December 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 November 2006
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MIDDLE EAST

Golan Heights (UNDOF)

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to follow its thirty year practice and extend for six months the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights, which expires on 31 December.

The Council traditionally also calls for implementation of resolution 338 of 22 October 1973. This refers to resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from occupied territories.  The Council president is also expected to issue a complementary statement on how the Middle East situation will remain tense until a comprehensive settlement is reached.  This has been the practice on the renewal of UNDOF’s mandate since 1976.

Key Recent Developments
The Secretary-General announced in his October report on the implementation of resolution 1559 that he was continuing to “investigate carefully the complicated cartographic, legal and political implications” of recognising the Sheb’a Farms as part of Lebanon in light of Syrian and Lebanese statements.  Such an adjustment of the border would have consequences for UNDOF as the Sheb’a Farms currently falls within its area of operations.  If the territory becomes Lebanese, it would logically move to the area of control of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Developing proposals for demarcation will take some time and these are not expected to be an issue for the Council when it considers renewing UNDOF’s mandate.

UN Documents

 Selected Security Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1685 (13 June 2006) extended UNDOF’s mandate until 31 December 2006.
 Selected Presidential Statement
 Selected Secretary-General’s Reports
  • S/2006/832 (19 October 2006) was the last Secretary-General’s report on implementation of resolution 1559.
  • S/2006/333 (1 June 2006) recommended extending the mandate of UNDOF for six months.


Other Relevant Facts

 UNDOF Force Commander
 Lieutenant General Bala Nanda Sharma (Nepal)
 Size and Composition of Mission
  • Total authorised strength as of 30 September 2006: 1,047 troops assisted by 57 military observers of UNTSO’s Observer Group Golan; and supported by 34 international civilian personnel and 107 local civilian staff.
  • Key military contributors: Austria, Poland, India, Slovakia and Japan.
 Approved Budget
 1 July 2006 – 30 June 2007: $41.59 million (gross)
 Duration
 May 1974 to present

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