What's In Blue

Posted Tue 28 Jun 2011

Adoption of the UNDOF resolution

Tomorrow the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing UNDOF’s mandate, which expires on 30 June. The Council was scheduled to adopt it today (28 June) but differences over whether and how to address recent events seem to be responsible for the delay.

Two draft resolutions have been circulated in recent weeks – the first by the US and a later one by Russia. The US draft included extensive references to events in Syria, while the Russian draft respected the simple technical language used in past resolutions renewing UNDOF. (UNDOF resolutions have in the past been drafted by the Secretariat.)

This morning the deputy permanent representatives met to discuss a draft that included compromise elements from both texts. On Monday (27 June) Council members had met at expert level to discuss the US text but could not come to an agreement. The Russian text had been put in blue on Thursday, 23 June, which meant that by Friday it could have been put to a vote and would have taken priority over the US draft.

Following the discussions this morning the combined text is now under silence procedure till 4 pm after which it will be put in blue. It seems this could end up being a jointly cosponsored Russian-US draft resolution. Reference to the events that occurred in UNDOF’s area of operations on 15 May and 5 June seem likely to be included. But it would not mention the anti-government demonstrations, although by dispensing with the traditional accompanying presidential statement and incorporating language from it in the resolution about the wider tensions in the region,the resolution now implicitly covers both the content of the old presidential statement and the current domestic situation in Syria. Another new element compared to previous UNDOF resolutions might be a strong message to fully respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement and exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire and the area of separation. It seems that the Secretary-General may also be requested in his next report to provide an assessment with possible recommendations of the operational capacity of UNDOF to ensure it is appropriately configured to fulfill its tasks.

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