In response to a question from LBCI television on the UN's position with regards to the elements of recent sermons by Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros El-Rai, including on the proposal of declaring Lebanon's neutrality, the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) responded:
- The UN always follows with great attention messages of His Beatitude Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai and other Lebanese religious leaders.
- The UN in Lebanon has significantly increased its assistance to the country and its people during the Covid-19 emergency and grave economic and social crisis. It intends to further increase its assistance during this time of growing hardship and poverty, in cooperation with other international partners, to further mobilize international help to Lebanon and its people.
- The UN urges Lebanon's political leaders to undertake the necessary reforms which can help to unlock such important international assistance and set Lebanon on the path of economic recovery.
- Issues related to core interests and strategic decisions of Lebanon should be subject to an all-inclusive process of national consensus. The UN stands ready to support such Lebanese-led process of building national consensus.
- The UN remains strongly committed to assisting the authorities of Lebanon and other parties in their efforts to ensure the full implementation of UNSC resolutions 1701, 1559, 1680 and others. It urges Lebanon, all parties to fully abide by and implement the said resolutions and their other commitments, first of all the Constitution, Taef Accord and Baabda declaration. Regular reports of the SG on 1701 and 1559 that continue to register often persistent and pervasive lack of implementation of the said resolutions by the parties are regularly on the agenda of the UNSC , draw criticism of members of the UNSC who then consider also other steps to Encourage and further compel the parties to work more vigorously for their implementation . The next discussion of the UNSC on 1701 is scheduled for the coming weeks, prior to the August discussion and decision of the UNSC on UNIFIL mandate extension.