After hearing and seeing for himself the suffering of the Lebanese people, the UN chief told political leaders on Tuesday that they “have no right to be divided”, leaving the nation paralyzed, in the middle multiple seizures.
“All government institutions are measured by results: social protection, access to electricity and water, education and basic health care, good governance and the protection of human rights”, he added. declared Secretary General António Guterres.
Speaking at a press conference marking the end of his three-day solidarity mission, he said that if the country is to return to the path of sustainable recovery, “civil society, women and youth have an essential role to play “.
“Their voices must be heard and their proposals seriously considered,” he said.
“Free and fair legislative elections, held on time in 2022, will be an essential opportunity for the people to make their voices heard. “
Mr Guterres said he was grateful for being able to engage with a wide range of Lebanese society, including political and military authorities and religious leaders.
He also made field visits to the north and south of the country and told reporters it had been “an honor” to be back in a country dear to his heart.
“But it saddens me to see the people of this beautiful country suffer so much. The Lebanese people face immense challenges,” he said. “Yet despite the tensions they endure, the warmth and generosity of the Lebanese people continue to shine.”
He said the region and the whole world were grateful for the country’s generosity in providing refuge to Syrians and others fleeing violent conflict, and praised the country’s “spirit of coexistence and tolerance”.
Victims Deserve Answers
Regarding the explosion at the Port of Beirut, where more than 200 people lost their lives in the devastating explosions of August 2020, he reiterated his view that “all victims deserve answers and justice that cannot be rendered only by an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation ”.
The UN chief expressed grave concern at the impact of the worsening economic and financial crisis which has been fueled by political stalemate, sectarianism, widespread protests and a growing humanitarian emergency.
“Yesterday I visited Tripoli in the north of Lebanon and today Tire in the south. I was very moved to listen to first hand accounts of the impact of this crisis on the daily lives of people, ”said Mr. Guterres.
Listen to people
“People expect their political leaders to listen to their needs and restore the economy, including through functioning government and state institutions, and effectively fighting corruption. .
“For the past two days, I have urged Lebanese political leaders to work towards the implementation of reforms that respond to the demands of the Lebanese people for more well-being, accountability, protection and transparency in order to restore hope to a better future.
We will have more on the Secretary-General’s visit to Lebanon from our UN News team in the field, later today …
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