The launching of Lebanon Pulse today, Dec. 17, 2012, takes place one week after Ambassador Nawaf Salam signed a book at the Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center on Lebanon's two-year (2010/2011) membership at the UN Security Council. What is significant about this coincidence is that during Lebanon's tenure, major concepts and recommendations were highlighted as a precursor to move the Security Council to address problems and issues deemed for a long time "unrealistic" and better left to academic and self-appointed idealists.
The three fundamental challenges highlighted by Salam in his introduction were a) preventive diplomacy, b) dialogue of cultures, and c) responsibility to protect civilians, alongside ongoing issues that broadened the prospects of international peace and security. The biggest challenge, however, was moving what was treated as irrelevant onto center stage. Of course, the upheaval throughout the Arab patrimony underlines challenges that were considered peripheral and that have been brought forcefully back to the agenda. The events in the region have enhanced the status of Lebanon, empowered its civil society and, hopefully, strengthened the prospects of ending the political sectarian system.
The importance of Lebanon's input into the deliberations on these three issues at the United Nations is indicative that Lebanon's national unity can contribute to make the Arab Spring accomplish the fulfillment of the liberal, progressive and secular values that were more evident in the past than they are right now.