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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Security Council to extend UNIFIL's mandate


Here is the blue draft resolution on UNIFIL. It will be adopted on Thursday, 30 August 2012. 
Find here the UN Secretary General's recommandation to the Security Council to extend the mandate of UNIFIL for a further period of 12 months, until 31 August 2013. 

France: draft resolution
The Security Council,
Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 1559 (2004), 1680 (2006), 1701 (2006), 1773 (2007), 1832 (2008), 1884 (2009), 1937 (2010) and 2004 (2011) as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon,
Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon to extend the mandate of UNIFIL for a new period of one year without amendment presented in a letter from the Lebanese Foreign Minister to the Secretary-General of 21 July 2012 and welcoming the letter from the Secretary-General to its President of 14 August 2012 (S/2012/632) recommending this extension,
Reiterating its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon,
Reaffirming its commitment to the full implementation of all provisions of resolution 1701 (2006), and aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution as envisioned in the resolution,
Calling upon all concerned parties to strengthen their efforts to fully implement all provisions of resolution 1701 (2006) without delay,

مجلس الأمن يمدد ولاية يونيفيل

يتجه مجلس الأمن الخميس 30 آب - أغسطس نحو تبني مشروع القرار التالي، والذي يمدد ولاية قوة الأمم المتحدة في لبنان - يونيفيل عاماً كاملاً اعتباراً من 31 آب - أغسطس 2012. مشروع القرار أعدته فرنسا ووضع باللون الأزرق - الصيغة النهائية الجاهزة للطرح على التصويت - مساء الثلاثاء. 
تقرير الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون حول عمل "يونيفيل" وتوصيته بتمديد الولاية - أنقر هنا. 

