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CEDRE (Conférence économique pour le développement, par les réformes et avec les entreprises) Joint Statement

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Conférence économique pour le développement, par les réformes et avec les entreprises
Economic Conference for Development through Reforms with the Private sector
Paris
April, 6th 2018

1-CEDRE (Conférence économique pour le développement, par les réformes et avec les entreprises), an international conference in support of Lebanon development and reforms, was hosted by France on 6 April 2018. Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Mr Saad Hariri, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lebanon, addressed the Conference. The conference was chaired by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and by Mr Bruno Le Maire, France’s Minister for Economy and Finance. 48 countries and institutions took part in the meeting, with some representatives from the private sector and from civil society.

2- In line with the statements of the meeting of the International Support Group held in Paris on 8 December 2017 and the ministerial meeting in support of Lebanon’s armed forces and internal security forces, held in Rome on 15 March 2018, the participants expressed their commitment to the unity, stability, security sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon, urging Lebanon’s leaders to implement and further expand a tangible policy of disassociation. They also expressed their support for the ongoing efforts of the Lebanese authorities to improve the functioning of State institutions and prepare the holding of legislative elections in accordance with international standards. They shared the view that, for a number of years, Lebanon has faced important challenges impeding its economic and human development. Lebanon needs the full support and solidarity of the international community, at a crucial juncture.

3-Participants welcomed the return to normal functioning of state institutions: the election of the President, the appointment of a national unity government, the adoption of a new electoral law, which will be followed by parliamentary elections, scheduled to take place on 6 May. They also welcomed the senior appointments to fill vacancies in the public administration. They noted the first oil and gas tenders. They further commended the adoption of the budget in 2017 for the first time in 12 years and welcomed the recent adoption of the 2018 budget, as well as the adoption of the water code

4- Despite favorable recent developments, Lebanon continues to face vulnerabilities and mounting challenges. The conflict in Syria and the resulting displacement of population and mass influx of refugees and displaced into Lebanon have affected the Lebanese economy, its infrastructure and social services. Unemployment, which was already high particularly among the youth, has sharply increased. More than 200.000 Lebanese have been pushed into poverty. These are important challenges for Lebanon, which, by hosting displaced populations, provides a global public good on behalf of the international community. To this end participants look forward to the holding in Brussels of the “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” conference, on April 24-25 at the invitation of the European Union and the United Nations.