World Council for the Cedar's Revolution
Freedom and Democracy in Lebanon-UN Docs
2006 Video Webcasts of Security Council Meeting on UNSCR1701
11 August 06
Security Council: The situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by United States Secretary of State, Condeleeza Rice, on the situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr AL-THANI, on the situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa, on the situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, Ambassador Dan Gillerman, on the situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of Ghana, Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng, on the situation in Haiti and the situation in the Middle East.
Security Council: General issues relating to sanctions.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the Permanent Representative of the United States of America, Ambassador John Bolton, on the situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of Ghana, Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng, on the situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the Permanent Representative of Qatar, Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, on the situation in the Middle East.
Security Council: The situation in Côte d' Ivoire.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States, Yahya Mahmassani, on the situation in the Middle East.
Media Stakeout: Informal comments to the Media by the Permanent Representative of France, Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, on the situation in the Middle East.
Welcome to the Cedar's Revolution Website
October 31, 2006
Security Council 5559th Meeting* (Night)
In presidential statement, Security Council reiterates call for disbanding of militias; respect for sovereignty, independence of lebanon
Despite noting important progress in the extension of Government authority throughout Lebanon, the Security Council this afternoon reiterated its call for the disbanding of militias and strict respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of that country, along with all other unmet provisions of its resolution 1559 (2004).
Through a statement (document S/PRST/2006/43) read out by its October President, Kenzo Oshima of Japan, the Council expressed regret that such provisions, which also require free and fair presidential elections conducted according to Lebanese Constitutional rules without foreign interference, have yet to be implemented.
The Council commended the Lebanese Government for extending its authority in the southern part of the country, in particular, and encouraged it to continue its efforts in that regard.
The meeting began at 6:12 p.m. and ended at 6:17 p.m.
The complete text of today’s presidential statement (document S/PRST/2006/43) reads as follows:
“The Security Council recalls all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 1559 (2004), 425 and 426 (1978), resolution 520 (1982) and 1680 (2006), and resolution 1701 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statement of 18 June 2000, of 19 October 2004, of 4 May 2005, and of 23 January 2006.
“The Security Council reaffirms its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty, unity and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders.
“The Security Council welcomes the fourth semi-annual report to the Security Council of 19 October 2006 on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004).
“The Security Council notes that important progress has been made towards the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), in particular through the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces in the south of the country for the first time in three decades, but it also notes with regret that some provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) have yet to be implemented, namely the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, the strict respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon, and free and fair presidential elections conducted according to the Lebanese constitutional rules, without any foreign interference and influence.
“The Security Council commends the Lebanese Government for extending its authority throughout its territory, particularly in the south, and encourages it to continue its efforts in this regard.
“The Security Council reiterates its call for the full implementation of resolution 1559 (2004) and urges all concerned States and parties as mentioned in the report to cooperate fully with the Government of Lebanon, the Security Council, and the Secretary-General to achieve this goal.
“The Security Council reaffirms its support to the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy in their efforts and dedication to facilitate and assist in the full implementation of all provisions of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006).
“The Security Council acknowledges the Secretary-General’s intention to revert to the Council in his next report on implementation of resolution 1701 (2006) and looks forward to his further recommendations on the relevant outstanding issues.”
The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s fourth semi-annual report on the implementation of Council resolution 1559 (2004) (document S/2006/832). Considerable progress has been made over the past two years towards the resolution’s full implementation. Syria has withdrawn its troops, military assets and military intelligence apparatus. The Lebanese National Dialogue manifested further progress. In the past few months, there has been additional progress with the extension of the Government’s control over Lebanese territory, in particular in the south and along the border with Syria. The resolution, however, particularly provisions for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the strict respect of Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence under the Government’s sole and exclusive authority, has yet to be fully implemented.
In the past six months, Lebanon has suffered a severe setback, the Secretary-General states. Instead of making further strides towards completing its political transformation and reaping the economic rewards of political progress, Lebanon confronts challenges of a magnitude unseen since the end of the civil war. Since the end of the hostilities, a tense political climate has prevailed, with manifold challenges confronting the Lebanese in their quest to reconstruct their country, polity and economy. The United Nations remains committed to supporting Lebanon, its people and Government, as they face the enormous task of recovering the momentum on the path to consolidating the Lebanese State as an authority “of the people, by the people and for the people”.
Much work remains to be done in the months ahead, the Secretary-General adds. With the adoption of resolutions 1680 (2006) and 1701 (2006) -- and with repeated Lebanese cabinet decisions to extend the Government’s authority over all Lebanese territory -- a new framework has been established for the full implementation of all the provisions of resolution 1559. A catalogue of measures has been laid down that constitute a road map for the resolution’s full implementation. Lebanon’s Government, with significant international support, is undertaking important steps that will help it to fully implement resolution 1559. Achieving that goal, however, continues to depend on both the Lebanese and on the cooperation of parties other than the Lebanese.
Lebanon will have to engage again in a truly national and inclusive dialogue, the Secretary-General continues. The disarming and disbanding of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, which lies at the heart of Lebanon’s political transformation and is a necessary element to complete Lebanon’s consolidation as a sovereign and democratic State, can only be achieved through an inclusive process that addresses the political and economic interests of all Lebanese and those living in Lebanon.
“It is my deep hope that the opportunities born from conflict will be seized upon and that Lebanon may once again rise from the ashes of destruction and war,” the Secretary-General says. In that context, he emphasizes that Hizbollah’s transformation into a solely political party, consistent with the requirements of the Taif Accords, is a key element in ensuring a permanent end to hostilities and in the full restoration of Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. For the purpose of achieving that goal, on the path towards the greater objective of consolidating the Lebanese State, it is indispensable that all parties who have influence in Lebanon support a constructive political process.
The establishment of full diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria and their delineation of the shared border, including in the Shabaa Farms area, through a bilateral agreement would constitute significant steps towards promoting peace and security in the region. Mindful of the importance of border delineation to the Lebanese, the Secretary-General is working to establish in full the cartographic, legal and political implications of the approach suggested in Lebanon’s seven-point plan. Calling for Syria and Lebanon to address in their bilateral contacts the issue of Lebanese detainees in Syrian custody, he again calls on all parties and actors to support Lebanon’s reconstruction and political transformation and to urgently take all enabling measures to that end.
* *** *
* The 5557th & 5558th Meetings were closed.
Lebanon: Annan says disarming Hizbollah is a ‘key element’ in ending hostilities
“The eventual disarmament of Hizbollah in the sense of the completion of its transformation into a solely political party… is a key element in ensuring a permanent end to the hostilities,” Mr. Annan said in his latest report on resolution 1559, which calls for the reduction of foreign influence in the Middle Eastern nation.
“In the months ahead, Lebanon will have to engage again in a truly national and inclusive dialogue. The disarming and disbanding of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias… can only be achieved through an inclusive process that addresses the political and economic interests of all Lebanese and of those living in Lebanon.”
Mr. Annan’s report, covering developments in the past six months in Lebanon, was delivered to the Security Council by Terje Roed-Larsen, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the implementation of resolution 1559, and it also highlights continued Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Persistent and provocative Israeli air incursions, occasionally reaching deep into Lebanese airspace and generating sonic booms over populated areas, continued to be a matter of serious concern… Israeli overflights have also continued since the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah went into effect on 14 August 2006.”
The report also emphasizes the importance of establishing “full diplomatic relations between Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic and their delineation of the shared border, including, in particular, in the Shab’a Farms area,” stating that such a bilateral agreement would “constitute significant steps towards promoting peace and security in the region.”