مشروع قرار - فرنسا 
إن مجلس الأمن،
إذ يشير إلى جميع قراراته السابقة بشأن لبنان، ولا سيما قراراته 425 (1978)، و 426 ‏‏(1978)، و 1559 (2004)، و 1680 (2006)، و 1701 (2006)، و 1773 (2007)، ‏و 1832 (2008)، و 1884 (2009)، و 1937 (2010)، و 2004 (2011)، وكذلك إلى بيانات رئيسه بشأن الحالة في لبنان،
واستجابة منه لطلب الحكومة اللبنانية المقدم في رسالة موجهة إلى الأمين العام من وزير ‏خارجية لبنان مؤرخة 21 تموز/يوليه 2012، لتمديد ولاية قوة الأمم المتحدة المؤقتة في لبنان ‏لفترة جديدة مدتها سنة واحدة بدون تعديل، وإذ يرحب بالرسالة الموجهة من الأمين العام ‏إلى رئيس مجلس الأمن المؤرخة 14 آب/أغسطس 2012 (‏S/2012/632) والتي يوصى فيها ‏بهذا التمديد،
وإذ يؤكد مجددا دعمه القوي لسلامة لبنان الإقليمية وسيادته واستقلاله السياسي،
وإذ يؤكد من جديد التزامه بالتنفيذ التام لجميع أحكام القرار 1701 (2006)، وإدراكا ‏منه لمسؤولياته في المساعدة على كفالة وقف دائم لإطلاق النار وإيجاد حل طويل الأجل على ‏النحو المتوخى في القرار،
وإذ يهيب بجميع الأطراف المعنية أن تعزز ما تبذله من جهود لتنفيذ جميع أحكام ‏القرار 1701 (2006) دون إبطاء،
وإذ يعرب عن بالغ القلق إزاء جميع الانتهاكات المتعلقة بالقرار 1701 (2006)، وإذ يتطلع إلى التعجيل بإتمام ‏التحقيقات التي تجريها قوة الأمم المتحدة المؤقتة في لبنان بهدف منع تكرار مثل تلك الانتهاكات ‏في المستقبل،
وإذ يرحب بالدور البناء الذي تؤديه الآلية الثلاثية الأطراف في تخفيف حدة التوترات، وإذ يعرب عن دعمه للجهود التي تبذلها القوة المؤقتة في التحاور مع الطرفين من أجل مواصلة وضع ترتيبات للاتصال والتنسيق،
وإذ يشدد على أهمية الامتثال التام للحظر المفروض بمقتضى القرار 1701 على ‏مبيعات وإمدادات الأسلحة والأعتدة ذات الصلة،
وإذ يشير إلى الأهمية القصوى لاحترام الخط الأزرق بكامله من جانب جميع الأطراف ‏المعنية، وإذ يرحب بالتقدم المحرز في عملية رسم الخط الأزرق، وإذ يشجع الأطراف على التعجيل بما تبذله من جهود بتنسيق مع القوة المؤقتة ‏من أجل رسم معالم الخط الأزرق بوضوح، وكذلك إحراز تقدم في رسم نقاطه الخلافية، كما أوصى بذلك الاستعراض الاستراتيجي،
وإذ يدين بأشد العبارات الهجوم الإرهابي الذي شُنّ ضد حفظة السلام التابعين لقوة الأمم المتحدة المؤقتة في لبنان في 9 كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2011، وكذلك جميع المحاولات الرامية إلى تهديد أمن لبنان واستقراره، وإذ يعيد تأكيد عزمه على كفالة ألا تحول أعمال التخويف هذه دون تنفيذ القوة المؤقتة لولايتها وفقا لقرار مجلس الأمن 1701،
وإذ يشير إلى المبادئ ذات الصلة بالموضوع الواردة في اتفاقية سلامة موظفي الأمم ‏المتحدة والأفراد المرتبطين بها،
وإذ يشيد بالدور النشط الذي يضطلع به أفراد قوة الأمم المتحدة والتفاني الذي ‏يبدونه، وإذ يعرب عن تقديره البالغ للدول الأعضاء التي تساهم في ‏القوة المؤقتة ويؤكد ضرورة تزويد القوة بجميع الوسائل والمعدات اللازمة للاضطلاع بولايتها،‏
وإذ يشير إلى طلب الحكومة اللبنانية نشر قوة دولية لمساعدتها على بسط سلطتها على جميع ‏أرجاء أراضي لبنان، وإذ يؤكد من جديد ما للقوة من سلطة في اتخاذ جميع الإجراءات اللازمة ‏في مناطق انتشار قواتها وحسبما تراه مناسبا ضمن قدراتها، لكفالة ألا تُستخدم منطقة ‏عملياتها لتنفيذ أنشطة عدائية من أي نوع، ومقاومة المحاولات المبذولة باستخدام القوة لمنعها ‏من أداء ولايتها،
وإذ يرحب بجهود الأمين العام من أجل إبقاء جميع عمليات حفظ السلام، بما في ‏ذلك قوة الأمم المتحدة المؤقتة في لبنان، قيد الاستعراض الدقيق، وإذ يشدد على ضرورة أن ‏يتبع المجلس نهجا صارما واستراتيجيا إزاء عمليات نشر قوات حفظ السلام،
وإذ يعرب عن دعمه الكامل للأولويات الاستراتيجية والتوصيات التي حددها الأمين العام في رسالته المؤرخة 12 آذار/مارس 2012 (S/2012/151) نتيجة للاستعراض الاستراتيجي للقوة المؤقتة، وإذ يطلب إلى الأمين العام أن يواصل إطلاع المجلس على آخر المستجدات المتعلقة بتنفيذ الاستعراض الاستراتيجي،
وإذ يهيب بالدول الأعضاء أن تقدم للجيش اللبناني ما يحتاجه من مساعدة ‏لتمكينه من أداء مهامه، تمشيا مع أحكام القرار 1701،
وإذ يقرر أن الحالة في لبنان لا تزال تشكل تهديدا للسلام والأمن الدوليين،
1 - يقرر تمديد الولاية الحالية لقوة الأمم المتحدة المؤقتة في لبنان حتى 31 آب/أغسطس 2013؛
