Members of Parliament
Today, our government takes office against
the backdrop of the most important national achievement in the
history of Lebanon: the resistance victory, a resistance of
all Lebanese over aggression and Israeli occupation which
forced the enemy to retreat and admit defeat.
this new beginning, the government salutes the resistance,
steadfastness and tolerance of Lebanese people, especially our
kin in South and Western Bekaa for the suffering and sacrifice
they endured for two consecutive decades. We pledge that our
government will offer special care to these regions and
compensate for missed economic opportunities which resulted
from the occupation. On the international level, we will
pursue with the international community and world
organizations our petition for war reparations to be paid by
of the main aims of the government is to protect the
resistance achievement and capitalize on it at all levels.
This government regards Israeli policy of perpetual
aggression; continued occupation of Shebaa Farms, continued
detention of Lebanese detainees; occupation of Golan; and
rejection of the rights of Palestinian people; including their
right of return while exercising the fiercest forms of torture
against them; all these led to the current escalation whereby
the region is subject to all possibilities. For these reasons,
our government reiterates that its many endeavors will be
based on the deep conviction that the victory in the South is
a shared victory for all Arabs achieved by joint
Lebanese-Syrian efforts and perseverence unified position and
partnership, in confronting Israeli assaults and their
repercussions on Lebanon.
government will strive in the current phase to practically
translate the principle of a unified track and destiny binding
Lebanon and Syria, while upholding the two countries
independence and sovereignty.This principle provides both a
basis and a strong impetus in Lebanonís quest to complete
the liberation of land and prisoners, and to reject the
settlement of Palestinian refugees, while upholding their
right of return. It will also strengthen the Arab position by
providing joint action against Israel, all the more so given
the Palestinian people heroic uprising and a resolute Arab
position. The peace process can not thrive on Israeil
dictates, but rather on implementation of international
resolutions. This Arab position will not be compromised by
was the beacon of resistance, and it can be a catalyst in the
effort to establish a durable, just and comprehensive peace,
based on the liberation of its land, the Golan, and recovery
of Palestinian peoplesí rights in accordance with United
Nations resolutions. Lebanon will continue to strive for peace
on the basis of its national principles, irrespective of both
Israelís intransigence and todays seemingly dim peace
prospects. This country, though small in size, yet in its
sacrifices enormous, is fully cognizant of how occupation can
with resistance be confronted. This very country is fully
determined in its efforts to contribute to the establishment
of just and comprehensive regional peace. Peace remains a
strategic goal we work towards in cooperation with our Arab
brethren and friends in the world.
our government, which looks forward to the day when such peace
would dawn on our country and the region will not await such
remedies. On the contrary, it will take the initiative in
introducing political, administrative, economic, financial and
social reforms, which are necessary to revive the economic
cycle, gradually overcome social crisis and so put our house
in order. It will immediatley begin to achieve these goals.
Should the time for peace come, Lebanon will be ready to enter
such an era. Should peace be hindered, we at least would have
provided the needed protection for the country and its people.
formation of this government followed parliamentary elections
whereby Lebanese people expressed their aspirations and
ambitions. This Government, convinced of the need to support
public freedoms, widen popular participation in public life,
improve democratic practices and work on remedying the causes
of the economic and social woes of the Lebanese, will heed the
peopleís aspirations and wishes. We look towards a better,
more deserving future for our country and its citizens.
future we envisage means the consolidation of our national
principles, based on sovereignty, independence and democracy,
the encouragement of dialogue and interaction, the adoption of
productive modernization adaptable to our heritage. It is a
firm commitment to modernizing legislation and institutions
not only to cope with changes. This will need to be done in a
way that adheres to the principles of a democratic system
that harmonizes the will of the people with that of the
need to protect state institutions. We aspire for an honest
judiciary and an effective administration, coupled with an
unwavering confluence of civil society ambitions and policies
of state. This might strengthen political stability, achieve
balanced development in all regions of the country, and
instill confidence among the Lebanese.
government aims to renew the citizenís confidence in the
state and in the political system. Accordingly, it hopes to
achieve these goals through the following principles:
National Accord and Return of the Displaced
government, standing today before your esteemed assembly, is
dedicated to strengthening confidence in the State and its
system. As such, it aspires to be the government that
consolidates national accord and strengthens growth.
the past ten years, Lebanon entered an era of social and
political reconstruction on the basis of the National Accord
Pact and the new Constitution. However, over these past years,
the political scene was marked by a number of discussions that
created polarization and debate, especially over issues
related to the Constitution, separation of state institutions,
political and developmental balance, and election laws.
