UN chief concludes visit to Lebanon

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his wife Yoo Soon-taek (behind, left) with children from a Lebanese family in the city of Tripoli, Lebanon. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

The international community must support Lebanon which has taken in more than one million Syrian and Palestinian refugees, the UN Secretary-General has said.

Ban Ki-moon on Friday wrapped up a two-day visit to the country, accompanied by the Presidents of the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.

The visit aimed to find ways to improve conditions for refugees and to support communities hosting them.

The Secretary-General will travel on to Jordan and Tunisia ahead of a High-Level Meeting on the Syrian refugee crisis to be held in Geneva on Wednesday.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN Secretary-General reaffirmed strong international support for Lebanon.

Ban Ki-moon said he was "very moved" by his meetings with the people he had met during his time in the country, who included Palestinian and Syrian refugees, as well as Lebanese women and youth.

Mr Ban was speaking alongside World Bank President Jim Yong Kim during a press conference in the capital, Beirut.

"The world owes the Lebanese people and authorities a great debt for their generosity in hosting over one million refugees from Syria, in addition to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees.  Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees per capita in the world.  The international community recognizes this contribution and must support Lebanon in its efforts."

The UN chief called on countries to fulfill their commitments to support Syrian refugees.

An international conference held in London last month ended with US$10 billion in pledges.

Mr Ban stated that the UN will "spare no effort" in seeking an end to the Syrian conflict.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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