Press Release



Following is yesterday’s press statement following informal consultations in the Security Council on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Ethiopia/Eritrea and Somalia by Council President Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom):


The Council was briefed on UNIFIL by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, in the context of the need for renewal of the UNIFIL mandate, which expires on 31 July.  The French delegation introduced a draft resolution, which received general support in a preliminary discussion.  But the draft will be discussed by experts if necessary and will come back to the Council, so that we know what particular points other members of the Council may have on the question.  Meanwhile members of the Council insisted that all the violations of the ceasefire should stop.  There had been too many in recent weeks; and UNIFIL should be allowed to do its job on the ground without impediment.  There are still problems of access for UNIFIL and that point was strongly stressed this morning.  But there was otherwise warm commendation from the Council for what UNIFIL is doing on the ground and for the work of Special Representative of the Secretary-General Steffan De Mistura.


Council members discussed one aspect of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) -- demarcation of the boundary, with a need to focus on demining along demarcation lines.  Members needed to take up points that had come up in last week’s Boundary Commission meeting with the parties in The Hague.  The discussion made some quite good progress, focusing on details of demarcation which will be taken forward by the Council.  The Norwegian delegation proposed a draft resolution for the amendment of UNMEE’s mandate to take account of demining and demarcation requirements.


Thirdly, Council members looked again at the draft resolution on the arms embargo in Somalia, which the Norwegian delegation again had been taking forward.  Experts agreed on the text, and then adopted it in a formal meeting as Resolution 1425, on the arms embargo in Somalia.  (See Press Release SC/7459 of 22 July.)

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