are issues that naturally arise in a liberal democratic system
such as Lebanonís and constitute a valued pillar of its
tradition. Lebanonís democratic system upholds a wide
popular participation. Our government insists on grappling
with issues that are at the core of National Accord, in
accordance with the Constitution and within Constitutional
institutions through dialogue initiatives, so as to reach
solutions based on national consensus, protection of freedoms
and institutions, as well as balance. These principles have
upheld Lebanonís stability and prosperity.
this context, our government pledges to give top priority to
the issue of the displaced, buttressing hitherto achieved
reconciliation; removing bureaucratic obstacles and securing
adequate and just compensation for those eligible for it
through the credit line your esteemed House has already
endorsed, and by also creating a suitable atmosphere for an
effective, sustainable and productive returns. This can be
guaranteed by the concerned ministry in cooperation with other
specialized ministries with important links to the issue as
they were created for this purpose and whose existence will be
terminated once the mission is completed.
experience of the last decade has taught us that irrespective
of the problems enormity coupled with the will of Lebanese
people for coexistence and reconciliation, these problems can
be resolved. The challenge here is whether representative and
constitutional institution are capable of responding to such a
will by safeguarding unity and solidarity.
The Rule of Law and Protection of Citizens
performance, as proven by Lebanese experience, cannot be put
back on the right track unless rights and freedoms of citizens
are guaranteed by the law.
this reason, the government will give priority to establishing
a state of law whose rulers and citizens, in their conduct and
actions will be accountable to the law and respect for human
articles of the Lebanese Constitution are devoted to the
rights of citizens, guarantee of individuals freedom, and
prohibition of arrest, imprisonment or detention of anyone
except in accordance with the law.
governement will present, to your esteemed Assembly, a draft
law that will ensure the effective application of such
principles clearly outlining the cases where a judge will be
allowed to resort to preventive detention with a timeframe,
taking into account the interrogation requirements on one
hand, and the protection of citizens freedom and dignity on
the other. This is all based on the principle that any measure
that negates freedoms is an exception to the rule that an
individual is innocent until proven guilty, hence the right of
compensation of a detainee in preventive detention in the
event that a trial is denied.
to its firm belief in the importance of judiciary in the state
of law, the government will endeavor to uphold its
it is essential to reconsider some of the practiced laws to
guarantee more judicial independence by imposing harsher
punishment for interference in the judicial practice. For
instance, the prerogatives of the Central Inspection
Department of the Judiciary can be broadened to eliminate
Media and Freedoms: A Special Role for Lebanon
and democracy are the basic pillars of our political system
and the characteristics of Lebanonís existence. For this
reason, they have to be safeguarded, developed and practiced.
Out of this conviction, our government will guarantee the
freedom in the media and be sponsor of a national, democratic
dialogue among all the Lebanese.
industry, especially audio-visual sector, has developed
significantly in recent year, as a result of the information
technology revolution. We have to remain abreast and catch on
with the evolution of systems and laws. In this context, the
government will seek to bolster the official and private media
to enable them to play a role on the local and international
scene through satellite transmission. A role that which
promotes Lebanonís true image as a haven for freedom,
dialogue and diversity, as well as a culture interacting with
all cultures, a civilization open to all civilizations and an
example of steadfastness and liberation.
addition to the media sector, there is an important and
sophisticated advertising industry, which has taken great
strides in growth, attracting large numbers of the Lebanese
youth, while expanding its framework with the spread of cyber
information through various outlets.
transmission, public relations and advertising have taken
important and big steps to expand Lebanonís role in this
growing regional and international market. Therefore, it is
natural for us to focus on this sector and encourage further
steps to ensure its success, give it a wide margin of
maneuverability and avoid any action that could harm or
restrict its freedom, rapid growth and increasing shares in
the Arab and international markets.
sector has become a principal component of advanced national
industry, attracting creative and production experts with high
expertise and qualifications having occupied senior posts in
the world at large.
previous government had proposed the creation of a media zone,
a pioneer proposal with regard to its concept and goals and is
beneficial to Lebanoní s economic activity as it moves into
the 21st century. The government, however, will retrieve the
draft to make some amendments to better serve its purpose,
taking into account similar experiences of other countries.
