The Security Council, in a videoconference meeting* on 28 August, announced its decision to renew the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) until 31 August 2021 while reducing the maximum number of authorized troops from 15,000 to 13,000.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2539 (2020), the Council also authorized UNIFIL to take temporary and special measures to provide support to Lebanon and its people in the aftermath of the explosions that occurred in the port of Beirut on 4 August 2020.
The 15-member organ also requested the Secretary-General to assess the impact of those explosions on mission personnel, capacities and operations, and recommend measures to address such impact, with a view to maintaining the continuity and effectiveness of UNIFIL’s operations.
By the text, the Council welcomed the Secretary-General’s assessment report on the continued relevance of UNIFIL’s resources and options for improving the efficiency and effectiveness between UNIFIL and the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon.
Moreover, it requested the Secretary-General to elaborate a detailed plan, with timelines and specific modalities, in full and close consultation with the parties, including Lebanon, the troop-contributing countries and Council members, to implement recommendations, as appropriate. Further, it requested him to present the first elements of that plan to the Council within 60 days of the adoption of this resolution.
The Council called on the Government of Lebanon to facilitate UNIFIL’s prompt and full access to sites requested by the Interim Force for the purpose of swift investigation, including all relevant locations north of the Blue Line related to the discovery of tunnels crossing the Blue Line.
[Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March (China).]
* Based on information received from the Security Council Affairs Division.