|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5802nd Meeting (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL RENEWS MANDATE OF FORCE MONITORING CEASEFIRE BETWEEN ISRAEL,
SYRIA UNTIL 30 JUNE 2008, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1788 (2007)
The Security Council this morning renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which has supervised the ceasefire between Israel and Syria since 1974, until 30 June 2008.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1788 (2007), the Council called on the parties concerned to immediately implement its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973. By that text, the Council decided that negotiations should start between the parties with the aim of establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
In a statement read out by Council President Aldo Mantovani (Italy), the Council declared that it shared the view expressed in the Secretary-General’s report on UNDOF (document S/2007/698) that the situation in the Middle East was tense and was likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached.
The meeting began at 10:12 a.m. and adjourned at 10:15 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1788 (2007) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 3 December 2007 (S/2007/698), 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. 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;
“3. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for a period of six months, that is, until 30 June 2008;
“4. 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).”
When the Council met today, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (for the period from 7 June to 31 December) (document S/2007/698), in which the Secretary-General recommends extension of the Force’s mandate until 30 June 2008.
According to the report, the situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained generally quiet. 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, has continued to perform its function effectively, with the cooperation of the parties.
Apart from the task described above, the Force continued to assist the International Committee of the Red Cross with the passage of persons through the area of separation. It had assisted in the crossing of 637 students, 500 pilgrims, 5 civilians and 1 bride. UNDOF also provided health services to 243 villagers in the area of separation, and medical treatment to 116 civilians.
The Secretary-General observes 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. Under the prevailing circumstances, he considered the continued presence of UNDOF to be essential. The Governments of both Syria and Israel had expressed agreement to the extension.
The Secretary-General drew attention to the shortfall in the funding of the Force, with an unpaid assessment amounting to some $24 million as of 31 August. He notes that the sum represents money owed to the Member States that contribute the troops who make up the Force.
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