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Lebanon to Head U.N. Security Council throughout May

As of May 1, Lebanon is set to head the United Nations Security Council for the first time in almost 50 years and will remain in that position throughout the month.
Lebanon will gain exceptional importance in that role in light of several conflicts and dangers raging in many areas in the world, reported the daily An Nahar Saturday.

The daily said that Lebanon's presidency "will not change the world, but nations great or small, far or near, friend or foe, will have to address Lebanon with the term 'Mr. President' before the Security Council and the entire United Nations."

Lebanon's permanent representative at the Security Council and the current President of the Council, Ambassador Nawaf Salam, told An Nahar: "Part of Lebanon's message has arrived by its entry into the Security Council."

He continued: "The message is that Lebanon is regaining its health, it is present on the international scene, it takes part in international resolutions, and it has an opinion that is heard on matters that concern it and the region within this Council."

"This month, Lebanon's image will become clearer through its return to the international political scene, and more light will be shed on its role in issues reaching as far as Nepal and Chad, Sudan and Palestine, and Somalia and all parts of the world," he added.

Salam stressed: "Lebanon's voice will be heard throughout the world."

Lebanon will start its presidency of the Security Council with a closed meeting with its 15 members and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Long Island in New York.

Salam revealed that he held meetings with various heads of departments in the U.N., including its Peacekeeping Operations Department, to look into this month's work schedule.

Lebanon is set to make its debut as head of the Security Council on May 5.

The session will be attended by European Union's high representative for foreign affairs Baroness Catharine Ashton during which she will tackle the EU's relations with the United States.

Lebanon will also address the issue of Palestine and the Middle East during May as the region is a monthly issue of discussion at the Security Council.

Furthermore, the issues of Kosovo and Congo will also be addressed.

In addition, Lebanon will head the group of Arab states that presented three papers for the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. [via]