On 10 August, the Security Council held consultations on UNIFIL. Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions Alexandre Zouev briefed.
On 30 August, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2591, which extended UNIFIL’s mandate until 31 August 2022. While challenging, negotiations appear to have been less difficult than one year ago, as this time there was seemingly no discussion of reconsidering UNIFIL’s mandate or altering the mission’s configuration. The main novel element introduced by resolution 2591 is language requesting UNIFIL to support and assist the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with the provision of non-lethal material and logistical support for a temporary period of six months.
On 22 July, the members of the Security Council received a briefing in consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka, and UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano del Col briefed members. This was Wronecka’s first briefing in this position, following her appointment in April.
In other developments, on 15 July Saad Hariri stepped down as prime minister-designate after failing to form a government since his designation as new prime minister on 22 October 2020. On 26 July, the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, named Najib Mikati as Lebanon’s next prime minister and tasked him to form a government.
On 11 May, Security Council members held closed VTC consultations on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559. Under‑Secretary‑General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed.
On 25 May, the Informal Experts Group (IEG) on Women, Peace and Security held their first meeting on Lebanon. The IEG members were briefed by the Deputy Special Coordinator and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon Najat Rochdi and by the Deputy Head of Mission for UNIFIL Jack Christofides, accompanied by other members of the UN Country Team.
On 18 March, Security Council members received a briefing in consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701 in a closed VTC meeting. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon Najat Rochdi briefed.
On 17 November, Security Council members heard a briefing on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701 in a closed VTC meeting. Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Mohamed Khaled Khiari, and the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Ján Kubiš, briefed.
On 22 October, the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, tasked Saad Hariri with forming a new government following the resignation on 10 August of Hassan Diab in the aftermath of the 4 August Beirut port explosion.
On 28 October, Under‑Secretary‑General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed Council members on the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2020/1032) on the implementation of resolution 1559 in a closed VTC meeting. On 28 October, the Secretary-General issued an implementation plan for the recommendations contained in his 1 June assessment report on the continued relevance of UNIFIL’s resources, in accordance with the Council’s request in resolution 2539.
On 4 August, a massive explosion in the port of Beirut led to at least 200 deaths, wounded more than 6,500 people and devastated significant parts of the capital city of Lebanon. The blast was caused by an extremely large quantity of inadequately stored ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound commonly used as fertiliser. On 10 August, Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned following widespread anti-government protests in the aftermath of the explosion. Diab’s government has nonetheless continued to serve in a caretaker capacity during the negotiations for the formation of a new government.
On 11 August, Security Council members heard a briefing on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701 in a closed VTC meeting. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ján Kubiš and Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council.
On 28 August, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2539, which renewed the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2021. While the resolution did not make substantial changes to the mission’s mandate, it reduced the force’s troop ceiling from 15,000—as set out by resolution 1701—to 13,000.
On 4 May, the Security Council heard a briefing on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 in a closed VTC meeting. The Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Ján Kubiš, and Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council. This meeting was originally scheduled to take place in March but was postponed because of the impact of COVID-19 on the Council’s working methods. Following the meeting, Council members issued press elements that commended the work of UNIFIL, emphasised the importance of the force being able to fulfil its mandate, and condemned any attacks on UNIFIL peacekeepers. On 13 May, Under‑Secretary‑General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Council on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559 in a closed VTC meeting. Following the meeting, Council members issued press elements that stressed the need to fully implement resolution 1559, which requires the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon and stated that violations of the Lebanese sovereignty by air and land should immediately stop. Council members further emphasised the urgent need for the Lebanese government to carry out economic reform in the country and expressed their support to Lebanon in addressing the economic, security, and humanitarian challenges, as well as the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, that are facing the country.
On 25 November, Council members held consultations on the implementation of resolution 1701. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ján Kubiš and Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Mohamed Khaled Khiari briefed Council members on the latest developments in Lebanon and the most recent Secretary-General’s report.
On 13 August, Council members held consultations on UNIFIL. Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Mohamed Khaled Khiari briefed members on UNFIL ahead of the mandate renewal. On 29 August, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2484, extending the mandate of UNIFIL in its current configuration for another year.
On 14 May, the Council held closed consultations on the implementation of resolution 1559. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed on the latest Secretary-General’s report and the most recent developments in Lebanon. After the meeting, Council members agreed on press elements in which they reaffirmed strong support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon; welcomed institutional progress and reconstruction efforts followed by the formation of new government; and reiterated that Lebanese Armed Forces are the only legitimate armed forces in the country.
On 27 March, the Council held consultations on the implementation of resolution 1701 which called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel in 2006. Council members were briefed by newly appointed Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ján Kubiš; Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix; and UNIFIL Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col.
On 19 December, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council on the situation in Lebanon, and specifically on the recently discovered tunnels south of the Blue Line. Lacroix noted that UNIFIL confirmed the existence of four tunnels, two of which are crossing the Blue Line in violation of resolution 1701. The Israeli ambassador told the Council that the tunnels were dug up by Hezbollah as a part of its plan to attack Israel. He further blamed the Lebanese army for cooperating with Hezbollah. The Lebanese representative accused Israel of continuously violating resolution 1701 but said that Lebanon is willing to engage to resolve the situation peacefully. While expressing concern about the recent developments, Council members called on restraint from both sides.
On 21 November, Council members held a meeting in consultations on implementation of resolution 1701 with briefings from UN Acting Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Bintou Keita. Council members were updated on recent developments and the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2018/1029).
On 9 August, Council members issued a press statement condemning the 4 August attack against UNIFIL in southern Lebanon. During the incident, some of the UNIFIL’s vehicles were set on fire and weapons and equipment seized while the peacekeepers were threatened with illegal weapons. On 15 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita briefed Council members in consultations on the situation in Lebanon. During the consultations, members reiterated their support for the mission and the importance of stability in Lebanon for the wider region. On 30 August, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2433, extending UNIFIL’s mandate for another year.
On 23 July, Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed Council members in consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701. Kardel informed Council members about the latest political developments in Lebanon, while Lacroix covered the developments related to UNIFIL and its area of operations.
On 24 May, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča briefed Council members in consultations on the implementation of resolution 1559 and the most recent Secretary-General’s report. The discussions centred on several issues including presence of weapons outside government control and the existence of heavily armed militias and involvement of Hezbollah in the Syrian conflict. Council members also discussed the successful holding of 6 May elections in Lebanon.
On 20 March, Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel briefed Council members in consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701.
On 12 December, France initiated a meeting under “any other business” on the situation in Lebanon. Ambassador François Delattre (France) briefed the Council on the 8 December meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon which was held in Paris. On 19 December, the Council adopted a press statement that welcomed Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon and his decision to continue his term. Furthermore, the statement reiterated the need to protect Lebanon from crises that are destabilising the Middle East.
On 29 November, Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed members in consultations on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2017/964). Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon and Officer in Charge of UNSCOL also briefed the Council.
On 20 July, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s 11 July report on the implementation of resolution 1701, which called for a cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006. Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations El-Ghassim Wane also briefed on UNIFIL.
On 11 May, Council members met in consultations to discuss the 28 April semi-annual report on the implementation of resolution 1559, which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory.
On 17 March Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, El Ghassim Wane, briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s 8 March report on the implementation of resolution 1701. On 9 March, the Council received the Secretary-General’s strategic review of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, which was requested by resolution 2305 of August 2016.
On 19 December, Council members issued a press statement on the announcement earlier that day of the formation of a national unity government in Lebanon and congratulated Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Cabinet. The members of the Council stressed the importance of the holding of parliamentary elections by May 2017, in accordance with the Constitution, in order to sustain Lebanon’s democratic tradition.
On 1 November, the Council adopted a presidential statement welcoming the election of President Michel Aoun in accordance with the Lebanese constitution and stressing that the formation of a unity government and the election of a parliament by May 2017 are critical for Lebanon’s stability. On 2 November, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed Council members in consultations on the latest report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 1559, and on 10 November Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed members in consultations on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701.
On 22 August, a meeting of troop-contributing countries to UNIFIL was held. On 24 August, Council members met in consultations to discuss the renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate. On 30 August, the Council adopted resolution 2305, which renewed UNIFIL’s mandate for an additional year and requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of UNIFIL by February 2017.
In July, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Affairs Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701, which called for a cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.
On 13 May, Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen briefed Council members on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559 on the disarmament of militias and the extension of government control over Lebanese territory. On 24 May, which marked two years of a vacancy in the presidency, members of the Council issued a press statement that underscored their deepest concern over the vacancy and expressed their intention to continue following related developments with a particular sense of urgency.
