|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Security Council, in Presidential Statement, Condemns Attacks on United Nations
Disengagement Observer Force, Demands Groups Abandon Positions
The Security Council today, condemning recent hostile acts against United Nations peacekeepers in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) area of operations, demanded that all groups other than UNDOF must abandon all UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point, and return the peacekeepers’ vehicles, weapons and other equipment.
In a presidential statement issued today, the 15-nation body urged Member States with influence to convey strongly to non-State armed actors in the area the need for an immediate halt to all activities that endangered United Nations peacekeepers and impeded them in their Security Council mandated duties.
The Council reiterated that the mandate of UNDOF and its impartiality, operations, safety and security must be respected, and called upon parties to ensure full security of its personnel and full implementation of the 1974 agreement, stressing that there could never be any justification for attacks on or the detention of United Nations peacekeepers.
Urging both parties to offer support to UNDOF, it reaffirmed the Force’s vital contribution to peace and security, welcoming efforts to adjust its posture to minimize risk to United Nations personnel, while noting the importance of maintaining the force strength of UNDOF and its self-defence resources to the level necessary to carry out its mandate.
The meeting began at 12:25 p.m. and ended at 12:30 p.m.
The text of presidential statement S/PRST/2014/19 reads as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of maintaining the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic. The Security Council stresses that, despite the latest security challenges and United Nations Disengagement Observer Force’s (UNDOF) temporary relocation of the majority of its personnel across the Alpha line, both parties must remain committed to the terms of the disengagement agreement and scrupulously observe the ceasefire and the separation of forces. The Security Council also urges both parties to continue to offer support to UNDOF during this period of heightened security threats, and to offer UNDOF and UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)-Observer Group Golan safe passage and resupply when requested.
“The Security Council also reaffirms its unconditional support for UNDOF and the importance of maintaining UNDOF as a vital contributor to peace and security in the Middle East. The Security Council notes with concern the deteriorating security situation in UNDOF’s area of operation due to the ongoing Syrian conflict and the activities of several non-State armed actors, including Al-Nusra Front, and the risk it poses to the disengagement agreement and to UN peacekeepers serving there. In this connection, the Security Council recognizes the necessity of efforts to flexibly adjust UNDOF’s posture to minimize risk to UN personnel as UNDOF continues to implement its mandate, while emphasizing that the ultimate goal is for the peacekeepers to return to their positions in UNDOF’s area of operation as soon as practicable.
“The Security Council condemns recent hostile acts against UN peacekeepers in UNDOF’s area of operation by UNSC-designated terrorist groups and non-State armed actors and stresses that there can never be any justification for these attacks on and detention of UN peacekeepers. The Security Council is deeply concerned that firing in close proximity to UN positions and camps also significantly increases risk to UN personnel. To this end, the Security Council demands that all groups other than UNDOF must abandon all UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point, and return the peacekeepers’ vehicles, weapons and other equipment. The Security Council reiterates that UNDOF’s mandate, impartiality, operations, safety and security must be respected. The Security Council calls upon all parties to allow UNDOF to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel and full implementation of the 1974 agreement.
“The Security Council commends UNDOF and UNTSO-Observer Group Golan peacekeepers for their bravery in facing the threats and challenges in their area of operation, and extends its appreciation to the troop contributing countries. The Security Council notes the importance of maintaining UNDOF’s force strength and self-defence resources to the level necessary to carry out its important mandate, and to retain its quick reaction and counter-IED capabilities, which have proved indispensable in the face of a changing security environment.
“The Security Council urges Member States with influence to convey strongly to non-State armed actors in this area the need to halt immediately all activities that endanger UN peacekeepers on the ground and impede them in the implementation of their duties as mandated by the Security Council. The Security Council recalls the obligation of all Member States to ensure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice and notes the importance of this obligation with respect to terrorist acts directed against UN peacekeepers.
“The Security Council requests that the Secretary-General provide an update within 30 days on steps necessary to maintain UNDOF’s ability to carry out its mandate, including options for monitoring the ceasefire and the separation of forces even under circumstances when security conditions constrain UNDOF from fully operating in the Area of Separation and the Area of Limitation on the Bravo side, and to keep the Security Council updated on ways it can support the continuation of this vital mission.”
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