27 July 2000


Press Release
SC/6897



SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNIFIL MANDATE UNTIL 31 JANUARY 2001

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Resolution 1310 (2000) Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council this morning decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for a further six months, until 31 January 2001.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1310 (2000), the Council called on the Government of Lebanon to ensure the return of its effective authority and presence in the south, and, in particular, to proceed with a significant deployment of the Lebanese armed forces as soon as possible.

Welcoming the statement of the Secretary-General that as of 24 July the Government of Israel had removed all violations of the withdrawal line, it called on the parties to respect the withdrawal line, to exercise utmost restraint and to cooperate fully with the United Nations and with UNIFIL.

Reiterating its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries, the Council stressed the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions.

The meeting began at 11:30 a.m. and adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

Text of Resolution

The full text of resolution 1310 (2000) reads, as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling its resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) of 19 March 1978, 501 (1982) of 25 February 1982, 508 (1982) of 5 June 1982, 509 (1982) of 6 June 1982 and 520 (1982) of 17 September 1982, as well as its resolutions on the situation in Lebanon and also its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000,

"Recalling also the statements of its President of 20 April 2000 (S/PRST/2000/13), 23 May 2000 (S/PRST/2000/18) and 18 June (S/PRST/2000/21) on the situation in Lebanon, in particular its endorsement of the work done by the United Nations as mandated by the Security Council, including the Secretary-General's conclusion that as of 16 June 2000 Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 (1978) and met the requirements defined in the Secretary-General's report of 22 May 2000 (S/2000/460),

Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6897 4177th Meeting (AM) 27 July 2000

"Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) of 20 July 2000 (S/2000/718) and its observations and recommendations mentioned therein,

"Emphasizing the interim nature of UNIFIL,

”Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel adopted on 9 December 1994,

"Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon, as stated in the letter from its Permanent Representative to the United Nations of 11 July 2000 to the Secretary-General (S/2000/674),

"1. Endorses the understanding, mentioned in the report of the Secretary- General of 20 July 2000, that the Force will deploy and function fully throughout its area of operations and that the Government of Lebanon will strengthen its presence in this area, by deploying additional troops and internal security forces;

"2. Decides, in this context, to extend the present mandate of UNIFIL for a further period of 6 months, until 31 January 2001;

"3. Reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;

"4. Welcomes the statement in the Secretary-General's letter to the President of the Security Council of 24 July 2000 (S/2000/731) that, as of that date, the Government of Israel had removed all violations of the withdrawal line;

"5. Calls on the parties to respect that line, to exercise utmost restraint and to cooperate fully with the United Nations and with UNIFIL;

"6. Calls on the Government of Lebanon to ensure the return of its effective authority and presence in the south, and in particular to proceed with a significant deployment of the Lebanese armed forces as soon as possible;

"7. Welcomes the establishment of checkpoints by the Government of Lebanon in the vacated area, and encourages the Government of Lebanon to ensure a calm environment throughout the south, including through the control of all checkpoints;

"8. Welcomes the measures taken by the Secretary-General and the troop contributing countries regarding UNIFIL military personnel and deployment, as agreed to in the above-mentioned statements of its President, and reaffirms that the expected redeployment of UNIFIL should be conducted in coordination with the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese armed forces;

"9. Re-emphasizes the terms of reference and general guidelines of UNIFIL as stated in the report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 1978 (S/12611), approved by resolution 426 (1978);

"10. Requests the Secretary-General to continue consultations with the Government of Lebanon and other parties directly concerned on the implementation of this resolution and to report to the Security Council thereon;

"11. Looks forward to the early fulfilment of the mandate of UNIFIL;

"12. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to submit to the Council by 31 October 2000 a report on progress towards achieving the objectives of resolution 425 (1978) and towards completion by UNIFIL of the tasks originally assigned to it, and requests the Secretary-General to include in this report recommendations on the tasks that could be carried out by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO);

"13. Decides to review the situation, by early November 2000, and to consider any steps it deems appropriate regarding UNIFIL, on the basis of this report, the extent of the deployment of UNIFIL and the actions taken by the Government of Lebanon to restore its effective authority and presence in the area, in particular through a significant deployment of the Lebanese armed forces;

"14. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973.”

Report of Secretary-General

When the Security Council met this morning, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) (document S/2000/718), covering the period from 17 January to 17 July.

According to the report, the Secretary-General is recommending that the Security Council extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 January 2001. The Council should do so with the understanding that the Force will be enabled to deploy and function fully throughout its area of operation and that the Lebanese authorities will strengthen their own presence in the area by deploying additional troops and internal security forces. The UNIFIL deployment must, therefore, be closely coordinated with that of the Lebanese forces.

In the report, the Secretary-General states that while there has been improvement in the Israel-Lebanon situation, the potential for serious incidents still exists. Therefore, both sides should maintain effective liaison with UNIFIL and take prompt action to rectify any violations or incidents brought to their attention.

Following formal notification from Israel on 17 April that it would withdraw its forces from Lebanon by July, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Terje Roed- Larsen, travelled to the region from 26 April to 9 May, the report states. He reviewed the requirements established under the resolutions with the Governments of Israel and Lebanon and other concerned Member States in the region.

The report says that he again visited the region to follow up on implementation, and the United Nations cartographer and his team worked to identify a line that would confirm Israel's withdrawal from the territory. The

Secretary-General reported that UNIFIL had completed the verification process on 16 June. Following that, UNIFIL found a number of violations where the Israeli technical fence crossed the withdrawal line, and the Israeli Defence Forces used patrol tracks that also crossed the line. The Security Council had been kept aware of the violations.

From 17 to 23 June, the Secretary-General visited the region, where he met with several leaders. The main topic of their discussion was the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

According to the report, since the end of May the situation in the area of operation had remained generally calm, but there have been signs of tension between members of Hezbollah and Amal, reportedly over the elections scheduled to be held in Lebanon at the end of August or early September. The situation has been calm along the line of withdrawal, except for the line of withdrawal near Metulla where people gather daily on the Lebanese side to throw stones over the technical fence in the direction of where the Israeli Defence Forces are based.

The Secretary-General says that the reintegration of an area that has been cut off from the rest of the country for many years imposes a heavy burden on Lebanon, in addition to the serious hazard posed to the population by mine- clearance activities. In that light, he proposes to appoint a representative to Beirut. Also, there has been a serious shortfall in the funding of the Force. Unpaid assessments amount to almost $118 million, representing money owed to troop-contributors.

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