Joint Statement on behalf of a group of countries the General Debate Item 2, 28 February 2023
I have the honour to deliver the statement on behalf of a group of 38 countries.
On 4 August 2020, more than 200 people were killed and a further 7,000 people injured when one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history razed the Port of Beirut and caused unimaginable damage to the city’s schools, houses, health facilities and infrastructure supporting essential services.
We express our solidarity with all the victims and their families, who, nearly three years later, continue to wait for truth and justice.
We are concerned Lebanon’s investigation into the cause of the explosion has not yet concluded, hampered by systemic obstruction, interference, intimidation, and a political impasse, and in the context of severe financial and economic crises.
We urge Lebanon to abide by its international human rights obligations to take all necessary measures to safeguard, in law and in practice, the full independence and impartiality of the Lebanese judiciary.
We call on the Lebanese authorities to uphold the right of the victims to effective remedy and to adequate, effective, and prompt reparation for harm suffered.
These steps are vital for accountability and access to justice for the victims of the explosion and their families, and fulfilment of the rights of the Lebanese people.
We also emphasise that the right of the people in Lebanon to peacefully express their call for justice and accountability must be respected.
All of us joining this statement today hope that understanding and addressing the root causes of this disastrous event will prevent the occurrence of a similar tragedy in the future.
A swift, independent, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation into the explosion must be carried out.