[DRAFT LETTER prepared by Attorney Steve Stanton]
Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
RE: APPLICATION BY WORLD LEBANESE CULTURAL UNION
FOR UN-AFFILIATION AS A NGO
At the outset, on behalf of the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU), we extend our greetings and best wishes to His Excellency the Secretary-General and the constituent members of the General Assembly.
It is my honour and privilege, as the World President of the WLCU, to hereby apply for UN-Affiliation of the WLCU as a NGO.
The WLCU is a global organisation devoted to the recognition, fostering and preservation of the sovereignty and democracy of Lebanon, its culture, being the sum total of many civilisations that have contributed to the Lebanese identity; and the multicultural society, together with that of the Lebanese diaspora, who have maintained and carried on as a distinct but integrated ethno-cultural group throughout the world. It is the avowed purpose of the WLCU to promote and ensure, wherever possible, the maintenance of fundamental rights and freedoms for all people, both within Lebanon and throughout the world.
The WLCU is the only Lebanese body in the world that can truly say it is a global organisation having membership throughout the world in each continent and being constituted, in terms of its organisation, into World Geographic Councils.
Essentially, the WLCU is:
• an independent civil institution;
• non-sectarian; and
Recent events have ably reminded and of themselves have constituted the necessary impetus that the WLCU should now seek to become formally affiliated with the UN as a NGO.
It is perceived, both by myself and by my World Council, that the time is both apposite and the conditions necessitate the registration and affiliation of the WLCU with the UN. We humbly request consideration of our application and similarly an expedition of that application in view of the urgency that is perceived to be, we would respectfully suggest, self-evident, with the cessation of hostilities in Lebanon and the need for a program to be undertaken to assist with its rehabilitation and the restoration of the government, along with the implementation of Resolutions 1559 and 1701.
The World Council office-bearers of the WLCU are as follows:
President: Engineer Anise Garabet
World Secretary General: Georges Abi Raad
Deputy World Secretary General: Dr Nick Kahwaji
The geographic regional office bearers of the WLCU are as follows:
The World Council of the WLCU supports and respects the principles of the Charter of the UN and has a clear Mission Statement that is consistent with those principles. A copy of the Articles of Association of the WLCU is annexed to this application.
The WLCU is recognised nationally, both within Lebanon and internationally in each of the major geographic regions of the world, both by the respective domestic governments in which it is located and by the diaspora of the Lebanese populace throughout the world.
The WLCU operates solely on a non-profit basis and has tax-exempt status as a world body.
The WLCU conducts information programs, engages in cultural liaison within its constituent bodies and, to a broader audience, regularly inter-acting with UN-based activities in each of its regions from which it is located and from which it draws its membership.
The WLCU has been in operation since it was founded in Mexico City in 1959 and is continuing to work throughout the world, in and for the Lebanese community, both within and outside of Lebanon. It has regular elections and has what could only be described as a satisfactory record in terms of the democratic processes within the constituent bodies and the global representative body.
It meets in general congress every two years to elect its world president and global executive.
The World Lebanese Cultural Union has, from time to time, collaborated with UN Information Centres and the UN System with respect to the Lebanese political and humanitarian issues since the outbreak of the Civil War in 1975 …………….
– the statutes/by-laws, which we respectfully submit provide for a transparent process of decision-making, election of officers and members of the Board, are enclosed.
The impetus in seeking to have a registration and an affiliation with the United Nations as an NGO stems from the need to take an active participatory position within the world community, bearing in mind the immigration of Lebanese and their concern for what is occurring in Lebanon.
Coupled with this perception is of course the work of the UN in seeking to foster and promote a democratic, free and sovereign government in Lebanon and to enable a restoration of law and order in the Middle East and in particular with the current deployment of UN forces in Lebanon in its southern region, it is seen as both an apt and long overdue opportunity that should not be forsaken for the WLCU to seek NGO status and affiliation.
The work of the WLCU has for many years been one of ensuring and undertaking a record of concern and a proliferation of material and a co-ordination of activities among its members who are desirous of promoting the fundamental freedoms espoused in the UN charter.
In concluding, could we seek an application form forthwith, so that the process may be undertaken to ensure that our application receives what we would respectfully urge as an urgent request for affiliation, given the circumstances and the acute concern of all Lebanese throughout the world and within Lebanon, as a result of the cessation of hostilities and the need to restore law and order.
We thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.
WLCU World President.