Council members were briefed on 16 March by Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag on the implementation of resolution 1701 and the most recent Secretary-General’s UNIFIL report. Assistant Secretary-General for the Rule of Law in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Dimitry Titov also briefed. The following day they issued a press statement, reaffirming deep concern over the 21-month vacancy in the presidency of Lebanon and the current political stalemate (SC/12287).
On 13 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning 12 November terrorist attacks in Beirut (SC/12120). On 18 November, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag on the latest UNIFIL report (S/2015/837). The following day, Council members issued another press statement expressing concern over 18 month vacancy of the presidency in Lebanon (SC/12128).
On 27 October, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559. Key areas of focus included the enormous impact the Syrian crisis has on the political, security and humanitarian situations in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s military activities in Syria, subsequent sectarian tensions and cross-border incidents were also discussed. Also, of particular interest was political crisis caused by the vacancy of the presidency.
On 13 August, Council members met with UNIFIL troop-contributing countries (S/PV.7503). On 14 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed Council members on the work of UNIFIL, the threats Lebanon is facing due to the war in neighbouring Syria and the need for Lebanon to fill the office of the president, which has been vacant since 25 May 2014. On 21 August, the Council adopted resolution 2236, extending the mandate of UNIFIL for one year.
On 8 July, the Council members were briefed in consultations by Hervé Ladsous , Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordiator for Lebanon. Ladsous and Kaag briefed the Council on the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2015/475) on the implementation of resolution 1701 as well as the most recent developments in Lebanon and UNIFlL’s area of operations and Lebanon.
On 28 April, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Terje Rød-Larsen briefed Council members in consultations on the latest report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 1559. In his report, the Secretary-General expressed his disappointment at the lack of tangible progress towards the implementation of the remaining provisions of resolution 1559 and that Lebanon continues to face challenges to its stability and security, both internally and along its borders with Syria. He also reiterated that Hezbollah’s maintenance of sizeable and sophisticated military capabilities outside the control of the government remains a matter of grave concern and condemned the continued violation of the sovereignty of Lebanon, including cross-border incidents in which civilians and members of the Lebanese Armed Forces have been killed or injured on the Lebanese side of the border because of the actions of warring parties in Syria.
Council members met in consultations on 17 March when Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet briefed on the most recent report on the implementation of resolution 1701, which in 2006 called for a cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel. Kaag addressed a wide range of pressing issues related to Lebanon, including a 28 January incident along the Blue Line. Kaag noted that a UNIFIL preliminary report on the incident had been shared with the parties for comment. She touched upon numerous other issues, such as the possession of arms by Hezbollah; the manifold effects of the Syrian conflict on Lebanon, including the importance of Lebanon’s maintaining its policy of disassociation from that conflict; and the refugee crisis. Mulet briefed on several other incidents in UNIFIL’s area of operations and also on the investigation into the 28 January incident. Following consultations, France circulated a comprehensive presidential statement on Lebanon. The statement, which was adopted on 19 March addressed stability along the Blue Line and in the UNIFIL area of operations; the now ten-month stalemate in the election of a president; the increasing negative impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s stability; the impact of hosting nearly 1.2 million Syrian registered refugees; the renewal of the mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; and the Council’s supportive stance towards the LAF and the International Support Group for Lebanon, which aims to help Lebanon cope with the influx of Syrian refugees.
On 11 January, Security Council members issued a press statement expressing outrage at a terrorist attack carried out a day earlier in Tripoli that Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility for (SC/11731). On 28 January, Council members were briefed in consultations on UNIFIL after a Spanish peacekeeper was killed earlier in the day near the border with Israel. During the incident, UNIFIL had observed six rockets launched towards Israel from the vicinity of Wazzani north of Maysat in the UNIFIL area of operations. Israeli forces returned fire. At press time, it seemed possible that Council members would issue a press statement in response the incident.
On 12 November, Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2014/784). Following the meeting, Council president for November, Gary Quinlan (Australia), read out agreed elements to the press expressing concern with the prolonged vacancy in the office of the president of Lebanon, underlined the importance of parliament acting to ensure that presidential elections take place and strongly encouraged Lebanese leaders to show urgency and flexibility on the issue. They also stressed the importance of all Lebanese parties acting to preserve national unity, consistent with the commitments made in the Baabda Declaration to respect the policy of disassociation from the conflict in Syria.
On 4 August the Security Council issued a press statement which condemned the attacks by violent extremist groups against the Lebanese forces in the area of Arsal beginning on 2 August 2014; appealed to all Lebanese parties to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability, consistent with their commitment in the Baabda Declaration; and stressed that effective implementation of resolution 1701 remains crucial to ensuring stability in Lebanon. On 14 August Council members met with UNIFIL troop-contributing countries. On 20 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed Council members on the work of UNIFIL, the situation in Arsal and the threats Lebanon is facing due to the war in neighbouring Syria and the need for Lebanon to fill the office of the president, which has been vacant since 25 May. On 26 August, the Council adopted resolution 2172, extending the mandate of UNIFIL for one year, until 31 August 2015.
On 6 May, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559. Key areas of focus included the enormous impact the Syrian crisis is having on the political, security and humanitarian situations in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s military activities in Syria, subsequent sectarian tensions and pronounced cross-border incidents were also discussed. Of particular interest was the probable political stalemate and power vacuum that might ensue if a new president was not elected by 25 May. At press time, France had circulated a draft presidential statement expressing disappointment that the election of a new president had not taken place within the constitutional timeframe.
On 25 March, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmund Mulet on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on implementation of resolution 1701. Discussion focused on the relative calm in UNIFIL’s area of operations despite two major security incidents and the added value of the tripartite mechanism in deescalating tensions between Israel and Lebanon. Discussion also focused on the tremendous impact the Syrian crisis is having on Lebanon including a marked increase of Syrian fire across Lebanon’s border. Finally, there was discussion of the new government formed on 20 March and the upcoming presidential elections slated for 25 May.
The Council issued three press statements in January in response to escalating sectarian terrorist attacks linked to the spillover effects of the Syrian crisis in Lebanon (SC/11239, SC/11249 and SC/11256). All of the statements stressed national unity and the importance for all parties to respect Lebanon’s policy of disassociation and to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis. Separately, on 16 January, the Council welcomed the opening of the trial at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in a terrorist attack that also killed 21 others (SC/11250).
On 16 December, Council members issued a press statement condemning the 15 December shooting of an Israeli soldier by a Lebanese soldier near the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. On 27 December, the Council issued another press statement condemning the assassination Lebanese Minister Mohammed Chatah in Beirut, stressing the importance of Lebanon’s policy of disassociation and that all parties should refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis.
On 19 November, the Council issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack targeting the Iranian Embassy in Beirut which killed 23 and wounded at least 140. The statement also stressed respect for Lebanon’s policy of disassociation and for all Lebanese parties to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis. On 26 November, Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly briefed Council members on the Secretary General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701 and on the activities of UNIFIL. He reported that while UNIFIL’s area of operations remained relatively calm, there had been heightened tension in Lebanon related to the Syrian crisis and that the Lebanese Armed Forces had played a crucial role in maintaining stability. Following consultations, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the International Support Group for Lebanon and its support of Lebanon’s humanitarian and security needs and again stressed the need for all parties to respect the disassociation policy.
On 24 October, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559. Key areas of discussion included the political stalemate, the influx of Syrian refugees, Hezbollah’s military activities in Syria and subsequent sectarian tensions demonstrated by the recent large-scale terrorist bombings in Beirut and Tripoli and pronounced cross-border incidents. He said Lebanon was facing the most dangerous situation in its history since 1990, when its own civil war ended.
On 15 August, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack that occurred in South Beirut, which killed at least 10 people and wounded more than 100. Council members held consultations on UNIFIL on 22 August, receiving a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet. The Council issued a press statement on 23 August condemning terrorist attacks earlier in the day in Tripoli, which killed more than 42 people and injured over 400. On 29 August, the Council adopted a resolution renewing the mandate of UNIFIL for an additional year.
On 9 July, UN Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly and peacekeeping head Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s 26 June report, which portrayed the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations as stable. The following day the Council adopted a presidential statement expressing growing concern about the spillover effects of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s political, security and humanitarian situations. On 9 July, a bomb exploded in a predominantly Shi’a neighborhood of Beirut, injuring 53 people. The Council issued a press statement the same day condemning the attack and calling for all Lebanese parties to refrain from involvement in the Syrian crisis. On 16 July, the Council held a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria. As a participant, Lebanon emphasised that it cannot cope by itself with the massive refugee influx and appealed to the international community for $1.7 billion in direct aid to fund the humanitarian response and provision of essential services.
