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Sat, Aug 12, 2006 | Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

U.N. Security Council members at United Nations Headquarters in New York voted to adopt the 1701 resolution. Friday, Aug. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/David Karp)

Behind the Headlines: UN Security Council Resolution 1701

The resolution adopted on August 11, 2006 contains the essential elements that Israel believes can build a more stable and secure situation on the Lebanon-Israel border

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted on 11 August 2006, contains the essential elements that Israel believes can build a more stable and secure situation and will prevent Hizbullah from ever again being able to create the sort of regional crisis we have witnessed in the past month.

The preamble of the resolution:

* clearly puts the blame for the current crisis on Hizbullah
* calls for the unconditional release of the Israeli hostages, and
* calls for the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559

In the operative paragraphs, the resolution:

* calls for the cessation of all Hizbullah armed attacks
* creates a new, strengthened UNIFIL (15,000 troops)
* gives UNIFIL a improved mandate (to take “all necessary action” to prevent hostile activities of any kind in its area of operations)
* calls that there be no armed groups, foreign or domestic (ie armed Hizbullah militia or Syrian and Iranian military advisors) in Lebanon
* establishes an embargo of weapons to Lebanese groups other than the government, enforced by UNIFIL (at airports, seaports and border crossings) , and
* forbids Hizbullah armed elements from returning to southern Lebanon, from the Blue Line to the Litani River.

Thus the resolution contains the fundamental elements which Government of Israel set out to achieve following Hizbullah’s unprovoked cross border attack and bombardment on 12 July:

* the return of its hostages
* the removal of the Hizbullah threat to northern Israeli cities, and
* the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559 calling for Lebanon extend its sovereignty to all its territory, deploy its army south to the Israel-Lebanon border and disarm Hizbullah.

Israel expects the international community to take all the concrete steps required in order to bring about the full and effective implementation of the resolution just adopted.

Security Council Resolution 1701

Background and significance

1. Background

a. As a result of Hizbullah’s attack on Israel on July 12th, Israel embarked on a campaign in Lebanon that was designed to damage the terrorism infrastructure in Lebanon, to change the rules of the game between Israel and Lebanon and to create more favorable conditions for handling the root causes of the attack on Israel.

b. The decision of the Political-Security Cabinet on July 16th determined the principles of the political solution to the crisis in the Lebanese arena as follows:

* Release of the kidnapped soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev and their unconditional return to Israel.
* Cessation of missile and rocket fire against the residents of the State of Israel and against Israeli targets.
* Full and complete implementation of UN Resolution 1559, including the disarming of all the armed militias, enforcement of the sovereignty of the Lebanese government over all its territory and deployment of the Lebanese army along the border with Israel.

c. The decision of the Political-Security Cabinet on August 9th determined that the political efforts, particularly in the framework of the UN Security Council, strove to achieve the following goals:

* Immediate and unconditional return of the kidnapped soldiers.
* Immediate cessation of all hostilities from Lebanon against Israel and against Israeli targets, including cessation of the missile and rocket fire against Israel.
* Full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559.
* Deployment of an effective international force in southern Lebanon, together with the Lebanese army, along the Blue Line.
* Preventing Hizbullah from rehabilitating its operational capabilities, mainly by preventing the transfer of arms and weapons from Syria and Iran to Lebanon.

d. On August 11th, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1701, containing the vital elements that Israel believes can build a more secure and stable situation which, among other things, will prevent Hizbullah from plunging the region into another crisis like the one we experienced this past month.

Main points of UN Security Council Resolution 1701

2. The preamble

a. The preamble to the resolution expressly states that the cause of the current crisis is Hizbullah’s July 12th attack on Israel. The preamble recognizes the human casualties in Israel and Lebanon, the damage to the infrastructure and the large number of displaced persons in both countries. This is the first time that a Security Council resolution has referred to Hizbullah by name and blamed it for the crisis.

b. While emphasizing the need for a cessation of the violence, the preamble also emphasizes the urgent need to deal with the factors that caused the present crisis, including the unconditional release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Note should be made of the distinction between the call to release the kidnapped soldiers and the reference in a separate paragraph to the “sensitivity to the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel.”

c. The preamble notes the decision of the Lebanese government, as expressed in Prime Minister Siniora’s seven point plan, to extend its sovereignty over all its territory with its own legitimate armed forces, so that there will be no weapons and no authority without the consent of the Lebanese government.

d. The resolution welcomes the decision of the Lebanese government to place 15,000 Lebanese army troops in southern Lebanon and its willingness to request the assistance of additional UNIFIL forces.

e. The last paragraph of the preamble, paragraph 10, states that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security. This language was adopted from Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and strengthens the operative parts of the entire resolution.