Attention to the Youth
firm conviction on the role of youth has led us to introduce a
special portfolio for this purpose. Our government will strive
to firmly support this ministry so it can attract the youth of
Lebanon, take necessary
initiatives to reinforce dialogue, instill a unifying
patriotic spirit and allow the country to benefit from their
potential and expertise.
will create an appropriate atmosphere for their active
participation in drafting national decisions and charting the
course of the future, which is the nerve center of civil
society and a prerequisite for progress and a better future.
It is their right and duty to participate in public life, and
it is our responsibility, Cabinet and Parliament, to give
their causes due attention and to prepare them for an era of
knowledge armed with unwavering confidence. We must endorse
the legislation necessary to achieve these goals.
Lebanese youth, in light of the stifling socio-economic crisis
Lebanon is now under, are confronted with the problem
of unemployment that is leading to a dangerous trend of
immigration in search of employment opportunities abroad thus
depriving the nation of high qualifications and modern
expertise. The government will seek to invigorate the economy
and growth to create job opportunities for the youth and allow
Lebanon to benefit from the potential of its youth.
Lebanese, especially the younger generation, are following
with closer attention sport events. Sports activities have
developed on all levels often contributed to displaying a
bright image of the country through achievements of Lebanese
teams in various games at the local, regional and
international level. Our government will give this sector the
necessary attention, facilitate its development, create an
appropriate atmosphere for its modernization and for
encouraging initiatives that strengthen its presence and
activate the associations, unions and authorities affiliated
with this sector.
The Role of Women
government is convinced that the Lebanese woman can play an
important and principal role in the development of the
society. As such it will seek to encourage her presence in the
public domain and active participation in the economy through:
providing her with equal employment opportunities in
all public and private sectors
protecting her rights under laws and legislation that
enable her to fulfill her duties at the best possible level.
Strengthening Role of Civil Societies
government stresses its desire to vitalize the role of civil
societies and Non-Governmental Organizations so that their
resources and capabilities may complement the government
in its effort continual to build a strong and healthy
is Lebanonís most valuable asset. Our aim is to push the
country into a more active role in this sector, which is one
of the fastest-growing sectors. Thus, we shall provide free
flow of information, invest in human resources, and draw on
the experiences of the Lebanese diaspora.
On the Cultural front, our government will strive for a modern
law for restructuring the concerned ministry and for
rehabilitating the historical sites of which Lebanon is proud.
We will encourage cultural tourism and work to make the summit
of Francophone countries, to take place in Lebanon in about a
year, into a significant
international event which will strengthen Lebanon's
political, economic and cultural relations with more than 50
countries. Local skills and talents can turn Lebanon into the
shining star of Arab culture to which it belongs and to which
it has made significant qualitative contributions. Our
government will encourage artistic and intellectual talents in
painting, sculpture, theater and music as well as in the
publication and exportation of books and television
production, in order for Lebanon to recover its position as
the center of modern Arab culture. Intellectual freedoms are
guaranteed by the Constitution, it is a government duty to
help our writers and artists to expand in the region and in
the world at large for this will have a great impact on
Lebanon's image abroad and on the national economy.
Members of Parliament
country is experiencing a social and economic crisis that was
caused by a decline in growth and recession. It is grappling with an
increase in unemployment and straining under the weight of a
budget deficit and an increase in public debt.
experiences have proved that it would be difficult to reduce
public spending, which largely goes toward servicing the
public debt or paying salaries of government employees. This
reality, however, must not discourage us from crafting a
long-term plan that would streamline and where possible reduce
spending. As such, the government will limit any increase in
spending to sectors that could contribute to reactivating the
economic cycle, provide impetus for growth and sustain social
on this, it is imperative to reduce the budget deficit through
activating the economy, achieving sustainable growth and
enhancing revenue collection. Combined, this would increase
the Treasury's revenue, and gradually reduce the budget
said that, we believe that policies based on growth are the
most successful to remedy the deficit problem. Economic growth
allows the government to allocate a larger share of GDP to the
Treasury, without affecting citizens income nor having to
increase taxes and fees.
government will adopt a number of policies, draft laws and
measures, which will provide incentives for the private sector
and contribute to sustainable growth of
national economy. These include:
Preparing new draft laws that can contribute to a
better investment climate.
Launching projects that have been frozen or slowed down
for which financing through soft loans has been secured.
Working toward bolstering confidence in Lebanon and its
economic future, including marketing Lebanese commodities and
services locally and abroad with our foreign commercial
Adopting policies that would further open up the
Lebanese economy, including the policy of open skies,
facilitating entry permits and reducing customs barriers and
Simplifying bureaucratic red tape to speed formalities
and avoid administrative routine.
