|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6693rd Meeting (AM)
Security Council Extends Mandate of Observer Force Monitoring Ceasefire between Israel,
Syria until 30 June 2012, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2028 (2011)
Expressing grave concern about the serious events that had occurred in the area of operations of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on 15 May and 5 June, jeopardizing the long-standing ceasefire between Israel and Syria, the Security Council today renewed the mandate of the Force charged with supervising the ceasefire since 1974 for six months, until 30 June 2012.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2028 (2011), the Council called on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and to prevent any breaches of the ceasefire and the area of separation. It further called for the immediate implementation of Council resolution 338 (1973), which stipulates immediate negotiations between the parties, with the aim of establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
The Council also called on the parties to cooperate fully with UNDOF’s operations and to ensure the security of, as well as unhindered and immediate access for, United Nations personnel carrying out its mandate.
The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 10:07 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2028 (2011) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Noting with concern that the situation in the Middle East is tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 30 November 2011 (S/2011/748), and also reaffirming its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000,
“Expressing grave concern at the serious events that occurred in UNDOF’s area of operations on 15 May and 5 June that put the long-held ceasefire in jeopardy,
“Noting that evolving conditions in the region could have an impact on the functioning of the Force,
“1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;
“2. Calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of UNDOF and to ensure the security of as well as unhindered and immediate access for the United Nations personnel carrying out their mandate, in conformity with existing agreements;
“3. Recalls the obligation on both parties to fully respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement, and calls on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire and the area of separation;
“4. Welcomes the efforts being undertaken by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force to implement the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of its personnel with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary action in this regard and to keep the Security Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take preventive and disciplinary action to ensure that such acts are properly investigated and punished in cases involving their personnel;
“5. Welcomes the Secretary-General’s assessment of the operational capacity of UNDOF and requests that he take steps to immediately implement the recommendations as outlined in paragraph 12 of S/2011/748;
“6. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for a period of six months, that is, until 30 June 2012;
“7. Requests the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338 (1973).”
Meeting this morning to consider the Middle East situation, the Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s latest report on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document S/2011/748), which finds that during the six-month reporting period anti-Government demonstrations occurred again in several villages in the area of limitation on the Syrian (Bravo) side.
According to the report, UNDOF, which was established in May 1974 to supervise the ceasefire called for by the Security Council and the agreement on disengagement between Syrian and Israeli forces of 31 May 1974, supervised the area of separation by means of fixed positions and patrols to ensure that military forces of either party were excluded from it. UNDOF also carried out fortnightly inspections of equipment and force levels in the areas of limitation.
UNDOF finalized its investigations into the events of 15 May and 5 June, when demonstrations in the UNDOF area of operation commemorating the anniversaries of Al-Nakba and An-Naksa resulted in civilian casualties and put the long-held ceasefire in jeopardy, the report states. Both sides cooperated in the investigations. The findings and conclusions of the investigations were in line with the preliminary details on the events outlined in the Secretary-General’s previous report (document S/2011/359). Following those events, UNDOF strengthened its force protection measures, including by fortifying its positions, to ensure that it had the operational capability to mitigate future risks.
The Secretary-General says that the situation in the Israel-Syrian sector remained generally quiet during the reporting period. UNDOF has continued to perform its functions, with the cooperation of the parties. However, he is concerned by the continued restrictions on movement of Observer Group Golan teams in the areas of limitation by both parties, particularly on the Bravo side. The unimpeded freedom of movement of UNDOF and Observer Group Golan is imperative in carrying out the mission’s mandated tasks.
The situation in the Middle East, the Secretary-General says, is tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached. He, therefore, hopes that determined efforts will be made by all concerned to tackle the problem in all its aspects, with a view to arriving at a just and durable peace settlement, as called for by the Security Council in its resolution 338 (1973).
Since the discontinuation in December 2008 of indirect peace talks, there have been no negotiations between the parties, he says, encouraging them to resume, as soon as possible, peace negotiations aimed at a comprehensive peace in accordance with the Madrid Conference terms of reference for peace and relevant Security Council resolutions.
Under the prevailing circumstances, he says he considers the continued presence of UNDOF in the area to be essential, and he recommends that the Council extend the Force’s mandate for a further six months, until 30 June 2012. The Syrian Government has given its assent to the proposed extension. The Government of Israel also has expressed its agreement. It is hoped that both sides will make efforts to ease the limitations on the mobility of the Force and facilitate the movement of its supplies.
* *** *For information media • not an official record