Further stressing the importance of “border delineation,” Mr. Annan states that he is working to establish the full “cartographic, legal and political implications,” and he also calls on both countries to address bilaterally the issue of Lebanese detainees in Syrian custody.
Wrapping up the report, which is Mr. Annan’s fourth to the Council on resolution 1559, he repeats calls on “all parties and actors to support Lebanon’s reconstruction and political transformation” and to urgently follow up on all relevant agreements, including resolution 1701 that ended this summer’s conflict between Israel and Hizbollah.
Oct 19, 2006
19 October 2006
Oct 7, 2006
Tentative forecast of the Programme of Work of the Security Council for the Month of October 2006 - relative to Lebanon.
Middle East (Lebanon) - resolution 1559 (2004)
S/PRST/2004/36 of 19 October 2004
Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council every six months on the implementation by the parties of resolution 1559 (2004).
The Secretary-General's report is expected to be issued by 19 October 2006.
Oct 6, 2006
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC
U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, October 5, 2006
LEBANON: U.N. MISSION CONTRIBUTES TO LOCAL ECONOMY
Lebanon: enlarged UN peacekeeping presence helps stimulate local economy
By 2007, UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) international civilian staff will more than double, and this will definitely influence for the better the financial market, the mission said in news release today.
UNIFIL staff members purchase commodities, rent apartments, enrol their children in schools and travel. “In addition, UNIFIL employees have many visitors who will have a significant impact on tourism and this is priceless, it improves the reputation of the country,” the mission’s Acting Chief Administrative Officer Jean-Pierre Ducharme said.
UNIFIL also provides medical and dental insurance to national staff members, reducing the burden on the Lebanese social structure. The number of national staff, which already exceeds 300, should double in the next year.
As mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1701, UNIFIL strength is to increase to up to 15,000 international troops before the end of 2006. “The soldiers spend a lot of money here, they visit local attractions, eat out, travel and this, in the end, helps to stimulate the economy,” Mr. Ducharme said.
Over the last three years, UNIFIL spent approximately 60 per cent of its budget on procuring from local companies. During the past year alone, some $40 million went back to the Lebanese economy.
“Obviously, this number will increase, but it gives a good indication on how UNIFIL provides something positive for the Lebanese market,” Mr. Ducharme said.
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICEs OF THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
4 Oct 2006
And the spokeswoman for the general assembly president
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, and Gail Bindley-Taylor Sainte, Spokeswoman for the General Assembly President.
**Human Rights Council
The Human Rights Council met earlier today in Geneva to discuss a joint report by four United Nations experts on their mission last month to Lebanon and Israel. Those experts were: Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Paul Hunt, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health; Walter Kalin, the Secretary-General’s Representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons; and Miloon Kothari, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.
The report concludes that serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the recent conflict in Lebanon. The experts also concluded that Hizbollah violated humanitarian law in many instances by targeting civilian populations and by disregarding the principle of distinction.
Tomorrow, the Council will begin considering nearly 50 resolutions and decisions on a number of issues raised during the three-week session, which is scheduled to end this Friday.
And, we have more information on that upstairs.
**Questions and Answers
Question: I just want to ask you, the report or the suggestions, I don’t know what I would call it, by Nicolas Michel [Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs] on the tribunal of an international character, is that going to be released soon? And, how is it going to be presented?
Spokesman: The discussions between Mr. Michel and the Lebanese Government are continuing. I think they are getting fairly close, at which point, if I am not mistaken, the recommendations will be given and presented to the Security Council. But, we will be happy to ask Mr. Michel to come down and talk to you about that.
3 Oct 2006
And the spokeswoman for the general assembly president
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, and Gail Bindley-Taylor Sainte, Spokeswoman for the General Assembly President.
Briefing by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
Meanwhile, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is steadily enhancing its operational capabilities in order to fulfil its responsibilities under Security Council resolution 1701. More than 3,000 additional troops, for a current total of around 5,200, plus an Interim Maritime Task Force, have been deployed so far.
In a press release, UNIFIL says that, should the situation present any risk of resumption of hostile activities, its rules of engagement allow UN forces to respond as required. The UN Mission commanders have sufficient authority to act forcefully when confronted with hostile activity of any kind.
UNIFIL has set up temporary checkpoints at key locations within its area of operations, while permanent checkpoints are being established by the Lebanese Armed Forces to stop and search passing vehicles. In case specific information is available regarding movement of unauthorized weapons or equipment, the Lebanese Army will take the required action, but, if it is not possible to do so, UNIFIL will do everything necessary to fulfil its mandate. We have a very detailed press release available upstairs from UNIFIL, which I recommend to you.
Also on Lebanon, the World Food Programme has started its third and final round of food distributions. This round, which should wrap up by 15 October, is expected to reach 655,000 people in southern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley and the southern suburbs of Beirut. We do have information on other humanitarian activities upstairs.
Spokesman: The Secretary-General, in his recent press conference, was very clear that he very much hoped that the Human Rights Council would move on and beyond focusing on just one country and look at the human rights situations throughout the world. He still hopes that will be very much the case and he hopes that the Human Rights Council will also focus on helping countries build better human rights protection structures and help them move towards better human rights regimes. He very much hopes that the Council will move beyond some of the focus that we have seen previously in the Human Rights Commission.
Lebanon: UN peacekeepers lay out rules of engagement, including use of force
“Should the situation present any risk of resumption of hostile activities, UNIFIL rules of engagement allow UN forces to respond as required,” the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said in a statement, laying out the terms of the Security Council mandate that established it in August to oversee the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah.
“UNIFIL commanders have sufficient authority to act forcefully when confronted with hostile activity of any kind,” the statement added, noting that the force so far had 5,200 out of a maximum of 15,000 permitted under Security Council resolution 1701.
UNIFIL has set up temporary checkpoints at key locations within its area of operations, while permanent checkpoints are being established by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to stop and search passing vehicles. Yesterday it confirmed that Israel had vacated all but one of the positions it had taken during the fighting and that the LAF were taking over.
“In case specific information is available regarding movement of unauthorized weapons or equipment, the LAF will take required action,” the statement said. “However, in situations where the LAF are not in a position to do so, UNIFIL will do everything necessary to fulfil its mandate in accordance with Security Council resolution 1701.”
Among the resolution’s key terms include the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from positions they occupied in South Lebanon, the deployment of Lebanese and UN forces in the area, and the banning of any other armed personnel and weapons there.
Laying out specific guidelines, the statement said all UNIFIL personnel may exercise the inherent right of self-defence; use force to ensure that their area of operations is not used for hostile activities; and resist attempts by force to prevent them from discharging their duties under the Council mandate.
Moreover force may be used to protect UN personnel, installations and equipment; to ensure the security and freedom of movement of UN personnel and humanitarian workers; and to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence in the areas of deployment.
Meanwhile the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is helping Lebanon speed up the recovery of its agriculture sector following the devastating impact of the fighting on both people and the economy.
All agricultural areas were directly or indirectly affected by the war, from fruit trees, vegetables, tobacco and cattle to irrigation systems, farm machinery and forestry. FAO initiatives include a damage and needs assessment mission currently under way and efforts to strengthen veterinary services to prevent and control Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks.
FAO will also provide a team of five experts in crop and animal production, fisheries and forestry.
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
2 Oct 2006
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
Briefing by Spokesman for the Secretary-General
Turning now to the situation in Lebanon, this morning the Lebanese Armed Forces started deploying along the Blue Line after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) withdrew yesterday from south Lebanon, except from the general area of Ghajar, north of the Blue Line, which is still under IDF control. The Lebanese deployment continued throughout the day.
