In spite of the enduring Syrian civil war, Lebanon continues to exercise a high degree of resilience against challenges and threats resulting from the uprisings in the region. Nevertheless, the lack of a unified Lebanese governing force and prevalent sectarianism throughout the country has left its government and its national security vulnerable. Recent developments intensified this trend.
Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad against the mainly Sunni rebel forces and the presence of the two massive refugee populations, Syrians and Palestinians, both predominantly Sunni, jeopardize fragile Sunni-Shia relations in Lebanon.
In August 2014, extremist groups spreading from Syria began to attack Lebanese security forces. Lebanon’s security agencies have been able to subdue the threat and maintain stability in the country until now. Lebanon’s call for international support to aid its security forces remains urgent.
Due to its security situation, Lebanese parliamentary elections were postponed in November 2014 and parliament’s term was extended until 2017. Lebanese citizens have been deprived of their voting right.
Since the conflict’s outbreak five years ago, the following three main pillars of Lebanon’s economy have suffered greatly: services, construction and tourism. With debt levels estimated at nearly 150 percent of its GDP, economic collapse is a possibility.
In order to prevent further erosion of order in the Middle East, the international community must reinforce Lebanon’s stability.
In line with Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1520 (2006) emphasising the necessity to pursue dialogue on a parliamentary level with all parties concerned in the Middle East, the Assembly resolves to carefully study the political developments in Lebanon, with a specific focus on internal security and weakened political institutions. The Assembly decides to consider ways to support and promote democratic reforms and counter-radicalisation measures.