Statement by the President of the Security Council
At the 4160th meeting of the Security Council, held on 18 June 2000 in connection with the Council’s consideration of the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East”, the President of the Security Council made the following statement on behalf of the Council:
“The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 16 June 2000 (S/2000/590) and endorses the work done by the United Nations as mandated by the Security Council, including the Secretary-General’s conclusion that as of 16 June 2000 Israel has withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and met the requirements defined in the Secretary-General’s report of 22 May 2000 (S/2000/460). In this regard, the Council notes that Israel and Lebanon have confirmed to the Secretary-General, as referred to in his report of 16 June 2000 (S/2000/590), that identifying the withdrawal line was solely the responsibility of the United Nations and that they will respect the line as identified. It notes with serious concern reports of violations that have occurred since 16 June 2000 and calls upon the parties to respect the line identified by the United Nations.
“The Security Council welcomes the steps already taken by the parties to implement the recommendations of the Secretary-General contained in his report of 22 May 2000.
“The Security Council calls on all parties concerned to continue to cooperate fully with the United Nations and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and to exercise utmost restraint. The Council re-emphasizes the need for strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries.
“The Security Council, recalling resolution 425 (1978) and resolution 426 (1978) of 19 March 1978, calls on the Government of Lebanon to ensure the return of its effective authority and presence in the south. The Council notes that the United Nations cannot assume law and order functions which are properly the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon. In this regard, the Council welcomes the first steps taken by the Government of Lebanon and calls upon it to proceed with the deployment of the Lebanese armed forces as soon as possible, with the assistance of UNIFIL, into the Lebanese territory recently vacated by Israel.
“The Security Council welcomes the measures taken by the Secretary-General and the troop-contributing countries relating to UNIFIL augmentation, in accordance with paragraph 32 of the report of the Secretary-General of 22 May 2000. The Council stresses that the redeployment of UNIFIL should be conducted in coordination with the Government of Lebanon and with the Lebanese armed forces as stated in paragraph 21 of the report of the Secretary-General of 16 June 2000. In that context, the Council invites the Secretary-General to report back on the measures taken to that effect and those taken by the Government of Lebanon to restore its effective authority in the area, in accordance with its resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). The Council looks forward to the completion of the mandate of UNIFIL and will review by 31 July 2000, the need to extend the present mandate of UNIFIL, taking into account the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), including the actions taken by the Government of Lebanon to restore its effective authority in the area.
“The Security Council expresses its appreciation and full support for the continuing efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special Envoy to the region, the Chief Cartographer and their staff. It commends the troops of UNIFIL and the troop-contributing countries for their commitment to the cause of international peace and security under difficult circumstances. The Council calls on all parties concerned to continue to cooperate with the United Nations, and reiterates the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel of 1994.
“The Security Council stresses again the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973.”