On 4 June, Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernández-Taranco addressed the spill-over effects on Lebanon due to the influx Syrian refugees during a horizon-scanning briefing by the Department of Political Affairs to Council members. At the monthly Middle East briefing on 25 June, he reported that Hezbollah’s announcement on 25 May of its military involvement in Syria on behalf of the Syrian government marked a turning point in the heightening sectarian tension in Lebanon.
On 8 May, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559. The destabilising effects of the spillover from the conflict in Syria on the political and security situation in Lebanon, and the region, was a key area of discussion. Sectarian tensions in Tripoli, the influx of Syrian refugees and Israeli aerial attacks on Syria, reportedly from Lebanese air space, have all challenged Lebanon’s stated policy of disassociation from the conflict in Syria. It seems there was also a pessimistic assessment that Lebanese parliamentary elections slated for June would take place given the impasse on an election law.
The impact of the conflict in Syria on Lebanon was raised again during an open humanitarian briefing on Syria on 18 April and during the quarterly open debate on the Middle East on 24 April. During his remarks on 18 April, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres described the crisis in Syria as an “existential threat” to Lebanon, noting that Syrian refugees currently make up at least 10 percent of the population of Lebanon.
On 14 March, Council members heard a briefing in consultations from the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, on the most recent Secretary-General’s 1701 report. Following the briefing, members issued a press statement that expressed concern over cross-border incidents between Syria and Lebanon and over the impact of the conflict in Syria on the stability of its southern neighbour.
On 21 February, Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon issued a ruling postponing the start of the trial in absentia of four individuals charged in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri because the prosecution had not yet met requirements that it disclose all evidence to the defence. The prosecution supported the decision to postpone.
On 9 November, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559. On 29 November, Council members received a briefing in consultations from both the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Edmond Mulet, on the most recent report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 1701. The report welcomed the “general calm” that prevails in UNIFIL’s area of operations but also drew attention to “deliberate attempts to destabilize Lebanon, most notably the terrorist bombing in Beirut” of 19 October and the lack of progress towards a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.
On 19 October a car bomb in Beirut killed at least 8 people, including its intended target, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the intelligence chief of the Internal Security Forces. The Security Council issued a press statement strongly condemning the attack and appealing to the Lebanese people to “preserve national unity in face of such attempts to undermine the country’s stability.” In other developments, on 24 October, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon unanimously dismissed the challenges raised by the defence attorneys for the four Hezbollah members indicted by the Tribunal that it lacked jurisdiction over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in his address to the General Assembly on 27 September that the security consequences of the Syrian crisis threaten peace and stability in the Middle East, specifically in Lebanon. In other developments, Lebanon’s National Dialogue Committee issued a statement following its 20 September meeting say that there was agreement to consider the Lebanese president’s proposal on a national defence strategy, including the issue of Hezbollah’s arms.
On 23 August, Council members met in consultations to discuss the Secretary-General’s letter which provided an update on the implementation of the strategic review of UNIFIL and recommended extending the mission’s mandate for 12 months. On 30 August, the Security Council adopted resolution 2064 extending UNIFIL to 31 August 2013. In other developments, the National Dialogue Committee met on 16 August but postponed discussion of Hezbollah’s arms.
Council members issued a press statement on 18 July, welcoming the reconvening of the National Dialogue and expressing concern over border violations in the north. On 17 July, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s 28 June report. Plumbly informed Council members that some Lebanese Armed Forces troops in southern Lebanon redeployed north due to instability on the Syrian-Lebanese border. As a consequence, UNIFIL had increased its operational activities to compensate for the temporary loss of LAF capacity. In other developments, on 19 July the Special Tribunal for Lebanon set 25 March 2013 as a tentative start date for the trial in absentia of those accused in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in 2005.
On 20 June the UNIFIL force commander briefed the Council as part of a larger meeting on UN peacekeeping operations. He said that UNIFIL is an effective tool to maintain the cessation of violence but that it cannot tackle the larger political issue of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and that it is vital to take advantage of the relative calm UNIFIL’s presence has created to establish a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution of the conflict.
Regarding the spill-over effects of the Syrian crisis in Lebanon and allegations of arms smuggling, the Special Envoy for implementation of resolution 1559 reported to Council members on 8 May that the Secretary-General had raised the issue of cross-border arms transfers and the need for improved border control with Beirut during a visit in January.
On 21 March, Council members were briefed in consultations by the Special Coordinator for Lebanon on the Secretary-General’s 28 February report on the implementation of resolution 1701 and UNIFIL. The Special Cooridinator said that his medium-term objectives would be to seek an Israeli withdrawal from northern Ghajar, facilitate talks on the Lebanese-Israeli maritime issues and to work closely with the UNIFIL force commander.
On 1 February, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon decided to try in absentia the four men indicted in July 2011 for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Lebanon in mid January, consulting with Beirut on the extension of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s activities beyond its initial three-year mandate. He subsequently extended the mandate to 1 March 2015.
On 9 December the Council issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack on a UNIFIL convoy which injured five French peacekeepers and two civilians. This was the third such attack in sourthern Lebanon in 2011, similar incidents occurred in May and July.
On 29 November, DPA and DPKO briefed Council members in informal consultations on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on the implementation of resolution 1701 which portrayed the situation in southern Lebanon, where UNIFIL operates, as relatively stable. However, on 29 November four rockets were launched from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. Israel returned fire. UNIFIL deployed extra patrols while the IDF went on full alert but the situation did not escalated further.
On 27 October, the Special Envoy on the implementaion of resolution 1559 briefing Council members on the Secretary-General’s 19 October report which focused on recent Syrian incursions into Lebanon, ongoing challenges in disarming militias, the lack of progress in delineating the Syrian-Lebanese border and developments in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
The Council extended the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2012 by unanimously adopting resolution 2004. The resolution also condemned the terrorist attacks against UNIFIL and urged all parties to respect the safety of UN personnel. In other developments, on 9 August the Lebanese prosecutor general reported to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon that Lebanese authorities had failed to detain any of the men accused of the 2005 Hariri assassination.
On 27 July, the UNIFIL force commander briefed the Council during an interactive meeting on UN peacekeeping operations. On 26 July, the Council issued a press statement condemning an attack that day on a UNIFIL convoy. On 21 July, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon briefed the Council in informal consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest 1701 report. In other developments, on 7 July the new Lebanese government agreed on a ministerial statement on resolution 1701 and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
On 30 June, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon transmitted a sealed indictment and arrest warrants to the Lebanese government, but the identities of the indicted were leaked. On 13 June, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced his cabinet in which 18 of the thirty seats go to two Hezbollah MPs and its allies.
On 27 May, the Security Council issued a press statement condemning an attack on a UNIFIL convoy. On 6 May, the Special Envoy on the implementation of resolution 1559 briefed Council members on the Secretary-General’s 19 April report.
26 April 2011
The Lebanese caretaker prime minister called on the Lebanese UN permanent representative in New York to reject a draft press statement on the situation in Syria circulated to Security Council members on 25 April. (Lebanon is an elected member of the Security Council. Press statements are issued by consensus.)
18 April, 2011
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stress Lebanon’s support for Syria’s security. (Earlier in the month, Syria had accused a member of the 14 March coalition of providing arms and funds to Syrian anti-government protesters. The 14 March coalition denied the accusation.)
10 April 2011
There were demonstrations in Beirut against Lebanon’s confessional system of governance (in Lebanon political representation is determined by sectarian or religious affiliation). Such demonstrations have been occurring since 27 February.
7 April 2011
Hariri accused Iran of meddling in Lebanon’s affairs and stirring unrest elsewhere in the region. In the context of a rally to mark the 14 March coalition’s sixth anniversary, Hariri denounced Hezbollah’s arms and stressed the need to achieve justice (a reference to the assassination of his father in 2005).
29 March 2011
Council members were briefed in consultations by Michael Williams, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon. In remarks to the press, Williams said the situation in Syria could have a negative effect on the formation of a Lebanese government.
28 February 2011
Secretary General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 was released.
22 February 2011
UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams met with Mikati to reiterate the UN expectation that Lebanon continue to abide by resolution 1701 and all other international obligations.
16 February 2011
Lebanon’s Prime-Minister-designate Najib Mikati met with EU foreign policy head, Catherine Ashton and assured her that the future Lebanese government would respect international obligations, including resolution 1701.
11 February 2011
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and confirmed that preparations continued for an Israeli military withdrawal from Ghajar to redeploy south of the Blue Line.
26 January 2011
Lebanon sent a position paper to the UN Secretary General and the Council reiterating its commitment to implementation of resolution 1701.
25 January 2011
Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati was appointed prime-minister designate.
12 January 2011
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s cabinet collapsed after Hezbollah-aligned ministers withdrew from cabinet over the issue of the Special Tribunal.