Working toward concluding more agreements with the Arab
and European economic blocks and the World Trade Organization.
Improving the collection of revenue owed to the
the principle of privatizing projects and facilities, whose
sale to the private sector would benefit the national economy
and citizens and whose proceeds will be used to reduce the
Reinforcing the basic principles of the Lebanese
economy, upholding legislative stability and respecting
state's obligations, commitments and pledges.
Rewarding and granting exemptions to institutions
recognized for quality production by concerned international
greatest challenge facing Lebanon in the future is the
revitalization of its free economy so it can become a
competitive economy aimed at developing the potential,
capabilities and productivity of the Lebanese, in line with
the guidelines of the modern economy, to secure job
opportunities for citizens and improve living conditions
through comprehensive and balanced development.
expect us to confront all these challenges, under the strain
of the difficult social and economic conditions,
some of them exaggerate and bet that our government
could come up with magical solutions. Since we neither wish to
give the Lebanese, nor your esteemed House, any optimistic
promises, instead we commit ourselves to work on confronting
the crisis as much as possible based on the following:
Protecting financial and monetary stability, which in
recent years proved to be the basis of social and economic
Pursuing the reconstruction drive and economic revival
to provide growth incentive within the means that are
available to the state, and counting on the confidence in the
enormous potentials of the Lebanese people and the funds
available through signed
agreements with international institutions and friendly
Privatization: We view privatization as one of the
policies that provides an incentive for growth. Its economic
benefits lie in a more effective administration, and lower
public service cost that are to be privatized. It also frees
up initiatives on a wide scale, building on world-wide
experience of other countries of the past two decades,
many lessons can be drawn. Successful privatization
takes into account the type of sector to be privatized and
devising the best way of going about it. Privatization has
proved to be successful, in competitive areas such as direct
sale to strategic investors within government set conditions,
or direct sale to the public, where certain facilities become
share-holding companies in which the private sector
contributes in different proportions. There is also the
privatization on concessionnary basis where monopoly exists or
the BOT and similar methods of the new economy that need large
capital to which the Lebanese, resident and emigrant, could
contribute in a way that would avoid monopoly or hegemony.
Effective mechanism can monitor facilities that are
Supporting the private sector and encouraging it to
work and expand, creating new employment opportunities and
facilitating investment by building on the competitive
characteristics of the Lebanese economy, which encourages
individual initiatives, by providing the legal cover for
property rights, and by enforcing the stability of legislative
and tax policies. The government will strive to regulate tax
and customs policies and create an appropriate legal and
administrative climate to attract investment into the various
productive sectors. We will work toward joining the European-
Mediterranean Partnership Agreement and the World Trade
Organization. We plan to also forge bilateral or group
agreements with Arab countries as well as free or industrial
zones. We will provide backing to medium and small business,
develop industries and modern economic and technological
projects for the youth.
We will try to tackle the chronic problem within the
administration, by seeking to regulate, simplify, modernize
and reduce its size. We will work to improve its productivity
by developing and activating the tools and systems of
administrative reform, the supervisory bodies and the research
and guidance centers and facilitate their cooperation.
success of any government program depends on the existence of
a modern and developed administration with skillful personnel
and high efficiency. This could be achieved through
specialized and continuous training programs that take into
current developments. This administration must realize that
its existence and sole perpose is to serve the citizens and
economic development needs. It has to always
remain open to both development and modernization and
improve efficiency and skills. It has to accept constructive
criticism and accountability on the basis of productivity,
skills, level and quality of performance. Past experiences
have proved that creating such an administration requires a
clear plan, steady work and a lot of time. This is also linked
to all political
forces who consent, contribution and cooperation are needed to
achieve this goal.
is why our government will work to propose laws, once we hope
your esteemed House would examine and endorse. These will
Amending public accounting laws to simplify procedures
Amending the laws of public tendering in order to
simplify procedures and render them compatible with
Amending some laws in the Code of Commerce that govern
trade and encourage local and foreign investment in order to
introduce new technologies and methods, including e-commerce.
Modernizing municipal laws and enforcing the
prerogatives of local governments in order to empower citizens
to share in the decision-making process on local and national
Amending the customs law to allow its administration to
offer modern, prompt and efficient services. This will
galvanize market activity, reduce costs of goods and services,
and improve the competitive edge of private sector.
