Commemoration of the Beirut Port explosion
Transforming Tragedy into Activism and Change
In collaboration with the August 4 Initiative and Transparency International – Lebanon, The Friedrich Naumann Foundation Lebanon marked the third commemoration of the tragic Beirut port explosion by organising two panel discussions at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut on Thursday, August 3rd.
The focus of these discussions was to explore the process of adopting a comprehensive perspective of the Beirut port.
This meeting gathered representatives from the public and private sectors, the international community, local civil society, academics, and the media.
The discussion in the first panel revolved around the practical steps needed to push for an accountable and transparent investigation on the explosion and to provide psychological support to aid in the recovery of affected individuals. They also emphasised the importance of integrating these concepts into educational curricula, recognising their potential to foster positive change and effectiveness in Lebanon. Lama Fakih, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division and Director of the Beirut office at Human Rights Watch, emphasised the need to remind Lebanese political and security officials of their responsibility for the crime of the Beirut port explosion, and for obstructing the investigation and hindering the judicial process.
The second panel focused on promoting good governance to revitalise the functioning of the port. Enhancing transparency and reducing corruption were key goals, alongside reactivating the role of the private sector, which had been significantly impacted by the disaster. The aim is to build a shared vision for this essential public utility, which not only serves as a central pillar of Lebanon's economic, financial, and touristic identity but which stands as a symbol of resilience during these complex times.
François Valérian, board member of Transparency International, had an intervention during the second panel and emphasised the importance of disclosing contracts related to public procurement by relevant public and private institutions. He also stressed on Transparency International – France’s commitment to supporting the efforts of Transparency International - Lebanon through submitting a letter to the headquarters of CMA CGM in Marseille.
The event focused on the pressing need to manage the port of Beirut in alignment with internationally accepted standards for port management, operation, and investment, it becomes crucial to align with economic, political, and administrative transformations essential for development.