2289th MEETING: 19 JUNE 1981
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2289)
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in the Middle East:
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations
Interim Force in Lebanon (S/14537)
Held in New York on Friday, 19 June 1981, at 3.30 p.m.
President: Mr. Porfirio MUNOZ LEDO (Mexico).
Present: The representatives of the following States: China, France, German Democratic Republic, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Niger, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
Provisional agenda (S/Agenda/2289)
1. Adoption of the agenda
2. The situation in the Middle East:
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (S/14537)
The meeting was called to order at 5.45 p.m.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
The situation in the Middle East:
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (S/14537)
1. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I should like to inform members of the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Israel and Lebanon in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In accordance with the usual practice and with the consent of the Council, I propose to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's rules of procedure.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Tueni (Lebanon) took a place at the Council table and Mr. Blum (Israel) took the place reserved for him at the side of the Council chamber.
2. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for the period from 12 December 1980 to 12 June 1981. The Council also has before it the text of a draft resolution contained in document S/14557, which was drawn up in the course consultations among the members of the Council.
3. It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution which is before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
In favor: France, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Niger, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America
Abstaining: German Democratic Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
The draft resolution was adopted by 12 votes to none, with 2 abstentions [resolution 488 (1981)].
One member (China) did not participate in the voting.
4. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): I call on the Secretary-General.
5. The SECRETARY-GENERAL: I have taken note of the resolution just adopted by the Council extending the mandate of UNIFIL-for a further period of six months, until 19 December 1981.
6. Before commenting any further on this, I regret having to inform the members of the Council of a grave development which occurred this morning.
7. At 1000 hours local time today, a member of the armed elements who tried to infiltrate into the UNIFIL area of operation was stopped at a Fijian position 2 kilometers east of Qana, the headquarters of the battalion. He returned shortly after with reinforce-ments. There was an exchange of fire, initiated by the armed elements, in the course of which three Fijian soldiers were taken away by the armed elements to a position near the village of Deir Amis, some 4 kilometers south-east of Qana. Two Fijian soldiers were shot and killed. The third Fijian soldier has been released.
8. In a subsequent development, the armed elements seized three more Fijian soldiers from another UNIFIL position near the Tyre pocket. They have just been released after having been forcibly detained.
9. I am deeply concerned at this tragedy which has today cost the lives of two more Fijian soldiers. I have immediately taken measures and made contacts with a view to investigating and regulating this situation. General Callaghan has cut short his visit to United Nations Headquarters and is returning forthwith to the UNIFIL area. I have conveyed my deepest condo-lences to the Prime Minister of Fiji and to the bereaved families.
10. The developments of today and other recent incidents, including that of 16 March when three Nigerian soldiers died as a result of shelling by the de facto forces, underline the very serious difficulties which UNIFIL has encountered in fulfilling its man-date.
11. On my side, I shall do all that I can to ensure the implementation of the resolution just adopted. Every effort will be made to assist the Lebanese Gov-ernment as indicated in the Council's resolution. In this connection, I would hope that members of the Council, especially those in a position to bring their influence to bear, will continue to make every possible effort to ensure that the parties do indeed heed the opinion of this Council, for this is fundamental to the attainment of our objectives.
12. Despite the impediments which it has faced, I remain convinced that UNIFIL is performing an indispensable service to peace in the area. Indeed, recent developments and the heightened tension which has accompanied them have underlined the importance of the Force as a conflict control mechanism in a particularly sensitive area of the Middle East.
13. I wish to express my deep appreciation to the Commander of the Force, General Callaghan, to the officers and men of UNIFIL and to their civilian colleagues for their dedicated service. Their courage, discipline and devotion are a credit to the United Na-tions and to their countries. In performing their difficult and dangerous task, 64 soldiers have given their lives; I should like to pay a special tribute to their memory.
14. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The next speaker is the representative of Lebanon, on whom I call.