After conducting extensive patrolling over the past two days, UN troops from the Ghanaian, French, Spanish and Indian battalions confirmed that there were no IDF troops present in southern Lebanon, except for the northern part of the village of Ghajar.
UNIFIL [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] is also in close contact with the IDF to facilitate a speedy withdrawal from the area of Ghajar. Major General Alain Pellegrini, who as you know is the Force Commander for UNIFIL, said he expects that Israeli forces will leave the area in the course of this week.
Also today, senior UNIFIL and Lebanese officials met in Naqoura to discuss enhancing cooperation between them in light of the Israeli withdrawal. UNIFIL also informed the Lebanese Army that it is in the process of finalizing a plan for Ghajar that should be acceptable to all sides.
And we do have a press release available upstairs with more information.
Meanwhile, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is leading an international team of experts that will begin an assessment tomorrow of the environmental damage in Lebanon caused by the recent conflict.
The UN Environmental Programme will lead the team and it will work closely with the Lebanese authorities.
The team will visit and take samples from sites thought to present potential risks to human health, wildlife and the wider environment. These include the Jiyyeh thermal power plant which, as you will recall, discharged up to 30,000 tons of fuel oil into the sea after being hit in mid-July during the conflict. And the Beirut international airport, where fuel tanks were set alight as a result of repeated bombing.
And we have a press release available upstairs.
Spokesman: I am not going to react in detail to interviews being given. What I will restate is two things. One is that during his visit to Damascus, President Assad had told the Secretary-General that he would deploy more troops along the border. And that the implementation of 1701 is obviously the business of the Lebanese people, but, it is also the duty of all those countries in the greater region who have an influence to bring to bear to make sure that it is implemented and implemented in full. And, all the countries have a responsibility to do what they can to stop the flow of illegal arms into Lebanon.
Question: I have another question. For the United Nations, is the withdrawal of IDF troops from Lebanon complete or incomplete?
Spokesman: At this point it is not yet complete.
Lebanese army moves into South Lebanon positions after Israeli withdrawal, UN reports
UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Acting Commander Brig.-General J.P. Nehra, who met with Lebanese Armed Forces Commander General M. Sleiman, at UN headquarters in Naquora, said Israel was expected to withdraw from the remaining area it still holds, Ghajar, this week.
UNIFIL troops from the Ghanaian, French, Spanish and Indian battalions conducted extensive patrolling yesterday and today and confirmed Israel’s withdrawal from all other areas. A complete withdrawal, together with the Lebanese army deployment, is a key clause in UN Resolution 1701 that ended the 34 days of fighting in August.
The Resolution also mandates strengthening UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops. At present it has some 5,000 troops on the ground, but the second phase of deployment may be delayed by up to a month due to problems of logistics and capacity, the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) said in it latest update.
Six ships, including Italian, French, Greek and British vessels, are currently patrolling Lebanese waters as part of the interim Maritime Force, and a German vessel is due to arrive early this month, it added.
“The LAF (Lebanese Armed Forces) can now provide security and stability for the people of the South who have already suffered a great deal,” UNIFIL Force Commander Maj.-General Alain Pellegrini said yesterday after Israel announced its latest withdrawal. “UNIFIL is here to assist, and to help to ensure the territorial integrity of Lebanon.”
Meanwhile, a UN-led international team of experts will tomorrow begin an assessment of the environmental damage caused by the conflict. “There is an urgent need to assess the environmental legacy of the recent conflict and put in place a comprehensive clean-up of polluted and health-hazardous sites,” UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said.
“Work is on-going to deal with the oil spill on the Lebanese coast. We must now look at the wider impacts as they relate to issues such as underground and surface water supplies, coastal contamination and the health and fertility of the land,” he added.
The UNEP-led team, working closely with Lebanese authorities, will sample sites thought to present potential risks to human health, wildlife and the wider environment.
These include the Jiyyeh thermal power plant 28 kilometres south of Beirut which discharged an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 tonnes of fuel oil into the Mediterranean after being hit in mid July; Beirut International Airport, where fuel tanks were set alight as a result of repeated bombing; and the Maliban glass factory in the Bekaa Valley destroyed by an air raid on 19 July.
Some of the estimated 22 country-wide petrol stations that were damaged or destroyed will be assessed, as will locations where there is thought to be unexploded ordnance. The team also plans to assess pollution risks at several damaged drinking water, sewage treatment and hospital facility sites.
Damaged power transformers, collapsed buildings and ruptured oil lines that may have leaked or discharged hazardous substances and materials, such as asbestos and chlorinated compounds, are also earmarked for assessment.
September 8,12,13 UN Reports on Lebanon
UN Press Conf.
United Nations Security Council
PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS AND AGENDA
Monday, 18 September 2006
10.30 a.m. Consultations of the whole (closed) - Consultations Room
- Middle East (Lebanon)
The Security Council is scheduled to hold a private meeting this morning for consultations on Lebanon, during which the Secretary-General will brief on resolution 1701.
Sept 15, 2006
Source: United Nations Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC)
Date: 15 Sep 2006
Lebanon: UNJLC Logistics Bulletin 5, 15 Sep 2006
- On 8th September, the sea blockade was lifted on Lebanon after the international naval force assumed control from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). The end of the sea blockade follows the lifting of the air blockade on 7th September, which has allowed the resumption of commercial air traffic into Lebanon.
- UNFIL troop deployment continued in south Lebanon to reach a total of 3,500 soldiers. 650 of the planned 1,000 Spanish troops are expected on 15th September in Tyre. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that China plans to send a contingent of peacekeeping troops to Lebanon and is in consultation with the United Nations on the details.
- The British Prime Minister Blair arrived in Lebanon on 11th September, and was received by the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fawzi Saloukh.
1. Operations Update:
With the lifting of the air blockade on 7th September, heavy congestion is expected at Beirut International Airport due to the arrival of cargo planes with supplies for the country. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has estimated that as of 12th September, some 150,000 people remain internally displaced, most having found refuge with host families. The main reason for the continuing displacement is due to UXO (unexploded ordnance) in many areas of the south, along with the destruction of homes and lack of basic services. On 11th September, OCHA conducted assessments in Chamaa, Chihine, Tair HArfa and Majdel Zoun in Tyre district. The team reported that the major concerns in the villages are lack of electricity and the need of water tanks. The Ministry of the Environment reported that the oil spill clean up operation at Byblos Marina has been completed. The remaining step is to work with the fishermen to clean polluted fishing boats. Beirut Logistics Cluster meetings are now scheduled to be held once a week on Tuesdays at 9:00 am.
Logistics Cluster meetings in Tyre continue regularly. The Logistics Cluster in Tyre informed that they still have 6 trucks available to transport cargo from Beirut to villages in need. This service is available through the Logistics Cluster Common Cargo Transport procedure by submitting a Cargo Movement Request (CMR) with all necessary information. CMR forms and all Logistics Cluster meeting minutes are available at www.unjlc.org/lebanon/cargo
During the last reporting week, convoys reached the following areas: Markaba, Aadaisse, Aaddit El Qsair, Aalmane, Aarab el Louaize, Aarma, Ain Aarab Marjaayoun, Bayouda, Beni Haiyane, Blat, Blida, Borj el Mlouk, Ebel El Saqi, Houla, Houra, kfarkila, Khiam, Ebel Es Saqi, Tyre, Qana, Jibchit, Chamaiye, Debaal, Deir Aames, Chehabiye,Chebriha, Chaour, Chamaa, Salaa, Srifa, Tair Debba, Halloussiye, Haumeiri, Maaroub, Ynouh, Taibe and Yarime. Detailed information on convoys can be found on UNJLC website: www.unjlc.org/lebanon/cargo.