Devising a modern transit law that encourages such
Amending and simplifying a number of construction laws.
Amending a number of laws governing social security in
order to redefine its duties and administrative techniques and
reduce its cost.
Introducing a rental law in order to regulate on
equitable basis relations between landlords and tenants
Regulating and activating public hospitalization.
Previous governments have put forward plans for modernizing
hospitals and creating new health centers and hospitals. This
plan is near completion. We must focus on ways to operate
these centers efficiently. Healthcare is always a basic
demand, but in social and economic conditions like ours, it
becomes even more urgent. Therefore, it is imperative that we
focus our efforts on providing health services to citizens in
an effective way that will also help reduce the government's
health bill. The health and hospitalization bill dramatically
increased in recent years, was not matched by the quality of
coverage for citizens or preventive care, thus requires urgent
consideration. That is why we see a need for an urgent and
daring decision that would remove the health sector from the
web of polarization and provide a pragmatic solution. It will
Health Ministry to be placed directly in charge of healthcare
and planning for the future. As well as securing tools and
means to provide better citizens coverage through professional
and efficient use of available material human resources.
Improving Lebanon's competitive edge in information
technology can be achieved through a reconsideration of
existing legislation, developing
it to meet international standards through modernizing the
communication and information infrastructure. While
reconsidering its costs. In addition, renew the commitment to
the protection of intellectual property rights so as to
attract skills into the country which in turn can be used as a
launching pad to markets in the region.
Agriculture, and Agricultural Industry
Even though a considerable number of
Lebanese citizens are active in agriculture, contribution of
this sector to the gross domestic product continues to decline
due to three main causes: 1) The scarce investments in
modernizing agriculture and diversifying crops, 2) the absence
of competitive opportunities for Lebanese produce and 3) rare
investment in food production. The government plans to work on
solving the problem of irrigation, encourage agricultural
industries and enlist Arab economic cooperation in existing
and finding new markets for Lebanese produce. This will be
done in cooperation with Syria and with expertise in certain
agricultural products that would benefit the two countries.
The government also plans to activate agricultural guidance,
identify alternative crops and encourage high-yield crops. The
government will work on allocating the necessary funds to
support agricultural exports.
Lebanon's water resources are an important
component of national wealth. This has to be developed and
protected by a productive strategy through:
a. Protecting underground aquifers and
shielding them from pollution
b. Undertaking better use of water projects
such as dams and artificial lakes and completing the Litani
River project. These projects will be implemented through the
best possible means, financed by easily transferable financial
protocols with friendly institutions and countries.
c. Creating a modern administrative
authority to better utilize water resources and supervise its
use in cooperation with the Environment Ministry.
d. Devising a plan for expanding and
modernizing the water network in cooperation with the private
sector to provide supplies to all the Lebanese regions.
We shall support the government's housing
policy and push forward the law governing the work of the
Public Institution of Housing and expand its authority to
cover new segments of society with limited income. The
government will also expand the scope of cooperation among the
Public Institution of Housing, private banks and the National
Social Security Fund to enforce long-term policies for the
medium- and low-income classes.
Education, in its various forms and at all
levels, is an urgent national priority. Two dimensions affect
this sector: the social dimension that deals with tuition
costs, and the political dimension that deals with providing
equal opportunity to all. Last but not least, there is the
democratic aspect of education related to the nation's future
comprehensive and sustainable development. Based on the
standards of education and society's ability to adapt to
current transformations. Accordingly, the government will give
due attention to public schooling so it can absorb all our
sons and daughters, they now constitute nearly 50 percent of
the student population.
The government intends to reconsider the
geographic map of public schooling and at a certain level
concentrate on expanding capacity. It also intends to
investigate application of new curricula, absorption,
correction and their development where necessary. We need to
study the educational structure, address problems of teachers
in terms of training and raise the encouragement and
The government will give special attention
to vocational education and strive to implement a plan for
setting up technical and vocational academies. In addition to
intermediate and high-level technological institutions, work
to improve their programs and classify their degrees so such
plan can, in quality and quantity, meet labor market needs.
for the Lebanese University - the institution we owe our
present to and upon which we will build the future of Lebanon
- it currently accommodates about 60 percent of university
students and is suffering the same problems of other
That is why our government intends to give
this praiseworthy institution the utmost care, by creating, in
cooperation with the university's Board and the Education
Ministry, a new law that will contribute to raising standards
at the level of administration, faculty and students.
