Minister of State Violette Safadi visits UNIFIL, discussed enhanced cooperation with UNIFIL

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22 May 2019

Minister of State Violette Safadi visits UNIFIL, discussed enhanced cooperation with UNIFIL

Lebanon’s Minister of State for Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth, Violette Khairallah Safadi, led a nine-member delegation to the UNIFIL Headquarters today, with discussions focusing on enhancing cooperation in women’s and youth empowerment in the Mission’s area of operations.

During his meeting with State Minister Safadi, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stafano Del Col praised her commitment and efforts in empowering women and youth, not least in south Lebanon where UNIFIL operates.

The UNIFIL head also highlighted the nearly 13 years of stability in south Lebanon, which have brought considerable “dividends of peace” allowing the women and youth to engage in economic activities.

“UNIFIL believes that youth play an essential role in contributing to stability and are the future of Lebanon,” said Major General Del Col. “To this end, the Mission has undertaken many projects and outreach activities benefiting the young people of South Lebanon since 2006.”

He added that UNIFIL has institutionalized gender sensitive mechanisms to ensure the Mission promotes gender equality and projects role modelling examples on men and women working together to achieve peace and security.

He also highlighted that for the first time in several decades, a generation of teenagers (13-year-olds) are growing up in south Lebanon without witnessing any conflict. “Working with the youth is the best investment in the future for people locally and globally,” he added.

In her comments after the meeting, Mrs. Safadi thanked UNIFIL for the activities aimed at empowering women and youth. “What they (UNIFIL) are doing is very important and helps many women,” she said. “We are ready to cooperate on a broader scale in the South.”

During the course of the day, Mrs. Safadi also visited a UNIFIL position along the Blue Line, interacted with young schoolchildren from Ayta Ash Shab and received a briefing on UNIFIL’s work in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces.

While renewing UNIFIL’s mandate last August, UN Security Council called for an increase in the number of women in UNIFIL, as well as their “meaningful participation” in “all aspects of operations.” The Council also requested UNIFIL to assist the Lebanese authorities in “ensuring the full and effective participation and representation of women at all levels of decision-making.”