2 - يشيد بالدور الإيجابي للقوة، التي ساعد انتشارُها إلى جانب الجيش اللبناني على ‏تهيئة بيئة استراتيجية جديدة في جنوب لبنان، ويرحب بزيادة الأنشطة المنسقة بين القوة المؤقتة ‏والجيش اللبناني، ويدعو إلى مواصلة تعزيز هذا التعاون؛‏
3 - يرحب في هذا الصدد بمشاركة القوة المؤقتة والجيش اللبناني في الحوار الاستراتيجي الذي يرمي إلى إجراء تحليل لمعدات القوات البرية والبحرية ووضع مجموعة من النقاط المرجعية التي تعكس الترابط بين قدرات القوة المؤقتة ومسؤولياتها وقدرات الجيش اللبناني ومسؤولياته، بغية تحديد ما يلزم الجيش اللبناني من احتياجات لتنفيذ المهام التي كُلف بها في القرار 1701 (2006)، ويدعو إلى تسريع وتيرته، بما يتماشى مع توصيات الاستعراض الاستراتيجي ذات الصلة، وذلك بسبل منها تعزيز التنسيق بين الجهات المانحة لتقديم المساعدة إلى الجيش اللبناني لتمكينه من الاضطلاع بالمهام الموكولة إليه بموجب القرار 1701 (2006)؛
4 - يهيب بقوة بجميع الأطراف المعنية أن تحترم وقف أعمال القتال، وأن تمنع أي انتهاك للخط الأزرق وأن تحترمه بكامله وتتعاون تعاونا كاملا مع الأمم المتحدة والقوة المؤقتة؛
5 - يدين بأشد العبارات جميع الهجمات الإرهابية التي تشن ضد قوة الأمم المتحدة المؤقتة في لبنان ويحث جميع الأطراف على التقيد الصارم بالتزامها باحترام سلامة أفراد القوة المؤقتة وسائر أفراد الأمم المتحدة وكفالة الاحترام ‏التام لحرية التنقل الواجبة للقوة وعدم إعاقتها، وفقا لولايتها ولقواعد الاشتباك الخاصة بها، وذلك بسبل منها تفادي أي عمل من شأنه تعريض أفراد الأمم المتحدة للخطر، وفي هذا الصدد، يدعو إلى تعزيز التعاون بين القوة المؤقتة والجيش اللبناني ولا سيما فيما يتعلق بإجراء دوريات منسقة ومتقاربة، ويرحب بالتزام السلطات اللبنانية بتقديم مرتكبي الهجمات التي نفذت في 27 أيار/مايو و 26 تموز/يوليه و كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2011 إلى العدالة، وبحماية تحركات القوة المؤقتة، ويكرر دعوته إلى الإسراع بإنجاز التحقيق الذي شرع فيه لبنان بشأن الهجمات الإرهابية المنفذة في 27 أيار/مايو و 26 تموز/يوليه و 9 كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2011 بهدف محاكمة مرتكبي هذه الهجمات؛
6 - يحث جميع الأطراف على التعاون التام مع مجلس الأمن والأمين العام من أجل إحراز تقدم ‏ملموس صوب تحقيق وقف دائم لإطلاق النار وإيجاد حل طويل الأجل على النحو المتوخى ‏في القرار 1701 (2006)، ويؤكد أنه ما زال يتعين على الأطراف القيام بمزيد من الجهود ‏من أجل المضي قدما في تنفيذ القرار 1701 (2006)؛
7 - يحث حكومة إسرائيل على التعجيل بسحب جيشها من شمال قرية الغجر ‏دون مزيد من التأخير بتنسيق مع القوة المؤقتة التي تعاملت بنشاط مع إسرائيل ولبنان ‏لتيسير ذلك الانسحاب؛
8 - يؤكد من جديد دعوته جميع الدول إلى أن تدعم وتحترم على نحو تام إنشاء منطقة بين الخط الأزرق ونهر ‏الليطاني تخلو من أي أفراد مسلحين أو معدات أو أسلحة بخلاف ما يخص الحكومة اللبنانية ‏والقوة المؤقتة؛
9 - يرحب بالجهود التي تبذلها القوة المؤقتة لتنفيذ سياسة الأمين العام القاضية بعدم التسامح ‏مطلقا إزاء الاستغلال والاعتداء الجنسيين، ولكفالة امتثال أفراد القوة المؤقتة تماما لمدونة قواعد ‏السلوك الخاصة بالأمم المتحدة، ويطلب إلى الأمين العام أن يواصل اتخاذ جميع الإجراءات ‏اللازمة في هذا الصدد وإبقاء مجلس الأمن على علم بذلك، ويحث البلدان المساهمة بقوات ‏على اتخاذ إجراءات وقائية وتأديبية لكفالة التحقيق في هذه الأفعال والمعاقبة عليها على الوجه ‏الواجب في الحالات التي تشمل أفرادا تابعين لها؛
10 - يطلب إلى الأمين العام مواصلة تقديم تقارير إلى مجلس الأمن عن تنفيذ القرار 1701 (2006) كل أربعة أشهر، أو كلما رأى ذلك ملائما؛
11 - يشدد على أهمية وضرورة تحقيق سلام شامل وعادل ودائم في الشرق الأوسط، استنادا إلى ‏جميع قراراتـــــه ذات الصلـة بالموضوع، بما فيها قراراته 242 (1967) المؤرخ 22 تشرين ‏الثاني/نوفمبر 1967، و 338 (1973) المؤرخ 22 تشرين الأول/ أكتوبر 1973، و ‏‏1515 (2003) المؤرخ 19 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2003، و 1850 (2008) المؤرخ 16 ‏كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2008؛
12 - يقرر أن يُبقي المسألة قيد نظره الفعلي.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ban to attend NAM Summit in Tehran

