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, for an additional next sixth months, until 30 June 2015.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2192 (2014), the Council also underlined that there should be no military activity of any kind in the area of separation monitored by UNDOF, including action by the Syrian armed forces, and urged Member States to press armed opposition groups in the UNDOF area of operation to halt all activities that endangered peacekeepers.
The Secretary-General’s latest report on the Force (document S/2014/859), which was before the Council for its consideration of the issues, expresses grave concern over continued heavy fighting during the reporting period between Syrian armed forces and opposition groups in the area of separation that UNDOF monitors, forcing it to temporarily relocate and reducing its ability to carry out its mandate. The report recalls that, in August, armed groups including the Al-Nusra Front entered into direct confrontation with peacekeepers, abducting 45 and confined 72 others to their positions.
Through today’s resolution, the Council called on all armed groups to abandon all UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point and return the vehicles, weapons and other equipment they had confiscated from the peacekeepers. It requested the Secretary-General to ensure that UNDOF had the capacity and resources to fulfil its mandate in a safe and secure way.
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:09 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2192 (2014) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Noting with concern 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,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) of 28 November 2014 (S/2014/859), and also reaffirming its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000,
“Stressing that both parties must abide by the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic and scrupulously observe the ceasefire,
“Concurring with the Secretary-General’s findings that the ongoing military activities conducted by any actor in the area of separation continue to have the potential to escalate tensions between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, jeopardize the ceasefire between the two countries, and pose a risk to the local civilian population and United Nations personnel on the ground,
“Expressing grave concern at all violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement,
“Stressing that there should be no military forces in the area of separation other than those of UNDOF,
“Strongly condemning the recent intense fighting in the area of separation, calling on all parties to the Syrian domestic conflict to cease military actions in the UNDOF area of operation and to respect international humanitarian law, and further condemning the use by armed Syrian extremist groups of improvised explosive devices in the UNDOF area of operation,
“Condemning the use of heavy weapons by both the Syrian armed forces and armed groups in the ongoing Syrian conflict in the area of separation, including the use of tanks by the Syrian armed forces and opposition during clashes,
“Echoing the Secretary-General's call upon all parties to the Syrian domestic conflict to cease military actions throughout the country, including in the UNDOF area of operation,
“Strongly condemning the incidents threatening the safety and security of United Nations personnel in recent months, including the detention of 45 UNDOF peacekeepers by the Al-Nusra Front, stressing that there can never be any justification for these attacks on and detention of UN peacekeepers, and emphasizing the need to hold those responsible accountable,
“Reaffirming its readiness to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities providing support to ISIL or to the Al-Nusra Front, including those who are financing, arming, planning, or recruiting for ISIL or the Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida under the 1267/1989 (Al-Qaida) sanctions regime, including those participating in or otherwise supporting attacks against UN peacekeepers,
“Recognizing the necessity of efforts to flexibly adjust UNDOF’s posture on a temporary basis to minimize the security 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 operations as soon as practicable,
“Underscoring the need for UNDOF to have at its disposal all necessary means and resources to carry out its mandate safely and securely, and recalling that the theft of United Nations weapons and ammunition, vehicles and other assets, and the looting and destruction of United Nations facilities, are unacceptable,
“Expressing its profound appreciation to UNDOF’s military and civilian personnel, including those from Observer Group Golan, for their service and continued contribution, in an increasingly challenging operating environment, underscoring the important contribution UNDOF’s continued presence makes to peace and security in the Middle East, welcoming steps taken to enhance the safety and security of UNDOF, including Observer Group Golan, personnel, and stressing the need for continued vigilance to ensure the safety and security of UNDOF and Observer Group Golan personnel,
“1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;
“2. Stresses the obligation on both parties to scrupulously and fully respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement, calls on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire and the area of separation, and underscores that there should be no military activity of any kind in the area of separation, including military operations by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces;
“3. Underlines that there should be no military activity of the armed opposition groups in the area of separation, and urges Member States to convey strongly to the Syrian armed opposition groups in UNDOF’s area of operation to halt all activities that endanger United Nations peacekeepers on the ground and to accord the United Nations personnel on the ground the freedom to carry out their mandate safely and securely;
“4. Calls on all groups other than UNDOF to abandon all UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point, and return the peacekeepers’ vehicles, weapons and other equipment;
“5. Calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of UNDOF, to respect its privileges and immunities and to ensure its freedom of movement, as well as the security of and unhindered and immediate access for the United Nations personnel carrying out their mandate, including the unimpeded delivery of UNDOF equipment and the temporary use of alternative ports of entry and departure, as required, to ensure safe and secure troop rotation and resupply activities, in conformity with existing agreements, and urges prompt reporting by the Secretary-General to the Security Council and troop-contributing countries of any actions that impede UNDOF’s ability to fulfil its mandate;
“6. 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;
“7. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for a period of six months, that is, until 30 June 2015, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that UNDOF has the required capacity and resources to fulfil the mandate in a safe and secure way;
“8. Requests the Secretary-General to report every 90 days on developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338 (1973).”