4 January 2011
Lebanon’s Foreign Minister sent a letter to the UN Secretary General requesting the UN’s assistance in maritime delimitation with Israel.
5 November 2010
Under -Secretary- General for Legal Affairs Patricia O’Brien briefed council members on the 27 October attacks against Special Tribunal staff.
28 October 2010
UN Secretary General condemned the intimidation of and attacks on Special Tribunal staff.
27 October 2010
Three staff members of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon were attacked in Beirut.
27 September 2010
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in New York on the sidelines of the General Assembly to reportedly discuss a comprehensive approach to the Middle East.
24 September 2010
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Lebanese President Sleiman in New York on the sidelines of the General Assembly to reportedly discuss a comprehensive approach to the Middle East.
23 September 2010
Lebanese President Sleiman addressed the Council during its high level meeting saying the Council should take greater responsibility for Middle East issues.
21 September 2010
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri made a cabinet statement that all political parties should resort to dialogue and protect state institutions. UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams commended the statement on 23 September.
17 September 2010
Russia confirmed the sale of cruise missiles to Syria. U.S Special Envoy George Mitchell met with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman in Beirut following talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
16 September 2010
Hezbollah members blocked the progress on Lebanon’s contribution towards the Tribunal at the parliamentary budget committee meeting.
6 September 2010
Asharq Al-Awsat Hariri claimed in a news interview that Lebanon had made a mistake in falsely accusing Syria of assassinating the premier of Lebanon.
3 September 2010
There was an explosion in a building in Shehabiyeh in Southern Lebanon. Media reports indicate the building might have been used by Hezbollah to store weapons.
30 August 2010
The Council renewed UNIFIL’s mandate for a further year.
24 August 2010
There were clashes in Beirut between Hezbollah and Al-Ahbash (a pro-Syrian Sunni Islamist group) that resulted in three deaths. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made a speech regarding the Tribunal and said that it was Lebanon’s right to know the identity of “false witnesses.”
19 August 2010
Lebanon held the eleventh session of its national dialogue.
9 August 2010
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed Israel was implicated in the Hariri assassination.
3 August 2010
Israeli and Lebanese armies exchange gunfire along the blue line separating Israel and Lebanon resulting in the death of three Lebanese soldiers, one Israeli soldier and one Lebanese journalist. Under-Secretary-General for Peace-keeping Alain le Roy and UNIFIL Force Commander Alberto Asarta Cuevas briefed council members about the Israeli-Lebanese border incident.
30 July 2010
Assad and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visited Beirut. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was reportedly among the topics discussed.
22 July 2010
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that he expected that the prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon would indict some Hezbollah members in relation to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. He denied any Hezbollah involvement and charged that the tribunal had been politicized.
18 July 2010
Lebanon and Syria signed 17 new bilateral agreements on a range of security and economic issues.
15 July 2010
Lebanon arrested an employee of a telecom firm, alleging he was a spy for Israel.
14 July 2010
Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams and Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Alain Le Roy briefed the Council on the Secretary –General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701.
9 July 2010
The Council issued a press statement in response to incidents involving clashes between civilians and UNFIL peacekeepers that occurred on 29 June and 3 and 4 July in Southern Lebanon.
7 July 2010
Israel alleged it had found further evidence of Hezbollah weapons caches in the village of Khiam.
3 and 4 July 2010
Clashes took place between civilians and UNFIL peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon.
29 June 2010
Clashes took place between civilians and UNIFIL peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon.
23 June 2010
The Secretary-General indicated that he had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take tangible steps towards a withdrawal from Ghajar.
17 June 2010
The Lebanese National Dialogue met but postponed talks to 19 August after failing to make progress on the issue of Hezbollah’s arms.
26 May 2010
The Lebanese army fired on, but did not hit, Israeli aircraft violating Lebanon’s airspace.
24 May 2010
Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri met with US President Barack Obama to discuss the issue of arms smuggling in violation of resolution 1701.
13 May 2010
UNFIL peacekeepers were injured by what seemed to be an accidental detonation of munitions.
29 April 2010
Members of the Council met in informal consultations to discuss the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559.
12 March 2010
Members of the Council met in informal consultations to discuss the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701.
9 March 2010
Lebanon resumed its national dialogue.
6 March 2010
25 February 2010
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hosted a public dinner with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
14 February 2010
The Lebanese army fired on, but did not hit, Israeli aircraft violating Lebanon’s airspace.
12 February 2010
The Secretary-General submitted the conclusions of the Joint DPKO-UNIFIL Technical Review to the Council.
31 January 2010
A Lebanese citizen was detained by the IDF and released to UNIFIL the next day.
26 December 2009
UNIFIL discovered a cache of explosives outside Khiam in southern Lebanon near the border with Israel.
19 December 2009
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the first time since the assassination of his father, former premier Rafiq Hariri, in 2005.
18 December 2009
Residents of Ghajar protested following media reports that Israel was close to reaching an understanding with UNIFIL regarding an IDF withdrawal.
Lebanon issued a ministerial declaration, article 6 of which effectively allows Hezbollah to remain armed, citing its resistance role.
10 November 2009
A government was formed in Lebanon, five months after the 7 June elections.
10 November 2009
Members of the Council met in informal consultations to discuss the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701.
28 October 2009
The Secretary-General urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint after an exchange of fire over the Lebanon/Israel border.
27 October 2009
The Council was briefed on the implementation of resolution 1559 in Lebanon by the Special Envoy for that issue, Terje Roed-Larsen.
17-18 October 2009
Explosions were caused by the detonation of underground sensors apparently placed in Lebanese territory by the IDF during the 2006 war and characterised as “listening devices.”
12 October 2009
There was an explosion in a residential building in Tayr Filsi in southern Lebanon.
7 October 2009
Meeting is held in Damascus between Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
11 September 2009
Rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanese territory, reportedly by Palestinian militias. Israel retaliated by firing 12 artillery shells.
10 September 2009
Hariri resigned as prime minister after his proposal for a national unity government was rejected by the opposition. He was reappointed prime minister a week later.
4 September 2009
UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams met with Hariri expressing hope that a cabinet would be formed soon, in particular before Lebanon begins its term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in January 2010.
27 August 2009
The Council adopted resolution 1884 renewing UNIFIL to 31 August 2010.
23 July 2009
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy briefed the Council on recent incidents in Lebanon. Fourteen UNIFIL soldiers were injured on 19 July in southern Lebanon when protesters tried to stop an investigation of explosions that occurred on 14 July.
14 July 2009
A series of explosions caused by the detonation of an arms cache occurred in southern Lebanon.
27 June 2009
Saad Hariri was appointed prime minister.
25 June 2009
The Shi’a speaker of parliament, Nabih Berry, was re-elected.
8 June 2009
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Lebanon on the peaceful conduct of elections and called on all Lebanese to respect the results. He said he looked forward to the full consolidation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, stability, unity and political independence in accordance with Council resolutions.
7 June 2009
Parliamentary elections were held in Lebanon.
12 May 2009
Israel handed over to the UN data on cluster munitions fired over southern Lebanon in 2006.
7 May 2009
The Secretary-General’s special envoy for implementation of resolution 1559, Terje Roed-Larsen, briefed the Council following his latest report. He said that there had been general improvement of the situation and that reconciliation efforts had created a favourable environment for strengthening Lebanon’s sovereignty.
29 April 2009
The Lebanon Special Tribunal decided to release four generals that had been arrested and detained in Lebanon in 2005 following recommendations of former chief investigator Detlev Mehlis, who concluded that there was evidence implicating Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Former military intelligence chief Raymond Azar; Mustafa Hamdan, head of the presidential guard; Director of Internal Security Forces Ali Hajj; and Jamil al-Sayyed, head of the Lebanese General Security Directorate had never been charged with a crime.
24 April 2009
The latest report of the Secretary-General on resolution 1559 was submitted. The Secretary-General welcomed renewed commitment of Syria and Lebanon toward the delineation of their common border, expressed concern at the porous nature of this border and the potential for breaches of the arms embargo (there are reports of a large number of arms inside Lebanon) and said that the continued activities of militias on all sides of the political spectrum constitute a challenge for Lebanon’s exclusive military authority. He also urged Syria to assist the Lebanese in disarming Palestinian militias who have a presence in Lebanon but are headquartered in Damascus. And he expressed concern at Hezbollah’s statements that it was providing support to militants in Gaza from Egyptian territory.
20 April 2009
In a briefing to the Council Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said that the overall situation in Lebanon over the past month remained stable despite a number of security incidents.
13 April 2009
Four Lebanese army soldiers were killed in the Bekaa Valley by rocket propelled grenades, apparently during an attempt by the army to confront drug dealing and criminality.