3. Operative paragraphs

a. In operative paragraph 1, the resolution calls for a full cessation of hostilities, based, in particular, upon the immediate cessation by Hizbullah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations. Thus a clear distinction is made between the two parties to the military hostilities, and Israel is given permission by the Security Council to continue defensive actions against a terrorist organization.

b. In operative paragraph 2, the resolution states that Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon will occur in parallel to the deployment of the Lebanese army and UNIFIL. There is no demand for Israel’s immediate withdrawal from Lebanon. Rather, the withdrawal will be gradual and connected with the gradual deployment of the Lebanese army and the UN forces.

c. The resolution emphasizes the importance of extending the Lebanese government’s control over all the territory of Lebanon, according to Resolutions 1559 and 1680. It also refers to the Taif Accords, which state that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon. The importance of this paragraph lies in the reiteration of the statement appearing in the Taif Accords, and in Security Council Resolution 1559, regarding the disarmament of all the militias in Lebanon.

d. Operative paragraph 8 specifies the elements of a long-term solution between Israel and Lebanon, and the Secretary-General is requested to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the government of Lebanon and the government of Israel to the principles and elements of this solution. This includes, among others, the establishment of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL between the Blue Line and the Litani River; full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords and of Resolution 1559, which require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, there will be no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government, no sale or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government, and provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of landmines in Lebanon in Israel’s possession.

e. Paragraph 10 requests the Secretary-General to develop, within thirty days, proposals to delineate the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed, including the Shebaa farms area. The resolution does not go into any further detail. It should be noted that ideas for resolving the dispute over the Shebaa farms are noted in previous Security Council resolutions and in Siniora’s seven point plan.

f. Operative paragraph 11 contains a decision, worded in the text of Chapter 7, to strengthen and enhance the UNIFIL force by up to a maximum of 15,000 troops and equipment and by adapting the mandate of the force. Paragraph 12 gives the force the authority, which did not exist beforehand, to act against Hizbullah. In addition to its existing duties, the force will supervise the cease-fire, assist the Lebanese army to deploy in southern Lebanon, engage in humanitarian activities, assist the Lebanese army to establish the demilitarized zone in the south and assist Lebanon in imposing an arms embargo.

g. Paragraphs 14 and 15 call for Lebanon to secure its borders to prevent the entry into Lebanon of arms that are not designated for the Lebanese army, and call for other states to take the necessary measures to prevent their nationals or their territories from being used for the sale or supply of arms that are not intended for the Lebanese government and other military training or assistance.

h. The Secretary-General is requested to report to the Security Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution.

4. Comparison of Israel’s objectives and the components of 1701

Following is a comparison between the objectives set by Israel for concluding the conflict, and the components of Resolution 1701 passed by the UN Security Council.

a. The reasons that led to the outbreak of hostilities

• Israel claimed that it was due to an attack by Hizbullah with no provocation from Israel.
• Preamble paragraph 2 of the resolution states that the deterioration in the situation in Lebanon began with Hizbullah’s attack on July 12, 2006.

b. The need for full implementation of Resolutions 1559 and 1680

• Over the past two years, and particularly since the start of the recent hostilities, Israel has reiterated the immediate need for full implementation of Resolution 1559, and that this implementation is a condition for ending the hostilities.
• The resolution notes (in preamble paragraph 1 and in operative sections 3, 8 and 10) the need for full implementation of these resolutions, and it also requests that the Secretary General make concrete proposals for their implementation.

c. Strengthening Lebanon and its government, the need to fully control its territory and deployment of the Lebanese army

• Israel stated that the campaign is directed not against Lebanon, but rather against Hizbullah, and that Lebanon is not a party to the dispute. It also stated that, with the end of hostilities, Lebanon must impose its sovereignty over its territory and deploy its army in the south.
• In the resolution, the Security Council commends the Lebanese government for its efforts to impose its sovereignty and its intention to deploy 15,000 soldiers (preamble paragraphs 5 and 8 and operative sections 3, 5 and 8).

d. Release of the kidnapped soldiers

• Israel stated that one of the reasons that led to the outbreak of the fighting, along with the firing of missiles at Israel, was the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers from inside Israeli territory.
• In preamble paragraph 3 of the resolution, the Security Council emphasizes “the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers.”

e. Disarming Hizbullah and preventing its rearming in the future

• Israel emphasized that one of the results of the conflict must be the disarming of Hizbullah within Lebanese territory, including the missiles in its possession, and the imposition of means that will prevent its rearming in the future.
• The Security Council Resolution explicitly states (in operative section 3) that there may be no weapons in Lebanon without the approval of the government and that in the framework of the future cease-fire agreement between Israel and Lebanon, all the armed groups will be disarmed and there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon except for the government of Lebanon. Moreover, the resolution states, in language taken from resolutions passed in the Security Council under Chapter 7, an arms and ammunition embargo on Lebanon, as well as technical assistance for all the entities that are not the Lebanese army or the armies that make up the UNIFIL force.

f. The need to pass a resolution under Chapter 7 and the UN forces’ authority of enforcement