The government also intends on completing
its campus, whose construction has for too long been delayed.
The government will remain committed to the academic and
administrative independence of the university. It will provide
it with all means of support to uphold its prestige and
academic standards, through modern laboratories, libraries and
research centers, so it can meet the hopes pinned to it in
present-day Lebanon and in the future.
The government will proceed with the necessary projects and make use of
the funds allocated for Lebanon, whether from international
organizations, world funds or friendly and fraternal states.
This requires a high degree of openness toward the
institutions and countries, Arab or foreign, which have helped
Lebanon and could help it in the future. There are agreements
and patreaties that have neither been implemented nor sought
benefit from them. As well, there are opportunities to attract
attention to the rights and potentials of our country. Lebanon
has strong credibility among its diaspora community, among its
Arab brethren and among regional and international countries
and institutions. For this reason, we will invite donor
countries to shoulder their responsibilities towards Lebanon.
The environment is one of the priorities of
this government. Recent developments have shown that normative
environmental decisions can also be economically correct,
provided life of people and well being of future generations
is the scale, and not that of temporary individual interests.
We call for an environmental state of
emergency in Lebanon to
immediately stop environmental destruction and for a
clear environmental policy with a set timetable. The
environmental management we are calling for is not a
supplement to development programs but a vital component of
any effort to solve problems, such as air and water pollution
and the chaotic use of land and organizing industries.
It is imperative to set up a national
scientific institution for the environment, which will delve
into research and studies and set
This would provide credible national
environmental policies, instead of having to react to
developments, providing first-aid treatments, whose impact, at
best, would delay the problem or move it from one place to
Cooperation between the Environment Ministry
and other ministries is crucial providing permanent solutions
to the issues of rock and sand quarries. Implementing a
comprehensive awareness plan will expose our future
generations to basic principles that are incorporated into the
programs of the media, schools and civil society.
The aspired-for environmental policy must
not be restricted to punishment to deter offenders. It must be
the cornerstone for any modern policy that will encourage
individuals and institutions to take measures to protect the
environment. We must provide them with financial support and
tax exemptions and impose taxes and penalties on the
We must all, citizens and leaders in
politics, in the intellectual world, in industry and trade,
work together to provide a healthy environment for the future
11. Public Works and Transport
The government intends to put in place a new
policy for road maintenance, taking into consideration the
possibility of having to privatize some of these projects. We
can benefit from the credits to improve efficiency at lower
costs and based
on a geographic information system that would define
maintenance needs, identify
benefits and set up a priority system.
As for urban planning, the government will
work on a general plan for organizing Lebanese territories.
This will support balanced development, while protecting
natural wealth on the levels of agriculture, forestation and
archaeology. Also, there will be expanded work on the zoning
efforts to determine land ownership.
As for transport, the government will devise
a comprehensive policy based on complementary roles for the
public and private sectors, separating the organizational and
supervisory requirements of this policy and its efficiency.
The main task of the government will be the creation of a
transport strategy and the establishment of the guidelines for
its structure, while reducing the public sector's role in
operating tools of transportation.
This will require new laws that define the
organizational and supervisory role of the non-governmental
authorities, and their place in the hierarchy.
The government sees a need for urgent
attention to air transport to catch up with the rapid
developments in this field through the adoption of the
open-skies policy. The government will create a special entity
dedicated to civil aviation.
In maritime transportation, we see a need
for a masterplan to regulate commercial, tourist, fishing and
holiday ports along the entire coast.
As for land transportation, the government
wants to transform the railroad and joint transportation
departments from competing authorities to a single regulatory
body that would run the industry buses and lay the foundations
for new regulations to restructure the administration in line
with its organizational and supervisory role.
The government will strive to provide public
transport, including railroad, to all Lebanese territories,
which would provide another economic incentive, reduce fuel
costs and lessen environmental pollution.
As for the movement of cargo, we will
continue to work towards lessening the cost of internal as
well as cross-border transportation in cooperation with
fraternally neighboring countries.
Tourism has become a worldwide industry in
which all countries are competing. It is based on a modern
vision of the tourism revenue that supercedes holidaymaking to
incorporate our wealth of culture, heritage and civilization.
The government will seek to:
Promote investment in the tourist sector and protect our
touristic and environmental wealth. The government will adopt
policies that propose legislation and measures that will
contribute to the development of the tourism sector, encourage
the travel to Lebanon, promote tourism information and widen
the Lebanese market to include cultural and healthy tourism.