10 April 2009
The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, acknowledged that his group had attempted to supply military equipment to Hamas in the Gaza Strip through Egypt. Egyptian authorities reacted strongly and on 13 April announced that Hezbollah was planning attacks on Egyptian soil (which was denied by Hezbollah).
25 March 2009
The Tribunal, presided by Antonio Cassese, appointed its key officials and adopted rules of procedure and evidence. In addition, Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen directed the Lebanese judicial authorities to defer to the Tribunal’s competence, hand over to the prosecutor the results of investigations and submit a list of all persons detained in connection with the investigation, which Lebanon did shortly after.
24 March 2009
Syria appointed an ambassador to Beirut.
23 March 2009
A bomb attack in southern Lebanon killed Kamal Medhat, the deputy head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Lebanon. This was condemned by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
16 March 2009
Lebanon opened its first embassy in Damascus.
10 March 2009
The Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, briefed the Council in consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on implementation of resolution 1701.
3 March 2009
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon began its activities in The Hague on 3 March, taking over from the Beirut-based UN International Independent Investigation Commission (whose mandate was left to expire at the end of February). The Council issued a press statement welcoming the Tribunal, reiterating its support and recalling the importance of full cooperation of member states with the Office of the Prosecutor.
21 February 2009
Israel fired at least six artillery shells toward Lebanon in response to the firing of two rockets towards Israel which had lightly wounded three Israelis.
16 February 2009
Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said that Hezbollah had the right to acquire air-defence weapons and use them against Israeli warplanes that violate Lebanese air space.
14 February 2009
Demonstrations were held in Beirut on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Support for the Special Tribunal was reaffirmed by the US at this occasion.
27 January 2009
Syria accepted Lebanon’s first ambassador ever to Damascus.
8 January 2009
The firing of three rockets from southern Lebanon into Israel raised fears that this might trigger a wider conflict given the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. The UN Secretary-General condemned this incident and reminded Israel and Hezbollah of their obligations to respect the 2006 ceasefire. Additional troops from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and Lebanese forces were deployed in the south and patrols intensified to deter further incidents.
17 December 2008
4 December 2008
In a letter (S/2008/764), the Lebanese government supported extending UNIIIC’s mandate for two months.
4 December 2008
The Council subsequently held consultations on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
2 December 2008
The Council received the eleventh report of UNIIIC looking into the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (S/2008/752).
26 November 2008
The Secretary-General submitted his third report on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indicating that he would be making a decision regarding the commencement of the Tribunal on 1 March.
18 November 2008
UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband visitied Damascus and held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syria’s agreement to establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon influenced the UK’s decision to visit Syria.
5 November 2008
Second round of the Lebanese national dialogue
30 October 2008
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Terje Rød-Larsen, for Implementation of Resolution 1559 briefed the Council.
26 October 2008
Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met majority leader Saad Hariri for the first time since the 2006 war with Israel.
15 October 2008
The Syrian and Lebanese foreign ministers signed of a memorandum establishing diplomatic relations.
8 October 2008
The UN appealed for $40 million in emergency aid for 30,000 Palestinian refugees uprooted from the Nahr el-Bared camp after clashes with the Lebanese army last year. So far only the US has made a pledge of $4.3 million.
6 October 2008
The US agreed to provide $63 million in military assistance to the Lebanese army.
30 September 2008
Aa new electoral law was adopted, in accordance with the Doha agreement, for the May 2009 legislative elections.
29 September 2008
A bombing in Tripoli killed six people, including four soldiers. The Council issued a press statement strongly condemning the attack and reiterating its full support for the Lebanese national dialogue. Following this attack, Syria deployed hundreds of troops on Lebanon’s northern border apparently to reinforce border control and because it considers such attacks as a potential threat.
27 September 2008
A car bomb exploded in Damascus close to a security base killing 17 people. It was the third significant attack in Syria since the beginning of the year although Syria’s security forces had not been a target in recent years. The Council also condemned this attack in a press statement.
24 September 2008
Several deadly skirmishes have occurred in the past months between opposing rival factions at the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida (the most populous camp in Lebanon with 45,000 refugees), apparently involving Islamists from the Jund al-Sham militant group (believed to be Al-Qaida inspired) and militants from Fatah, the main Palestinian faction in Lebanon. On 24 September, one person was killed and four wounded when a bomb exploded in the camp.
16 September 2008
Leaders of the Lebanese political factions who signed the May 2008 Doha Agreement, which ended the political crisis in Lebanon, launched new reconciliation talks presided over by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman. A key focus was the disarmament of all militias in Lebanon.
15 September 2008
Three Palestinians were reportedly killed in fighting between factions at the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee campin Saida.
10 September 2008
A car bomb near Beirut killed Saleh Aridi, a pro-Syrian Druze member of the Lebanese Democratic Party who had helped bridge differences within the Lebanese Druze minority group. On 11 September the Council issued a press statement strongly condemning this attack.
8 September 2008
Lebanese Alawite and Sunni factions signed a reconciliation agreement aimed at ending violence in Tripoli, which left at least 23 people dead since fighting started in May.
3-4 September 2008
After Syrian President Bashar al-Assad went to France in July, French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Syria. It was the first time since 2002 that a French president visited Syria and the first visit by a Western head of state in five years. Leaders of Qatar and Turkey joined the dialogue on 4 September.
27 August 2008
The Council adopted resolution 1832 which extended the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2009.
26 August 2008
The second report of the Lebanese Border Assessment Mission Team (LIBAT) was released. The team was in Lebanon from 15 to 31 July to assess the work of Lebanese authorities in securing their borders to prevent illegal weapons transfer. It concluded that recommendations made after its first visit in 2007 had been insufficiently implemented with no decisive impact on overall border security. In some areas the border remained as porous as in 2007 and customs had not reported any weapons seizure. The team reiterated previous recommendations and urged Lebanese authorities to clarify objectives, ways and means to reinforce border control.
25 August 2008
A meeting of UNIFIL troop contributors took place (S/PV.5965).
13 August 2008
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman visited Syria for the first time since Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon in 2005. Syria promised to establish full diplomatic relations by the end of 2008, and an agreement was reached on 14 August to resume work formally demarcating the border. Syria maintains that the Sheb’a Farms’ boundaries should not be addressed until Israel withdraws. The two presidents pledged to set up a Lebanese-Syrian committee on missing Lebanese from the Lebanese civil war allegedly taken to Syria.
A bomb killed 11 people including nine Lebanese soldiers in Tripoli. The Council issued a press statement condemning the attack and recalling the need to end impunity in Lebanon. The Council also reiterated its full support for efforts to solidify democratic institutions and pursue national reconciliation.
10 August 2008
The new Lebanese government was approved by parliament. Ministers took several weeks to agree on a general policy statement with the question of Hezbollah’s weapons being the main point of contention. Media reports indicated that, in the statement, the government recognised the Lebanese state’s full authority (including over Hezbollah’s weapons), but also affirmed the right of Lebanon’s people, army and resistance to free the Sheb’a Farms, the Kfarchouba hills and Ghajar from Israeli occupation.
25 July 2008
Fresh clashes erupted in Tripoli between Sunni Muslim supporters of the government majority and Alawite gunmen close to the opposition.
22 July 2008
During an open Council debate on the Middle East situation, several members welcomed the recent positive developments in Lebanon highlighting the formation of Lebanon’s national unity government, the exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hezbollah and the moves to establish diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon. Libya highlighted Israel’s violations of Lebanese air space, Israel’s occupation of Sheb’a Farms and Israel’s failure to respond to appeals for maps showing mines and cluster munitions in southern Lebanon. The US said outside parties, especially Syria and Iran, should stop arming illegal militias in Lebanon.
16 July 2008
Hezbollah handed over the bodies of the two Israeli soldiers captured in 2006, as well as the body parts of other Israeli soldiers killed in south Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Israel handed over five Lebanese prisoners and the remains of some two hundred Lebanese and Palestinian fighters.
12 and 13 July 2008
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, invited to Paris by President Nicolas Sarkozy, attended the launching of a union between the EU and the Mediterranean basin. Following meetings with Sarkozy, Assad and Suleiman agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations.
11 July 2008
The formation of the government of national unity was announced after six weeks of negotiations on the distribution of portfolios. Under the terms of the Doha agreement, the Hezbollah-led opposition was provided with enough seats to block any cabinet decision. The resulting cabinet had one Hezbollah minister in addition to ten ministers from its Shi’ite, Druze and Christian allies.
9 July 2008
The Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, briefed the Council in closed consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report on resolution 1701. He said the ultimate goal of this resolution, a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution, had yet to be achieved.
