|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5725th Meeting* (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1767 (2007), EXTENDING MANDATE
OF UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA FOR SIX MONTHS
The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) for six months, until 31 January 2008.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1767 (2007), the Council also reiterated its demand that Eritrea immediately withdraw its troops and heavy military equipment from the Temporary Security Zone, and called on Ethiopia to reduce the number of additional forces recently introduced in areas adjacent to the Zone.
Expressing regret over the lack of progress on demarcation, the Council called upon the parties to implement completely and without further delay or preconditions the delimitation decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, and to participate constructively and with sufficient authority in the 6 September meeting convened by that body in New York.
The Council further reiterated its demand that Eritrea reverse, without further delay or preconditions, all restrictions on UNMEE’s movement and operations, and called again on both parties to cooperate with the Mission in urgently reactivating the work of the Military Coordination Commission, a unique forum to discuss pressing military and security issues.
Beginning at 10:09 a.m., the meeting ended at 10:12 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1767 (2007) reads, as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements pertaining to the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea (hereinafter referred to as “the parties”) and the requirements contained therein, including in particular resolutions 1320 (2000), 1430 (2002), 1466 (2003), 1640 (2005), 1681 (2006), 1710 (2006) and 1741 (2007),
“Stressing once again its unwavering commitment to the peace process, and to the full and expeditious implementation of the Algiers Agreements, and the importance of prompt implementation of the delimitation decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) (S/2002/423) as a basis for peaceful and cooperative relations between the parties,
“Reaffirming the integrity of the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) as provided for in the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities of 18 June 2000 (S/2000/601) and recalling the objectives of its establishment and the commitment of the parties to respect the TSZ, and in this regard, expressing deep concern over the continuing serious violations of the TSZ,
“Underlining that the Security Council remains committed to its role, in particular helping to ensure that the parties respect the commitments they made in the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities,
“Commending the efforts made by the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) and its military and civilian personnel to accomplish its duties, despite the difficult circumstances,
“Stressing further that the full demarcation of the border between the two parties is vital to lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as in the region, recalling that both parties under the Peace Agreement of 12 December 2000 have agreed to cooperate with the EEBC in the delimitation and demarcation process and that they also agreed that the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the EEBC will be final and binding, commending the efforts of the EEBC to resume demarcation, and expressing its regret that the EEBC, for reasons beyond its control as explained in the Annexes of the report of the Secretary-General of 22 January 2007 (S/2007/33), has so far been unable to demarcate the boundary as planned,
“Acknowledging the Statement of the EEBC of 27 November 2006,
“Reaffirming its full support for the work of the EEBC and welcoming the decision of the EEBC to convene a meeting with the parties on 6 September 2007 in New York,
“Expressing its deep concern over the continued delay in the demarcation of the border and over the continued tense and potentially unstable security situation in the Temporary Security Zone and the adjacent areas, and stressing that it is the primary responsibility of the Parties to end this situation by fulfilling their obligations expeditiously under the Algiers agreements,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 18 July 2007 (S/2007/440),
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMEE for a period of six months, until 31 January 2008;
“2. Calls on the parties to maintain their full commitment to the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities and to de-escalate the situation, including by returning to the 16 December 2004 levels of deployment and by avoiding provocative military activities;
“3. Reiterates its call expressed in paragraph 2 of resolution 1640 (2005) that the parties show maximum restraint and refrain from any threat or use of force against each other and reiterates its call to put an end to the exchange of hostile statements;
“4. Reiterates its demands that Eritrea immediately withdraw its troops and heavy military equipment from the TSZ;
“5. Calls on Ethiopia to reduce the number of additional military forces recently introduced in certain areas adjacent to the TSZ;
“6. Regrets the lack of progress on demarcation, and stresses that the parties have the primary responsibility for the implementation of the Algiers Agreements, and again calls upon the parties to implement completely and without further delay or preconditions the delimitation decision of the EEBC and to take concrete steps to resume and complete the demarcation process, including agreeing on a time frame for possible next steps;