A list of commercial transporters in Lebanon is available at www.unjlc.org/lebanon/infosheets/
Since the removal of the blockade and the transfer to use of commercial trucks without convoy escorts, no notification of cargo movements is now required. The Logistics Cluster is still providing transport from Syria to Lebanon through the Cargo Movement Request (CMR) procedure. Information and request forms are available at www.unjlc.org/lebanon/cargo
On 11th September, UNJLC held a meeting with the Lebanese High Relief Commission (HRC) to discuss their requirement for a Supply Tracking Application and mapping of aid distribution. Ultimately the HRC would like to identify what has been imported and distributed in Lebanon. The HRC is now providing data for all its distribution. Agencies and INGOs are requested to submit their pipeline and distribution information to UNJLC as soon as possible.
UNJLC continued its efforts to prioritize food and non food item (NFI) distribution using the Joint Supply Tracker (JST), a system developed in collaboration with UNICEF staff. Purposes of the JST are to: 1. Increase pipeline visibility and transparency; 2. Track NFI from CLPs up to Extended Delivery Point (EDP); 3. Prioritize supply movements in accordance with agency needs The latest JST report is available at www.unjlc.org/lebanon/supply
As of 12th September, the WFP chartered vessel “Anamcara” discontinued her service between Cyprus and Lebanon. The vessel has been providing a regular service between Cyprus and Beirut since her first sailing on 12th August carrying food, medical supplies, shelter items and fuel for a total of 1,570 MT cargo. More details on the Anamcara’s last sailing are available at: www.unjlc.org/lebanon/cargo/shipping/ Eight ships have arrived since the naval blockade was lifted on 8th September carrying wheat, cars, and raw products for manufacturing. (OCHA) As reported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the port of Beirut does not expect full import and export activity to resume for another three or four months, mainly due to financial reasons (manufactures facing problems in paying VAT on imported good, the reduce purchasing power of consumers after the conflict and the slow recovery of exports due to the domestic manufacturing stalled during the conflict).
The German Air Force C160s tasked by UNHAS will operate eight flights through 19/20th September to transport some additional cargo for WHO which has now arrived in Cyprus, and will remain available to take any final items which should arrive. Once the Cyprus hub closes, the Logistics Cluster in Beirut will remain available to assist users with alternative options of transportation. The airport tankers damaged by bombing may take up to a year to repair. All refuelling currently requires the use of bowsers. UNJLC has released a snapshot on Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport outlining damages/repairs as of 13th September. The documents is available on www.unjlc.org/lebanon/airops
Further information on Beirut airport can be accessed at http://www.beirutairport.gov.lb/indexflash.html
Sept 15, 2006
LAW-LEBANON-HARIRI-PROBE BEIRUT, Sept 15 (KUNA) -- Head of the international team probing the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Al-Hariri's, Serge Brammertz, held a meeting on Friday with Public Prosecutor of the Cassation Court in Lebanon, Saeed Mirza.
BEIRUT, Sept 15 (KUNA) -- Head of the international team probing the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Al-Hariri's, Serge Brammertz, held a meeting on Friday with Public Prosecutor of the Cassation Court in Lebanon, Saeed Mirza.
Aug 23, 2006
Turning to Lebanon, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reports that, the cessation of hostilities was generally maintained in the course of the last 24 hours. However, Israeli airplanes twice flew over Lebanese territory and a violent clash was reported between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hizbollah members east of the town of Shamaha. The Secretary-General has also written to the Security Council to advise them that he will, from now on, issue to the Council a daily incident report on the situation across the Blue Line.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese Army deployed further inside areas vacated by the withdrawing Israeli troops, in accordance with resolution 1701 and the timeline agreed over the weekend between the Israeli and Lebanese Armies. To date, the Lebanese Army has deployed in more than 50 per cent of the territory south of the Litani River, including some of the areas recently vacated by the Israel Defense Forces. UNIFIL also reports that a team from the Mine Action Coordination Centre carried out the controlled demolition of a number of unexploded ordnance. United Nations peacekeepers also distributed 45,000 litres of drinking water to three villages in the south of Lebanon.
**Humanitarian Situation in Lebanon
On the humanitarian side, four United Nations convoys were dispatched from Beirut today. For its part, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that returnees’ shelter needs remain high. The Agency has, therefore, been providing plastic sheets, hammers, nails, wood, and other such materials for people returning to their homes. Meanwhile, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the World Bank, has donated $500,000 to Lebanon for emergency relief. UNDP has also established a political advisory group within the Lebanese Prime Minister's Office, concentrating on support to the recovery and reconstruction effort, with an initial funding of $800,000.
**Questions and Answers
Question: On the second resolution, do you have anything to add from yesterday?
Spokesman: No, nothing to add. Obviously, the possibility of another resolution is addressed in one of the later paragraphs of the current resolution that would really seek the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and long-term solution. I think, again, that’s a question best addressed to Council members.
Question: The Qatari Emir is in Lebanon, visiting. He said he’s bringing an official invitation from Syria to Prime Minister Siniora to visit Damascus. Do you have any reaction on that?
Spokesman: That would be an issue for, obviously, the Lebanese Government to decide on. But, the call for the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon is one the Secretary-General has made a number of times.
Question: Could you clarify the date that the 3,500 additional troops are needed in South Lebanon? I’m saying this because Mark Malloch Brown said “10 days”, and that would come up to 28 August. There seem to be some people saying that it’s 2 September. Could you clarify this?
Spokesman: We would obviously like to see them in, as soon as possible. We remain confident that we could see a bulkhead of a force in southern Lebanon by the very end of this month or the beginning of the next. But, it’s a general expression of “10 days”. Obviously, we would like to see the force in there, as soon as possible.
Question: Left over from the rules of engagement -- who decides on things like when to evacuate peacekeepers in case a situation arises? Is that a decision that is made here, on the ground, in Naqoura? Who makes that decision?
Spokesman: It’s hypothetical. The decision to evacuate United Nations staff and peacekeepers ultimately rests with the Secretary-General. Obviously, depending on the situation, decisions can be taken on the ground or by the Force Commander. But, those decisions rest with the Secretary-General.
Question: Can we have an update, first, on troop contributor meetings? There had been talk of one this afternoon, but, I guess that’s probably going to be delayed. Can you also update us on the Secretary-General’s travel schedule? Is he intending to go to Brussels on Friday? What are his plans?
Spokesman: I have nothing to announce on the Secretary-General’s travel. The troop contributor meeting -- there is no formal one today, but the Department of Peacekeeping Operations had a number of meetings, bilateral meetings, with a number of possible troop contributors. I think those meetings have gone well. They’ve talked about details of the deployment, strategic airlift, the kind of equipment that people would bring. So, the discussions are moving ahead and in a fairly detailed form.
Question: I believe it was Massimo D’Alema today, in Rome, who said that Italy would not be sending troops unless the Israelis stopped firing. I wanted to know, first of all, if the Secretary-General has had any contact with D’Alema or Prodi today? Also, is he going to be involved in the meeting, even at a distance, that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is having with D’Alema and Prodi, on Thursday, in Rome?
Spokesman: No, I do not believe we will be involved in that meeting. The Secretary-General has not spoken with Mr. Prodi today. But, he has spoken to him a number of times within the last three or four days. Obviously, the cessation of hostilities has been holding. It’s fragile, so having troops in there as quickly as possible would help strengthen that cessation of hostilities.
