World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


In Beirut, UN Official Fully Backs Mehlis Probe

In Beirut, UN Official Fully Backs Mehlis Probe, Urges Syria's Full Co-operation

New York, Nov 16 2005

Continuing meetings in Beirut today, a senior United Nations official emphasized his confidence in Detlev Mehlis' investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and issued a renewed plea for Syria to cooperate fully with that probe so that the crime does not go unpunished.

At a news conference following his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari said "there is no real option but for Syria to cooperate" with the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC).

Mr. Gambari refuted false accusations against Mr. Mehlis, a German prosecutor. "The impression that Mehlis is obstinate and inflexible is not true," he said. "We have full confidence in Mehlis as an impartial, professional prosecutor and we see from all our conversations that everybody in Lebanon is committed to getting to the truth of what happened in the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri and others because the culture of impunity must not be allowed to stand."

On Security Council Resolution 1559, which outlined a number of priorities for Lebanon, such as the disbanding of militias, Mr. Gambari said several issues must yet be resolved. "We acknowledge that this has to be through a process that is led by Lebanon and through national dialogue without preconditions or artificial deadlines," he said.

Mr. Gambari also announced that the mandate of Geir Pederson, originally the Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon, has now been expanded to cover all of Lebanon and to encompass economic and social development issues, in addition to matters of peace and security.

The Under-Secretary-General said Mr. Annan had come to this decision "so that all the issues of sovereignty, of independence, of stability will be discussed in a coordinated manner."

At the same time, Mr. Gambari stressed this Mr. Pedersen will be playing a coordinating role and will not be substituting for other UN bodies carrying out mandates or replacing the UN agencies in Lebanon.

Looking to the broader picture, Mr. Gambari said, "The stability and the unity of Lebanon is not only good for the Lebanese but is good for the neighbouring countries, for the region and I believe for the world as a whole."


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>