GA / LEBANON

24-Sep-2021 00:03:14
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said his country " has known its hardest times” over the past two years “whereas successive crises – some inherited and ramified and some urgent - exploded simultaneously, affecting all sectors.” UNIFEED
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STORY: GA / LEBANON
TRT: 3:14
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 24 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
21 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

24 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Aoun on screen at General Assembly Hall
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Michel Aoun, President, Lebanon:
“As the Lebanese Government has been formed according to the constitutional mechanism after a political crisis that lasted more than a year, Lebanon has embarked on a new phase that would hopefully mark a promising step on the path of recovery. There is no doubt that major internal and international challenges await the new government to earn the confidence of both the people and the international community after having obtained that of the Lebanese Parliament.”
4. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Michel Aoun, President, Lebanon:
“Over the past two years, Lebanon has known its hardest times, whereas successive crises – some inherited and ramified and some urgent - exploded simultaneously, affecting all sectors. Indeed, the financial and economic policies adopted for decades and built upon the profit-based pattern, in addition to corruption and waste that result from bad management and absence of accountability, pushed Lebanon into an unprecedented financial and monetary crisis which led to economic stagnation, a stifling livelihood crisis, and growing in unemployment, migration and poverty rates.”
6. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Michel Aoun, President, Lebanon:
“Today, as Lebanon is resisting to survive and go on, I repeat the plea: yes, the international community must help Lebanon shoulder the exhausting burden entailed by the displacement crisis; yet, it must first work for the safe return of the displaced to their country.”
8. Med shot, Cypriot delegation
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Michel Aoun, President, Lebanon:
“Lebanon demands the resumption of indirect negotiations for the demarcation of the Southern maritime borders according to international laws. It affirms that it shall not back off and shall not accept any compromise. The role of the international community is to stand by it.”
10. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Michel Aoun, President, Lebanon:
“The international solidarity with our capital and our people is commendable. It has contributed indeed to healing some wounds, but the assistance that Beirut wants as well lies in what may be required by the probe in order to disclose the truth to serve justice. The comfort of the victims’ parents and the healing of the wounded’s pain can only be complete by serving justice.”
12. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
STORYLINE
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said his country " has known its hardest times” over the past two years “whereas successive crises – some inherited and ramified and some urgent - exploded simultaneously, affecting all sectors.”

In a pre-recorded message presented to the UN General Assembly today (24 Sep), Aoun said a government was formed after a political crisis that lasted more than a year, and Lebanon “has embarked on a new phase that would hopefully mark a promising step on the path of recovery.” He said major internal and international challenges await the new government to earn the confidence of “both the people and the international community after having obtained that of the Lebanese Parliament.”

The Lebanese President said the financial and economic policies “adopted for decades and built upon the profit-based pattern, in addition to corruption and waste that result from bad management and absence of accountability, pushed Lebanon into an unprecedented financial and monetary crisis which led to economic stagnation, a stifling livelihood crisis, and growing in unemployment, migration and poverty rates.”

He said the new Government has committed to carry out the pressing and required financial and economic reforms, to fight corruption and lay down a financial recovery plan in the context of continuing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, accompanied by a plan to generalize the social safety net, a plan to reform and – where needed - restructure the banking system, and to carry on with the implementation of the electricity sector plan.

Aoun said the wars of the region have exacerbated of the crises Lebanon faces, and in particular the Syrian war. He reminded world leaders of his repeated appeals to the international community to help secure a safe return of the over 1.5 million displaced Syrian in Lebanon and stressed that their presence has had catastrophic economic, social, health and security impacts on the country.

He added, “Today, as Lebanon is resisting to survive and go on, I repeat the plea: yes, the international community must help Lebanon shoulder the exhausting burden entailed by the displacement crisis; yet, it must first work for the safe return of the displaced to their country.”

The Lebanese President reaffirmed his rejection of any form of integration of the displaced Syrian population in Lebanon and reiterated Lebanon’s position rejecting any form of settlement of Palestinian refugees, based on the necessity to find a solution to the Palestinian issue in accordance with relevant international resolutions, specifically those guaranteeing the right of return.

Aoun said persistent Israeli threats remain the main concern of the Lebanese State, including Israel’s attempt to explore for oil and gas in the disputed area on the maritime borders. He said, “Lebanon demands the resumption of indirect negotiations for the demarcation of the Southern maritime borders according to international laws. It affirms that it shall not back off and shall not accept any compromise. The role of the international community is to stand by it.”

Aoun said Beirut continues to suffer the effects of the Port blast more than a year later. He said, while grateful for all the humanitarian assistance that has been sent to the Lebanese people, need remains pressing for reconstruction and development supplies. He welcomed any international endeavor to habilitate and develop the port to bring it back to full operation.

The Lebanese President said, “The international solidarity with our capital and our people is commendable. It has contributed indeed to healing some wounds, but the assistance that Beirut wants as well lies in what may be required by the probe in order to disclose the truth to serve justice. The comfort of the victims’ parents and the healing of the wounded’s pain can only be complete by serving justice.”

Aoun noted that the Lebanese judicary is investigating the causes and circumstances of the explosion and the administrative liabilities. He said the investigation, which remains confidential, still needs to unveil where the explosive materials came from, why they entered Beirut Port, and who is really behind them. He called on countries which possess information and data that help the investigation to share them as needed.
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