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement

The Secretary-General will visit Tehran from 29 to 31 August to participate in the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).  The Secretary-General looks forward to the Summit as an opportunity to work with the participating Heads of State and Government, including the host country, towards solutions on issues that are central to the global agenda including follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development, disarmament, conflict prevention, and support for countries in transition.  

The Secretary-General also takes seriously his responsibility and that of the United Nations to pursue diplomatic engagement with all of its Member States in the interest of peacefully addressing vital matters of peace and security. With respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Secretary-General will use the opportunity to convey the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people. These include Iran’s nuclear programme, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria.

New York, 22 August 2012

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Friday, August 17, 2012

UN confirms Brahimi appointed new Joint Special "Representative" for Syria

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Lakhdar Brahimi,
newly appointed Joint Special Representative of the UN
and the League of Arab States for Syria.
24 August 2012 (Click on picture)
Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Appointment of Ibrahimi Joint Special Representative for Syria 



The Secretary-General of the United Nations is pleased, along with Secretary-General Nabil ElAraby of the League of Arab States, to announce the appointment today of Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi as their Joint Special Representative for Syria.

The violence and the suffering in Syria must come to an end.  The Secretary-General appreciates Mr. Brahimi’s willingness to bring his considerable talents and experience to this crucial task for which he will need, and rightly expects, the strong, clear and unified support of the international community, including the Security Council.  

Diplomacy to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria remains a top priority for the United Nations. More fighting and militarization will only exacerbate the suffering and make more difficult the path to a peaceful resolution of the crisis which would lead to a political transition in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. 


The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to reiterate his deepest gratitude to former Secretary-General Kofi Annan for his selfless efforts and contributions to the search for peace in Syria. 

New York, 17 August 2012

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Security Council draft letter to Ban Ki Moon on Annan's successor

PROJET / DRAFT

Monsieur le Secrétaire Général,

J’ai l’honneur de vous informer que votre lettre en date du 10 août 2012 (S/2012/618), par laquelle vous marquez votre intention d’établir une présence effective et souple des Nations Unies pour apporter son aide à votre mission de bons offices et au travail de l’Envoyé spécial conjoint, a été portée à l’attention des membres du Conseil de sécurité et qu’ils en ont pris bonne note. Les membres du Conseil de sécurité ont réitéré leur soutien à votre mission de bons offices et à celle de l’Envoyé spécial conjoint pour la Syrie.

En vous priant, Monsieur le Secrétaire Général, d’agréer l’expression de ma considération distinguée,
Gérard ARAUD
Président du Conseil de Sécurité

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

I have the honour to inform you that your letter of 10 August 2012 (S/2012/618), in which you state your intention to establish an effective and flexible United Nations presence in Syria to support your good offices and the work of the Joint Special Envoy, has been brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and they have duly taken note of it. The members of the Security Council reiterated their support to your good offices and to the Mission of the Joint Special Envoy for Syria.

Please accept, Mr. Secretary-General, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Gérard ARAUD
President of the Security Council

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Russian draft statement on Syria

This is a draft statement circulated by Russia in the Security Council on “terrorist attacks in Damascus, Syria”. Diplomats said that the US, Portugal, UK, and Germany broke silence on the first draft.  So Russia circulated this revised version which the UK has again objected to.

“Security Council Press Statement
on TERRORIST Attack IN DAMASCUS, SYRIA
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Damascus on 15 August 2012 outside the Dama Rose hotel used by the United National Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern over the bombing and reiterated their call upon the parties, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2043 (2012), to guarantee the safety of UNSMIS personnel.
The members of the Security Council stressed that there must be no impunity for such terrorist attacks and underscored that their perpetrators must be brought to justice.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their strong solidarity with UNSMIS and called on all parties in Syria to cooperate with the mission.”
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Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on Syria

