President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, participated Sunday via video-conferencing in the international donor conference devoted to providing aid and support to Lebanon and the Lebanese people, in wake of the tragic Beirut Port explosion, stressing that he is committed to achieving justice and combating corruption.
In his address, the President of the Republic said:
At the onset, I would like to express my acknowledgement to my friend President Emmanuel Macron of France and the UN Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres for taking the initiative of holding this conference to support Lebanon.
I also wish to extend my thanks to the participating Presidents and heads of State who share the true desire to support this country.
I will not be long in explaining what has been caused by this disaster in Beirut, at all humanitarian, social, health, educational and economic perspectives, which have left scars in every house and every family.
This earthquake has hit us while we were amid economic and financial crises and a massive displacement that has cost Lebanon to date more than thirty billion US dollars, in addition to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Facing the fallout of this tragedy therefore goes beyond the capacity of this small country, and its people, despite the spirit of solidarity they have demonstrated.
In my own name and on behalf of the Lebanese people, I can only express my high appreciation for your international solidarity.
Many officials and international relief teams who rushed to Lebanon have inspected first-hand the scale of the tragedy that has affected all the sectors, especially those included in the four priorities listed in the invitation letter to your conference, namely: health, education, reconstruction and food supplies.
Rebuilding what has been destroyed and restoring the glow of Beirut require a lot. As you know, dear friends, needs are tremendous and we have to speedily provide for them, especially before wintertime, whereas the suffering of the citizens who have lost their houses shall increase under all these pressing circumstances. As for the intended donation fund, I stress that it be placed under the management of this conference.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have undertaken before my people to achieve justice, for justice alone can give some comfort to afflicted parents and to every Lebanese. I have also committed that no one is above the law and that every person whose involvement has been proven shall be held accountable according to Lebanese laws.
I have also pledged to fight corruption and undertake reforms; and despite all the obstacles, concrete measures have been put on track, on top of which the financial forensic audit which will not be limited to one institution but will rather encompass all institutions.
This is not the first time that Beirut is demolished; but every time, it rises from the ashes. This time too, I have faith that our Beirut shall rise.
Yes, Beirut shall rise, with your help, and with the resolve of its people and all the Lebanese.