29 June 2008
The Israeli government signed a deal following nearly two years of complex and secret mediation led by a UN-appointed German negotiator for a prisoners’ exchange involving the release of two Israeli soldiers captured in 2006 by Hezbollah.
27 June 2008
The Secretary-General’s 1701 report was published. Overall, the report seemed less alarming in tone than previous ones.
22-23 June 2008
Security incidents and clashes between supporters of the majority and the opposition parties took place in Tripoli where the Lebanese army deployed.
16 June 2008
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited to Beirut and endorsed the Doha agreement. She also said that the issue of the Sheb’a Farms needed to be settled, noting this may help resolving regional issues. President Suleiman and Prime Minister Siniora reiterated that Israel had to withdraw from the Farms, and that the area should be placed under UN control until a formal delimitation agreement is reached between Syria and Lebanon.
14 June 2008
France and the US issued a joint statement calling on Syria to quickly establish full diplomatic relations with Lebanon based on respect, equality, security and sovereignty. They reaffirmed their support for implementing the Doha agreement and for the Lebanese government and army.
10 June 2008
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he hoped that conditions would soon emerge to enable direct peace negotiations with Lebanon, including on the issue of the Sheb’a Farms. He reiterated this offer on 18 June. The Lebanese government stressed that the key requirement was for Israel to implement Council resolutions.
5 June 2008
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his country would consider opening an embassy in Lebanon after the unity government was formed.
early June 2008
High-level visitors arrived in Lebanon to support the Doha agreement and President Suleiman. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was first, on 7 June. He was followed on the next day by UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, who stressed the need to implement resolution 1701, including the issue of the Sheb’a Farms occupied by Israel.
2 June 2008
The Council adopted resolution 1815 extending the mandate of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) into the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and other bombing attacks in Lebanon. The renewal extends until 31 December unless the Commission completes its mandate beforehand, in which case the Special Tribunal for Lebanon would take over ongoing responsibilities. The Council requested a report within six months.
1 June 2008
Israel released Nassim Nisr, a Lebanese prisoner. Hezbollah returned the remains of Israeli soldiers killed during the 2006 war. Hezbollah hinted that this might be a prelude to the return of the two Israeli soldiers captured in 2006.
28 May 2008
Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace process, briefed the Council, notably on the election of President Suleiman (S/PV.5899).
28 May 2008
President Suleiman appointed incumbent Fuad Siniora as prime minister after the parliament majority gave Siniora its backing.
25 May 2008
The consensus candidate, army commander Michel Suleiman, was duly elected Lebanese president by parliament, breaking a six month impasse. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah later reiterated previous commitments not to use force to achieve political goals.
22 May 2008
The Council, in a presidential statement, welcomed and strongly supported the Doha agreement.
21 May 2008
After six days of negotiations mediated by an Arab League delegation headed by Qatar, an agreement was reached in Doha between Lebanon’s ruling majority and the opposition to end the political crisis over the formation of a unity government and the election of a new president.
14 May 2008
An Arab League delegation went to Beirut to discuss a way out of the crisis with the parties. After 48 hours of talks, the delegation was able to broker a six-point agreement leading to the Doha conference.
12 May 2008
Fighting spread to mountains around Beirut, and violent clashes occurred in Tripoli. The parliament session was delayed for the nineteenth time, rescheduled for 10 June.
11 May 2008
Hezbollah militants pulled back from Beirut.
9 May 2008
Hezbollah militants took over west Beirut.
8 May 2008
The army and anti-riot police were deployed on 8 May in Beirut, but did not engage. UN Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen briefed the Council on the latest report on resolution 1559 (issued on 21 April) which reported no progress in the disarmament of militias and presidential elections due to the political deadlock.
7 May 2008
A general strike in Beirut against economic conditions transformed into armed confrontation between Hezbollah and supporters of the government.
6 May 2008
The government dismissed the chief of Beirut airport’s security, Wafiq Choucair, allegedly close to Hezbollah and declared a telecommunication network allegedly developed by Hezbollah illegal. Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, stated that those two measures were a war declaration by the government.
15 April 2008
8 April 2008
The Council heard a briefing (S/PV.5863) by UNIIIC Commissioner Daniel Bellemare on progress in the investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
29 and 30 March 2008
Leaders at the Arab League summit reiterated that Lebanese leaders should elect General Suleiman as president and agree on the basis for the formation of a national unity government as soon as possible.
28 March 2008
Daniel Bellemare, head of UNIIIC, submitted a report on progress in the activities of the Commission. He confirmed that a network of individuals acted in concert to carry out the assassination of Hariri and that this network, which is connected to other cases of bombings within UNIIIC’s mandate, continues to be operational. He added that indictments would be submitted for confirmation by the pre-trial judge only after he, in his capacity as prosecutor, had reviewed all materials transmitted to him by the Commission and the Lebanese judicial authorities—a process that could take some time.
25 March 2008
Lebanese presidential elections were delayed for the seventeenth time, to 22 April.
12 March 2008
The Secretary-General published a report on the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon that confirmed that the preparatory phase was almost completed. It noted that consultations were underway regarding transferring the investigation from UNIIIC to the prosecutor, indicating that a declaration that the tribunal is “operational” may be expected soon.
10 March 2008
The Council held consultations on the implementation of resolution 1701. Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed on developments. It seems that they attributed current difficulties in implementing resolution 1701 to the ongoing domestic political crisis in Lebanon. Recent belligerent statements from Hezbollah were mentioned along with its possible rearmament with weapons smuggled from Syria. Other issues raised included the deadlocked situation in Ghajar (where Israel continues to occupy the northern part of the village in contradiction of resolution 1701), incidents near the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel, and ongoing Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace.
Late February 2008
The US confirmed that a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Cole, was patrolling close to (but outside) Lebanese territorial waters. This was strongly criticised by Syria and by Hezbollah as military interference.
28 February 2008
The report on the implementation of resolution 1701indicated that the Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team (LIBAT) would be dispatched to Lebanon again soon. It noted a lack of progress on the provision by Israel of data for clearing cluster munitions, the exchange of prisoners and the delineation of the Syrian-Lebanese border, in particular in the Sheb’a Farms area.
26 February 2008
Presidential elections were delayed for the fifteenth time to 11 March after parliament failed to agree on the composition of a future government.
15 February 2008
Geir Pedersen left his post as UN special coordinator for Lebanon.
14 February 2008
At Imad Mughniyeh’s funeral in Beirut, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah blamed Israel for Mughniyeh’s death and threatened it with open war. Iran highlighted its relations with Hezbollah by sending its foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, to the funeral. On the same day, thousands of Lebanese supporters of the “March 14” government majority (Hezbollah’s political opponents) gathered in Beirut to commemorate the third anniversary of Hariri’s assassination. Tensions between the two sides were high.
13 February 2008
The Secretary-General announced that the management committee for the special tribunal had been established. He also said that financial contributions met the first 12 months of budgeted operations.
12 February 2008
One of Hezbollah’s top leaders, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed in a car bombing in Damascus.
5 February 2008
In an interview on the Lebanese TV channel LBC, Geir Pedersen, the departing UN special coordinator, called resolution 1701 a success because “we have managed to preserve calm for more than 18 months in South Lebanon.” He said investigations were still incomplete on attacks against the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) although “none of the clues we have point to Hezbollah.”
3 February 2008
Two Lebanese were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) near Ghajar on the border between Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel said the two were gunmen who had opened fire at the IDF. Lebanese security sources said Israel opened fire.
30 January 2008
In a press statement, the Council condemned the 25 January bombing that killed Captain Wissam Eid of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and injured several others. The Council agreed to a request from the Lebanese government for help from the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) in investigating Eid’s killing.
27 January 2008
Demonstrations in Beirut turned violent and at least eight people were killed. After an army investigation, 19 soldiers were charged with firing at protesters and disobeying military orders, while 58 civilians were charged with rioting and attacking soldiers. Also, at an emergency session in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers agreed that the League’s Secretary-General Amr Moussa should continue mediation among the Lebanese parties.
25 January 2008
Another bombing in Beirut killed Captain Wissam Eid, a member of the Internal Security Forces and a senior intelligence officer, and was involved in the investigation of the murder of Hariri. Other people were killed and at least 30 were wounded.
21 January 2008
The Lebanese army opened fire on Israeli warplanes flying over south Lebanon.
14 January 2008
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that Lebanon’s political crisis would be taken to the UN if the Arab League plan failed.
8 January 2008
A roadside bomb wounded two Irish UNIFIL peacekeepers. On the same day, Israel complained to the Council about the firing from southern Lebanon of two rockets into northern Israel, and Lebanon complained to the Council about Israel’s detention of a Lebanese shepherd who had allegedly crossed the Blue Line. The Council on 11 January adopted a French-sponsored press statement condemning the first two incidents and calling on all parties to respect the Blue Line.
