Strongly condemning threats to Lebanon’s stability, Security Council extends UN peacekeeping force
The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force monitoring the Israeli-Lebanese border by another year and called on all parties in the region to abide with the cessation of hostilities and respect the safety of UNIFIL and other UN personnel.
In a morning meeting in New York, the Council agreed to extend the work of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) until 31 August 2014, as it condemned acts to threaten the country’s security and stability, and reaffirmed its determination to ensure that no such acts of intimidate will prevent UNIFIL form carrying out its mandate.
The 15-member body commended UNIFIL for helping to establish a “new strategic environment in southern Lebanon” and called for further cooperation between the interim force and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), particularly regarding coordinated and adjacent patrols.
It also urged the Government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar “without further delay”.
Established in 1978, UNIFIL is tasked with ensuring that the area between the Blue Line and the Litani River is free of unauthorized weapons, personnel and assets. It also cooperates with the LAF so they can fulfil their security responsibilities.
In its resolution, the Security Council also called for rapid finalization of the investigation launched by Lebanon regarding the 27 May, 26 July and 9 December 2011 attacks, and to bring those responsible to justice.
The Council also urged all parties “to ensure that the freedom of movement of UNIFIL is fully respected and unimpeded” avoiding any course of action which endangers the UN.
In addition, the Council welcomed efforts undertaken by the UN mission to implement Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s zero-tolerance police on sexual exploitation and abuse, and to ensure full compliance of its personnel with the UN code of conduct.
In case of improper action, the troop-contributing countries are urged to take preventive and disciplinary action to property investigate and punish their personnel, the Security Council wrote.