SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNDOF MANDATE FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS; UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1351 (2001)

30 May 2001
SC/7063

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNDOF MANDATE FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS; UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1351 (2001)

30/05/2001
Press ReleaseSC/7063

Security Council

4322nd Meeting (AM)

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNDOF MANDATE FOR FURTHER SIX MONTHS;

UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1351 (2001)

The Security Council this morning renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for another six months until 30 November.

The Council took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1351 (2001), by whose terms it called upon the parties concerned to immediately implement its resolution 338 (1973) on a ceasefire in the Middle East and to abide by the Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian Forces of 29 May 1974.

The UNDOF was established by Security Council resolution 350 (1974) of

31 May 1974 to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria, to supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces, and to supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as provided in the Agreement.  The mandate of UNDOF has since been renewed every six months.

By other terms of the resolution, the Council asked the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of the additional six-month period, a report on developments in the situation and measures taken to implement resolution 338 (1973).

Also this morning, in a statement (document S/PRST/2001/15) read out by its President, James B. Cunningham (United States), the Council notes that the report of the Secretary-General on UNDOF (document S/2001/499) states that “the situation in the Middle East continues to be potentially dangerous and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached”. That statement of the Secretary-General reflected the view of the Council.

The meeting, which began at 11:02 a.m., was adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

Text of Resolution

The full text of resolution 1351 (2001) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 18 May 2001 (S/2001/499), and also reaffirming its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000,

"1.   Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;

"2.   Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is, until 30 November 2001;

"3.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338 (1973)."

The full text of the statement, to be issued as S/PRST/2001/15, is as follows:

"As is known, the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (S/2001/499) states in paragraph 11:  '... the situation in the Middle East continues to be potentially dangerous and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached.'  That statement of the Secretary-General reflects the view of the Security Council."

Background

Before the Council was a report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) dated 18 May (document S/2001/499).  The report provides an account of the activities of the Force since 22 November 2000.  It was observed that the situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained generally quiet.  The UNDOF, which was established in May 1974 to supervise the ceasefire called for by the Council and the agreement on disengagement between Syrian and Israeli forces of 31 May 1974, has continued to perform its function effectively, with the cooperation of the parties.

Despite the present quiet in the Israel-Syria sector, the report says, the situation in the Middle East continues to be "potentially dangerous" and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached.  The Secretary-General 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 Council in its resolution 338 (1973).

The report finds that, under the prevailing circumstances, the continued presence of UNDOF in the area is essential.  The Secretary-General recommends, therefore, that the Council extend the mandate of the Force for a further period of six months, until 30 November.  The Syrian Government has given its assent to the proposed extension, and the Government of Israel has also expressed its agreement.

In making this recommendation, the Secretary-General draws attention to the shortfall in funding the Force.  Presently, unpaid assessments amounted to some $22.8 million.  This sum represents money owed to Member States that contribute the troops for the Force.  He, thus, appeals to all Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full and to clear all remaining arrears. 

Further detailing the situation in the area of the Force, the report says that the area of operation of the Force remained generally calm except in the Shab'a farms area.  The UNDOF supervised the area of separation by means of fixed positions and patrols to ensure that military forces of both parties were excluded

from it.  The Force also carried out fortnightly inspection of equipment and force levels in the areas of limitation. 

Liaison officers from the parties concerned accompanied the inspection teams, the report states.  As in the past, both sides denied inspection teams access to some of their positions and imposed restrictions on the Force's freedom of movement.  In addition to the restrictions imposed previously, Israel denied UNDOF inspection teams access to Area 6, or the Shab'a farms area.  The Force continued to assist the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with facilities for mail and the passage of persons through the area of separation.

In the area of operations, especially in the area of separation, mines continued to pose a threat to UNDOF personnel and local inhabitants, the report finds.  The Minefield Security Programme, initiated with the cooperation of the Syrian authorities, led to the identification and marking of numerous known as well as previously unidentified minefields in the area of separation.  The UNDOF also supported the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in its activities to promote mine awareness among the civilian population. 

The Council, while deciding in its resolution 1328 (2000) to renew UNDOF's mandate for a further six months, until 31 May, also called upon the parties concerned to immediately implement resolution 338 (1973) and asked the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of the period, a report on developments and measures taken to implement that resolution.  The search for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East and, in particular, the efforts undertaken at various levels to implement resolution 338 (1973) were dealt with in the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the region (document A/55/338). 

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.