Although the situation in the Golan Heights has remained generally quiet over the past six months, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended extending the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the area through the end of the year.
In his latest report to the Security Council on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the Secretary-General says the situation in the Middle East is very tense and likely to remain so, "unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached."
Under the circumstances, the Secretary-General says, he considers the continued presence of UNDOF to be essential, and recommends that it be extended until 31 December.
UNDOF was established in May 1974 to supervise the ceasefire called for by the Security Council and the agreement on disengagement between Syrian and Israeli forces of 31 May 1974. It currently has 1,050 troops from Austria, Canada, Japan, Nepal, Poland and Slovakia. In addition, 78 military observers of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) helped the Force in carrying out its tasks.
The Security Council has scheduled consultations on UNDOF for Friday.