Human Rights Council
Twenty-first session
Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

on the Syrian Arab Republic

Summary
The situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic has deteriorated significantly since 15 February 2012. Armed violence increased in intensity and spread to new areas. Active hostilities raged between Government forces (and the Shabbiha) and anti-Government armed groups. Sporadic clashes between the armed actors evolved into continuous combat, involving more brutal tactics and new military capabilities on both sides. The level of armed violence varied throughout the country.
During the reporting period, the commission of inquiry determined that the intensity and duration of the conflict, combined with the increased organizational capabilities of anti-Government armed groups, had met the legal threshold for a non-international armed conflict. The commission therefore applied both international humanitarian law and international human rights law in its assessment of the actions of the parties to the hostilities.
The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Government forces and the Shabbiha had committed the crimes against humanity of murder and of torture, war crimes and gross violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including unlawful killing, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, sexual violence, indiscriminate attack, pillaging and destruction of property. The commission found that Government forces and Shabbiha members were responsible for the killings in Al-Houla.
The commission confirms its previous finding that violations were committed pursuant to State policy. Large-scale operations conducted in different governorates, their similar modus operandi, their complexity and integrated military-security apparatus indicate the involvement at the highest levels of the armed and security forces and the Government. The Shabbiha were identified as perpetrators of many of the crimes described in the present report. Although the nature, composition and hierarchy of the Shabbiha remains unclear, credible information led to the conclusion that they acted in concert with Government forces.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ban Ki Moon requests Security Council to renew UNIFIL's mandate