6 January 2008
The Arab League adopted a three-point plan, endorsing the choice of Michel Suleiman, calling for his immediate election and for the formation of a national unity government in such a way that no party could impose or block any decision. The president would be the arbiter in any contested decision, and there would be a new electoral law. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa later went to Beirut twice in January to lobby the parties, and to Syria where he met President Bashar Al-Assad.
21 December 2007
The Secretary-General announced that the UN and the Netherlands had signed a headquarters’ agreement enabling the special tribunal for Lebanon to be based at The Hague. He also announced that he had accepted the recommendations of the selection panel and would formally appoint the judges and announce their names at a later stage. The Secretary-General made no comment about the date on which the tribunal will become operational.
17 December 2007
At the occasion of the Paris donors’ conference for the Palestinian territories, a communiqué on Lebanon was issued by the representatives of Egypt, France, Italy, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, the US and the EU. It called for an immediate presidential election, insisted that outside powers should respect Lebanon’s constitution and democratic institutions, condemned all political assassinations in Lebanon and supported the legitimate, democratically-elected Lebanese government and the Lebanese army.
14 December 2007
The Council agreed (S/2007/736) to the Lebanese government ‘s request for UNIIIC help in investigating the attack (S/2007/735) that claimed the life of General François el-Hajj and killed and wounded others.
12 December 2007
The Council adopted a presidential statement condemning the terrorist attack that claimed the life of Lebanese armed forces General François el-Hajj and killed and wounded others (S/PRST/2007/47).
Late November 2007
All factions seemed ready to elect General Michel Suleiman, commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, as president.
24 November 2007
Emile Lahoud left office.
21 November 2007
President of Parliament Nabih Berri cancelled an electoral session to elect a successor to Emile Lahoud.
15 November 2007
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon went to Beirut and met with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir and several leading political figures, including Nabih Berri, Prime MInister Fuad Siniora and Saad Hariri.
12 November 2007
Daniel Bellemare was appointed as UNIIIC commissioner and prosecutor of the special tribunal.
23 October 2007
A Lebanese parliamentary session, was convened for a second time to elect a new president, but could not proceed because of the absence of the required two-thirds majority.
19 October 2007
The foreign ministers of France, Italy and Spain visited Lebanon. They met with Nabih Berri and with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and reiterated the need for an inter-Lebanese agreement and the election of a representative president.
15 October 2007
Israel returned to Lebanon both a prisoner captured in the 2006 war and the bodies of two Hezbollah fighters. In return, Hezbollah returned the body of an Israeli civilian who had drowned and washed ashore in Lebanon in 2005. Also , the Lebanese army arrested members of radical Islamist networks planning an attack against UNIFIL in south Lebanon.
9 October 2007
Saad Hariri met the Secretary-General and several delegations during a trip to New York. He urged the UN to step up condemnation of political violence in Lebanon.
27 September 2007
In a press statement the Council called for the holding of “free and fair presidential elections in conformity with the Lebanese constitutional norms and schedules, and without any foreign interference.”
26 September 2007
The foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France and the Secretary-General of the Arab League met in New York to discuss Lebanon and called on Lebanese political forces to restart their national dialogue.
25 September 2007
The parliament postponed until 23 October its 25 September session at which it was supposed to elect the new president before President Emile Lahoud’s term ends in November.
19 September 2007
A terrorist attack killed parliamentarian Antoine Ghanem and several others.
4 September 2007
The Lebanese army completed seizure of the Nahr el-Bared camp of Palestinian refugees, after months of intense combat against armed Fatah al-Islam militants. On the same day, the Secretary-General submitted his report on progress made establishing the special tribunal.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos visited Syria and met with President Bashir al-Assad. Press reports indicated that Syria stated its willingness to transfer the Sheb’a Farms to Lebanon and implement Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora’s seven-point plan until formal steps could be taken to establish Lebanese sovereignty over the Farms. Israel reiterated that it would not withdraw from the Farms.
17 August 2007
It was announced that the Netherlands had agreed in principle to host the tribunal.
5 August 2007
In a special election to replace assassinated lawmakers Pierre Gemayel and Walid Eido, the opposition captured one of two open seats in Lebanon’s parliament from the governing party.
3 August 2007
UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel invited all UN member states to submit by 24 September names of candidates for international judges for the Hariri Tribunal.
Fighting continued between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam militants in the Nahr-al Bared camp northern Lebanon with at least 221 casualties, including 100 Lebanese soldiers.
14-15 July 2007
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs organised an inter-Lebanese meeting of all 14 political groups involved in Lebanon’s national dialogue.
12 July 2007
The Council received a UNIIIC report on the assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The Secretary-General’s report on implementation of resolution 1701 was issued.
26 June 2007
The Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team (LIBAT) report was published. It noted that the Syrian-Lebanese border was not secure.
24 June 2007
A bombing incident in southern Lebanon killed six United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers from Colombia and Spain and wounded two others. The Lebanese authorities said that militants from Fatah al-Islam who were arrested had confessed a plan to attack UNIFIL in the south.
17 June 2007
A rocket attack was launched against Israel, causing no casualties but damaging infrastructure. A previously unknown group called “Jihad Badr Brigade” claimed responsibility.
13 June 2007
A Lebanese member of parliament, Walid Eido, was killed with his son and eight others in a car-bomb attack.
11 June 2007
In the absence of domestic political action, the Lebanon special tribunal entered into force according to resolution 1757, which on 30 May established the Lebanon Tribunal under Chapter VII.
2 June 2007
Clashes broke out between the army and militants from another Islamist group, the Jund al-Sham, in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon.
20 May 2007
Fighting started between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam militants in the Nahr-al Bared camp northern Lebanon.
15 May 2007
President Emile Lahoud reiterated in a letter to the Secretary-General that approval of the tribunal by the Council would override Lebanese constitutional mechanisms and would contribute to further destabilising Lebanon.
14 May 2007
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora sent a letter to the Secretary-General requesting that the Council take binding action to establish the tribunal regarding former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s murderer.
24 April 2007
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with President Al-Assad.
17 April 2007
Under Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel travelled to Lebanon to offer legal assistance for the tribunal.
4 April 2007
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon received a memorandum from seventy Lebanese parliamentarians calling for a Chapter VII resolution to establish the tribunal regarding former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s murderer.
28-29 March 2007
The Arab League Summit took place in Riyadh.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Iraq, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
12 March 2007
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana visited Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria
8 March 2007
Speaker of parliament Nabih Berri, of the opposition, and majority leader Saad Hariri opened a political dialogue.
8 February 2007
Israel reported that the Lebanese army intercepted a truck transporting arms east of Beirut.
7 February 2007
Lebanese and Israeli forces exchanged fire across the Blue Line. A tripartite investigation commission, including the Lebanese and Israeli forces and UN Interim Force in Lebanon, was set up to determine the sequence of events
6 February 2007
The Lebanese government and the UN signed an agreement for the tribunal regarding Rafik Hariri’s murder.
Italy took over the leadership of UN Interim Force in Lebanon.
The Personal Representative of the Secretary-General in Lebanon, Geir Pedersen, was upgraded to Special Coordinator of all UN agencies in Lebanon.
25 January 2007
An international donors’ conference for Lebanon was held in Paris.
5 January 2007
Russia proposed a formal request to Serge Brammertz for the names of countries that are not cooperating with his investigation.
18 December 2006
The opposition called for early parliamentary elections.
1 December 2006
The opposition began protests in Beirut, pressuring Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to form a unity government or resign.
21 November 2006
Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon’s industry minister and a Christian member of the March 14 Coalition, was shot dead in Beirut, further heightening tensions between pro- and anti-Syrian Lebanese.
14 November 2006
Lebanese President Emile Lahoud sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General opposing the cabinet’s approval of the tribunal on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.
12 and 13 November 2006
Six ministers (out of 24) from Hezbollah, Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement resigned.
6 November 2006
Lebanese political leaders started negotiations on Hezbollah’s demands. The talks collapsed after several days.
1 November 2006
Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, called on Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s government to resign and allow the formation of a national unity government.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited the Middle East.
22 September 2006
At a mass rally in Beirut Hezbollah proclaimed that no army in the world would make it disarm.
14 August 2006
Fighting between Israel and Hezbollah came to end after Council resolution 1701 was adopted, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, establishing an arms embargo over Lebanon, inviting the Secretary-General to secure agreements from Lebanon and Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution and boosting the UNIFIL presence considerably. All Israeli troops withdrew by December.
7 August 2006
The Lebanese government, in an attempt to stimulate agreement on a ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal, announced a decision to deploy 15,000 troops in south Lebanon to prevent a security vacuum when the Israeli army withdrew behind the Blue Line.