Question: Does the Secretary-General have any sense of what the Iranian response is to the incentive package, or does he have any comment on it?
Spokesman: We’re obviously waiting to see the details of that response before we actually have a comment on it.
Question: Ambassadors in Tehran received the responses. Has anybody at the United Nations similarly received the responses?
Spokesman: No, the responses were given to those that made the offer, which is the EU 3 + 3.
Question: So, how will you get the…
Spokesman: We expect to be briefed by those who receive the offer.
Question: The Secretary-General believes that it’s never too late to talk. The Iranian word is that they want to have serious negotiations. Does he feel there should be a firm deadline regarding the move to sanctions, or that maybe there’s room for manoeuvring and negotiations?
Spokesman: I think the Secretary-General has always believed in dialogue. As to the specific offer made today, I think we’re going to wait until we see it before we make any further comment.
Question: Has there been any movement by the Department of Political Affairs to engineer the recognition of Israel by those countries that do not have recognition or diplomatic ties, so as to facilitate the deployment of their troops in Lebanon?
Spokesman: The issue of diplomatic ties between Member States is exactly the affair of those Member States. We are, as far as force composition is concerned, continuing to talk to all sorts of Member States. It is likely that, you’ll see a force that is both European and non-European, Muslim and non-Muslim.
Question: On the Department of Political Affairs, yesterday I had asked about Somalia and Ethiopia -- who in the United Nations had done anything. I hadn’t heard back yet. There are now reports of clashes between Islamic Courts and Ethiopian troops in Puntland. I don’t know if you can somehow expedite their…
Spokesman: I’ll try.
Question: In light of the fact that the troop-contributing meeting was postponed -- and that, at the last one they had last Thursday, various countries came forward and pledged some troops -- who has pledged since then?
Spokesman: I can’t go into naming names and details at this point, from here. But, the fact that there has not been a formal troop-contributing meeting does not mean that things are not going well. In fact, as I said before you came into the room, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations had quite a number of meetings with potential donors, both European and non-Europeans.
Question: You have nothing to announce?
Spokesman: I have nothing to announce.
Question: Not even on the Italians?
Spokesman: I have no firm commitments to announce, but as I said, the discussions are going on at all levels very actively.
Question: But, the fact that you said that 50 percent of the troops had left, the Israeli troops -- is that encouraging to you, even though there are no peacekeepers going, more than a week after the conflict ended?
Spokesman: It’s encouraging that the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Force and the expansion of Lebanese forces are going ahead. But, this is all very fragile. This is being done with the 2,000 or so UNIFIL troops that have been on the ground since the beginning. We need a bulkhead very quickly to shore up what has already been achieved.
Question: Has the Secretary-General… Or, maybe you can brief us on what United Nations efforts there have been in establishing or having a dialogue with Syrian and Iranian leadership -- any imminent discussions?
Spokesman: The Secretary-General, as I’ve said from here, has been in touch, I think, last week with both the Iranian and Syrian leadership, encouraging them to play a positive role in the implementation of resolution 1701.
Question: What sort of feedback has he had from them, and does he have any planned discussions for today, tomorrow, the coming days?
Spokesman: I can’t go into what may be planned. But, we very much hope that those countries that do have an influence in the region and in Lebanon exercise that influence positively.
Question: I just want to clarify. Is it possible that Indonesia, Malaysia and these other countries that don’t have diplomatic relations, could still be part of this force, for the enhanced UNIFIL?
Spokesman: It is clear that we will see Muslim nations in this force? We want to see a force that is politically legitimate, and that is militarily legitimate, in the eyes of all the parties involved.
Question: Two questions. Firstly, the figure of 3,500 troops that you want on the ground by the 28th, does that refer to the total troops or additional troops? In which latter case that would mean, I believe, 5,500. There were 2,000 there already.
Spokesman: It is additional to the 2,000 already on the ground.
Question: So, there would be 5,500 total?
Spokesman: That’s correct.
Question: Also, you mentioned the Secretary-General will be reporting daily to the Council on events over the Blue Line. Does that mean only clashes that take place across the border or any clashes that take place anywhere in Lebanon?
Spokesman: No, it would be -- and I should thank you for correcting me -- it would also, obviously, be incidents within southern Lebanon. It would be a daily report of -- incident reports relating to -- the cessation of hostilities.
Question: Everything to do with 1701, basically?
Question: Just to clarify, because you keep repeating that there should be Muslim States in there -- the issue, as it was framed yesterday by Ambassador Bolton and others, is whether the countries that participate in the force will have diplomatic relations with Lebanon and Israel; the question is not whether they’re Islamic. The countries where there are no relations with Lebanon or Israel -- are they acceptable as contributors?
Spokesman: We want to see a force that is legitimate politically, that is truly an international force. I think our first step is to assemble the troop contributors and that’s what we’re doing.
Question: This may have been asked earlier. Would the United Nations take upon itself to encourage any Muslim nation or other nation that doesn’t recognize Israel or, let’s say, Lebanon, to go through the formality of recognizing those States before contributing?
Spokesman: The issue of establishing diplomatic relations can be quite lengthy. It is clear that you could see, in the force, countries that may not have formal ties with either of these two countries. The point is to have a force that works, that doesn’t create more problems, and that is legitimate politically.
Question: Assuming that Indonesia and Malaysia were acceptable to both parties, could they go in immediately or do they have to wait until other countries deploy?
Spokesman: We’re talking to all sorts of troop contributors about how quickly they can deploy. Obviously, some of them are self-deployable, if that’s a term. Others would need strategic airlift assistance. Those are the kinds of questions that are being raised.
Question: They can go in individually and integrate?
Spokesman: They would go in, obviously, in a way that is coordinated by UNIFIL. But, we’re working on timelines with those countries.
Question: So, there’s no staging area where…
Spokesman: We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Obviously, it would depend on what contributions they have, whether or not they deploy themselves by ship, whether we use some of the rear bases in Cyprus. Those are detailed questions that will be addressed. As they commit, there will be a phased, coordinated deployment by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Question: Across First Avenue today, there’s this kind of silent protest against Agent Orange. I don’t know if you saw this. Having seen, here, Mark Malloch Brown holding a luncheon for Dow Chemicals last month, which is the maker of Agent Orange, it made me wonder. Maybe you can comment on it, and maybe Mr. Malloch Brown can explain, what goes into deciding who to, sort of, laud in the Delegates’ Lounge. Dow Chemicals, they’re being sued by Amnesty International, et cetera… It led me to believe that the protest outside, and this luncheon… Can you explain how the United Nations decides when to invite corporations in, and on what basis?
Spokesman: I don’t have any details of the lunch or the protest you’re referring to. But, it is clear that the Secretary-General has made it part of his effort to reach out to different constituencies, whether it’s non-governmental organizations or civil society, and to reach out to corporations -- transnational corporations -- who have a role to play in the world that we live in. You see that through the Global Compact, and in other areas where he’s worked closely with pharmaceutical companies in helping to distribute AIDS treatment that is cheaper and more affordable in the developing world. We reach out to corporations regularly, as we do to non-governmental organizations and civil society.
Question: Does he use the bully pulpit to ask them about issues that are…
Spokesman: I think that is the whole point of the Global Compact -- to ensure that corporations abide by standards of international law.
Question: Would it be possible, this afternoon, to get some explanation? Because Mr. Malloch Brown spoke, as did Amir Dossal of the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships. I mean, I’ll try myself, but your Office may have better luck. Just some explanation from them.
