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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Security Council statement on UNDOF/ Syria



Austrian peacekeepers with the UN Disengagement Observer Force
(UNDOF) consult a map while on patrol in the Golan Heights. 
August 2011
Draft UNDOF Press Statement
The members of the Security Council received a briefing on March 26, 2013 from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous which outlined the security risks and operational challenges facing UNDOF, including UNTSO’s Observer Group Golan, due to the ongoing fighting in the Force's area of operation by the parties to the Syrian domestic conflict.  The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at all violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement.  In this regard, the members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the presence of the Syrian Arab Republic Armed Forces inside the area of separation.  Furthermore, the members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the presence of armed members of the opposition in the area of separation.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern at the risk that all military activities in the area of separation conducted by any actor pose to the long-held ceasefire and the local population.  The members of the Security Council also underscored the increased risk the situation poses to United Nations personnel on the ground, as highlighted in particular by the detention of the 21 UNDOF military personnel by armed elements of the Syrian opposition, the firing directed at United Nations personnel and facilities, and the carjacking of United Nations vehicles. 

The members of the Security Council called on all parties, including armed elements of the Syrian opposition, to respect UNDOF's freedom of movement and the safety and security of its personnel, while recalling that the primary responsibility for safety and security on the Bravo side rests with the Syrian Government.  The members of the Security Council called upon the government of the Syrian Arab Republic to respect UNDOF’s privileges and immunities and to ensure the security of and unhindered and immediate access for United Nations personnel carrying out their mandate.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their unconditional support for UNDOF and expressed their deep gratitude to UNDOF personnel and to Troop Contributing Countries.  The members of the Security Council recalled their request in resolution 2084 (2012) for the Secretary-General to ensure the force has the capacity necessary to fulfill the mandate.  The members of the Security Council welcomed the provision of additional security upgrades and equipment to UNDOF and the additional steps taken to reduce the risks to UNDOF personnel, and they reiterated the need to continue enhancing the safety and security of UNDOF personnel in response to new threats.  To this end, the members of the Security Council called on all parties to ensure safe and secure rotation activities of UNDOF, including through considering the temporary use of an alternative port of entry and departure as required.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Security Council draft statement on UNDOF


Draft UNDOF Press Statement
The members of the Security Council received a briefing today from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous which outlined the security risks and operational challenges facing UNDOF due to the ongoing fighting in the Force's area of operation by the parties to the Syrian domestic conflict.  The members of the Security Council condemned the presence of Syrian Arab armed forces and unauthorized military equipment in the area of separation as a grave violation of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement. 

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern at the risk that all military activities in the area of separation conducted by any actor pose to the long-held ceasefire and the local population.  The members of the Security Council also underscored the increased risk the situation poses to United Nations personnel on the ground, as highlighted in particular by the detention of the 21 UNDOF military personnel, the firing directed at United Nations personnel and facilities, and the carjacking of United Nations vehicles. 

The members of the Security Council called on all parties, including armed elements of the Syrian opposition, to respect UNDOF's freedom of movement and the safety and security of its personnel, while recalling that the primary responsibility for safety and security on the Bravo side rests with the Syrian Government.  The members of the Security Council called upon the government of the Syrian Arab Republic to respect UNDOF’s privileges and immunities and to ensure the security of and unhindered and immediate access for United Nations personnel carrying out their mandate.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their unconditional support for UNDOF and expressed their deep gratitude to UNDOF personnel and to Troop Contributing Countries.  The members of the Security Council recalled their request in resolution 2084 (2012) for the Secretary-General to ensure the force has the capacity necessary to fulfill the mandate.  The members of the Security Council welcomed the provision of additional security upgrades and equipment to UNDOF and the additional steps taken to reduce the risks to UNDOF personnel, and they reiterated the need to continue enhancing the safety and security of UNDOF personnel in response to new threats.  To this end, the members of the Security Council concurred with the Secretary-General’s assessment that the deteriorating security situation makes it necessary for UNDOF personnel to use temporarily an alternative port of entry and departure to ensure safe and secure rotation activities, and they called on all parties to help facilitate UNDOF in doing so. 
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

UN to investigate use of chemical weapons in Syria

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces
that he is establishing a United Nations
investigation mission on the possible use of
chemical weapons in Syria. 21 March 2013
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

PRESS ENCOUNTER 
ON SYRIAN GOVERNMENT REQUEST
New York, 21 March 2013

Good morning.  Thank you for coming at this early hour and with such short notice. Thank you very much again. 

