20 June 2005
Security Council Renews Mandate of UN Disengagement Observer Force Until 31 December, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1605 (2005)
In Complementary Presidential Statement, Council Reiterates That Middle East Situation Is Likely to Remain Very Tense Unless Comprehensive Settlement Is Reached
NEW YORK, 17 June (UN Headquarters) -- 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, until 31 December.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1605 (2005), the Council also called on the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 of 22 October 1973. By that text, the Council decided that negotiations should start between the parties with the aim of establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
In a complementary statement read out by Council President Jean-Marc de La Sablière (France), the Council shared the view expressed in the Secretary-General’s report on UNDOF, that the situation in the Middle East was very tense and was likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached.
The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and ended at 10:16 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1605 (2005) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 10 June 2005 (S/2005/379), and also reaffirming its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000,
“1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;
“2. 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;
“3. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for a period of six months, that is, until 31 December 2005;
“4. Requests the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338 (1973).”
The full text of the statement, which would be issued as document S/PRST/2005/24, reads as follows:
“As is known, the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (S/2005/379) states in paragraph 12: ‘...the situation in the Middle East is very tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached’. That statement of the Secretary-General reflects the view of the Security Council.”
The Security Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document S/2005/379), which provides an account of the activities of the Force from 8 December 2004 to 10 June 2005. The report states that the situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained generally quiet. The UNDOF, established in May 1974 to supervise the ceasefire called for by the Council and the agreement on disengagement between Syrian and Israeli forces of 31 May 1974, has continued to perform its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties.
Nevertheless, the report continues, the situation in the Middle East is very tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached. Under the prevailing circumstances, the Secretary-General considers the continued presence of UNDOF in the area to be essential, and recommends that the Council extend its mandate for a further six months, until 31 December.
In making that recommendation, he draws attention to the shortfall in the funding of the Force. At present, unpaid assessments amount to some $13 million, a sum which represents money owed to the Member States that contribute the troops who make up the Force. He appeals to Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full and to clear all remaining arrears.
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