Spokesman: Okay. [The Spokesman later added that the CEO of the Dow Chemical Company had come to the United Nations Headquarters on 25 July 2006 to commit his company’s resources to developing new technologies and solutions for creating safer, more sustainable water supplies for communities around the world.]
Question: Terje Roed-Larsen is saying in interviews today that it could be two to three months before the Mission is “up to strength” or whatever. Mark Malloch Brown, on Friday, I wasn’t here, but I heard him desperately appealing to Europe. Though, he didn’t use the word desperate. What is the rate of satisfaction upstairs with the level of troops right now?
Spokesman: We would have loved to have been further down the line than we actually are. The talks are all proceeding; they’re proceeding well. We’ve gone over this issue of the rules of engagement; that’s really more of last week’s issue than this week. We do expect more clarity towards the end of the week, with the European Union meeting. But, we’re also, as I said, talking to a lot of non-European countries.
Question: Can you talk about the delayed meeting of the European Union?
Spokesman: I don’t want to speak for them, but my understanding is there are two meetings. There’s a political directors’ meeting on Wednesday and a foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday, in Brussels.
Question: Has UNIFIL reported seeing any Hizbollah weapons displayed in public? Is that something they would report on?
Spokesman: That is not something they have reported on, for the time being.
Thank you very much.
* *** *
UN delegation speaks of mixed feelings after ending its mission to Lebanon and Israel
The delegation, which is led by Vijay Nambiar, Special Political Adviser to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, arrived in Israel on Sunday night and met today with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem to discuss all aspects of the UN-backed resolution that led to last week’s cessation of hostilities with Hizbollah. Yesterday, the delegation, which also includes Terje Roed-Larsen, held talks with Israel’s Foreign Minister.
“The mission has reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism as we conclude our mission here. Our optimism is predominately grounded on the fact that, by and large, the ceasefire so far has been honoured,” Mr. Roed-Larsen told reporters before the delegation leaves Israel for Europe to brief the Secretary-General on the details of its meetings.
“The reason for pessimism is that until there is a capable and fully deployed Lebanese force along the borders, and in Southern Lebanon, and until there is implemented a full reconfiguration and deployment of an international force there will – up to a point, and I emphasize – remain a security vacuum in Lebanon.”
Mr. Roed-Larsen also said that the issue of the abducted Israeli soldiers had been raised by the delegation during all its meetings, as also had the issue of Israel lifting the embargo on Beirut’s airport and latterly the full blockade.
Mr. Nambiar told the reporters that there had also been “considerable discussions” on the question of enhancing the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which currently stands at 2,000 strong, but which resolution 1701 calls to be increased to a maximum of 15,000 personnel.
“We are hoping that in the course of the coming days, particularly at the forthcoming meeting in Brussels of the European Union (EU) that there will be some concrete indications of enhanced offerings from the European countries for this force,” he said.
The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1701 on 11 August, in which it called for an immediate cessation of hostilities – which went into effect on 14 August local time, the deployment of Lebanese troops, the significantly expanded UN peacekeeping presence across southern Lebanon as well as the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the area.
UN agencies highlight shortages of water, shelter as most Lebanese have now returned
“I have never seen destruction like this,” said UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) water and sanitation specialist Branislav Jekic, after the agency conducted preliminary assessments in southern Lebanon. “Wherever we go, we ask people what they need most and the answer is always the same: water.”
"People want to move back to their communities. But whether they stay or not will depend on the availability of water.”
In 10 out of 12 war-affected communities visited by UNICEF in recent days, underground pipes and other water-related infrastructure had been seriously damaged or destroyed, the agency said, adding that it had stepped up its response to deal with the problem.
Since the beginning of the crisis on 12 July, more than a quarter of a million litres of bottled water has been sent to some of the worst-hit communities including Bint Jubail, Ait el Shaab and Tibnin. Currently, around 50,000 litres a week are being sent south by truck, but this quantity will more than double by the weekend.
Teams from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have also described similar needs in their assessments on the ground, highlighting also the destruction in the south.
“A UNHCR team that went through nine villages along the border on Monday saw this reality. Four of the villages were largely destroyed, with buildings razed and rubble strewn over the ground,” spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told reporters in Geneva.
“In response to requests for rebuilding assistance, UNHCR is preparing emergency repair tool kits that include plastic sheeting, plywood, corrugated metal sheets, wood, as well as basic tools such as hammers, nails, shovels.”
According to Lebanon’s Interior Ministry, some 97 per cent of those displaced by the conflict between Hizbollah and Israel have now returned to their homes, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today. OCHA also said that four more convoys of UN aid left Beirut for the south.
Further on the humanitarian front, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the World Bank, has donated $500,000 to Lebanon for emergency relief, a UN spokesman said in New York. UNDP has also established a political advisory group within the Lebanese Prime Minister's Office, concentrating on support to the recovery and reconstruction effort, with initial funding of $800,000.
Aug 21, 2006
21 August 2006
**Questions and Answers
Question: When you came in I didn’t get to hear whether you already spoke about the mission of Nambiar and Larsen in Lebanon. How do you characterize this mission?
Spokesman: Yes, I did read out a whole note. I can give you the note afterwards. But basically, their talks are progressing and they will, of course, report back to the Secretary-General when they return, probably mid-week.
As for the rules of engagement, they were -- the draft rules of engagement were -- given to Member States at the end of last week. All the ones that have asked for them have received them. We have not heard back any comments from any of the Member States, or any questions on the rules of engagement. We are actively seeking them. We will contact Member States to see if they do have any queries. But, the rules of engagement are as clear as they were explained to you by a number of senior officials over the last few days that while UNIFIL -- the enhanced UNIFIL -- will not go in as an offensive force, it will go in to police a political accord. It will have, in its very clearly stated rules of engagement -- the authority to use force where combatants forcefully resist demands from UNIFIL to disarm. It will have the authority to use force in its duties in the implementation of the resolution. And, I think those details are spelled out in the resolution itself.
Question: Do you know if this force will be deployed in all of Lebanon, including on the frontier with Syria?
Question: In that reference, I wanted to ask you -- Israel has been saying for the last two days that, now it has been asking the Italian Government to have its troops lead this so called international troop corps that is going to be part of UNIFIL. It has been saying it over and over. Also, what is the United Nations position on that? And the other thing is, also Israel has said, again and again, it will not accept troops -- at least suggesting that it will not be happy with the composition of troops, which are from countries unfriendly to it. So, does it have the veto power over this process, as to which nations can be part of this UNIFIL or not?
Question: Now that the French have basically abdicated their lead role that they were having, I think, if Israel is asking for other European countries it should be valid. The other thing I wanted to ask you about -- what kind of talks did the Secretary-General have with the Israeli Prime Minister over the ceasefire?
Spokesman: I don’t think I’m going to go into the successor issue. The Secretary-General, I think as you read in his past statements since last year’s General Assembly, has again and again expressed disappointment that the Member States were not able to come to some agreement to strengthen the non-proliferation treaties, and to deal with the issue of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And, he strongly believes that this, the peaceful settlement of this issue, would send the right signal in terms of nuclear non-proliferation.
Spokesman: First of all, we have absolutely nothing to announce on any eventual trip by the Secretary-General to the Middle East. The resolution 1701 calls for him to report on a whole host of issues, including political development and political agreements by the end of the month. I think before any trip can be considered, it is important that he hears back from Messrs. Nambiar and Roed-Larsen, who we expect to have back towards the middle of the week.
