SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, WELCOMES ‘SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS’ BY LEBANESE PARTIES TOWARDS IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTION 1559 (2004)

4 May 2005
SC/8380

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, WELCOMES ‘SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS’ BY LEBANESE PARTIES TOWARDS IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTION 1559 (2004)

4/5/2005
Press ReleaseSC/8380

Security Council

5175th Meeting* (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, WELCOMES ‘SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS’

BY LEBANESE PARTIES TOWARDS IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTION 1559 (2004)

But Expresses Concern at Lack of Progress on Disarmament

Of Militias, Extension of Control by Lebanese Government over Its Territory

Welcoming the fact that the parties concerned in Lebanon had made significant progress towards implementing some of the provisions contained in its resolution 1559 (2004), the Security Council this afternoon expressed concern that the requirements of the resolution had not yet been met.

According to a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2005/17), read out by the Council’s President, Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark), provisions of the resolution, not yet implemented, concerned in particular the disarmament of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia and the extension of the control of the Lebanese Government over all Lebanese territory.

[In resolution 1559, adopted on 2 September 2004, the Council called upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon, as well as for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, and supported the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory.]

While acknowledging the 26 April letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Syria stating that that country had completed the full withdrawal of its forces, military assets and the intelligence apparatus from Lebanon, the Council called upon the Governments of Syria and Lebanon to extend their full cooperation to the United Nations verification team dispatched by the Secretary-General to verify whether there had been full and complete withdrawal.

The Council welcomed the deployment of Lebanese Armed Forces to positions vacated by Syrian forces and called for the deployment of additional Lebanese Armed Forces throughout the south of the country.

The Council also underlined the importance of holding the elections, scheduled for 29 May, on time.  A delay in the parliamentary elections would further exacerbate political divisions in Lebanon and threaten the security, stability and prosperity of the country.  The Council encouraged the Secretary-General and the Government of Lebanon to reach arrangements for international assistance, including United Nations assistance, to ensure that such elections would be conducted in a free and credible manner.

While commending the Lebanese people for the “dignified manner” in which they had expressed their views and for their commitment to a peaceful and democratic process, the Council condemned the recent terrorist acts in Lebanon that had resulted in several deaths and injuries and called for their perpetrators to be brought to justice.

The meeting started at 5:42 p.m. and was adjourned at 5:52 p.m.

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2005/17 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 1559 (2004), 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), resolution 520 (1982) and resolution 1583 (2005) of 28 January 2005, as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statement of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21) and of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36).

“The Security Council reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders and under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon.

“The Security Council welcomes the First semi-annual Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council of 26 April 2005 (S/2005/272) on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 (2004),

“The Security Council welcomes also that the parties concerned have made significant and noticeable progress towards implementing some of the provisions contained in Resolution 1559 (2004), while expressing concern at the determination of the Secretary-General that there has been no progress on the implementation of other provisions of the resolution, in particular the disarmament of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia and the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory, and that the requirements of the resolution have not yet been met.

“The Security Council reiterates its call for the full implementation of all requirements of Resolution 1559 (2004), and calls upon all concerned parties to cooperate fully with the Security Council and the Secretary-General to achieve this goal.

“The Security Council acknowledges the letter of 26 April 2005 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the SyrianArabRepublic to the Secretary-General stating that Syria has completed the full withdrawal of its forces, military assets and the intelligence apparatus from Lebanon.

“The Security Council calls upon the Government of Syria and the Government of Lebanon to extend their full cooperation to the United Nations verification team dispatched by the Secretary-General with their agreement to verify whether there has been full and complete withdrawal, and looks forward to his report.

“The Security Council acknowledges that the full and complete Syrian withdrawal would represent a significant and important step towards Lebanon’s full political independence and full exercise of its sovereignty that is the ultimate goal of resolution 1559 (2004), thus opening a new chapter in Lebanese history.

“The Security Council welcomes the deployment of Lebanese Armed Forces to positions vacated by Syrian forces and the Government of Lebanon’s assumption of responsibility for these areas and calls for the deployment of additional Lebanese Armed Forces throughout the south of the country.

“The Security Council urges all concerned parties to do their utmost to safeguard Lebanon’s stability and national unity and underlines the importance of national dialogue among all Lebanese political forces in this regard.

“The Security Council commends the Lebanese people for the dignified manner in which they have expressed their views and for their commitment to a peaceful and democratic process, and stresses that the Lebanese people must be allowed to decide the future of their country free of violence and intimidation.  It condemns in this context the recent terrorist acts in Lebanon that have resulted in several deaths and injuries, and calls for their perpetrators to be brought to justice.

“The Security Council welcomes the decision of the Lebanese Government to conduct elections beginning on 29 May 2005, and underlines the importance that such elections be held according to schedule.  The Security Council shares the opinion of the Secretary-General that a delay in holding the parliamentary elections would contribute to exacerbating further the political divisions in Lebanon and threaten the security, stability and prosperity of the country.  The Council underlines that free and credible elections held without foreign interference or influence would be another central indication of the political independence and sovereignty of Lebanon.

“The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General and the Lebanese Government to reach arrangements for international assistance, including United Nations assistance, to ensure that such elections are conducted in a free and credible manner, in particular through inviting international governmental and/or non-governmental electoral observers to monitor the electoral process.  The Council urges Member States to extend assistance accordingly.

“The Security Council commends the Secretary-General and his Special envoy for their relentless efforts and dedication to facilitate and assist the parties in the implementation of all provisions of Resolution 1559 (2004), and requests that they continue their work in this regard.

“The Security Council shares the view that the full implementation of resolution 1559 would contribute positively to the situation in the Middle East in general.”

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*     The 5174th meeting was closed.

For information media. Not an official record.