism is not defeating others.  It is uniting to complete Lebanon’s victory.

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