The Security Council this morning renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for six months, until 30 November. The Force was established in May 1974 to supervise the cease-fire called for by the Council and the agreement on disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces of 31 May 1974.
Through its unanimous adoption of resolution 1057 (1996), the Council called on the parties to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973), and asked the Secretary-General to report on measures taken to implement that text.
Also, through a statement read out by its President, Qin Huasun (China), the Council stated that, despite the present quiet in the Israel-Syria sector, the situation in the Middle East continued to be potentially dangerous and was likely to remain so unless there was a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem.
The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1996/27, reads as follows:
"As is known, the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (S/1996/368) states, in paragraph 14: 'Despite the present quiet in the Israel-Syria sector, the situation in the Middle East continues to be potentially dangerous and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached.' That statement of the Secretary-General reflects the view of the Security Council."
The Secretary-General's report also draws attention to the serious shortfall in funding for the Force with unpaid assessments now totalling $60.7 million -- a sum equal to twice the Force's annual budget. He appeals to all Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full to clear arrears. Since 1992, UNDOF has implemented two streamlining measures, which have reduced its size and budget by 20 per cent, making it a very lean and cost-
Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6227 3669th Meeting (AM) 30 May 1996
effective operation. Syria and Israel's cooperation with the Force have helped make such savings possible, he states.
The full text of resolution 1057 (1996) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 23 May 1996 (S/1996/368),
"(a) To call upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;
"(b) To renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is, until 30 November 1996;
"(c) To request the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the development in the situation and the measures taken to implement Security Council resolution 338 (1973)."
The meeting, which was called to order at 11:55 a.m., adjourned at 11:59 a.m.
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