Delegation from Represented byThe Lebanese Republic University of MagdeburgPosition Paper for the General Assembly First CommitteeThe issues before the General Assembly First Committee are: Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and ArmsControl; Regulating Information and Telecommunications Technology in the Context of Security; and Combatingthe Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects.
The Lebanese Republic, as a historicallyunique place of cultural and religious encounter, mediating in the Arab World and beyond, is committed to solvingold and new security challenges through multilateral negotiations and regional co-operation.I. Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms ControlWomen’s concerns on the topics of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control have often remained withoutconsideration. Suffering from violence caused by illegal weapons, women ought to be involved in the developmentof solutions. Thus, regional arms control efforts involving women should be promoted.
Lebanon supports womens’voices against the illegal proliferation of arms and the reduction of stockpiles.Committed to gender equality, Lebanon promotes Art. 3.1 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights. In May 2012,Lebanon hosted a Middle East arms conference and established a National Dialogue with militia to advancedisarmament. Lebanon appreciates the gender mainstreaming negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
Domestically, the implementation of the UN Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade inSmall Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA), adopted by A/RES/54/54V (2001), was advanced. Lebanonis highly supportive of efforts toward gender equality both within the United Nations (UN), as A/49/587 (1994) andA/RES/64/289 (2010) establishing UN Women, and through regional efforts emphasized in A/RES/65/69 (2011).Highlighting the Secretary-General’s (SG) report A/55/341 (2000) regarding womens’ importance for peace in the21st century, Lebanon also welcomes the UN Security Council’s (SC) call for regional efforts concerning womens’participation in political processes with S/RES/1325 (2000). Lebanon supports the UN Office of DisarmamentAffairs’ (UNODA) work and its Regional Disarmament Branches (RDB), mandated in A/66/6 (2011) andA/RES/65/45 (2011). Their work for regional disarmament led to A/RES/66/53 (2011), A/RES/66/38 (2012).Disarmament in the Mediterranean area and Asia was promoted by A/RES/66/56 (2012) and A/RES/66/63 (2012).Aiming at empowering women in politics and thus arms control, Lebanon proposes to set up regional Forums for theParticipation of Women (FPW) providing women already engaged in decision-making processes with a platform ofidea-exchange. FPW organized and funded by UN Women, shall take place in its regional headquarters every sixmonths for one week and be chaired by the regional director.
Regions shall be divided according to UN Women’sregional divisions. The participants are chosen by UN Women in accordance with criteria set by UN Women. Sincewomen suffer considerably from illegally traded arms, Lebanon proposes Workshops on Arms Control (WAC),featured in FPW. Organization and funding will be provided by UN Women and UNODA which will also chooseexperts providing hands-on training, giving the participants the means to help their communities reduce violence onwomen. The results are collected, published online by UN Women and forwarded to the UN General Assembly(GA) and UNODA. As each region faces unique challenges regarding arms control and the role of women therein,Lebanon proposes to establish biannual Regional conferences on Arms control in Developing countries (RAD).Every RAD, organized and funded by the UNODA, aims at increasing regional co-operation regarding arms control.Lebanon suggests a division of regions according to the RDB, which also provides the needed facilities.
Participantsare up to four representatives of the concerned governments, the regional offices of the UNODA, and civil societyactors. In order to identify regional needs, local arms control structures shall be analyzed. On this basis, policyoptions shall be developed. Each year RAD shall focus on a specific issue determined by the previous conference.The topic of the first conference in 2013 will be “Women in Arms Control”.
In order to spread successfulapproaches, the GA shall receive reports of each conference, prepared by UNODA staff.II. Regulating Information and Telecommunications Technology in the Context of SecurityAccording to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), over two billion people worldwide have internetaccess.
Therefore, Lebanon is concerned about potential cybercrimes, -terrorism and –warfare exploitingInformation and Communication Technology (ICT). The UN has provided an important platform for negotiationsregarding ICT security. Even though a Cyber-Security Treaty (CST) as a legal basis has not yet been worked out,Lebanon is committed to enhancing cyber security.In 2005, Lebanon provided valuable insights to the World Summit on the Information Society, organized by the ITUand hosted the 19th International Conference on Telecommunications in 2012, focusing on network security. SinceLebanon has gained practical experience in the countering of intelligence activities via ICT, it took active part in the3rd ICT Security Forum (2007) in Syria.
Moreover, Lebanon has promoted several national and internationalinstitutions and programs to deal with cyber security challenges, such as the Ministry of Telecommunication and theEuro-Mediterranean network of Regulators. Lebanon emphasizes the importance of ICT security pointed out in Delegation from Represented byThe Lebanese Republic University of MagdeburgA/RES/53/70 (1999). To enhance cyber security, Lebanon supported the work of the first Group of GovernmentalExperts (GGE) on the Issue of Information Security, mandated by A/RES/58/32 (2003) and promoted theestablishment of a second GGE with A/RES/63/37 (2008). It stresses the GGE’s report, A/65/201 (2010), andA/RES/66/24 (2011) calling for a third GGE to report to the GA in 2013. The Secretary-General (SG) hascomplemented these efforts by fostering cyber security co-operation with member states.With ultimate goal of creating the CST, Lebanon proposes to set up a standing Working Group on the Cyber SecurityTreaty (WGCST) as a subsidiary organ of the GA.
