Fraternity, Cooperation and Coordination Treaty
1- The Syrian Lebanese Higher Council
2- The Follow-up and Coordination Commission
3- The joint committees formed under the Treaty
4- The General Secretariat5- The joint ministerial committees, subcommittees, and competent technical committees
The Fraternity, Cooperation and Coordination Treaty has been brought forward to express the nature of the distinguished Lebanese-Syrian relationships, in addition to the historical, fateful and fraternal ties which were embodied in a structural, economical, cultural and political life cycle throughout the ages on one hand, and to interpret legitimately and practically what the Lebanese National Pact - signed in Altaef on 22/10/1989 and ratified by the Parliamentary Council on 5/11/1989 - has stated, on the other hand. That pact has determined the following:
"Lebanon, the Arabic state in belonging and identity, has true fraternal ties with all the Arab states, in addition to its distinguished relationships with Syria, such relationships derive their strength from kinship and history roots and from the common fraternal interests as well. A concept that shall be based on coordination and cooperation between the two states and to be embodied by agreements concerning different fields in a way that would ensure both brotherly states' interest within the framework of each state's sovereignty and independence. In conformity with that, establishing security standards ensures the sought after climate to develop these outstanding ties necessitates Lebanon not being a threat to Syria’s' security and vice versa under any circumstances. Therefore, Lebanon shall not accept to become a passage or base for any force, state or organization aiming to undermine its security or Syria’s security. And Syria, at the same time that is concerned for Lebanon’s security, independence, unity and national reconciliation shall not allow any act that would threaten Lebanon's security, independence and sovereignty."
Fraternity, Cooperation and Coordination Treaty:
Based on what was mentioned above, a Treaty has been signed on May 22, 1991. That Treaty has formed a peculiar leap in the two states' relationships process during the current historical stage. Within the framework of this Treaty, many objectives have been determined. To accomplish those objectives, several joint organisms have been established on the authority of this Treaty to watch over the implementation of its provisions and agreements that might be issued. These joint organisms are:
1. The Syrian Lebanese Higher Council
· The Higher Council shall be formed from:
- The presidents of both contracting countries.
- The speaker of the Peoples' Assembly, the Prime Minister and the Vice Prime Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic.
- The Parliament Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Lebanon.
· The Higher Council shall set up the general policy of coordination and cooperation between the two states in all fields (political, economical, social and many other fields), and shall supervise its implementation and adopt the plans and decisions taken by “the Follow-Up and Coordination Commission", “the Foreign Affairs Committee", “the Committee for Economic and Social Affairs”, “the Committee for Defense and Security Affairs” or any committee established subsequently. The decisions of the Higher Council shall be binding and effective within the framework of the constitutional regulations of the two states. Furthermore, the Higher Council determines the matters in which the concerned committees have the right to take decisions that shall become enforceable once issued in accordance with the constitutional regulations and procedures in both countries, or in a way that is not incompatible with these regulations and procedures.
· The Higher Council shall meet once a year and when necessary in a venue to be agreed on.
2. The Follow-up and Coordination Commission:
· The Follow-up and Coordination Commission shall be formed of the prime ministers of both countries and a number of ministers concerned with the bilateral relations of the two countries.
· It shall assume following up the implementation of the Higher Council decisions and submitting reports to the Council on the implementation phases. Besides, it coordinates the recommendations and decisions of the specialized committees and submits the proposals thereof to the Higher Council.
· The commission shall meet every six months, and when necessary, in a venue to be agreed upon. Furthermore, it shall hold meetings, when necessary with the specialized committees.
3. The joint committees formed under the Treaty:
- The Foreign Affairs Committee
- The Committee for Economic and Social Affairs
- The Committee for Defense and Security Affairs.
In addition, under the provisions of the Treaty and the agreements emanating from it, joint ministerial committees have been formed including all other sectors. And all these committees shall be formed from the concerned ministers in the two countries.
4. The General Secretariat:
A General Secretariat chaired by a Secretary-General, has been created to follow up the implementation of the "Fraternity, Cooperation and Coordination Treaty", and by the resolution number (1) dated 16/8/1993, Mr. Nassri Alkhoury was appointed as the Secretary-General of the Higher Council before which he shall be responsible for the General Secretariat's bodies proper execution of their determined tasks. The General Secretariat headquarters, competences, staff and budget have all determined by another decision of the Higher Council issued in Damascus on 21/12/1993. The General-Secretariat rules of procedure together with its financial system have been ratified up to the over mentioned decision along with their amendments by resolution number (27) signed in Damascus on 7/3/2005. The General secretariats' rules of procedure and financial system are concisely as follows:
· The General Secretariat shall be formed from the administrative and the technical cadre chaired by a Secretary-General and shall be specialized in following up the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty. The aforementioned cadre shall include a group of specialists, experts, executives and a technical staff.