15. Mr. TUENI (Lebanon): It is strange indeed how fate strikes. Every time the Council meets to renew the mandate of UNIFIL, a tragedy happens in the area. We have just heard the Secretary-General's report on the killing of the two UNIFIL soldiers from Fiji and the abduction of others. We are as revolted as he is, and as outraged. We condemn this new act of violence, whatever the circumstances and whoever the criminals may be. The Government of Lebanon presents its sincere condolences to the families of the, soldiers, martyrs for peace, to the Government of Fiji and to the Commander of UNIFIL. But condolences are not enough. A lesson must be drawn and measures must be taken once and for all to protect the peace-keepers, ensure their safety and enforce the necessary respect for them as human beings, for their mission and for the ideals which brought them to our country.
16. We thought the ritual was by now well known and well established. The mechanism is sometimes difficult to control, but never unmanageable. However, hopes have been dwindling more and more every time. Hence, every time, in an inversely proportional manner, the merit is ever growing: the merit of those who expose their lives for the defense of peace; the merit of Governments which send troops to a far-away land; the merit of those who command UNIFIL and, more particularly, the new Commander-in-Chief
General Callaghan, who has developed a new style in confronting war real war, with deterrent, nay, disarming serenity: a determination to use force which makes it almost needless to use it.
17. But UNIFIL is also the Security Council. It functions with varying degrees of success, depending on the political clout behind the mandate. Hence, one must be thankful to those Governments here represented whose political and diplomatic support is more often than is admissible, a substitute for military intervention.
18. My list would be incomplete if no special mention were made of the vigilance and wisdom of the Secretary-General and of the relentless daily efforts of his staff, particularly the Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Brian Urquhart, whose specific responsibility in the field of peace-keeping is discharged with unlimited inventiveness and a marvelous intellectual flexibility coupled with an uncompromising dedication' the principles of international rights.
19. This meeting comes after endless days of debate. It cannot but be anticlimactic. The Council has heard everything that can be said about the Middle East at this juncture. However, resolution 488 (1981), adopted almost mechanically, comes in a context of heightened tension and of a great awareness of the dangers of war
in the Middle East.
20. To underline this fact, allow me to quote from the observations with which the Secretary-General has concluded his report on the activities of UNIFIL during the past six months. In paragraph 62 of this report, Mr. Waldheim says:
"Since I reported on UNIFIL to the Security Council on 12 December 1980, developments in Lebanon have commanded the increasing attention of the international community. These developments and the heightened tension which has accompanied them have underlined the importance of UNIFIL as a conflict control mechanism in a particularly sensitive area of the Middle East. Indeed, the complexity of the problems in the region and their interrelationship have had a profound bearing the work of the Force."
In paragraph 70, Mr. Waldheim goes on to say in his calm, detached, but, nonetheless potent style:
"Although the Force has not yet been able to fulfil the mandate in the way intended by the Secu-rity Council, I have no doubt that its presence and activities in southern Lebanon are an indispensable element in maintaining peace, not only in the area, but in the Middle East as a whole. It would, I believe, be disastrous if UNIFIL were to be removed at the present time when the international community is witnessing with acute anxiety the tensions and conflicts in this vital area of the world."
My Government wishes to state unequivocally the full support of Lebanon for the observations contained in the report. They are the natural and logical conclusion -from facts and events reviewed with the greatest possible accuracy and objectivity. We shall not, therefore, burden the debate by re-stating what has been constantly brought to the attention of the Coun-cil. Our complaint, we feel, has now been heard and our case has been made with the utmost clarity.
21. Yet it remains, we feel, imperative to emphasize the meaning of our letter of 16 June addressed to the Secretary-General, which he has been so kind as to annex to his report.
22. We fear that UNIFIL is in danger of becoming a static fixture of the political panorama. It is in danger of losing both its interim character and its dynamic dimension, let alone its credibility and its safety. Described as a "conflict control mechanism", it is periodically frustrated in its capacity to act effectively, since its very structure is not always commensurate with the magnitude of the conflicts confronting it.
23. Given the recent developments, we fear that “peace-keeping" might soon become, if we may use the term, " safe-keeping" of an ongoing war, a war of attrition, constantly escalating through a tendency to reach more and more beyond the area of operations of UNIFIL.