Spokesman: I don’t think so. The issue of disarmament of the militias is to create a weapons-free zone, except for that of the Lebanese Government, in southern Lebanon, and is the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon. UNIFIL is mandated to support that work, and the rules of engagement state that in implementing and discharging its duties, it has the authority to use force.
Question: But to use force to what? You say there’s not going to be disarmament, or mass disarmament as Mark Malloch Brown said. To use force for what?
Spokesman: I think what he said is that not mass disarmament performed by UNIFIL. UNIFIL will be there to police an accord reached by the Lebanese Government. And Mark, I think, was clear when he said, if combatants forcefully resist a demand from UNIFIL to disarm, if UNIFIL comes across a patrol… What I’m saying is, if UNIFIL comes across, in its patrolling, across armed men who refuse to disarm, they will have the option to use force. A lot of those decisions are obviously tactical decisions that will be left up to the commanders on the ground. But, the authority to use force in the discharge of its mandate is there.
Question: So, is UNIFIL under the command of the Lebanese Government?
Spokesman: No. UNIFIL is under…
Question: He says that there will be only disarmament, according to the political agreement by the Government of Lebanon. So, I mean, it seems to me like UNIFIL, it seems to me from what you’re saying, UNIFIL will be allowed to use force only to enforce something that the Government of Lebanon agrees to. So basically, UNIFIL is under the command of the Lebanese Government.
Spokesman: The issue of Srebrenica has been debated and looked at in various reports, both here and in other places. I think our focus is on how to make UNIFIL as useful and work as well as it can, and that is why these rules of engagement were devised.
Question: If he intends to go to Iran anyhow…?
Spokesman: I’d like to use a response which you suggested I use, which is: “asked and answered”. I think I answered that question earlier, which is: the resolution clearly states that the UN would, at the request of the Government of Lebanon, support its efforts to secure its borders. These are parts of the issues that the Secretariat would be discussing with the Government of Lebanon. I think you can look forward to suggestions in the Secretary-General’s next report. These are issues that would be looked at and I think the resolution in that regard is very clear.
UN delegation discusses Lebanon situation with Israeli Foreign Minister, other officials
The team, which arrived in Israel after meetings in Lebanon, was sent to the region to discuss ways of implementing Security Council resolution 1701 and, after meeting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, also held talks with the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's office, Defence Minister Amir Peretz, and Vice-Premier Shimon Peres.
“We have discussed a number of issues with the Foreign Minister; in particular, we discussed the prisoners’ issue…Further, we have discussed the necessity of implementing the Security Council resolution’s call for an arms embargo,” Terje Roed-Larsen, a senior member of the delegation, was quoted as saying after the meeting with the Foreign Minister.
“We have in this context also discussed the lifting of the blockade in Lebanon, both of the land crossings, seaports and at the airports,” he said, adding that the delegation hoped that “in the very near future” this can start to be lifted, with the appropriate authorities of Lebanon taking full control of all of its borders.
Vijay Nambiar, Special Political Adviser to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, leads the delegation and in their meeting with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Roed-Larsen said “all matters related to the implementation, full implementation, of all provisions of Security Council resolution 1701,” had been discussed.
“The meeting today has been very constructive, very friendly and very forward-looking. We have reason to be hopeful that now there will be a full respect of the ceasefire and full support of all parties concerned for the full and total implementation of Security Council resolution 1701.”
Mr. Roed-Larsen also characterized the other meetings held today by the delegation, as well as those in Lebanon, as “very good,” adding that they had received “very constructive attitudes and suggestions from all parties we have been speaking to so far.”
The Council unanimously adopted resolution 1701 on 11 August, in which it called for an immediate cessation of hostilities – which went into effect on 14 August local time, the deployment of Lebanese troops and a significantly expanded UN peacekeeping presence across southern Lebanon as well as the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the area.
In New York today, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701, which was given to its 15 members last Friday.
In the 13-page report, the Secretary-General says that he is “encouraged by the positive first steps” since the coming into effect of the cessation of hostilities a week ago, however he cautions that the situation remains “very fragile.”
“I call on all parties to do their utmost to ensure that the cessation of hostilities holds and to transform it into a durable ceasefire…I call on both the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to work resolutely towards a long-term solution and a permanent ceasefire.”
Mr. Annan also says that a reinforced UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), as called for by the resolution, “is not going to wage war on any of the actors in the theatre,” but emphasizes its supporting role to the political process and the importance of negotiation.
“That political process, however, will need the kind of help, assistance and confidence that only a robust peacekeeping presence can provide, in support of the Government of Lebanon and its efforts to exercise its authority effectively throughout its territory.”
Lebanese army moves into more positions vacated by Israeli troops as UN coordinates
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said that this latest withdrawal of Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the deployment of Lebanese troops was going ahead in accordance with plans agreed yesterday during a third trilateral meeting held between its Force Commander and senior representatives from both sides.
“Yesterday, the IDF withdrew from general areas of east-south and east-west of Bayt Yahoun and south along the road to Kunin. UNIFIL moved into vacated areas early in the afternoon. Today, the Lebanese Army shall take control over those areas.”
UNIFIL is continuing ground and air patrols throughout its area of operations to monitor the cessation of hostilities and said that there had been Israeli air violations yesterday.
“The cessation of hostilities was maintained in the past 24 hours. There was however, four air violations by Israeli jets and drones recorded yesterday,” the statement said.
As part of its humanitarian efforts, the Mission also distributed drinking water to villagers in El Khiam, Houle, Ebel Es Saqi and Wadi Khansa, and in total supplied 35,000 litres.
Aug 12, 2006
Latest UN Resolution on Lebanon - UNSCR1701 - below
BREAKING NEWS ON UN RESOLUTION!
We have published two versions of this new Security Council Resolution:
1. The Resolution itself with no additional info.
2. Following this we have published the official UN release which includes the resolution and introduction, comments and videos. See it at this link:
11 August 2006
Latest UN DOC's - Download the pdf's below
BREAKING NEWS ON UN RESOLUTION!1. Draft of UNSC Resolution (English)
2. Draft of UNSC Resolution (Arabic)
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Thursday, 10 August 2006
ANNAN URGES SECURITY COUNCIL TO PASS RESOLUTION ON LEBANON
U.N. FORCE IN LEBANON RECEIVES NEW, LIMITED SUPPLIES AS FIGHTING CONTINUES
HUMANITARIAN ACCESS IN LEBANON SEVERELY IMPAIRED
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CONVOYS FACE DELAYS AND RESTRICTIONS IN LEBANON
**Questions and Answers
Question: It’s on Lebanon. This morning, there was an unscheduled meeting between the Secretary-General, John Bolton and Ambassador de la Sablière, can you tell us who requested the meeting, what was the purpose, and how do you characterize the discussions? And also, what’s the outcome? There was a readout?
Spokesman: The meeting was at the request of the ambassadors who asked to see the Secretary-General. They obviously discussed the situation concerning the resolution, but I think you would have to ask them for more details. This is part of the Secretary-General’s ongoing contacts with Security Council members on the resolution.
Question: Both Ambassadors asked for the meeting?
Spokesman: That’s my understanding.
Question: I just wanted to find out, also, besides this meeting, has the Secretary-General also been in contact either with the American President or Condoleezza Rice about this issue and situation? Also, can you tell me, does the Secretary-General have anything –- Israel has apparently delayed movement into Lebanon? Does the Secretary-General have an opinion as to how it would impact talks?
Spokesman: Obviously, this is the moment for the diplomatic activity, which is extensive and intensive, focused here in New York and a number of capitals. The Secretary-General was on the phone this morning with the Foreign Minister of Israel, with the Prime Minister of Lebanon and the Secretary of State. And as I said, this is really part of his ongoing contacts with the parties involved in this situation.
