Lebanon underwent a
process of fundamental change in the final decade of the 20th
century. Among these changes were:
the responsibility of resisting Israelís occupation
and its repeated aggression, in order to liberate the
land of Lebano
the state and its institutions.
what was destroyed during the war, resolving the
problems left by the war, and preparing the country for
out fiscal, economic, legal, and political measures to
ensure growth. Expanding the economic base, promoting
development in the fields of science, technology and
information technology and improving the standard of
is the responsibility of any Lebanese government to take
these developments forward and face the challenges of a
deadlocked peace process. There is a pressing need to
redefine Lebanonís global and regional role, to take into
account changing economic, political and technological
realities and to address the revolution in the fields of
communication and information technology. This does not mean
renouncing the achievements of the past. Rather, it should
mean adapting to changing circumstances while building on
what has already been achieved in the spheres of culture,
politics and the economy.
Lebanonís commitment to political and economic plurality
during the 1990ís has proven to be wise. Economic openness
and a free market not only complement the nature of the
Lebanese society, it also reflects its ambitions and its
maturity. It is also the policy pursued by the vast majority
of countries since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Lebanon has ushered in the 21st century with a
newfound political maturity and a heightened political
understanding. Public freedoms and a parliamentary democracy
have been irreversibly established. Historically, Lebanon
has a long experience of social and political hegemony
within a framework of peaceful co-existence. During the last
ten years it has become an example of the mechanics that
enable national life to be enriched, coping with
inter-communal differences, without damaging the fabric of
its democracy and institutions. The state has managed to
transform community diversity into a force of renewal and
stability, a political strength rather than a burden on
political and economic life.
In 1991, Lebanon chose a path that lead to important and
long overdue political reform. It adopted a new constitution
that introduced new amendments. Though these reforms were
being tested ‑ and still are ‑ against a
backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the repercussions
that that has on the internal political scene, basic
political consensus does exist and has gained additional
strength. Moreover, this consensus has been a main factor in
confronting the challenges facing Lebanon and future
planning, especially consolidating the rule of law and the
practice of democracy.
It is important to stress that Lebanon has made important
economic advances, advances that have radically transformed
the country. To cope with a rapidly changing Arab world and
global fluctuation, Lebanon concentrated its economy on its
comparative strengths and advantages; Advantages that have
been developed and capitalized upon. This was done in the
face of highly competitive regional economic blocs.
Lebanonís human resources have shown themselves prepared
to rise to the challenges of scientific and technological
development. To continue to meet these challenges Lebanon
must make fundamental changes in the education system itself
and in current teaching methods. Lebanon needs to develop
its ways of life and thinking, we need to realign our
national priorities according to modern economic principles
and the introduction of these principles into the Lebanese
educational system. Education must lay the foundations for a
generation capable of interacting with and capitalizing on
changes in all creative and productive domains.
The comparative advantages that the Lebanese economy enjoys
and that it can develop further exist in the domains of
trade, tourism, healthcare, banking, education,
higher-education, information-technology, media,
communications, programming and soft-ware development,
insurance, among others.
Nevertheless, the need for a modern economic culture also
underscores the need for development and diversification in
our service-based economy. Other countries have superceded
us in this process and achieved remarkable results. A
service-based economy requires building up a knowledge-based
economy founded on creativity, scholarly achievements and
intellectual productivity and should address the many
aspects of economic life and the productive sectors. Through
these new dimensions, Lebanon, thanks to its unique
advantages within the region, can achieve its success.
It is important to invest in a knowledge-based economy to
help develop our manufacturing sectors, especially the
agriculture and industry sectors, which cannot be left to
lag behind world economic and technological developments. In
order to compete we must broaden the base of our industrial
and agricultural production to include high added value
As many Lebanese rely on the agricultural sector for a
source of living, the movement believes that we need to
diversify and develop specialized and rare agricultural
products. This can be done by applying intensive programs of
agricultural guidance, by allocating enough funds for
building dams and irrigation, by introducing soft loan
mechanisms and by encouraging farmers to cultivate new and
competitive agricultural products, and opening new foreign
markets for such products.
