20 July 2012
Security Council

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

Security Council

6812th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Renews Mandate of Syria Observer Mission for 30 Days,


Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2059 (2012)


Says Further Renewals Possible Only with Confirmation Use of Heavy Weapons

Halted, Level of Violence Sufficiently Reduced to Permit It to Implement Mandate

The Security Council today, just hours before the expiration of the 90-day mandate of the United Nations observer mission in Syria, agreed on a resolution to keep the mission in place for a final 30 days, while indicating further renewals will be possible only if it can be confirmed that the use of heavy weapons has ceased and a reduction in violence by all sides was sufficient to permit it to implement its mandate. 

The unanimous adoption of resolution 2059 (2012), submitted by France, Germany, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, followed the Council’s failure yesterday to adopt a Chapter VII text that would have extended the mandate of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, known as UNSMIS, for 45 days and demanded verifiable compliance that — within 10 days — the Syrian authorities cease the use of heavy weapons against civilians, or face sanctions.  (See Press Release SC/10714).

Today’s decision takes into account the “operational implications of the increasingly dangerous security situation in Syria”, and requests the Secretary-General to report to the 15-nation body on the text’s implementation within 15 days.

The Council in April established UNSMIS — for three months and with up to 300 unarmed military observers — to monitor a planned cessation of violence in Syria, as well as to monitor and support the full implementation of a six-point peace plan.  In mid-June, UNSMIS suspended its monitoring activities due to an escalation of violence.

Before the Council again today was the report of the Secretary-General (document S/2012/523) stressing the valuable role the Mission could continue to play.  Outlining options for its future orientation, the Secretary-General describes both withdrawal and the addition of a security component as highly problematic.  A final option — the risks for which, he suggested, might be the more acceptable — was retaining the core elements of the Mission, but refocusing it on activities within its mandate that could be achieved under current circumstances.

The meeting was called to order at 10:59 a.m. and adjourned at 11:02 a.m. 


The full text of resolution 2059 (2012) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Commending the efforts of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS),

“1.   Decides to renew the mandate of UNSMIS for a final period of 30 days, taking into consideration the Secretary-General’s recommendations to reconfigure the Mission, and taking into consideration the operational implications of the increasingly dangerous security situation in Syria;

“2.   Calls upon the parties to assure the safety of UNSMIS personnel without prejudice to its freedom of movement and access, and stresses that the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities;

“3.   Expresses its willingness to renew the mandate of UNSMIS thereafter only in the event that the Secretary-General reports and the Security Council confirms the cessation of the use of heavy weapons and a reduction in the level of violence by all sides sufficient to allow UNSMIS to implement its mandate;

“4.   Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution within 15 days;

“5.   Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

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For information media • not an official record