Amman - His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday participated in the third International Conference in Support of the Lebanese People, held via teleconference, and organized by France and the United Nations.
Held on the first anniversary of the Beirut port blast, the conference saw the participation of leaders and representatives of Arab and foreign countries, as well as global financial institutions and organizations, and representatives of business and civil society in Lebanon.
The conference builds on the outcomes of the two previous meetings in the aftermath of the blast, with the aim of mobilising support for the Lebanese people and coordinating international response efforts.
In his remarks at the conference, King Abdullah called for coordinated international action to meet actual needs on the ground and ensure a timely response to crises, while avoiding overlap by effectively distributing roles.
Commending the resilience and resourcefulness of the Lebanese people, His Majesty said, “Our message today is—the Lebanese people are in our hearts; they are in our thoughts. And we will be with you through these difficult times.”
Following is the full text of the King’s remarks:
“Bonjour Monsieur le President, mon cher ami,
I’m delighted to be with you here again, and to thank you for the graciousness that you always bring us together on these challenging times, today on the anniversary of a fateful day that saw the loss of over 200 precious lives in the Beirut Port tragedy. One year on, as you have outlined, the devastation and the heartbreak that the blast left in its wake continue.
The explosion had a severe impact on an already dire economic and humanitarian situation in Lebanon that does demand global attention and support.
So I wanted to thank you, Monsieur le President, and my dear friend the Secretary-General, ably supported today by the deputy, in continuing to commit to galvanize international efforts to come to the aid of the Lebanese people, in their time of need.
The crisis in Lebanon continues to deepen every day, as we see. Families are struggling to put food on the table, to buy desperately needed medication, to treat a sick child, or to look after an elderly parent.
We know that access to food, electricity, and water—the very basic of humanitarian needs—is becoming a daily challenge.
So my friends,
Without properly coordinated international action, the crisis in Lebanon could spill over beyond the country’s borders, reverberating across the region, and well beyond it.
The support we provide must meet actual needs on the ground, for the immediate and long terms, while avoiding overlap by effectively distributing roles.
Coordination will enable us to utilize regional capacities to ensure immediate action and a faster response to crises as they arise.
We cannot afford to sit back, and leave Lebanon and its people edge ever closer to the brink.
We must continue our ongoing efforts in providing humanitarian and medical aid, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing food insecurity.
And we must not forget ways to look at how Lebanon can become on a sustainable path of reform, recovery, and progress.
And we must also remember, that Lebanon’s vulnerable population includes thousands of refugee and migrant families who are now living in extreme poverty.
Monsieur le President, you have pointed out the importance of the state institutions, and here, again, I would like to reiterate your input, on what I think is the stability of the institution of the Armed Forces and security services that will be able to provide what is needed for the Lebanese people during these difficult times.
We, as recipients of challenges in all of our countries, realize that the secret to what you are trying to do, Monsieur le President, is to bring people together—countries—to provide not what they want to provide, but what the actual Lebanese people need. And so, looking at the template of the requirements for the Lebanese Armed Forces, is actually the pyramid of responses that we need to do for the Lebanese people.
I hope, Sir, that today, bringing many of our friends around the table—and many of my colleagues I’m delighted to see—is a message to the Lebanese people, that we do believe in their resilience and their resourcefulness, and we admire the strength of the Lebanese people.
Our message today is—the Lebanese people are in our hearts; they are in our thoughts. And we will be with you through these difficult times.
Monsieur le President, as always, merci. Thank you so much for bringing us together.”