Question: Did he speak with President Bush at all?
Spokesman: I think we told you, last contact was a few days ago. There have been no contacts since. Laura, and then we’ll go to James and Benny.
Question: Thing about Israel...?
Spokesman: You know, this should be seen as the moment for diplomatic activity. And again, the Secretary-General would reiterate his call for an immediate cessation.
Question: Steph, I just wanted to ask you. Because at the top of the briefing you said that there are fuel convoys that are going to fuel the UNIFIL positions. Because the UNIFIL press release, which is from this morning, and I know you –-
Spokesman: This is updated. Since then, a ship was able to dock in Naqoura and offload a number of supplies for UNIFIL, which is then being transported -- which we’re trying to transport by road to some of the forward positions.
Question: Right, then you also said later in the briefing is that there was no IDF okay for WFP convoys to travel south. Are they...?
Spokesman: Well, this has to –- they’re coming from different ways. Part of them are coming south from Beirut. We’re obviously -- UNIFIL is working closely with the IDF to get the necessary assurances of safety for its convoys to re-supply the troops. But the WFP ones, I think, were trying to come north from Beirut across the Litani River, which is a different route. Yes, James?
Question: The Secretary-General has spoken to the Lebanese Prime Minister today was that?
Spokesman: Yes, he did.
Question: Can you tell us whether he thinks the Lebanese Prime Minister is willing to accept the latest proposals by the US and the French?
Spokesman: No, I can’t go into the details.
Question: Can you characterize that conversation?
Spokesman: No, the only way to characterize the conversation is part of the intense discussions the Secretary-General has had.
Question: The last contact with President Assad of Syria was yesterday or was there one today?
Spokesman: No, there was none today. I’d have to check the phone logs.
Question: Just one follow-up question if I may. What is the Secretary-General doing tonight? Does he have any plans for tonight? Is he meeting any Security Council ministers tonight for instance?
Spokesman: I’m not briefed on his evening programme, but he remains focused on the work relating to the resolution and he may very well have more meetings as the day goes on. Yes, Benny?
Question: From your briefing, I assume that the Secretary-General is aware that the Security Council is seized of the question of Lebanon and Israel?
Spokesman: That’s correct.
Question: Article 12 of the UN Charter says that if the Security Council is seized of a certain matter, the General Assembly should not deal with it, and the Secretary-General should inform the General Assembly that the Security Council is seized of the matter. Now, there’s an emergency session tomorrow of an organ of the General Assembly, which is the jewel of Kofi Annan’s reform, the Human Rights Council, about this. Has the Secretary-General informed the Human Rights Council that the Security Council is seized of this matter?
Spokesman: I will have to get an opinion from the Legal Office before I answer that question. I think in terms of the general situation regarding violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, the Secretary-General believes that the seriousness of the situation has affected civilians on both sides and that the approach should be to look at what has happened on both sides. Yes?
Question: And follow-up, has the Secretary-General received the letter from the Anti-Defamation League in the same vein as an ad that was in today’s New York Times that says that basically he has not -- has been one-sided [inaudible] –-
Spokesman: I’m not aware that the letter has been received, but I think the tone of the ad is misplaced and people should read his statements in full and see that the Secretary-General has expressed condemnation for the death of all civilians. Yes?
Question: One more follow-up, on the last phone call with Assad, has Assad told him something to the effect that the last version of the resolution was unacceptable and [talkover].
Spokesman: I’m not able to characterize the tone of that conversation. Joe?
Question: I have two questions. On the meeting today, are these meetings between the ambassadors and the Secretary-General to inform the Secretary-General what the status of the negotiations are, or are they seeking input from him, some ideas that he might have to break the deadlock or to ask him to make phone calls like [inaudible] to get on the phone to the Syrian leader, that kind of thing?
Spokesman: You know, the Security Council members and the two co-drafters are in the lead of writing that resolution and they are keeping the Secretary-General informed. Through his phone calls, the Secretary-General has been pushing his global message, which was the one I referred to in the beginning. But I’m not going to go and characterize and go into the details of exactly all the conversations and discussions that are going on.
Question: Is it his own initiative to make these calls or is he being asked to represent [inaudible]?
Spokesman: No, this is, some of these calls he receives and other calls he makes at his initiative.
Question: The United States is not speaking to Syria, so are they using the Secretary-General...?
Spokesman: I’m not going into that level of detail. Yes?
Question: Unrelated. UNIFIL, they keep statistics, I assume. Can you tell us from them how many rockets were fired from Hizbollah positions into Israel from 2000 when the withdrawal began to the beginning of hostilities now? Is that something they might have?
Spokesman: We can check. I mean they do monitor and, regularly over the past four, five or six years they’ve put out press releases with these things. So, we can see if they have some sort of global numbers. Yes, Mr. Pincas?
Question: I have an observation here –-
Spokesman: I hope, I’d like to restrict this briefing to questions. So, if you have a question, please.
Question: It’s a very serious question. It’s difference in information given to us here and information that’s given in Geneva. Now I’m reading from the 8 August United Nations Information Service Geneva document, which you distribute here. Now, in this document, the draft resolution that was presented here on Saturday is described as a French resolution, a French draft. We were told that this was an America-French draft. Which is the fact?
The second question deals with the finances. On finances, the appeal for Lebanon produced $41 million -– that’s the Lebanon flash appeal –- which represents 26 per cent of what was appealed. In addition, $28 million was given to the World Food Programme, but...
Spokesman: Are you trying to get numbers? We can –- no, listen, Mr. Pincas. No, I understand. Mr. Pincas, we will get you numbers from OCHA on the Lebanon Appeal. I can’t comment in detail on what you’re reading. If there’s a discrepancy, we apologize for it, but I will get you those financial numbers.
Question: That’s not my question here. My question is that $337 million was pledged by the oil-exporting countries. This information wasn’t given to us. My question is, for what purpose was that, because this is outside what is being described as humanitarian aid. This is a serious question.
Spokesman: I will try and get an answer to your question about the information flow between here and Geneva.
Question: What was the draft from Saturday? Was it French or was it American?
Spokesman: I think you would have to speak to the members of the Council.
Spokesman: You will have to speak to the members of the Council. We are not the sponsors of the resolution. You will have to speak to them.
Question: Two questions. First, the UNIFIL position that was hit. Do you know how many UNIFIL people were stuck there and where they were at the time of...?
Spokesman: The one that was hit today by Hizbollah?
Question: The Deir Mimess.
Spokesman: Yeah, I don’t have those details with me but we can find out right afterwards.
Question: The second thing about the oil spill in Lebanon. The two UN experts dispatched to Syria, part of the plan was that they were going to take samples to figure out what kind of oil we’re dealing with. Do you have any idea when those results are due?
Spokesman: No. But we can check with UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme) after the briefing. Yes, Matthew?
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Tuesday, 8 August 2006
LEBANON: ANNAN SUPPORTS CALLS FOR PROBE OF QANA BOMBING
FIGHTING RAGES IN BLUE LINE BETWEEN ISRAEL/LEBANON
LEBANON: FIGHTING SLOWS HUMANITARIAN HELP, U.N AGENCIES SAY
LEBANON: U.N. TO ASSESS DAMAGE CAUSED BY OIL SPILL
EMERGENCY SUPPLIES TO LEBANON DELAYED: U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY
SECURITY COUNCIL TO HOLD MEETING ON MIDDLE EAST CRISIS
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