As you know, there have been disturbing reports about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. 

The two-year long conflict has plunged the country into extreme chaos with terrible consequences for the Syrian people.  

As the situation worsens, the international community’s concern about the safety and security of chemical weapons stockpiles as well as possible use of by all parties has increased. 

I have repeatedly stated that use of chemical weapons by any side under any circumstances would constitute an outrageous crime.  Anyone responsible must be held accountable. 

I have emphasized the primary responsibility of the Syrian Government to ensure the safety and security of any such weapons or materials. 

I have spoken out on this many times and sent letters to President Assad twice to remind him of this solemn duty. 

Against this backdrop, yesterday I received a formal request from the Syrian authorities requesting a specialized, impartial and independent mission to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons. 

If requested by a Member State, I have a mandate to consider conducting an investigation on alleged uses of chemical, biological and toxin weapons pursuant to General Assembly resolution 42/37 C of 1987 and reaffirm by Security Council resolution 620 of 1988. 

With this in mind, I would like to announce that I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation on the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

My senior advisers are working on the modalities in close consultation with the relevant bodies, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the World Health Organization (WHO).  

These include detailed issues such as: overall mandate, mission composition, and operational conditions including safety and security.

I have also been in close contact with OPCW Director-General Mr. Ahmet Űzűmcu and WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan.  They have both assured me of their full support and cooperation. 

It is my hope that the mission would contribute to ensuring the safety and security of chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria. 

The investigation mission is to look into the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian Government.  I am, of course, aware that there are other allegations of similar cases involving the reported use of chemical weapons.

In discharging its mandate of an investigation mission, full cooperation from all parties will be essential.  
I stress that this includes unfettered access.
I will reiterate this point in my communication with the Syrian authorities.

I will also communicate my decision to the Security Council.
There is much work to do and this will not happen overnight. It is obviously a difficult mission.  I intend for this investigation to start as soon as practically possible.

Again my announcement should serve as an unequivocal reminder that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity.  

The international community needs full assurance that chemical weapons stockpiles are verifiably safeguarded.  

Finally, let me repeat that the horrors of the last months and years prove beyond doubt: the military solution in Syria is leading to the dissolution of Syria.

I call on the regional and international community to find unity and support the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi to help the Syrian people reach a political solution.  

Thank you very much.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ban's report on UNDOF/ Syria

Attached is an advance copy of the Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for the period from 1 January to 31 March 2013 for the information of the members of the Security Council.
This report will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/2013/174.
19 March 2013

Report of the Secretary-General
On the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)
for the period from 1 January to 31 March 2013
I. Introduction
1. The present report gives an account of the activities of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) during the past three months pursuant to the mandate contained in Security Council resolution 350 (1974) and extended in subsequent resolutions, most recently through resolution 2084 (2012).

II. Situation in the area and activities of the Force
2. During the period under review, the ceasefire in the Israel-Syrian Arab Republic sector generally was maintained, albeit in an increasingly volatile environment attributable to the ongoing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic. Over the past three months, the Syrian Arab Armed Forces continued their deployment and carried out military activities and security operations against armed members of the opposition in the UNDOF area of operation. Inside the area of separation, the presence of the Syrian armed forces and unauthorized military equipment are in violation of the Disengagement Agreement. Numerous clashes took place between Syrian security forces and armed members of the opposition in the areas of separation and limitation on the Bravo side.
3. In the context of these confrontations, on 27 February, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) informed UNDOF that a tank shell fired by the Syrian armed forces crossed the ceasefire line, but did not explode. UNDOF could not confirm this as it had not observed any firing across the ceasefire line. On 2 March, following an IDF report that shells fired from the Syrian side crossed the ceasefire line, UNDOF visited the location three hours after the reported incident and found that the metal fragments on the ground did not appear to have come from a newly fired round.
UNDOF, therefore, was not able to confirm this incident. In a 4 March letter, the Permanent Representative of Israel informed me that on 27 February and 2 March fire from Syria landed on the Israeli-occupied Golan in violation of the 1974 Agreement of Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian Forces. He urged the Security Council to address the situation, alerting the Council to the risk of escalation.
4. The area of separation saw continued, often intense, clashes between the Syrian armed forces and armed members of the opposition, largely in the villages of Jabbata, Trunje, Al Horaye and Ufaniyah as well as the forest in the vicinity of the ceasefire line in the north, and in the villages of Baraika and Bir Ajam in the south. Firing from inside and outside the area of separation, by artillery, mortars, main battle tanks, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns towards Jabbata, Trunje, Ufaniyah, Al Horaye, Al Quatanyia, Jaba, Bir Ajam and Baraika continued to occur on a daily basis. There also have been continued clashes in the areas of Khan Arnabah, Al Baath and New Hamediya, mainly along UNDOF’s Main Supply Road. Since the end of January, a Syrian armed forces main battle tank and an anti-aircraft gun have remained in the area of separation in the vicinity of Khan Arnabah and at Al Quatanyia, respectively.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Security Council statement on Lebanon/ 1701