Expansion and diversification requires a skill base that
Lebanonís young either have or can develop. However, the
movement believes that to help the development of this
skill-base the state should play a decisive role in creating
a suitable environment to encourage investment in education.
The state should also adopt measures to lower the cost of
industrial production, secure soft loans, and help open
However, industrial and agricultural development doesnít
mean that the citizenís right to live in a safe and clean
environment is under threat. The movement believes that it
is the stateís responsibility to protect the environment
and that citizens should be encouraged to participate
actively in protecting the environment. This can be achieved
through developing environmental awareness, and promoting
activities that contribute to protecting the environment and
our natural resources.
The movement realizes that the health sector in Lebanon
suffers multiple distortions, including the dangerous
proliferation of insuring parties and the various policies
they follow. The ongoing rapid increase in the cost of
healthcare and medication during the past years has not been
accompanied by an equivalent improvement in the quality of
medical services and the provision of preventive healthcare.
This situation should be seriously addressed without delay.
The movement believes it is necessary to protect the
healthcare sector from meddling by political influence in
order that the problem can be treated objectively. To this
end, The Ministry of Health should be the principal party in
charge of public health, future planning in the healthcare
sector, and the responsibility of optimizing the system so
that it can provide a higher standard and quality of care to
the people. The ultimate aim is for healthcare to be readily
accessible and available to every Lebanese.
Defining Lebanonís new horizons can only be achieved by
enhancing Lebanonís regional standing as a center of
distinction and excellence. This requires, among other
things, strengthening the commitment of the Lebanese people
to democratic values, to the independence of the judiciary
and to private initiatives in an open and free economic
system. It also requires a commitment to encourage and
reward excellence. Institutions and programs that cover
administration in both public and private sectors must be
strengthened. Qualification, efficiency and honesty must be
the basic criteria for employment and for promotion.
Emphasizing the concepts of serious, conscientious work,
competitive productivity, excellence and distinction
enhances social values that constitute the basis of
Executives in both the public and the private sector must
keep abreast of global trends but should not be overwhelmed
by them. Neither should they fail to understand our culture
and its realities. This way we can go on adapting with
minimum difficulty. We can also highlight our comparative
advantages and improve our ability to benefit from them.
with basic economic and political changes in the world
political, economic, financial and social stability in
the rebuilding of our material, educational, and social
additional investment opportunities through better
incentives and eliminating barriers.
guidance to the public sector to clarify its role and
responsibilities so that it can contribute more
efficiently to economic development.
the role of the private sector, the cornerstone of the
Lebanese economy, by providing it with all the necessary
means to ensure growth.
economic exchanges between Lebanon and the Arab world,
whilst striving for an Arab free trade area.
a network of global economic relations to bring into
being a futuristic vision of how Lebanon should deal
with and enhance its capabilities in the global economy.
1990ís can be viewed in retrospect as a period of
difficulty and challenge. Ending the war, consolidating
civil peace, rebuilding constitutional authority and the
security institutions, and implementing the reconstruction
plan, all took place during difficult times, both internally
achievements of the past few years have transformed Lebanon
and have enabled the Lebanese to see for themselves what was
accomplished regarding reconstruction and the development of
human resources. Much was also achieved in our international
relations. Confidence has been restored in a country that
was marginalized and alienated by a war that distorted its
Asserting these elements of internal and international
confidence enhance the political and economic choices
available in the program we count on and look forward to.
All Lebanese who have an in-depth understanding of
Lebanonís present needs, and its requirements for a better
future, share our vision.
The movement has several ideas and principles; some of which
have found consensus among the Lebanese since the end of the
war. Others relate to the pioneering role of Lebanon in its
Arab setting and others yet are derived from a forward
thinking strategy developing the best way to address the
futures challenge. All our ideas and principles stem from
the following fundamental tennets:
and reforming public administration.
Lebanese-Arab relations and foreign policy.
the role of society and its younger groups.
the role of education.
importance of democracy and socio-economic revival.
the rule of law.
The Future Movement