24. We have reason to believe that the troop-contributors share our concern, as does the Council, that UNIFIL should not stagnate in a status quo and lose sight of its ultimate objectives as stated in resolution 425 (1978), namely, the complete withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon, the restoration of international peace and security and the return of Lebanon's effective authority and sovereignty over all of its territory up to the internationally recognized boundaries.
25. Viewed in this perspective, the resolution just adopted is important to us not because of what it condemns or condones, but because it has related the renewal of the mandate of UNIFIL to a phased program of activities to be carried out jointly by UNIFIL and the Government of' Lebanon. If scrupu-lously implemented with adequate means, paragraph 5 of the present resolution could well become the key to the beginning of the end: the end of our tragedy and of the endless series of explosions of which south Leb-anon has been the source over the years.
26. The phased program of activities, or joint plan of action, is not a novel notion, It was first intro-duced when resolution 444 (1979) was adopted in January 1979. Problems have since been identified, as have specific targets, such as securing freedom of movement on strategic routes for the personnel of both UNIFIL and the United Nations Truce Super-vision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO), restoring observation positions, removing military outposts, detecting armed penetration, organizing mobile patrols around the area, and so forth. Some of the projected actions proved too ambitious to be per-formed within the specified time-frame, given the limited means and the unlimited difficulties. The escalation of hostilities has also caused a number of setbacks, some of which were subsequently overcome.
27. However, through various co-ordinated efforts, and particularly since the conference of the troop-contributing countries held in Dublin in May 1980, both UNIFIL and the Government of Lebanon have already made substantial advances within the gen-eral framework of the required plan of action. The present area of operation of UNIFIL is being con-solidated, and freedom of movement as well as of observation has improved. The safety of UNIFIL Headquarters at Ras Naqoura, thanks to the French, if I may say so, and that of the international route leading to it have been secured. Significant contingents of the Lebanese army are now operating under the command of UNIFIL, and some have reached the area of operations at a most unexpected time-at a time when tensions in other parts of Lebanon were reaching unprecedented heights. Internal security forces and civilian administrative services are oper-ative. Even rehabilitation and reconstruction are under way, despite continued acts of hostility and destruction. This, we hope, will be understood as a token of our determination, that of Government and people alike, to restore our unity and sovereignty, to recover our country and to respond, with the assist-ance of our friends in the international community, to the challenge of survival.
28. Given the primary importance of southern Leb-anon, and notwithstanding the fact that major efforts are now focusing on other areas of Lebanon, my Government wishes to assure the Council of its deter-mination immediately to draw up, in co-operation with the Secretary-General and the Commander of UNIFIL, a practical plan of action within a limited, yet realistic, time-frame. The success or failure of the implementation of that plan will be the test by which the Council is able to measure the utility or uselessness of pursuing peace-keeping in southern Lebanon according to the present rules.
29. I should like, in the Council's jargon, to call on all parties concerned, and on all Governments which are in a position to help and to ask them for their co–operation and assistance. Not only is the credibility of the United Nations at stake, but so is the fate of a Member State, my country, which has suffered so
much through no fault of its own.
30. The tragedy of Lebanon is now all too well known. We shall not recount it here, and we pray that what has already been said during previous debates will be remembered and will guide our concerted efforts. Lebanon cannot be left in a state of perpetual flux and ever-broadening conflict without endangering international peace and security. Recent events that need not be discussed here have demonstrated beyond doubt that peace in Lebanon cannot and should not, without grave risks to friend and foe alike, be made to wait until peace is achieved everywhere else through some comprehensive settlement of the Middle East question. What was yesteryear, or only yesterday, immoral has now become strategically impolitic and highly dangerous to all.
31. In conclusion, I should like to assure the Council once more not only of our gratitude but also of our confidence and of a certain measure of optimism which, in the present climate of tragedy, might be neither altogether unwelcome nor totally unwarranted.
32. Mr. LEPRETTE (France) (interpretation from French): Almost unanimously, the Council has just renewed for six months the mandate of UNIFIL. My delegation associated itself with that decision by its vote in favor. We did this because we are convinced of the primary importance of the peace mission of the Force. The satisfaction we feel would, of course, be greater if the situation in the region had improved. That is unfortunately not the case. In reading the Secretary-General's report, we must note that UNIFIL has not fully accomplished its mission, despite the intense and praiseworthy, efforts exerted at all levels and the sacrifices made by the officers and men of the various detachments. In this connection, we deplore the loss of human lives and we should like to salute the memory of the 17 members of the Force, among them the two Fijian soldiers killed only this morning, who have given their lives for the cause of peace in
the course of the last six months.