Revitalize Lebanon's role in the regional and international
associations, especially the Arab Association for Tourism, the
International Union of State Organizations for
Tourists, and the International Union of Travel and Tourist
Improve the tourist industry through lowering costs and
upgrading quality. This can be achieved by developing the
quality of services offered by those working in the sector and
in providing training.
Open new markets and encourage tour packages in
cooperation with neighboring Arab countries.
The government views the industry as a
promising sector. It is aware of the role it could play in
economic revival and in increasing the Gross Domestic Product
as well as in finding new work opportunities for the youth to
The government is bent on taking the
necessary steps to create a better investment climate to
ensure the growth of this sector.
The government will give priority to
simplifying the establishment of industrial facilities,
focusing on lowering production costs and improving
productivity to provide better opportunities for competition.
In this regard, it will encourage new
investments in developed industries, especially in the field
of information technology and education, and find outside
markets for such products through balanced agreements and an
effective role of Lebanon's missions abroad.
The government shall seek to establish the
best possible relations between employers and employees. It
will strive for an appropriate climate that would elevate
standards of professionalism and productivity. It will seek to
provide professional training and guidance, especially
directing youth areas needed at present and will be needed in
The government will encourage professional
training in rural areas, which will provide job opportunities
and curb migration from rural areas to the cities.
As for labor unions, the government will
strive to consecrate and defend union freedoms on the basis
that labor demands must match sustainable growth in
productivity, which would help fortify economic stability and
sustain the country's competitive abilities.
Our first aim is to stop the economic
recession and stagnation, in preparation for a new era, God
willing, of recovery and growth, whereby the negative
repercussions of stagnation will begin to diminish.
What is urgently required is a change in the
mood of recession and pessimism. This can only be achieved
through freeing up of all channels and opportunities for
action on the financial, construction and economic fronts.
The government will request the retrieval of
the budget draft to re-submit to your esteemed House a draft
that reflects these views.
We depend on your cooperation, in these
difficult times, to move on to a future built on the
potentials of the Lebanese people and on the confidence, the
Lebanese have in themselves, their society and country., They
vouchsafe such confidence to their government and political
Your Excellency, Mr. Speaker,
Your Excellencies, the MPs
Confronting these challenges and demands
will not be possible without your understanding of our
country's role within its milieu and
the world at large. For this reason, Lebanese diplomacy
will focus on improving Lebanon's presence among the Arabs and
to strengthen its stature in the world.
A pragmatic reading of events in the region
exposes Israelís firm commitment to its positions, which
reject the implementation of international resolutions in
order to achieve a comprehensive and just peace. Moreover, its
reseind of agreements signed and constant attempt to impose
its conditions. That is why Lebanon needs to remain prepared,
to face the challenges of the coming era and the repercussions
of the current regional situation. This requires true national
unity to elevate the national interests and fate of the
country above all other considerations. More than ever before,
it necessitates alliance, cooperation and solidarity with
Syria and the deepening of mutual confidence. We are confident
that the Lebanese-Syrian experience, in constant cooperation
and coordination is the most important achievement of this
phase in the history of the region. It spelled out the defeat
of Israel, forcing it to abide by international resolutions
and accordingly withdraw from Lebanese territories. It also
rightly vindicated our views regarding the Arab-Israeli
conflict and how to manage the struggle with Israel.
Although the liberation struggle has ended
the Israeli occupation of most of our territories, we must not
forget that there is still a stretch of land under occupation
that has to be recovered and there are still detainees in
Israeli prisons that have to be liberated. In addition, the
problem of Palestinian presence in Lebanon which has to be
solved in accordance with our absolute rejection of their
settlement here, and acknowledgment of the Palestinians' right of return to their
To achieve this, Lebanon still needs the
backing of Syria, whose military presence on our soil is
necessary, legitimate and temporary. It is dictated by the
strategic requirements agreed upon by both our governments and
is linked to the developments surrounding us. We also
emphasize that independence and sovereignty are two principles
that have the unanimous support of all Lebanese. We do not
believe that anyone in our country would compromise on either
of these principles nor can anyone upstage the other by their
As such, it is important for the Lebanese to
rally behind their principles and national goals. Also, if the
strong confidence between Syria and Lebanon is based on
openness, sincerity and commitment to the joint national
interests and goals, then that is the guarantee for the true
meaning of these relations. We can build on the positive
aspects and remedy the challenges or loopholes we might face.