A Cambodian peacekeeper with the UNIFIL leaves the site where
a de-mining procedure was conducted, close to
 the village of Maroon Al-Rass and the Blue Line demarcating
 the Israeli-Lebanese border. May 2011 (Click on picture)
10 August 2012 
Dear Mr. President,
Further to my latest report to the Security Council concerning the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006) (S/2012/502), I hereby request the Security Council to consider the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which is due to expire on 31 August 2012. In a letter dated 21 July 2012 addressed to me, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon requested that the Security Council extend the mandate of UNIFIL for a further period of one year, without amendment.
I refer to Security Council resolution 2004 (2011), requesting me to conduct a Strategic Review of UNIFIL, and my letter to the President of the Security Council conveying the main conclusions of the Review (S/2012/151). UNIFIL is in the process of implementing the recommendations of the Strategic Review. Mechanisms are being developed to enable the three identified strategic priorities, namely to establish a comprehensive approach to the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006) that integrates the efforts of UNIFIL, the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) and the United Nations Country Team, to further involve the Government of Lebanon in the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006) and increase its involvement in southern Lebanon, and to further the strategic dialogue and increase the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The latter is intended to facilitate gradual assumption by the Lebanese Armed Forces of effective and sustainable security control of the UNIFIL area of operations and Lebanese territorial waters, as a key element to support moves towards a permanent ceasefire.
UNIFIL continues to play a crucial role in ensuring peace and stability in southern Lebanon, as well as full respect for the Blue Line by both parties.
In accordance with its mandate, UNIFIL continues to monitor the cessation of hostilities and assist the Lebanese Armed Forces in taking steps towards the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani River of an area free of any unauthorized armed personnel, assets and weapons. UNIFIL remains engaged with the parties on the outstanding issue of northern Ghajar, and continues to focus on all violations of the resolution, including ground and air violations. UNIFIL also takes all necessary action within its capabilities to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.
Cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces continues to be essential for the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate. UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces continue to conduct a substantial number of coordinated operational activities. The recent temporary redeployments of some units of Lebanese Armed Forces from the South Litani Sector to elsewhere in the country have not affected overall security control in the UNIFIL area of operations because UNIFIL has increased its operational activities. The current strength of the Lebanese Armed Forces in the UNIFIL area of operations stands at approximately two Brigades and one battalion.
The Lebanese Armed Forces leadership has committed to restore the strength of the Lebanese Armed Forces to three Brigades in the South Litani Sector as soon as the situation allows it. In line with the Strategic Review, UNIFIL continues to work closely with the Lebanese Armed Forces through the strategic dialogue in support of the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006). UNIFIL is exploring with donors, including troop-contributing countries and other Member States, and UNSCOL, the possibility of creating a coordination mechanism to ensure a comprehensive approach and support to the strategic dialogue process.
UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination arrangements with the parties, including the tripartite mechanism, have facilitated a number of recent constructive and pragmatic measures. UNIFIL continues to build on its efforts in promoting practical arrangements on the ground and understandings between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Israel Defense Forces, which would serve to further stabilize the situation along the Blue Line, remove pretexts and possible points of friction, and prevent future incidents, as well as build trust.
The process of visibly marking the Blue Line is proceeding with the marking of non-contentious points. The parties are continuing to give their full support to Blue Line marking as an essential confidence-building measure.
The Mission has continued to ensure that the tripartite mechanism is as flexible as possible and able to discuss a wider range of issues at the request of the parties. In this regard, the parties have agreed to discuss maritime security issues through the tripartite mechanism.
There has been no progress in the establishment of a UNIFIL office in Tel Aviv.
The overall attitude of the local population towards UNIFIL remains positive. This notwithstanding, incidents of unfriendly behaviour and freedom of movement restrictions towards UNIFIL patrols and personnel continue to occur. Some of these incidents involved stone throwing and the taking of United Nations property, such as cameras, geographical information systems, communication equipment and maps, from UNIFIL personnel by local civilians. UNIFIL strongly protested the incidents to the Lebanese Armed Forces. The UNIFIL Force Commander has instructed UNIFIL troops to apply the rules of engagement in defence of themselves and their property while maintaining a non-confrontational posture. UNIFIL will continue to work closely with the Lebanese authorities, with the aim of minimizing the occurrence of such incidents. In addition, and in line with the recommendations of the Strategic Review, UNIFIL is developing a sustainable, long-term strategy, which includes reinforcement of UNIFIL Civil Affairs capacity, particularly its national staff component, and strengthening its coordination of public outreach activities.
UNIFIL’s freedom of movement and the security and safety of its personnel is integral to the effective execution of its tasks. Security Council resolution 1773 (2007) urges all parties to cooperate fully with the
United Nations and UNIFIL, and to abide scrupulously by their obligation to respect the safety of UNIFIL and other United Nations personnel, including by avoiding any course of action which endangers United Nations personnel and by ensuring UNIFIL is accorded full freedom of movement within its area of operations. The primary responsibility for ensuring freedom of movement to UNIFIL personnel in the area of operations lies with the Lebanese authorities.
The total number of military personnel, as of 15 July 2012, stands at 11,467. That number includes 10,043 UNIFIL ground troops deployed in two sectors, and 997 personnel serving in the Maritime Task Force. The UNIFIL civilian component numbers 346 international and 658 national staff. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations continues to work closely with the UNIFIL Force Commander and Head of Mission to validate the observations and recommendations of the Military Capability Study and ensure that UNIFIL capability to implement its mandated tasks is in no way curtailed and is consistent with the priorities of the Strategic Review.
I am grateful to the 38 troop-contributing countries that make up UNIFIL for their ongoing commitment. This commitment, coupled with the development of a strategic partnership with the Lebanese Armed Forces, has enabled the successful implementation of several key aspects of resolution 1701 (2006). However, as the UNIFIL mandate approaches its expiration date, it is clear that more work remains to be done.
I would like to express my appreciation to the UNIFIL Force Commander and Head of Mission, Major-General Serra, and to all the military and civilian personnel of UNIFIL, for the work they are carrying out in southern Lebanon in the service of peace.
Regarding the financial aspects of UNIFIL, by its resolution 66/277, the General Assembly appropriated to the Special Account for UNIFIL the amount of US$524.0 million gross for the maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013. Should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the Mission beyond 31 August 2012, the cost of maintaining it will be limited to the amounts approved by the General Assembly.
As of 17 July 2012, unpaid assessed contributions to the UNIFIL Special Account amounted to US$100.4 million. At present, money owed to the Member States that contribute the troops who make up UNIFIL totals US$12.8 million. Reimbursement of troop and contingent-owned equipment costs have been made for the period up to 31 May 2012 and 31 March 2012, respectively, in accordance with the quarterly payment schedule. I appeal to all Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full to clear all remaining arrears.
With the above information in mind, I recommend that the Council extend the mandate of UNIFIL for a further period of 12 months, until 31 August 2013.
I would be grateful if you would bring this letter to the attention of the members of the Council.
Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.
BAN Ki-moon
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Ban: UNSMIS renewal conditions have not been achieved

Letter dated 10 August 2012 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council

رسالة الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون الى مجلس الأمن في شأن مستقبل بعثة المراقبة في سورية - أنسميس: شروط التجديد غير متوفرة وعلى الأمم المتحدة إنشاء وجود مرن وفعال في سورية. النص الكامل باللغة العربية - أنقر هنا. 