33. The Secretary-General's list of the serious infractions committed on the ground by the parties concerned is far too long, and it calls for our firm condemnation of those responsible. In paragraphs 64 and 65 of his report, it is said that
"the Force has continued to be faced with attempts by armed elements to infiltrate personnel and weapons into its area of operation and has almost daily had to deal with such incidents, sometimes at grave risk to the safety of its personnel.”; and
"the de facto forces have continued to resist further deployment of UNIFIL in the enclave held by them…. four positions are still maintained by the de facto forces. These forces have also sought to harass the local population in the UNIFIL area of deployment."
Moreover, in paragraph 67 it states that
"the activities of the Israeli forces in and near the UNIFIL area of operation increased. Encroachments along the international border and a high level of Israeli military activity within the enclave continue. In addition, Israeli forces have repeatedly violated Lebanese air space and territorial waters and have, on many occasions, launched attacks against targets in Lebanon outside the UNIFIL area.”
34. This is a deplorable situation. Therefore, we fully support the recommendations of the Secretary-General which appear in paragraph 71 of his report. It is absolutely essential that all the parties fully co-operate with the Force in the achievement of the aims of its mandate.
35. In this spirit, we urgently appeal to all the parties concerned scrupulously to observe the cease-fire called for by the Security Council, to avoid all actions liable to elicit violent reactions and to make a resolute effort to enable UNIFIL's zone of operations to be consolidated, inter alia, by dismantling the positions they have set up there.
36. These subjects of concern should not, however, lead us to pessimism. A significant event took place during the period under review which has given the international community as a whole every reason for satisfaction and hope. I am referring to the rem-arkable effort that has so tenaciously and courageously been made by the Lebanese Government.
37. Despite the trials that have been visited upon that country, and in the tragic, circumstances which have been its lot for the last few months, its authorities have sent reinforcements from the Lebanese army to the South; their number has now risen from 617 to 1,350 officers and troops, and this is a considerable step forward on the way to implementing resolution 425 (1978) and ensuing resolutions of the Security Council-namely, towards the restoration of the authority and independence of Lebanon, a principle which France is particularly wedded to.
38. My delegation is pleased by this turn of events; we should also like here to hail the persevering efforts of the Secretary-General to reactivate the Israel-Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission, which led to the preparatory meeting of 1 December 1980, but which because of the intransigence of one of the two parties, could not, unfortunately, be followed up. These efforts which we heartily encourage, should be pursued.
39. It is also my pleasant duty to pay a tribute to the tireless, subtle and effective efforts of Mr. Brian Urquhart, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Finally, I should like to convey the congra-tulations and thanks of the French delegation to Gen-eral William Callaghan for the remarkable way in which he is discharging his duties as Force Com-mander. May I pay a tribute also to his predecessor, General Erksine, as well as to the officers and men of the UNIFIL contingents and to the UNTSO observers located in that sector.
40. Mr. DORR (Ireland): My country, as a troop-contributing country, has on occasion in the past taken part in debates on UNIFIL in the Council. However, this is the first time since Ireland became a member of the Council in January last that we have had occasion to speak on this issue. I should like to begin by expressing our deep shock and sadness at the tragic-indeed, I may say, brutal-killings of two Fijian soldiers serving with UNIFIL by the so-called armed elements. We have in the past condemned such attacks on UNIFIL from any quarter. We condemn this present killing without reservation. It is a basic principle of peace-keeping that a peace-keeping force should have no enemies, and we strongly condemn all those who refuse to recognize and accept that principle and whose actions lead to these senseless killings. Our deep sympathy goes to the Government of Fiji and to the families of the victims. We extend our sympathy also to the Governments of Nigeria and Senegal and to all who have suffered losses through the killing of participants in the Force.