The WGCST shall consist of twelve non-governmental expertsto be selected by the UN Secretariat through an application process. Taking up its work in 2014, it shall proceeduntil the CST is adopted. The mission of the WGCST is divided into two phases. Phase I, lasting until 2016, has theprincipal task to integrate information from national and international sources on existing efforts concerning ICTsecurity. In Phase II, WGCST will prepare a first draft of the CST based on an analysis of the data obtained in PhaseI. The CST will cover the following two main aspects: a legal framework regarding cyberwarfare and the effectivemonitoring of cybercrimes and -terrorism. The WGCST shall publish its progress quarterly online to ensuretransparency, with a yearly report being submitted to the GA First Committee.
As the WGCTS also relies ongovernmental information, Lebanon suggests requesting the SG to seek the view of all member states on thepossibility and constraints of the CST. The individual national papers will be forwarded to the WGCST andcomplemented by a merged report of the SG to the GA 1st in 2014. Furthermore, Lebanon proposes theestablishment of a fourth GGE consisting of suitable government representatives of fifteen member states to bedetermined by the SG based on equitable geographic distribution. Commencing in 2014, the GGE shall shift itsfocus to an integrative governmental perspective on a future CST. During the period of one year the GGE is to meetfour times for a week, alternating in Geneva and UN Headquarters. Expenses shall be funded by the regular budgetof the GA 1st, which, in addition to the WGCST, shall receive the GGE’s single final report in 2015.III. Combating the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its AspectsWhereas nuclear weapons have not killed one person in the last forty years, illegally traded small arms and lightweapons (SALW) cause millions of deaths each year.
Their illegal proliferation especially challenges countrieslacking the means to enforce existing guidelines. Thus, post-conflict states are exploited for illicit trade,destabilizing whole regions. UN peacebuilding should prevent this, whilst ensuring disarmament. Therefore,Lebanon is committed to political solutions, considering the threat militia groups pose to lasting peace.In 2008, Lebanon established a democratic National Dialogue to reduce SALW stockpiles and avert their flow intoother countries. A Middle East arms conference was held in Beirut in 2012.
Globally, Lebanon welcomes similarefforts, as A/RES/66/47 (2012), building on all previous resolutions on this issue, especially A/RES/56/24 V (2001).Lebanon supports A/RES/61/89 (2006) and A/RES/64/48 (2010) initiating negotiations on the ATT. The PoA,A/RES/54/54 V (2001), and the UN Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, TheirParts and Components and Ammunition, A/RES/55/255 (2001), remain paramount to decrease illicit trade of SALW.But Lebanon especially highlights A/RES/66/34 (2011) and A/RES/66/37 (2011) calling for assistance to states andregional controls when fighting illegally traded SALW. Lebanon appreciates the assistance of the UNODA infacilitating negotiations on arms control. These efforts are crucially supported by the UN Department for PoliticalAffairs (UNDPA) and the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), established by A/RES/60/180 (2005) andS/RES/1645 (2005), respectively.
To combat the spread of illicitly traded SALW, Lebanon proposes to set up a Task-Force on Border Security (TFBS)to advise countries at risk of being flooded with illegally traded SALW. TFBS shall consist of fifteen bordersecurity experts, selected by the SG through an application process. As a subsidiary organ of the GA, it is to take upwork by 2014. Nations may approach TFBS which will review such applications. If deemed necessary, TFBS willdeploy an expert-team to evaluate the unique situation and give hands-on advice to border control authorities.Initially, such missions will last for six months and a review shall determine any extension. Additionally, Lebanonrecommends these nations to set up a National Dialogue on arms control. As an initiating foundation, a treatybetween the government and still existing militia forces is recommended to set the agenda for future negotiations.
The UNDPA shall mediate negotiations and provide expertise when necessary. UNODA should provide resources tohelp with arms control if called upon by the treaty parties and the UNDPA. Thus, the National Dialogue provides aplatform to negotiate stockpile reduction to ensure regional stability. Lebanon also offers its expertise.
As thereduction of SALW stockpiles is an integral part of peacebuilding missions, Lebanon furthermore proposes to askthe PBC to prepare a meta-report on the effectiveness of SALW reduction during these missions. EntitledPeacebuilding and Arms Control, this paper will review reports on UN peacebuilding missions. Based on ananalysis on stockpile reduction, the report shall draw conclusions how to improve future missions in this regard. Afirst report shall be forwarded to the SC by 2015, with a follow-up report being prepared every five years