Lebanon Daily News Brief 04/08/2022

Friday, April 8, 2022



Minister of Foreign Affairs Explains Lebanon’s Abstention in UN General Assembly Vote
According to L’Orient Today, “Lebanon was one of 58 countries that abstained from voting, explained by [Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Abdallah] Bou Habib, as the country believes ‘that dialogue is the best way to resolve disagreements and conflicts, rather than the use of armed force,’ adding that if ‘Russia is excluded from the [Human Rights Council] there will no longer be any dialogue’.” [L’Orient Today]

PM Advisor Nahhas: Low Likelihood of IMF Reforms Before Elections
According to Nicolas Nahhas, an advisor of Prime Minister Najib Mikati and policymaker, “[Reforms sought by the IMF as conditions for approved funding were not] meant to be done in a few weeks and nobody serious would say it should be done in that time frame . . . The agreement is a kind of benchmark of what should come after elections. So, after elections, parliament will start studying quickly these actions and then we shall see how we go forward.” [Reuters]

Lebanese Diaspora Represented in Forbes 2022 List of Top 10 Billionaires  
According to the 961, Rodolphe Saadé, head of the shipping company CMA CGM, has become the third wealthiest person in France with a net worth of $41.4 billion, after the value of the shipping company increased amid heightened shipping demands since April of 2021. The wealthiest person in Mexico, Caros Slim Helu, is the 13th wealthiest person in the world according to Forbes, having seen a 42% rise in his telecom firm, América Móvil. [The961]



World Politics Review
When It Comes to U.N. Diplomacy, Not All Abstentions Are Equal
Richard Gowan

Gowan writes, “In sum, it was possible for General Assembly members to use abstentions to send both pro- and anti-Russian messages without making them explicit. Some states also presented abstention in more principled terms. Uganda’s ambassador to the U.N. noted that he was obliged to abstain as the incoming chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, or NAM, the grouping of 120 states from the Global South that formed during the Cold War in order to chart an autonomous, alternative course amid the standoff between the Western and Soviet blocs. In recent weeks, non-Western officials and commentators have alluded to the revival of non-alignment as a guiding principle in diplomacy if there is a new Cold War with Russia. While Ukraine and its allies have been able to muster significant support at the U.N. so far, a growing number of NAM members will choose to abstain on future votes on the war if it drags on. As the International Crisis Group has warned, they will be even more likely to do so if Western powers do not address the global effects of the war, such as the shocks to food and energy prices that are already hitting the Global South hard.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.