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        General Assembly
1 February 1994


33rd meeting
held on
Tuesday, 15 November 1993
at 3 p.m.
New York


Chairman: Mr. MONGBE (Benin)




The meeting was called to order at 3.20 p.m.


AGENDA ITEM 100: SPECIAL PROGRAMMES OF ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE (A/48/272-S/26108, A/48/308-S/26295, A/48/319, A/48/320, A/48/392 and Corr.1, A/48/396-S/26440, A/48/405, A/48/434, A/48/453, A/48/504, A/48/552, A/48/564; A/C.2/48/6)


14. Mr. JONAH (Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs), introducing the report of the Secretary-General on assistance for the reconstruction and development of Lebanon (A/48/453), recalled that, beginning in 1978, the international community had resolved to take special measures to speed the reconstruction of Lebanon. In that same year, the General Assembly had established the programme of United Nations Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon (UNARDOL), which had become fully operational over the past few years, during which the scope and volume of its activities had increased. He recalled that Economic and Social Council resolution 1992/42 and General Assembly resolution 47/155 had called upon the programmes and organizations of the United Nations to intensify their assistance to Lebanon and take the necessary steps to ensure that their offices in Beirut were adequately staffed. In the past few years, additional United Nations organizations had established or reopened their offices in Beirut and other offices had been strengthened. For the first time since the end of the civil war, field operations had been initiated, with the participation of international personnel, and a number of projects had become operational. That had been made possible by the improvement of security conditions in Lebanon, which had permitted the relaxation of the restrictions which had been in place in some areas.

15. The two most recent reports of the Secretary-General on assistance to Lebanon noted the profound changes that had taken place in the country, changes related to the consolidation of the Government's authority, as well as other encouraging developments which made it possible to focus attention on the need for rehabilitation, reconstruction and development. More recent events in the Middle East had contributed to that trend. Their effect on Lebanon and the neighbouring countries would make itself felt as the peace process continued. Under the leadership of the UNARDOL Resident Coordinator, the United Nations had sought to provide maximum support to the Government of Lebanon in drawing up and implementing projects and programmes of reconstruction and rehabilitation. That support had extended to humanitarian assistance and emergency aid, the revival of institutions and the enhancement of their capacity and assistance in human resource development. In particular, the report provided information on the United Nations Inter-Agency Humanitarian Needs Mission, which had visited Lebanon in August 1993, in the wake of the intensification of armed conflict in southern Lebanon. The UNARDOL Resident Coordinator continued to be engaged in assisting the country's authorities in responding to the emergency situation in southern Lebanon and the west Bekaa. Among the most outstanding of the ongoing activities, mention should be made of the full reconstruction by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) of some 1,500 completely destroyed houses and the emergency repair of 1,000 partially destroyed houses belonging to economically disadvantaged families, which had received advance funding of $5 million from the Department of Humanitarian Affairs.

16. The UNARDOL Resident Coordinator, in close cooperation with the United Nations field team, had undertaken initiatives and had increased cooperation between the peace-keeping operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and humanitarian and development assistance activities, with the objective of moving in a coherent and integrated manner from peace-keeping to peace-building. All parts of the United Nations system, including the World Bank group and IMF, had extended full support to the Resident Coordinator, and a strong and integrated programme was being developed. In particular, the World Bank had granted Lebanon a $175 million loan, the first one in the recent period, and the International Finance Corporation had granted a $45 million loan to commercial banks for onlending to industrial and tourism enterprises. Several United Nations agencies and programmes were also providing assistance to the Government of Lebanon in drug abuse control.

17. The UNDP Country Programme for Lebanon for the period 1993-1996 had been approved by the Governing Council of UNDP in February 1993. The country programme focused on three areas where the United Nations could make a distinct, high-level contribution, namely, institutional rehabilitation and development of public administration, social reconstruction, and promotion of balanced and equitable development. The UNARDOL Resident Coordinator had continued to exchange information and to sensitize donors, seeking to persuade them to finance and take part in United Nations system programmes and projects within the framework of the regular meetings of the local Donor Coordination Committee. Coordination at the field level was complemented by coordination at the central level.

18. Among the most recent developments, it was worth mentioning that in 1992, Lebanon had held its first elections in twenty years, and had elected a new Prime Minister. The programme of the new Government was emphasizing the achievement of the objectives of the Taef Agreement. The Government had set in motion a number of initiatives aimed at improving the economic situation. The attention of the Government was increasingly focused on the implementation of the Priority Rehabilitation Programme. Those advances must, however, be placed in the context of the severe economic and social problems which the Government had to confront as a result of the civil war.

The meeting rose at 6:15 p.m.

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