09/18/2020 | News release | Archived content
President Aoun: 'We reiterate our commitment to work for achieving the goals that lead to a better world, despite the great challenges that Lebanon faces'.
President Aoun: 'Lebanon greatly needs more support to help the country overcome emergency circumstances to address the current problems, and prepare for what is required in the future'.
The President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, affirmed that 'Lebanon reiterates its commitment to work to achieve the seventeen goals of sustainable development by year 2030, despite the difficult circumstances that the country passes through, so that we can all reach a better world for us, and for future generations'.
The President also pointed out that Lebanon has been subject to successive tremors, from the Syrian displacement crisis, to the Corona pandemic, and the tragedy of the Beirut Port explosion, to the massive human and material losses it caused.
President Aoun thanked the countries which came to help Lebanon, asserting the necessity of delivering aid to those who deserve, repairing damaged houses and rebuilding the Port. In addition, President Aoun stated that 'Lebanon greatly needs more support from the international community and UN organizations to help the country overcome the current circumstances, through action and close cooperation, programming humanitarian aid to secure economic and social stability, and pushing towards achieving desired sustainable development to address the problems of the present, and prepare for the future'.
President Aoun's stances came during his speech, via video technology, at 4:30pm (Beirut Time), in front of the 8th International Conference on Sustainable Development, called for by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to discuss ways to bypass repercussions and results of Corona Virus, and achieving the goals set for by sustainable development during the decade.
Address by His Excellency the President of the Lebanese Republic General Michel Aoun at the UN Sustainable Development Goals Moment
(by video conference) - 18/9/2020
I would like to thank you for organizing this conference, the first in the frame of the action plan for the coming ten years, in view of achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, these goals to which our peoples aspire, and to which Lebanon renews its commitment despite the dire circumstances that the country is going through, till we all reach a better world for us and for the generations to come.
Undoubtedly, our world is facing today tremendous challenges that have directly impacted all countries, notably Lebanon which has had its large share of them, being shaken by consecutive tremors: from the massive Syrian displacement crisis lingering for ten years and thrusting upon us a pressing development reality whereas the displaced amount to nearly one third of Lebanon's population, to the acute economic and financial crisis caused by decades of accumulated corruption and mismanagement.
In the middle of our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Lebanon has been stricken by the Beirut Port explosion which has hit the heart of the capital, causing huge human and physical damages, and tremendous adverse effects that will not only contribute to aggravating the recession of the economic activity, but will also exacerbate poverty rates which were already 45% prior to the Beirut blast, according to the assessment of the World Bank which has estimated the material damages at around 4.5 billion U.S. dollars, the economic loss at around 3.5 billion dollars, and the reconstruction needs at around 2 billion dollars.
As I avail myself of this opportunity to thank the brotherly and friendly States and international institutions for which we are grateful for rushing to support Lebanon and provide immediate and humanitarian assistance, and contribute to healing the wounds, I would like to draw your kind attention to the fact that all these tremendous challenges that Lebanon is struggling with have affected the course of prioritization, thus making it imperative for us:
First: to work on the quick response in order to address the most pressing crises, in line with the principle called for by the UN Agenda, namely 'leaving no one behind', by delivering aid to the most needy, the poorest, the most marginalized and the most affected categories.
Second: to repair around 200.000 residential units which were damaged - some totally demolished - causing the displacement of 300.000 citizens, especially that we are on the verge of winter.Third: to rebuild the port of Beirut, the vital artery of the Lebanese economy, and to address the severe damages that have affected all sectors: health, education, food, construction, tourism…
Ladies and gentlemen,
Lebanon stands today at a crucial intersection between, on one hand, its aspiration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal during the next decade and, on the other hand, the economic, financial, monetary and social crises it is enduring. It greatly needs further support from the international community and the UN organizations to help it overcome these urgent circumstances, though an oriented action and close cooperation between them and the governmental bodies, by programming humanitarian aid to ensure economic and social stability, and by pressing for the desired sustainable development, in order to address the problems of the present and get ready for the requirements of the future.