15 August 2006

Expressing Relief at Ceasefire in Lebanon, Secretary-General Urges Parties to Consolidate Cessation of Hostilities

NEW YORK, 14 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was made today in New York:

I am relieved to note that the cessation of hostilities in Lebanon called for by the Security Council, which came into effect at 0500 hours GMT today, appears to be generally holding.  I urge the parties to make every effort, in the interest of the civilian population on both sides, to continue and consolidate the cessation.  I also urge them to move swiftly to convert it into a lasting ceasefire, in cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), through the measures prescribed in the Security Council resolution.  The United Nations is actively carrying out its part in those measures, and I strongly urge all parties to do likewise, including especially those Member States that can contribute to the enhanced UNIFIL.

Millions around the world have pinned their hopes for peace on the implementation of this agreement.  Neither side should have any reason to disappoint those hopes, and if either were to do so it would pay a heavy price in terms of world public opinion.

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