“7. Stresses the need for progress on demarcation and reiterates its call upon both parties to cooperate fully with the EEBC, including participating constructively and with sufficient authority in the meeting to be convened by the EEBC on 6 September in New York, and underlines the importance of this meeting;
“8. Welcomes the letter dated 8 June 2007 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia to the President of the Security Council, reiterating that his Government had accepted the delimitation decision of the EEBC without preconditions, and reiterates its demand, expressed in paragraph 5 of Security Council resolution 1640 (2005), that Ethiopia immediately take concrete steps to enable, without preconditions, the EEBC to demarcate the border expeditiously;
“9. Demands that the parties provide UNMEE with the necessary access, assistance, support and protection required for the performance of its duties, including its mandated task to assist the EEBC in the expeditious and orderly implementation of the Delimitation Decision, in accordance with resolutions 1430 (2002) and 1466 (2003), and demands that any restrictions be lifted immediately, including those restrictions specified in the report S/2007/440;
“10. Reiterates its demand expressed in paragraph 1 of resolution 1640 (2005) that Eritrea reverse, without further delay or preconditions, all restrictions on UNMEE’s movement and operations, and provide UNMEE with the cooperation, access, protection and support required for the performance of its duties;
“11. Reiterates its call to both parties to fully cooperate with UNMEE with a view to urgently reactivating the work of the Military Coordination Commission which remains a unique forum to discuss pressing military and security issues;
“12. Expresses its willingness to reconsider any changes to UNMEE in light of subsequent progress toward demarcation, and its readiness to take further decisions to ensure that UNMEE will be able to facilitate demarcation as progress becomes possible;
“13. Welcomes and looks forward to the continuation of the ongoing efforts by the Secretary-General and the international community to engage with Eritrea and Ethiopia to help them to normalize their relations, to promote stability between the parties, and to lay the foundation for sustainable peace in the region;
“14. Welcomes the ongoing efforts by the Secretary-General towards the earliest appointment of a Special Representative;
“15. Calls on Member States to provide contributions to the Trust Fund, established pursuant to resolution 1177 (1998) and referred to in Article 4 (17) of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by Ethiopia and Eritrea on 12 December 2000, in order to support the demarcation process;
“16. Expresses its deep appreciation for the contribution and dedication of the troop-contributing countries to the work of UNMEE;
“17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
The Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea (document S/2007/440), which provides an update on the peace process since his 30 April report and recommends a six-month mandate extension for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) until January 31 2008.
In his report, the Secretary-General recalls that seven years ago the two “Algiers Agreements” put an end to years of devastating war. The Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities provided for the establishment of the Temporary Security Zone. The Peace Agreement addressed the primary cause of the dispute, namely the boundary between the two countries, and provided for the final and binding delimitation and demarcation of the boundary by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. In light of the current tense situation, the implementation of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities has become even more important.
The Secretary-General expresses his deep concern over the continuing serious violations of the Temporary Security Zone, and urges Eritrea to withdraw its troops and heavy military equipment from the Zone, calling also on the country to lift immediately all the restrictions it has imposed on UNMEE. He calls on Ethiopia to take steps to de-escalate the situation by reducing the number of additional military forces that it has recently introduced in areas adjacent to the Zone.
Equally concerned by the lack of progress towards the implementation of the delimitation decision announced by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission on 13 April 2002, he strongly urges both countries to take advantage of the Commission’s advice and assistance before it takes action to conclude its work at the end of November.
The Secretary-General calls on both parties to follow scrupulously the letter and spirit of the Algiers Agreements and to support any initiative that could contribute to the normalization of relations. He appeals to the leaderships in both countries immediately to end the exchange of hostile statements and to develop confidence-building measures instead, such as in the areas of humanitarian assistance and demining. It is essential to support any other forms of interaction that could contribute to improving relations between the two countries, including regional initiatives. It is also of vital importance to reactivate the work of the Military Coordination Commission, which remains a unique forum for the discussion of pressing military and security issues.
Despite considerable difficulties in the implementation of its monitoring mandate, UNMEE continues to play an important deterrent role, according to the Secretary-General. The presence of the Mission also serves as a demonstration of the international community’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of the dispute.
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* The 5724th Meeting was closed.