• Israel aspired to a Security Council resolution under chapter 7, primarily for the purpose of the enforcement authority of the multi-national force. However, Israel requested the right to act freely in the future, without being restricted.
• Ultimately, the Security Council passed a resolution under Chapter 6, which contains binding sections identical to those used in resolutions under Chapter 7. The resolution contains wording characteristic of Security Council resolutions of a binding nature – the last paragraph of the preamble, immediately preceding the operative part, states that the situation in Lebanon “constitutes a threat to international peace and security.”
In its two key paragraphs, the resolution is worded with language taken from resolutions under Chapter 7: (a) in section 12, the resolution authorizes UNIFIL to implement enforcement measures not previously authorized, and (b) in section 15, the components of the arms embargo are identical to the language of resolutions under Chapter 7.

g. The importance to ensure that no vacuum will be created between the IDF’s withdrawal from Lebanon and the entrance of the multi-national force

• The need for the absence of this vacuum was at the center of Israel’s demands.
• The resolution explicitly states the order of events in a manner sufficient to prevent such a vacuum (operative sections 1 and 2 explicitly state the need for parallel action: the withdrawal of the IDF alongside the deployment of the Lebanese army and UNIFIL forces, and it requests that UNIFIL verify this process (section 11) ).
UN Secretary-General Annan, in his speech to the Security Council, also spoke of the importance of preventing the creation of a vacuum.

h. A demilitarized buffer zone

• Israel supported the need for a security strip in the area adjacent to its northern border at the end of the conflict.
• The Security Council determined “the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL” (operative section 8).

i. Preserving Israel’s ability to defend itself

• Israel requested the right to act freely for the purpose of self-defense.
• Operative section 1 of the resolution states, along with the call to Hizbullah to immediately cease its attacks, that Israel must cease offensive military operations, i.e., it reserves the right to act defensively.

5. Summary

a. Security Council Resolution 1701 serves the interests of Israel and brings it closer to implementing the objectives it set upon embarking on the military campaign. While the resolution does not contain everything that we strove to achieve at the outset, considering the regional realities and the complex situation in Lebanon, and in view of the difficult diplomatic negotiations that were conducted over its wording, it constitutes a good starting point for changing the regional reality in the direction that Israel and Lebanon want to go. The resolution demands the removal of Hizbullah from southern Lebanon, its disarming and the prevention of its rearming. It strengthens the international force in Lebanon and gives it new enforcement authority, and it places an arms embargo on Lebanon. It does not call for the immediate withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon and allows the IDF to act in self-defense in Lebanese territory.

b. Israel expects the international community to take all the measures required to fully and effectively implement the resolution.


Appendix I: original text

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701

United Nations Security Council S/RES/1701 (2006)

11 August 2006

Resolution 1701 (2006)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 5511th meeting, on 11 August 2006

The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) 1680 (2006) and 1697 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17), of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),

Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hizbollah’s attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,

Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,

Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,

Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the Government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a United Nations force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from southern Lebanon,

Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest,

Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan regarding the Shebaa farms area,

Welcoming the unanimous decision by the Government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,

Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a longterm solution to the conflict,

Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;

2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the Government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the Government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel;

3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the Government of Lebanon;

4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;

5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;

6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the Government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbours, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;

7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;

8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a longterm solution based on the following principles and elements:

– full respect for the Blue Line by both parties;
– security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area;
– full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State;
– no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its Government;
– no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its Government;
– provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of landmines in Lebanon in Israel’s possession;

9. Invites the Secretary-General to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;

11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):

(a) Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
(b) Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
(c) Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel;
(d) Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;
(e) Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;
(f) Assist the Government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;

12. Acting in support of a request from the Government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment,
ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;

13. Requests the Secretary-General urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;

14. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;

15. Decides further that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft:

(a) The sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories; and
(b) The provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above;

except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;

16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution;

17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;

18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003;

19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

You can download the original full text as pdf here.


7 Comments to “United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701”

  1. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 #israel #lebanon #un #unifil #hizballah http://j.mp/c4onRC

  2. avatar Elisabeth says:

    RT @CrethiPlethi: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 #israel #lebanon #un #unifil #hizballah http://j.mp/c4onRC

  3. […] operated there for the duration of a month. However, upon completion of the war and the approval of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, IDF withdrew behind the internationally recognized border […]

  4. […] to the tune of millions of dollars a year and is believed to supply much of its arsenal despite the UN Security Council resolution 1701, which demands the removal of Hezbollah from southern Lebanon, its disarming and the prevention of […]

  5. […] In taking these steps, Israel demonstrates its continued commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 1701. […]

  6. […] ontdekking van het Hezbollah telecom-systeem is in strijd met VN Resolutie 1701, welke de feitelijke beëindiging van de oorlog tussen Israël en Hezbollah inluidde, maar deze […]

  7. […] grenspost en eindigde 34 dagen later op 14 augustus met een wapenstilstand vastgelegd in de VN Resolutie 1701. De noodzaak voor het conflict was het gevolg van de voortdurende terroristische dreiging en acties […]


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