In such a spirit, we can discuss our issues and propose our
views, away from any impulsive or rash actions.
Our government pledges its commitment to
this course. It will give the Treaty of Brotherhood and
Cooperation with Syria special attention that will be up to
the standard of the special relations and mutual aspirations
of the two fraternal countries. It will allow economic
relations to rise to the level of the political relations,
because these relations stretch beyond the issues of
liberation to lay the foundations for a joint future between
the two countries.
This can be achieved through the proper
implementation of the treaty and relevant agreements that came
later. These will remove the barriers and obstacles that
impede the creation of an appropriate atmosphere for economic
development in a complementary and balanced manner through
establishing joint ventures, encouraging investment,
facilitating movement across the border, as well as exchanging
technological expertise and services which would benefit both
We are convinced that there are wide
horizons for economic cooperation between Syria and Lebanon
that can open many doors for the productive institutions in
both countries. They can specialize in more competitive
products and services in large and open markets, which will
surely benefit us all.
The government hopes to contribute to
solidarity among our Arab brethren and strengthen bilateral as
well as group cooperation. We are also committed to
strengthening economic coordination and cooperation that could
culminate in the rise of an Arab economic bloc able t cope
with the changing times in an era of open and advanced
Our government and the Lebanese citizens
nation-wide stand firmly behind the Palestinian people in
their uprising to liberate their land, recover their
sovereignty and unity, establish
their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and
to secure the return of the refugees.
Our government strongly deplores the brutal
war, Israel is waging against the Palestinians. It will work
hard to ensure that our Palestinian brethren achieve their
right of return of their homes, as it is a legitimate right
upheld by international conventions and United Nations
resolutions. The government will remain unequivocally
committed to the pre-amble of our Constitution, which firmly
rejects any settlement in Lebanon under any pretext and in any
As for relations with Europe, our government
will seek to enhance relations with the European Union, as a
prestigious regional organization with influence on the
international arena and we shall endeavor to conclude economic
partnership with it. Simultaneously, we will seek to improve
bilateral relations with influential and friendly European
countries to secure uninterrupted support for Lebanon and the
safety of its territory. We will seek to expand cultural and
technological cooperation as well as trade exchange.
As for relations with superpowers and
international organizations, Lebanon has in recent years
maintained an active diplomacy through mutual visits,
bilateral agreements and persistent contact with regional and
international organizations and foremostly was the secretariat
of the United Nations. This restored to Lebanon its reputation
and presence on the international scene. It also provided
Lebanon on many occasions with support in the face of Israeli
aggression, helped press for the implementation of
international resolutions and solicited assistance for the
reconstruction and economic recovery efforts.
The government intends to activate Lebanon's
embassies abroad to improve contacts with sisterly and
friendly countries and to strengthen the bonds between the
resident Lebanese and the emigrants. We will seek ways to help
the emigrants to join forces, improve cooperation and
confidence among them and encourage use of their resources to
serve Lebanese national goals, such as the liberation of the
land, creating investment opportunities and attract capital
investments. We will encourage them to lobby international
powers and institutions as well as regional institutions on
behalf of Lebanese and Arab causes.
Your Excellency, Mr. Speaker
The honorable members of Parliament
Confidence in our country stems from our own
confidence in our people, ourselves, our political system and
in our ability to confront the challenges. Our government,
which today stands before your esteemed Parliament, is raising
the slogan of strengthening confidence in the citizen, the
state, and the parliamentary democratic political system. It
is your confidence that we need to complete the liberation
drive and build the liberated territory and rehabilitate it
into the national development drive.
We need, and ask, for this vote of
confidence to face the enormous challenges and transformations
of the 21st century. The challenges we need to confront are
those of development and modernization; building of human
resources, ensuring sustainable and comprehensive development,
challenges of competition and progress in the Arab arena and
the world at large.
This government was formed, thanks to the
continuous and constructive cooperation with his Excellency,
the President of the Republic. We wanted it to represent the
majority of the political and regional forces. Our ambition is
that it will win the support of all the Lebanese and we, in
our work, can prove worthy of this confidence.
With a firm commitment to cooperation and
solidarity, and in accordance with the Constitution, our
government asks of this esteemed House a vote of confidence so
it can proceed with its work in providing the Lebanese people
with their needs, fulfilling their ambitions and confronting
national demands and responsibilities awaiting us, both as a
Parliament and as a government.
Long Live Lebanon