26 July 2006
A high-level meeting was convened in Rome. The conference fails to call for a cessation of hostilities.
26 July 2006
The Secretary-General requested the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to convene a meeting of potential troop contributors.
25 July 2006
Four UN observers were killed by an Israeli attack. Kofi Annan expressed shock over what he called an “apparently deliberate targeting” on the UN Observer post in southern Lebanon and calls for a joint UN-Israeli investigation.
24 July 2006
Condoleezza Rice visited Lebanon and Israel.
17 July 2006
The G8 countries, meeting in Saint Petersburg, issued a statement on the Middle East blaming Hamas and Hezbollah for triggering the crisis.
15 July 2006
The League of Arab States held an emergency summit meeting in Cairo. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said the Middle East peace process was dead and called on the UN Security Council to tackle the crisis
12 July 2006
In a cross-border raid, Hezbollah guerrillas captured two additional Israeli soldiers. Kofi Annan sent a mission team to the Middle East led by his Special Political Advisor Vijay Nambiar and including UN Special Envoy for the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004) Terje Roed-Larsen and UN envoy to the Middle East Alvaro de Soto.
27 June 2006
Israel invaded the Gaza Strip to recover the kidnapped Israeli soldier and stop Qassam rocket fire into Israel.
25 June 2006
Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier and killed two others. They demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners. Israel refused to negotiate.
29 May 2006
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon brokered a cessation of hostilities.
26 May 2006
The assassination of two Lebanese citizens in the city of Sidon triggered a violent response by Hezbollah who fired missiles in the direction of the Blue Line. Israel retaliated and heavy bombardments resulted in casualties on the Lebanese side. Israel also threatened to bomb vital facilities in Beirut.
17 May 2006
After consideration of the third report of Terje Roed-Larsen, the Council adopted resolution 1680, which strongly encouraged Syria to respond positively to the Lebanese request to delineate their common border, among others things.
The Lebanese National Dialogue resumed to address the last two outstanding issues: (1) the status of the Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, and (2) the disarmament of Hezbollah.
The Lebanese Justice Minister came to New York to discuss the establishment of a tribunal.
28 March 2006
Ehud Olmert was elected Israeli Prime Minister.
22 March 2006
The second round of the inter-Lebanese dialogue resumed with the aim to tackle the issues of the Lebanese presidency and the disarmament of Hezbollah.
14 March 2006
An agreement was reached to disarm the Palestinian militias operating outside the refugee camps within six months.
2 March 2006
Nabih Berri officially initiated the first round of the Lebanese National Dialogue among the leaders of major political parties.
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Terje Roed-Larsen undertook a tour of the capitals of the P5 and several Middle Eastern countries to gather support for the Lebanese dialogue and to discuss foreign influence in Lebanon.
Nicolas Michel held consultations with the Lebanese authorities and members of the Lebanese judicial system in Lebanon and then in New York.
26 January 2006
Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections.
4 January 2006
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke, leaving the leadership of Israel to Ehud Olmert.
12 December 2005
Journalist Gebrane Tuéni was killed by a bomb in Beirut.
Serge Brammertz was appointed Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC)
5-7 December 2005
Five Syrian officials were interviewed by the UN International Independent Investigation Commission in Vienna.
21-22 November 2005
Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces engaged in a heavy exchange of fire along the Blue Line.
Former Lebanese security official Ghassan Tufeili, the fifth suspect in the Hariri bombing, was arrested after being named in the Mehlis report.
29 October 2005
Following the recommendations made by the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) Commissioner Detlev Mehlis when he briefed the Council, Syria created a special judicial commission to deal with all matters relating to the mission of UNIIIC.
26 October 2005
The Secretary-General and the Council encouraged the Lebanese government to enter into a dialogue with Hezbollah and the different Palestinian groups to resolve the issue of disbanding and disarming militias and to re-establish government control over the whole territory.
26 October 2005
The second semi-annual report of the Secretary-General on implementation of resolution 1559 became public.
20 October 2005
The initial report of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission deplored the lack of Syrian cooperation with the commission and revealed that the assassination could not have occurred without the knowledge of Lebanese and Syrian security services.
30 August 2005
Three suspects in the Hariri bombing were arrested: Brigadier General Jamil Al-Sayyed, the head of the Lebanese general security; General Ali Al-Hajj, the head of the former Lebanese internal security forces; and General Raymond Azar, former Lebanese military intelligence head. Mustafa Hamdan, the head of the presidential guard, hands himself in.
29 June 2005
Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) engaged in a heavy exchange of fire in the Sheb’a farms area.
19 June 2005
Hezbollah won all seats in southern Lebanon in the parliamentary elections.
13 May 2005
Repeated shelling occurred across the Blue Line by both Israel and Hezbollah around the Sheb’a Farms.
29 April 2005
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his first semi-annual report on the implementation of resolution 1559, advised that the withdrawal of troops, military assets and intelligence apparatus was underway. However, there was no progress on the implementation of the other provisions of the resolution.
26 April 2005
Syria confirmed the withdrawal of Syrian troops, apparatus and assets from Lebanon. The Secretary-General dispatched a UN mission to verify this.
7 April 2005
Passed unanimously, resolution 1595 established the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC), based in Lebanon, to assist the Lebanese authorities in their investigation of the assassination.
29 March 2005
Lebanon confirmed its full cooperation with the investigation commission in a letter to the Council.
24 March 2005
The report of the Fitzgerald Mission of Inquiry into the 14 February Beirut bombing which killed Rafik Hariri concluded that an international investigation was needed.
15 February 2005
The Council requested the Secretary-General to report urgently on the circumstances, causes and consequences of the bombing.
14 February 2005
Rafik Hariri and 22 others were killed by a truck bomb in Beirut.
20 October 2004
Prime Minister Rafik Hariri resigned under pressure from Syria.
3 September 2004
President Emil Lahoud’s term was extended by three years, thereby aborting the presidential electoral process.
2 September 2004
Following allegations of Syrian manipulation of the Lebanese electoral process, the Council passed resolution 1559 with six abstentions (Algeria, Brazil, China, Pakistan, Philippines and Russia).
16 May-7 June 2000
The Israeli army withdrew from South Lebanon in compliance with resolution 425 (1978). UNIFIL remained in Lebanon to perform the two other components of its mandate: restoring international peace and security and assisting the government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.
26 April 1996
The US negotiated an understanding under which Hezbollah and Palestinian guerrillas agreed not to attack civilians in northern Israel, and which recognised Israel’s right to self-defence but also Hezbollah’s right to resist the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Although Lebanon and Syria did not sign the document, the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (ILMG), with members from the US, France, Israel, Lebanon and Syria, was set up to monitor the truce.
11 April 1996
Israel launched Operation Grapes of Wrath, bombing Hezbollah bases in southern Lebanon, the southern district of Beirut and the Bekaa Valley.
25 July 1993
Israel launched Operation Accountability, the heaviest attack since 1982, in an attempt to end the threat from Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in southern Lebanon.
22 October 1989
The Taif Agreement was adopted by members of the Lebanese National Assembly. It covered political reform, the end of the war in Lebanon, the establishment of special relations between Lebanon and Syria and a framework for complete Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.
6 June 1985
Part of the Israeli troops withdrew but some remained in a security zone in south Lebanon.
16 February 1985
Hezbollah—or party of God—a Shi’a Islamic political and paramilitary organisation based in Lebanon was officially established. It had begun to emerge during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) as a militia. Hezbollah’s manifesto had two objectives: eradicate Western colonialism in Lebanon and establish an Islamic government in Lebanon.
The Israeli Army began a partial withdrawal from Lebanon, maintaining a self-proclaimed security zone in the south, mainly controlled by the South Lebanese Army allied to Israel.
It is believed that Hezbollah was established.
15 September 1982
Israeli forces occupied west Beirut.
6 June 1982
After an assassination attempt against the Israeli ambassador to the UK, and intense exchange of fire across the Israel-Lebanese border, Israel launched a full-scale invasion of Lebanon called Operation Peace for Galilee.
13 June 1978
Israeli forces had withdrawn from southern Lebanon. However, the territory was not handed over to UNIFIL but to the South Lebanon Army.
19 March 1978
The Security Council passed resolution 425, which called on Israel to withdraw from all Lebanese territory and established UNIFIL.
14-15 March 1978
Israel invaded Lebanon (operation “Litani”) after the PLO hijacked a bus in Israel. On 19 March the Council adopted resolution 425 calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces and for the strict respect for the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Lebanon. It also decided on the immediate establishment of UNIFIL in resolution 426, to confirm Israeli withdrawal.
13 April 1975
The Lebanese civil war began.