           Further to the request in Security Council resolution 2059 (2012), paragraph 4, I wish to update the Council on the implementation of the resolution and the situation in Syria since the 2 August 2012 briefing by Hervé Ladsous, Under‑Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. I also wish to set forth in the present letter my observations on the future work of the United Nations in Syria.
           The cessation of the use of heavy weapons and a reduction in violence by all sides sufficient to allow the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to implement its mandate, as set out in resolution 2059 (2012), have not been achieved. Temporary, localized reductions in the use of heavy weapons and the level of violence have occurred, and prospects for limited humanitarian pauses have increased in Homs. In other areas however, particularly in Aleppo, the conflict has intensified. Armed opposition elements have launched offensives in Damascus and Aleppo, while Government forces have continued to use heavy weapons. Consequently, the Mission has not been able to exercise its key functions of monitoring the cessation of violence.
           As fighting in and around urban centres increases, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating. The number of internally displaced persons is estimated to be well over 1 million people. Over 130,000 Syrians have sought refuge across international borders. Such levels of internal and international displacement, against a backdrop of destruction of civilian infrastructure and residences in areas of origin, pose significant problems for many communities across Syria. Gross human rights violations continue to take place in Syria, including the use of heavy weaponry against the civilian population, abduction and arbitrary detention, the shooting of civilians by snipers, extrajudicial executions and denial of medical protection to wounded civilians.
           Various groups of the Syrian political and armed opposition have now put forward positions and visions for a transition in Syria. The Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation has also attempted to begin a process on behalf of the Government. Those initiatives do not represent fundamental changes in the political dynamics of the crisis. For its part, the Government is convinced that it will be able to succeed militarily against the opposition in such key areas as Aleppo. The Government refuses to engage in any political dialogue or move forward with the promised implementation of the six-point plan until the opposition lays down arms. At the same time, the opposition remains equally convinced that its military efforts will succeed in toppling the regime and refuses to accept the Government preconditions for dialogue.
           I am convinced that the Syrian people must find a Syrian-led alternative to the use of force, and a path to the negotiating table that is unanimously supported by the international community. That alternative should aim to achieve a democratic, pluralistic political system, with equal rights for all. The resolutions of this Council which endorsed the six-point plan, together with the 30 June 2012 communiqué of the Action Group on Syria (A/66/865-S/2012/522), chart the way forward and have guided the efforts of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to facilitate a political settlement.
           I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to Mr. Annan, who embarked on his challenging assignment with courage and determination, and sought to unite the world around key principles for ending the suffering in Syria and charting a way towards a Syria which meets the aspirations of its people and that preserves its institutions, unity and territorial integrity. The important work he has undertaken must continue. In the light of Mr. Annan’s decision to step down at the end of August, I am consulting intensively with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States with a view to appointing a successor to Mr. Annan as soon as possible.
           The resolutions of the Security Council, together with those of the General Assembly, continue to provide the basis for the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy to focus on a political transition, while also working towards the achievement of a cessation of violence in Syria. As the Council remains seized of the crisis, I would like to underscore the fact that the Envoy’s mission to facilitate an end to the violence and a meaningful political transition cannot succeed without united and cohesive international support. The fulfilment of the mandate of the Joint Special Envoy will continue to require support for a transition process, consistent with the Geneva communiqué, from a United Nations presence on the ground in Syria, including of the Office of the Joint Special Envoy for Syria.
           During its short tenure, UNSMIS has played a critical role in establishing significant relationships with members of both the Government and the opposition. It has cultivated networks and contacts, maintained strong liaison and coordination with military, political and community groups and United Nations partners at the local level. UNSMIS succeeded in opening channels of communication and cooperation with a range of key interlocutors at the national level. Within the constraints, UNSMIS military observers have played an equally vital role in seizing openings for confidence-building and dialogue facilitation, as well as fact-finding and verification as events unfold. The Mission allows me to objectively assess developments on the ground and keep the Council duly informed.
           These activities must fit within the framework of an overall political solution pursued by the Syrians themselves. This requires ensuring that the United Nations is ready to take every opportunity to engage on the political track, effectively and immediately. Communication with stakeholders on the ground must be the centrepiece of our approach, and we must ensure that the Organization has the tools and structures in place to facilitate and support any positive progress made by the parties.
           Without an appropriate United Nations presence to play a facilitating role, the ability to directly access, support and facilitate engagement with and between key stakeholders, and to verify and report opportunities and evolving conditions for dialogue will be severely limited. At the same time, regional outreach and engagement remain critical, given the initiatives of the Joint Special Envoy.
           In this regard, a continued United Nations presence in Syria that goes beyond our important humanitarian work would allow systematic and meaningful engagement with the Syrian stakeholders, inside the country, to seek their views on and participation in building a peaceful future for their people, as envisaged in the decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, and further to the frameworks of the six-point plan and the 30 June 2012 communiqué of the Action Group. Furthermore, a flexible United Nations presence in Syria would provide the United Nations with an impartial means of assessing the situation on the ground, which would thus permit it to address the situation more effectively.
           Let me underscore that, within the constraints imposed by the conditions on the ground, the United Nations Country Team will continue its important work of helping to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. The United Nations humanitarian agencies will remain active, even if the mandate of UNSMIS expires. But, beyond this, I think it is imperative for the United Nations to have a presence in Syria that can work in other areas to support me in utilizing my good offices, in particular, to support the work of the Joint Special Envoy in mediating and facilitating a peaceful resolution to the crisis. The United Nations cannot discontinue its support and assistance to the Syrian people in helping to find an end to this crisis. Rather, we must adapt to the situation while pursuing our efforts. I intend therefore to work in the immediate future towards establishing an effective and flexible United Nations presence in Syria that will support our efforts with the parties to end hostilities and, where possible and agreed, to support the Syrians in taking the steps they identify towards a negotiated and inclusive political settlement.
           Preventing the worst possible outcome and reducing and containing the repercussions of the conflict are a priority, while we also work to help the parties resolve the crisis. One of the greatest risks is a descent into a full-scale civil war. United Nations engagement with all sectors of society, with a view to developing channels of communication across communal divides and building possible areas of consensus is essential if ways are to be found to protect communities from the worst effects of a civil war. This should be considered one of the most urgent priorities of the United Nations, whether through the Office of the Joint Special Envoy, through UNSMIS or through other instruments of the United Nations system.
           It is our responsibility to do all we can to stop the violence among the Syrian people and to assist them in resolving their differences and building a future that meets their legitimate aspirations. While we mobilize the United Nations system to support the people of Syria, we must remind the parties, and above all the Government, that they have the primary responsibility for resolving the crisis which is currently devastating their country.
           I am extremely concerned at the continuing militarization of the conflict in Syria, which has grave humanitarian consequences. I appeal to outside parties, and especially the regional countries, and emphasize their responsibility to do all they can to end this situation. I call on the Security Council to spare no effort in search of common ground, in order to help the Syrian people end the violence and start charting a way towards an inclusive, peaceful and democratic future. I once again urge the Government of Syria and the armed opposition to cease military activities, protect civilians, and abide by their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.
           I should be grateful if you would bring this letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.
 (Signed) BAN Ki-moon
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kofi Annan's resignation remarks


