What's In Blue

Posted Tue 20 Dec 2011

Resolution on UN Force in Golan Heights

Tomorrow morning (21 December) the Council seems set to renew the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for six months, which was established in May 1974 to monitor the ceasefire between Israel and Syria. Later today, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet will brief Council members in informal consultations on the Secretary-General’s most recent UNDOF report (S/2011/748).

The draft resolution renewing UNDOF is a joint US-Russian text and was circulated to Council members last week under silence procedure. Silence was not broken and the draft resolution was put in blue.

It seems the current draft resolution is essentially technical. However, it apparently notes that conditions in the region could impact UNDOF’s ability to operate. This seems to be a reference to the Secretary-General’s report which highlights continuing Syrian restrictions on UNDOF’s movement. These restrictions are related to the current unrest in Syria and have been ongoing since April. The draft resolution also seems to request implementation of the Secretary-General’s recommendations to upgrade the Force’s equipment and infrastructure.

While the US has the lead on UNDOF, the joint draft with Russia appears to offer a solution to avoid a repeat of the June UNDOF renewal when two draft resolutions were circulated—the first by the US and a later one by Russia. (The US draft in June included extensive references to the political situation in Syria, while the Russian draft contained the simple technical language used in past resolutions renewing UNDOF.)

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