41. I mean sympathy in the fullest sense of fellow feeling, since we in Ireland know from our own expe-rience, both in the past and during the current mandate period, of the sorrow and distress caused by such losses. I regret to say that another Irish soldier was killed during the current mandate period and that yet another Irish soldier has been missing without trace for nearly a month now. The people of Ireland hope and pray for his safe return.
42. There might be some danger of this meeting of the Council seeming to be overshadowed by the conclusion this morning of the important debate on the complaint by Iraq. However, the issue we are now discussing is important in itself and highlights another aspect of the complex web of dangers that face the Middle East. For this reason my delegation is pleased that the Council has adopted the draft resolution and thus extended for a further six months the mandate of the Force, which had been due to expire at midnight tonight.
43. I do not wish to speak at length or to discuss in detail either the mandate of the Force or the over-all situation in the area. However, I will focus briefly on the report of the Secretary-General for the six-month period December 1980-June 1981, which is before the Council.
44. As we know, in resolution 425 (1978), the Coun-cil laid down a threefold mandate for UNIFIL. It pro-vided that the Force should confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restore international peace and security and assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the effective return of its authority to the area. In execution of this mandate, the Force was to use its best efforts to prevent the recurrence of fighting and to ensure that its area of operation was not utilized for hostile activities of any kind. The presence of UNIFIL in the area and the mandate given to it were based on the explicit understanding that the Force would meet with the necessary co-operation from the various parties.
45. It is indeed regrettable, as the Secretary-General says in paragraph 63 of his report, that
"the parties have not so far found it possible to extend to the Force the full co-operation that it requires".
He also notes that despite previous calls by the Council the situation still persists.
46. We are nevertheless encouraged by anything that serves to ease the difficulties faced by UNIFIL, and we note that certain encroachment positions in the UNIFIL area of operations established by the de facto- forces have been removed. Such developments, while very limited when set against the continuing problems faced by the Force, give some grounds for hope.
47. The Secretary-General has also pointed out in paragraph 62 that the Force is performing an important function as "a conflict control mechanism in a partic-ularly sensitive area of the Middle East". My Govern-ment agrees with this assessment. We think this function is particularly important because of the complex tangle of problems in the rest of Lebanon and in the region as a whole. We agree fully with the Secretary-General when he says, in paragraph 70, that UNIFIL's "presence and activities … are an indis-pensable element in maintaining peace, not only in the area but in the Middle East as a whole". Its role may be limited in area, but one need only reflect on the dangers which would follow a withdrawal to see how important and indeed vital that role is. In addition to its direct peace-keeping function, there are, of course, also the considerable humanitarian efforts which the Force, in conjunction with the Governor of South Lebanon, the United Nations Co-ordinator of Assist-ance for Reconstruction and Development in Lebanon and various other United Nations programs, has made to improve the quality of life for the long-suffering people of the area.
48. It is therefore, in our view, vital that all con-cerned should extend full co-operation to the Force and that nothing should be done by any party which would endanger its personnel or impede them in carrying out to the full the mandate from the Council. I repeat the basic principle that a peace-keeping operation should have no enemies.
49. In particular, we attach great importance to the current efforts of UNIFIL, in conjunction with the Government of Lebanon, to strengthen and make more effective the Lebanese presence, civilian and military, in the area of operation. We note with satisfac-tion the efforts already made and the results achieved, and we pay a tribute to the efforts of the Government of Lebanon. We hope that this will be a significant step towards the return of full Lebanese sovereignty to the area, and we express our full support for the continuation of these efforts.
50. The difficulties which UNIFIL faces should be measured not only by political considerations but also in human terms. Efforts have been made to improve the quality of life of the people of southern Lebanon, but they still live under the constant shadow of violence. There is also the toll in lives of the men of UNIFIL, who serve the cause of peace-a toll which has tragically increased today.