Kofi Annan speaks at a press conference in Geneva.
Mr. Annan announced that he would not continue
in his role beyond the end of August.
At left is his Spokesperson, Ahmad Fawzi. 
02 August 2012
Opening remarks by Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy for Syria, at press conference
Geneva, 2 August 2012


As delivered

"Five months ago, I was asked to take on the role of Joint Special Envoy for Syria, in order to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis, an end to the killings of civilians, the human rights abuses, and a path towards a political transition. 

I accepted this task, which some called “Mission Impossible” - for I believed it was a sacred duty to do whatever was in my power to help the Syrian people find a peaceful solution to this bloody conflict.

The severity of the humanitarian costs of the conflict, and the exceptional threats posed by this crisis to international peace and security, justified the attempts to secure a peaceful transition to a political settlement, however daunting the challenge.

The increasing militarization on the ground and the clear lack of unity in the Security Council, have fundamentally changed the circumstances for the effective exercise of my role.

Yet the bloodshed continues, most of all because of the Syrian government’s intransigence, and continuing refusal to implement the six-point plan, and also because of the escalating military campaign of the opposition - all of which is compounded by the disunity of the international community.

At a time when we need – when the Syrian people desperately need action - there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council.

The Geneva Communiqué, endorsed by the Action Group for Syria on 30 June, provided an international agreement on a framework for a political transition. This should have been automatically endorsed by the Security Council and something the international community should have built on.

Without serious, purposeful and united international pressure, including from the powers of the region, it is impossible for me, or anyone, to compel the Syrian government in the first place, and also the opposition, to take the steps necessary to begin a political process.

You have to understand: as an Envoy, I can’t want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international community for that matter. 

I have therefore informed the Secretary-General of the UN and Secretary-General of the Arab League today that I do not intend to continue my mission when my mandate expires at the end of August.

My central concern, from the start – and I think I mentioned it to you - has been the welfare of the Syrian people. Syria can still be saved from the worst calamity – if the international community can show the courage and leadership necessary to compromise on their partial interests for the sake of the Syrian people - for the men, women and children who have already suffered far too much.

I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to both the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and Secretary-General ElAraby of the Arab League for their unflinching support and the grace and cordiality that they extended to me, having given me the opportunity to serve the cause of peace once again.

I will now take your questions."
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