A German vessel (left) of the Maritime Task Force of the UN
Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) passes next to a Lebanese
Navy patrol boat during a joint exercise off the coast of Beirut.
28 November 2012
The following Security Council press statement was issued on XX by Council President Vitaly Churkin (Russia):

Security Council members have been briefed by the Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the Director of Africa and Middle East Division at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations following the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006). 

Security Council members are encouraged by the calm that continues to prevail across the Blue Line and in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon’s (UNIFIL) area of operations.  They urged all parties to make every effort to ensure that the cessation of hostilities is sustained, and emphasized the need for them to continue working with the Special Coordinator and UNIFIL, including through the tripartite mechanism, to build upon it and to move forward on all outstanding issues in the implementation of Security Council resolutions 1701 (2006), 1559 (2004) and other relevant Security Council resolutions. They also stressed the necessity for all parties to ensure that the freedom of movement of UNIFIL is fully respected and unimpeded. 

Security Council members underscored their grave concern over repeated incidents of cross-border fire which caused death and injury among the Lebanese population, incursions, abductions and arms trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border, as well as other border violations. They underlined the importance of full respect for Lebanon's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and the authority of the Lebanese State in accordance with Security Council resolutions.

Security Council members expressed also their deep concern at the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s stability. They appealed to all Lebanese people to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability and stressed the need for all Lebanese parties to respect Lebanon’s policy of disassociation and to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis, consistent with their commitment in the Baabda Declaration.

Security Council members welcomed the continued efforts of President Sleiman to preserve Lebanon's unity and stability. They encouraged all parties in Lebanon to make swift progress to ensure that parliamentary elections take place on a consensual basis within the legal and constitutional framework. They also recalled the need to put an end to impunity in Lebanon and reiterated their full support for the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Security Council members also acknowledged the important role played by the Lebanese security and armed forces in sustaining national unity and sovereignty, and welcomed steps being taken to further develop their capacities, including through the strategic dialogue with UNIFIL, and encouraged further international assistance to this end.

Security Council members, gravely concerned at the impact of the growing flow of refugees fleeing violence in Syria, now totalling over 360,000 in Lebanon, called upon the international community to follow through on humanitarian aid pledges made during the Kuwait conference of January 29, 2013. They commended Lebanon's generous efforts in hosting and assisting those refugees. 
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Security Council resolution 2095 on Libya

Tarek Mitri (left), Special Representative of the Secretary-General
and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL),
speaks to journalists following Security Council
meetings on the situation in that country. 29 January 2013
DRAFT UNSCR ON LIBYA
06 Mar 2013
                                             
The Security Council,

PP1.     Recalling its resolutions 1970 (2011) of 26 February 2011, 1973 (2011) of 17 March 2011, 2009 (2011) of 16 September 2011, 2016 (2011) of 27 October 2011, 2017 (2011) of 31 October 2011, 2022 (2011) of 2 December 2011, and 2040 of 12 March (2012),

PP2.     Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya,

PP3.     Reaffirming its resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), and 2068 (2012) on children in armed conflict, and 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010) on women, peace and security,

PP4.     Looking forward to a future for Libya based on national reconciliation, justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law,

PP5.     Emphasising the importance of promoting the equal and full participation of all sectors of Libyan society, including women, youth and minority communities in the political process in the post-conflict phase,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Security Council statement on detention of UNDOF peacekeepers

The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the detention of a group of more than 20 peacekeepers of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force within the Area of Limitation, east of the B-Line, earlier today by armed elements of the Syrian opposition. 