51. I should like to express my Government's ap-preciation of the efforts of the Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General Urquhart and his staff and those of the Force Commander, General Callaghan, and his predecessor, General Erskine. I should like also to pay a tribute to the work of the officers and men who carry out this important peace-keeping operation. They come from many small countries and various regions of the world-countries which have little direct involvement in the problems of the Middle East. Their presence in the area is a living expression of the ideals on which the Organization is based. That such a Force can be assembled under United Nations command and sent to an area of tension to help in keeping the peace is itself a remarkable and hopeful development in world affairs. This should be remembered when the role or value of the Organ-ization is criticized or assessed. The men of the Force discharge their difficult and dangerous duties with skill, bravery and patience. We hope that this will be recognized and that, in turn, all of those involved will create the conditions which will enable the Force to carry out fully the mandate that has been entrusted to it by this Council.
52. Mr. TEKAIA (Tunisia)(interpretation from French): One debate of the Security Council came to an end earlier today and another has begun: two acts in the same tragedy which is taking place in the Middle East. The debate held in the Council this morning on the complaint by Iraq showed the explosive nature of the situation in that region. I shall confine myself to referring here to the report of the Secretary-General on UNIFIL of 16 June 1981, which is particularly edifying.
53. In six months, more than 2,000 violations of Lebanon's airspace and territorial waters have been committed by Israel's military, air force and navy Israeli forces inside and close to UNIFIL’s area of operations have been reinforced and their activities, according to the Secretary-General in paragraph 54 of the report, have "further increased during the period under review". There are also the raids deep into Lebanese territory.
54. There is no worse evil for international relations than tolerance of injustice and aggression. Israel, by its premeditated and criminal acts of aggression against Arab countries, its assistance to the Haddad dissidents, the so-called de facto forces that are rebelling against the legal authority in Lebanon, as well as its persistent refusal to withdraw from Lebanese territory, maintains a state of tension and deliberately increases the explosive nature of the powder-keg that is the Middle East.
55. The Security Council has just adopted a resolution which renews the mandate of UNIFIL for a period of six months. My delegation voted for that decision, in the conviction that the limited progress that UNIFIL has been able to make in fulfilling its mandate is, nevertheless, an achievement which -deserves to be encouraged and supported, so that the Force may reach the objectives set forth in Council resolution 425 (1978).
56. Israel must understand once and for all that it must definitively and without prior conditions withdraw from Lebanon, to whose territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty we remain firmly committed.
57. The statement just made by the representative of Lebanon, which reveals the true facts of the problem as experienced by the Lebanese people, deserves our fullest attention. The international community should heed those legitimate claims.
58. My delegation wishes to note here, with deep satisfaction, the spirit of co-operation which exists between UNIFIL, on the one hand, and the Lebanese authorities and Palestinian leaders, on the other. It wishes to convey to the Secretary-General our heartfelt congratulations on the detailed report that he has submitted to us and on the praiseworthy efforts which he has always conducted with his well-known conviction and resolve.
59. While renewing my personal thanks to those who are engaged in this operation of peace and their respective countries, my delegation wishes also to pay a special tribute to the memory of the soldiers of UNIFIL who have given their lives in these service of peace-there being two more victims now. To their families and Governments we express our condolences.
60. Lastly, I wish to convey to you, Sir, the appreciation of my delegation for the meritorious efforts which you have ceaselessly made since the beginning of this month as President of the Council.
61. Mr. ZACHMANN (German Democratic Republic): The Security Council has again been compelled to renew the mandate of UNIFIL because the Israeli aggressor still refuses to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon and still maintains and employs the Haddad bands who seek to cut off the south of Lebanon from the rest of the country.
62. The report of the Secretary-General corroborates those developments with numerous new facts. It refers to the increased activities of those forces that have resulted in the loss of many human lives and considerable material damage.
63. Again and again it has turned out that the lack of a comprehensive political solution of the Middle East conflict encourages those aggressive circles who want by force to prevent the peoples and States of the region from living together peacefully.
64. The German Democratic Republic unswervingly stands for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967 and for guaranteeing the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine, whose sole legitimate represen-tative is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
65. Unfortunately, the resolution which has just been adopted does not contain any resolute measures such as might put a halt to the aggressive actions of Israel and the Haddad bands against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples.
66. I should like to refer once again to the principle that military forces acting on behalf of the United Nations are bound exclusively by decisions of the Security Council.
67. My delegation abstained in the vote because it continues to have reservations with regard to the formulation of UNIFIL's mandate, its composition and its financing.
