August 29, 2023
The World Council for the Cedars Revolution (WCCR) requests the Honorable Antonio Guterres (UN Secretary General) to consider the proposal to renew the mandate for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.
Lebanon has been unable to elect a new President and is functioning under a caretaker government. On August 16, 2023, thirty-one members of Lebanese Parliament called on the international community for help in the implementation of UNSC resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, especially concerning the disarming of militias (Hezbollah).
In a surprise move, the Caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdallah Bou Habib, who is currently in New York, attempted to reject the proposal to move the mandate for UNIFIL from Chapter VI to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on behalf of the Lebanese government. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was noted that Chapter VI calls for “the peaceful resolution of conflicts,” while Chapter VII “calls for the imposition of Resolution 1701 by force.”
The World Council for the Cedars Revolution (WCCR), representing the Lebanese diaspora, fully supports the UNIFIL charter’s move to Chapter VII in order to stop Hezbollah’s provocative activities, protect the population of South Lebanon, and stabilize Lebanon as a whole.
“U.S. support for securing a strong Security Council mandate to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, so it can fulfill its duties,” the United States’ Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said in a statement. She also called for “addressing the activities of the organization ‘Green Without Borders,’ which the United States recently imposed sanctions on for providing support and cover for Hezbollah’s operations in southern Lebanon along the Blue Line.”
“Lebanon simply cannot continue to have two military forces, with two separate loyalties and two separate paymasters” (Hezbollah is funded by Iran), said WCCR Secretary General Tom Harb. “Hezbollah is systematically undermining the safety and security of the entire nation, but it is especially menacing to the Christian population of South Lebanon. It must be disarmed by force if necessary.”
“The implementation of Resolution 1701 protects Lebanon and guarantees stability, and the mission of UNIFIL is to ensure the implementation of this resolution without the obstacles that have been placed in front of it since 2006 until today,” said Lebanese MP Ashraf Rifi. “Unfortunately, Abdullah Bouhabib plays the role of Hezbollah’s foreign minister, not Lebanon’s. The state’s interest is in cooperation with UNIFIL, not in circumventing and obstructing its mission.”
“UNIFIL has been in existence since the 1970’s and is no closer to achieving its mandate than on the day it was created.,” added WCCR National Director, John Hajjar. “This is the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Therefore, the tactics must change, i.e., use force!”
WCCR urges the United Nations to renew UNIFIL’s mandate under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.