Baabda Declaration issued by the National Dialogue Committee on 11 June 2012

At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Lebanon, Michel Sleiman,
the National Dialogue Committee met on Monday, 11 June 2012, at the residence of
the President of the Republic in Baabda. The meeting was chaired by the President
and attended by the dialogue teams. Mr. Saad Hariri and Mr. Samir Geagea were
absent. The minister Muhammad al-Saf
adi was absent owing to illness.

A minute’s silence was held in honour of the late Ghassan Tueni, a former
member of the Committee. The President of the Republic then opened the session,
highlighting the pressing circumstances that had led him to invite the Committee to
resume its work. Tragic events had unfolded, particularly in the north of the country,
bringing negative economic and social repercussions at a time when Lebanon was
preparing for the summer holiday season and the visit of His Holiness the Pope in
September 2012. The Lebanese people must
safeguard their country as a symbol of
freedom, coexistence and dialogue.

The President recalled the positive aspects of the Committee’s work in the
previous sessions, particularly in accomp
anying the achievements of the previous
four years in a calm and democratic
environment. He then outlined the
considerations that had led it to suspend its work, stressing that the Committee must
overcome the obstacles to the implementation of its previous resolutions and work
in a stable and systematic manner in orde
r fully to realize its objectives for the

In that context, he drew attention to recent events and domestic, regional and
international developments that had ta
ken place since the suspension of the
Committee’s work.

A general discussion ensued concerning the agenda items proposed by the
President. The Committee heard the views and positions of the dialogue teams
regarding various urgent topics requiring immediate attention and response.

The discussions resulted in consensus on the following points and decisions:

1. The path of dialogue should be adopted, and security, political and media
issues should be approached in a spirit of serenity. The focus should be on
commonalities and consensus on fixed points.

2. Parties should commit to laying the foundations of stability; safeguarding
public order; preventing violence and the country’s descent into strife; and
intensifying the search for the political
means to secure
those objectives.

3. Citizens of all allegiances should be urged to cherish the conviction that
any resort to weapons and violence, whatever the fears and tensions, is inevitably a
blow and a loss for all parties; it endangers the people’s livelihoods, their future and
the future of the next generations.

4. Action should be taken to stre
ngthen State institutions, encourage a
culture of reliance on the law and legitima
te institutions for the resolution of any
contention or urgent issue.

5. Because the Army upholds civil peace and embodies national unity, it
deserves moral and material support. Effo
rts should be made to enable it and the
other legitimate security forces to respond to urgent security situations according to
a deployment plan aimed at imposing State authority, security and stability.

6. The judicial power also deserved support in imposing the law with
justice and without discrimination.

7. The implementation of a socioeconomic development plan throughout
Lebanon should be encouraged.

8. All political forces and intellectuals and opinion leaders should be
encouraged to avoid inflammatory political
and media discourse and anything that
could spark conflict, disturbances, sectarian confessional strife. That approach
would consolidate national unity and promote internal cohesion in confronting
external threats, particularly that posed by the Israeli enemy. Such action would
have positive implications for public opini
on, the economy, tour
ism and the social

9. It is important to reaffirm the need to comply with the code of honour
previously formulated by the National Dialogue Committee with a view to ensuring
restraint in political and media discourse,
contributing to the creation of a serene
environment and making Lebanon a centre for the dialogue of civilizations,
religions and cultures.

10. Trust in coexistence and in Lebanon as the unequivocal homeland should
be reaffirmed, as should the need to comply with the principles contained in the
Preamble to the Constitution, which are fixed founding principles.

11. The Taif accords must be respected, and parties must continue to
implement all of its provisions.

12. Lebanon should eschew block po
litics and regional and international
conflicts. It should seek to avoid the negative repercussions of regional tensions and
crises in order to preserve its own param
ount interest, national unity and civil peace,
except where the matter concerns resolu
tions of international legitimacy, Arab
consensus or the rightful Palestinian cause, including the right of Palestinian
refugees return to their land and
homes rather than being integrated.

13. Measures should then be taken to
control the situation on the Lebanese-
Syrian border. The establishment of a buffer zone in Lebanon should not be
permitted. The country cannot be used as a base, corridor or starting point to
smuggle weapons and combatants. At the same time, the right to humanitarian
solidarity and political and media expressi
on is guaranteed und
er the Constitution
and the law.

14. International resolutions, including Security Council resolution 1701
(2006), should be respected.

15. It is important to continue examining ways to put in place strategies to
implement the resolutions agreed by the National Dialogue Committee.

16. The next session of the Committee will take place on Monday, 25 June
2012 at 11 a.m. The Committee will resume consideration of its agenda, particularly
the national defence strategy.

17. This statement shall be termed “the Baabda Declaration” and shall be
respected by all parties. Copies shall be tr
ansmitted to the League of Arab States and
the United Nations