68. In conclusion, my delegation expresses its deepest sympathy to the delegation of Fiji on the tragic death of members of the Fiji contingent of UNIFIL. It expresses its sincere condolences also to the delegations other countries which in the past have lost citizens of their UNIFIL contingents.
69. Mr. GLEYSTEEN (United States of America): I shall not impose on the Council's time now by reiterating the well-known reasons for the United States Government's, profound support for UNIFIL. Mem-bers of the Council are also fully aware of my Gov-ernment's support for the determined efforts of the Government of Lebanon, to continue to work for the reassertion of its full authority everywhere within the national borders of Lebanon.
70. I do, however, want to take the opportunity to state again the deep indebtedness of my Government, as a member of the Council, for the devoted and tireless stewardship of UNIFIL exercised by the Secretary-General, by Under-Secretary-General Urquhart and by each member of his staff during these past six months, and the months before. In addition, the United States Government wants to place on record its admiration for Lieutenant-General Callaghan, who assumed the Force Command during the period of the present mandate. His superb performance and dedica-tion to the solemn task entrusted to him by this Coun-cil has been manifest to us all.
71. Finally, I want to say a formal word of' admiration to the officers and men of UNIFIL. The latest tragedy, of which the Secretary-General has just informed us, is one of a series challenges to the Force which its members routinely meet with courage and initiative. We offer our condolences to the Fijian Government and to the relatives of those brave men who have died in the service of the international community. We feel certain that the Council will desire that you, Mr. President, issue a statement, as was done on the occasion of the killing of Nigerian soldiers on 16 March 1981 [S/14414 of 19 March 1981].
72. Mr. TROYANOVSKY (Union of Soviet So-cialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): The Soviet delegation abstained in the voting on draft resolution S/14557, in accordance with its fundamental position on the question of UNIFIL. The delegation of the Soviet Union would like to reaffirm that the Soviet position on this issue is based on the need to defend a victim of Israeli aggression and to secure the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from all Lebanese territory without this entailing any jeopardy to the sovereign right of the Government of Lebanon.
73. The Soviet Union takes it as a premise that UNIFIL should act in strict conformity with the Charter of the Organization and under the control of the Security Council, particularly with respect to the Force's functions, its strength, the principles whereby its national contingents are recruited and also the modalities for financing it.
74. The Soviet delegation also considers it necessary to emphasize that all expenditures entailed in eliminating the consequences of armed aggression by Israel against Lebanon should be defrayed by the aggressor.
75. Naturally, the Soviet Union cannot fail to feel extremely serious concern about the state of affairs prevailing in southern Lebanon. The reasons for the deteriorating situation in that part of the world are, as is well known, the ongoing, overtly aggressive actions of Israel and also the provocative sorties of the Israeli agents.
76. For some time now, the situation has been such that Israel is virtually holding a dagger in its hand which it can, at its own discretion, plunge into the body of a neighboring sovereign State. In endeavoring to establish by force virtual control over southern Lebanon, Israel is essentially bending its efforts towards undermining the territorial integrity of Lebanon and bringing about its dismemberment.
77. The Soviet delegation considers that urgent and effective measures should be taken to prevent Israel's further pursuit of its aggressive and expansionist policy towards Lebanon and to ensure the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the territory of southern Lebanon.
78. With regard to the incident as a result of which two Fijian soldiers were killed, the delegation of the Soviet Union would like to express its sincere condolences to the Government of Fiji and to the bereaved families.
79. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): The representative of Israel has asked to be allowed to speak. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
80. Mr. BLUM (Israel): The Security Council has renewed once again the mandate of UNIFIL. Israel's positions with regard to some of the more problematic issues which arise in this context, as well as in the broader context of the tragedy of Lebanon as a whole I are well known. Likewise, members of the Council are also familiar with our positions on various points contained in the resolution adopted today.
81. Our positions on all those questions remain con-sistent and need no repetition. This applies also to the points raised by the representatives of Tunisia, the German Republic which calls itself democratic, and the Soviet Union, in their highly objective statements.