The members of the Security Council demanded the unconditional and immediate release of all the detained UN peacekeepers and called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel. 
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their unconditional support for UNDOF.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Security Council resolution 2093 excludes Somali government from arms embargo


The Security Council adopted resolution on Wednesday, March 6th, diplomats said. 

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: 

draft resolution


The Security Council,
Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in Somalia, as well as other relevant Presidential Statements on the situation in Somalia, in particular resolutions 733 (1992), 1425 (2002), 1772 (2007), 2036 (2012), and 2073 (2012),
Reiterating its full support to the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, and for their work with the African Union (AU), including the Chairperson of the AU Commission and her Special Representative, as well as other international and regional partners,
Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, recognizing the significant progress that has been made in Somalia over the past year, and reiterating its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia,
Commending the contribution of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to lasting peace and stability in Somalia, noting its critical role in improving the security situation in Mogadishu (particularly in the military and policing roles) and other areas of south-central Somalia, including Kismayo, expressing its appreciation for the continued commitment of troops, police and equipment to AMISOM by the Governments of Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda, and recognizing the significant sacrifices made by AMISOM forces,
Calling on the Federal Government of Somalia, with the support of AMISOM and international partners, to consolidate security and establish the rule of law in areas secured by AMISOM and the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia, underlining the importance of building sustainable, legitimate and representative local governance and security structures in both Mogadishu and areas recovered from Al-Shabaab control, encouraging all relevant authorities to uphold high standards in resource management, and reiterating the need for rapid and increased United Nations support to the Federal Government of Somalia in these areas,
Underlining the importance of capacity-building of the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia and in this regard, reaffirming the importance of the re-establishment, training, equipping and retention of Somali security forces, which is vital for the long-term stability and security of Somalia, expressing support for the ongoing European Union Training Mission and other capacity-building programmes, and emphasizing the importance of increased coordinated, timely and sustained support from the international community,
Reiterating its strong condemnation of all attacks on Somali institutions, AMISOM, United Nations personnel and facilities, journalists, and the civilian population by armed opposition groups, and foreign fighters, particularly Al-Shabaab, stressing that such groups, including foreign fighters engaged in destabilizing Somalia, constitute a continuing terrorist threat to Somalia, the region and the international community, stressing that there should be no place for terrorism or violent extremism in Somalia, and reiterating its call to all opposition groups to lay down their arms,

Security Council draft resolution on DPRK

The Security Council will vote on this draft resolution on Thursday, diplomats said. 


March 5
DPRK RESOLUTION
PP1: Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including resolution 825 (1993), resolution 1540 (2004), resolution 1695 (2006), resolution 1718 (2006), resolution 1874 (2009), resolution 1887 (2009) and resolution 2087 (2013), as well as the statements of its President of 6 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/41), 13 April 2009 (S/PRST/2009/17) and 16 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/ 13),
PP2: Reaffìrming that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological Weapons, as Well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
PP3: Underlining once again the importance that the DPRK respond to other security and humanitarian concerns of the international community,

PP4: Expressing the gravest concern at the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ("the DPRK") on 12 February 2013 (local time) in Violation of resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009) and resolution 2087 (2013), and at the challenge such a test constitutes to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ("the NPT") and to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear Weapons, and the danger it poses to peace and stability in the region and beyond,

PP5: Concerned that the DPRK is abusing the privileges and immunities accorded under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations,

PP6; Welcoming the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) new Recommendation 7 on targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation, and urging Member States to apply FATF 's interpretative Note to Recommendation 7 and related guidance papers for effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation,


PP7: Expressing its gravest concern that the DPRK'S ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile-related activities have further generated increased tension in the region and beyond, and determining that there continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security,
PP8: Acting under Chapter the Charter the United Nations, and taking measures under its Article 41,

1. Condemns in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on 12 February 2013 (local time) in violation and flagrant disregard of the Council's relevant resolutions;