· The General Secretariat takes Damascus as a headquarter.
· The General Secretariat's Tasks:
a. Setting studies, researches, reports, datum, statistics and other basic information within the interests of the Treaty's organisms.
b. Preparing the agenda of the Treaty's organisms meetings.
c. Receiving the memorandums and documents related to the issues included on the Treaty's organisms agenda.
d. The General Secretariat shall perform the secretariat's tasks for the Treaty's organisms.
e. Setting the records of the meetings and draft resolutions in addition to the recommendations taken by the Treaty's organisms.
f. Reporting the resolutions taken in the Higher Council meetings to the concerned bodies.
g. Submitting the recommendations taken by the competent committees to the “Follow-up and Coordination Commission”.
h. Proceeding the Treaty's provisions execution besides the resolutions taken in conformity with it.
i. Collecting and classifying the documents, records, resolutions and recommendations taken by the Treaty’s organisms during their meetings.
j. Supplying the meetings that are held in the General Secretariat's headquarter with administrative and technical services.
k. Setting the General Secretariat's draft budget plan.
l. Executing tasks assigned to by the Higher Council and the rest of the Treaty's organisms.
m. Participating qua a supervising member in conferences set by The Arab League and its subordinate organizations along with the Arab Parliamentary Union.
· The Secretary-General's tasks :
a. Supervising the administrative, financial and technical cadre of the General Secretariat and its staff.
b. Defining the tasks in the divisions and departments of each administration in addition to supplying it with officials.
c. Submitting periodical reports of the acts and the achievements of the Treaty's organisms.
d. Signing agreements with Arabic and international organizations in an effort to set up free rehabilitation and training programs for the General Secretariat's personnel as well as carrying out free studies in favor of the General Secretariat, besides accepting grants and aids in kind from the above organizations.
e. Supplying the General Secretariat with materials, equipments, transportation and other requirements necessary for the General Secretariat performance in accordance with its effective regulations.
f. Representing the General Secretariat before the judicial authorities and the others.
g. Proposing the amendment of regulations and the General Secretariat's personnel.
h. Delegating some of its authorities to the Secretary-General's assistant, to the consultants, and to the executives as well.
· The cadre of the General Secretariat:
1. The Secretary-General's Office.
2. The Follow-up and Execution Directorate.
3. The Directorate of Studies, Planning and Informatics.
4. The Juristic Affairs Directorate.
5. The Administrative and Financial Affairs Directorate
The General Secretariat's rules of procedure have specified the staff list along with the hierarchal categories of these bodies. It has also appointed the employment and hiring system as well as the appointment terms and procedures together with the employees’ duties, work requirements, salaries, compensations etc.
· The financial system:
The general regulations of the entire financial affairs such as the regulation, approval and execution of the balancing have been included in the financial system along with the methods of satisfying the General Secretariat's requirements in addition to its accounts, treasury and current accounts auditing, expenditure contracting together with its settlement and paying out.
5. The joint ministerial committees, subcommittees, and competent technical committees:
In addition to the joint ministerial committees that have been formed according to the Treaty and the other committees formed in accordance to the agreements stemmed, other competent technical committees and subcommittees have been created to include almost all of the sectors:
Electricity, oil, natural gas, communication, postage, industry, economics, transportation, public works, agriculture, water, education, vocational and technical education, higher education, culture, youth and sport, social affairs, social security, labor, health, tourism, environment, development and administrative reform, information, justice, common frontiers points, customs, housing and cooperatives, the National Council for Scientific Researches and the Higher Council of Sciences, the National Council for Scientific Researches and the General Board of Remote Sensing, the National Council for Scientific Researches and the Water Researches Center, the National Council for Scientific Researches and the General Establishment of Geology and Mineral resources, the National Council for Scientific Researches and the Syrian Center of Studies and Scientific Researches, The National Council for Scientific Researches and the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Council for Scientific Researches and the National Information Center, cooperation in the field of industrial researches, cooperation in the information field.