82. I have asked to speak primarily to express Israel's condolences to the Government and people of Fiji on the murder of the two Fijian soldiers this morning by the "armed elements"-which, of course, are the United Nations code words and euphemism for the terrorist PLO. In fact, in UNIFIL Bulletin No.3, published this morning, the perpetrators of this dastardly crime were identified as PLO elements. Similarly, in a statement published earlier today on behalf of the Secretary-General, it was pointed out that the Secretary-General had immediately protested to the PLO on this matter.
83. This recent outrage brings UNIFIL's casualty toll to 64 persons, about half of whom lost their lives in the line of duty, the bulk of them directly or indirectly through the activities of the terrorist PLO. Only on two occasions, when PLO involvement was not suspected, has the Council expressed itself formally on the killing of UNIFIL soldiers. All the other killings of UNIFIL men by the terrorist PLO and its cohorts passed without the Secretary-General requesting the Council to pronounce itself on those killings, and without the Council so pronouncing itself. Given PLO involvement and responsibility for today's killings, we wonder whether a resolution by the Council or a Presidential statement on its behalf is now contemplated. If so, this would be a clear departure from- past practice on similar occasions.
84. In conclusion, I should like to take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the Commander of UNIFIL, Lieutenant-General William Callaghan, and his to his predecessor Major-General Emmanuel Erskine and to the soldiers of all ranks serving with UNIFIL. -They carry out their duties in difficult and often arduous circumstances.
85. Israel also wishes to express its appreciation to the countries contributing contingents to UNIFIL.
86. Beyond that, we should like to take this opportunity to express our condolences to the families of all the men who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace during the period under review and to wish a speedy and full recovery to those of UNIFIL’s men who have been injured in the same cause, the cause of peace.
87. Mr. MIYAKAWA (Japan): The agenda before us has been considered many times in the past and numerous resolutions pertaining to the question have been adopted.
88. My country has on various occasions express the belief that for the realization of peace in the Middle East, and particularly in Lebanon, all parties concerned must refrain from the use of force and that Lebanon's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected. Furthermore, we have expressed our profound regret that military actions have resulted in the loss of life and the destruction of property among Lebanese citizens and Palestinian refugees.
89. We note with concern that the situation in Lebanon has dangerously deteriorated this year, arousing fears of a military clash between Israeli and Syrian Troops.
90. At this juncture, I should like to renew Japan’s full support for the ongoing efforts of UNIFIL, which in our view is providing an important basis for peace and stability in this complicated and fluid situation. My country has been extending financial support to UNIFIL's operations and intends to continue that co-operation in the future. Once again, my delegation would like to appeal to all parties involved in the question of Lebanon to co-operate with the efforts of UNIFIL as it seeks quickly to restore the authority of the Central Government so that peace and stability will return to southern Lebanon. My Government wishes on this occasion to convey its sincere condolences to the Governments of Ireland and Nigeria and to the bereaved families of the soldiers who were killed recently. It is regrettable that further condolences must now be extended to the Government of Fiji, two soldiers of which country were brutally killed this morning.
91. We are deeply aware that the situation in Lebanon is closely linked to the whole question of peace in the Middle East. We believe that in order to put an end to the complex vicious circle in this area it is essential that all parties refrain from the use of force and seek to solve the problems through peaceful means. It is our earnest hope that the parties concerned will abide by that principle in working for the prompt restoration of peace and stability in Lebanon, and particularly that Israel will heed international opinion and act responsibly. At the same time we feel it is important to stress that, in the light of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, terrorist actions must not be condoned as a means of settling inter-national disputes.
92. In conclusion, I should like to add that my Government highly appreciates the mediation efforts being carried out by the special envoy of the President of the United States, Mr. Philip Habib, We sincerely hope that his mission will result in further concrete achievements.
93. The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Spanish): There are no further speakers on my list. Before we come to the end of this important debate and before I adjourn this meeting, I wish to note the deep sorrow shared by all members of the Council, and which has been expressed by most of them, over the loss of two United Nations soldiers in Lebanon as well as all those who have fallen in the line of duty in the cause of peace. I am certain that I speak on behalf of the Council when I convey our condolences to the Government and people of Fiji as well as to the families of the victims.
94. The Security Council has now concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The meeting rose at 6.45 p.m.