30 October 2006
Security Council
SC/8859

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5559th Meeting* (Night)


In presidential statement, Security Council reiterates call for disbanding


of militias; respect for sovereignty, independence of lebanon


Despite noting important progress in the extension of Government authority throughout Lebanon, the Security Council this afternoon reiterated its call for the disbanding of militias and strict respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of that country, along with all other unmet provisions of its resolution 1559 (2004).


Through a statement (document S/PRST/2006/43) read out by its October President, Kenzo Oshima of Japan, the Council expressed regret that such provisions, which also require free and fair presidential elections conducted according to Lebanese Constitutional rules without foreign interference, have yet to be implemented.


The Council commended the Lebanese Government for extending its authority in the southern part of the country, in particular, and encouraged it to continue its efforts in that regard.


The meeting began at 6:12 p.m. and ended at 6:17 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The complete text of today’s presidential statement (document S/PRST/2006/43) reads as follows:


“The Security Council recalls all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 1559 (2004), 425 and 426 (1978), resolution 520 (1982) and 1680 (2006), and resolution 1701 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statement of 18 June 2000, of 19 October 2004, of 4 May 2005, and of 23 January 2006.


“The Security Council reaffirms its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty, unity and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders.


“The Security Council welcomes the fourth semi-annual report to the Security Council of 19 October 2006 on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004).


“The Security Council notes that important progress has been made towards the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), in particular through the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces in the south of the country for the first time in three decades, but it also notes with regret that some provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) have yet to be implemented, namely the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, the strict respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon, and free and fair presidential elections conducted according to the Lebanese constitutional rules, without any foreign interference and influence.


“The Security Council commends the Lebanese Government for extending its authority throughout its territory, particularly in the south, and encourages it to continue its efforts in this regard.


“The Security Council reiterates its call for the full implementation of resolution 1559 (2004) and urges all concerned States and parties as mentioned in the report to cooperate fully with the Government of Lebanon, the Security Council, and the Secretary-General to achieve this goal.


“The Security Council reaffirms its support to the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy in their efforts and dedication to facilitate and assist in the full implementation of all provisions of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006).


“The Security Council acknowledges the Secretary-General’s intention to revert to the Council in his next report on implementation of resolution 1701 (2006) and looks forward to his further recommendations on the relevant outstanding issues.”


Background


The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s fourth semi-annual report on the implementation of Council resolution 1559 (2004) (document S/2006/832).  Considerable progress has been made over the past two years towards the resolution’s full implementation.  Syria has withdrawn its troops, military assets and military intelligence apparatus.  The Lebanese National Dialogue manifested further progress.  In the past few months, there has been additional progress with the extension of the Government’s control over Lebanese territory, in particular in the south and along the border with Syria.  The resolution, however, particularly provisions for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the strict respect of Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence under the Government’s sole and exclusive authority, has yet to be fully implemented.


In the past six months, Lebanon has suffered a severe setback, the Secretary-General states.  Instead of making further strides towards completing its political transformation and reaping the economic rewards of political progress, Lebanon confronts challenges of a magnitude unseen since the end of the civil war.  Since the end of the hostilities, a tense political climate has prevailed, with manifold challenges confronting the Lebanese in their quest to reconstruct their country, polity and economy.  The United Nations remains committed to supporting Lebanon, its people and Government, as they face the enormous task of recovering the momentum on the path to consolidating the Lebanese State as an authority “of the people, by the people and for the people”.


Much work remains to be done in the months ahead, the Secretary-General adds.  With the adoption of resolutions 1680 (2006) and 1701 (2006) -- and with repeated Lebanese cabinet decisions to extend the Government’s authority over all Lebanese territory -- a new framework has been established for the full implementation of all the provisions of resolution 1559.  A catalogue of measures has been laid down that constitute a road map for the resolution’s full implementation.  Lebanon’s Government, with significant international support, is undertaking important steps that will help it to fully implement resolution 1559.  Achieving that goal, however, continues to depend on both the Lebanese and on the cooperation of parties other than the Lebanese.


Lebanon will have to engage again in a truly national and inclusive dialogue, the Secretary-General continues.  The disarming and disbanding of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, which lies at the heart of Lebanon’s political transformation and is a necessary element to complete Lebanon’s consolidation as a sovereign and democratic State, can only be achieved through an inclusive process that addresses the political and economic interests of all Lebanese and those living in Lebanon.


“It is my deep hope that the opportunities born from conflict will be seized upon and that Lebanon may once again rise from the ashes of destruction and war,” the Secretary-General says.  In that context, he emphasizes that Hizbollah’s transformation into a solely political party, consistent with the requirements of the Taif Accords, is a key element in ensuring a permanent end to hostilities and in the full restoration of Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.  For the purpose of achieving that goal, on the path towards the greater objective of consolidating the Lebanese State, it is indispensable that all parties who have influence in Lebanon support a constructive political process.


The establishment of full diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria and their delineation of the shared border, including in the Shabaa Farms area, through a bilateral agreement would constitute significant steps towards promoting peace and security in the region.  Mindful of the importance of border delineation to the Lebanese, the Secretary-General is working to establish in full the cartographic, legal and political implications of the approach suggested in Lebanon’s seven-point plan.  Calling for Syria and Lebanon to address in their bilateral contacts the issue of Lebanese detainees in Syrian custody, he again calls on all parties and actors to support Lebanon’s reconstruction and political transformation and to urgently take all enabling measures to that end.


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*     The 5557th & 5558th Meetings were closed.


For information media • not an official record