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Mid-East: Security Council Renews Observer Force

Noting Middle East Tensions, Security Council Renews Mandate Of UN Observer Force

Noting that the latest report on the Middle East referred to continuing tensions, the Security Council today unanimously renewed the mandate of United Nations observers in the Golan Heights monitoring the ceasefire between Israel and Syria for another six months, until the end of next June.

As it has done in other renewals during the past 30 years of the UN Disengagement Observer Force UNDOF), the Council called on the two parties to implement its resolution of 22 October 1973, which urges them to negotiate “a just and durable peace in the Middle East.”

“Under the prevailing circumstances I consider the continued presence of UNDOF in the area to be essential,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his report earlier this month.

UNDOF was established in May 1974. Last month it had 1,039 troops from Austria, Canada, Japan, Nepal, Poland and Slovakia and was assisted by 77 military observers from the UN Troop Supervision Organization (UNTSO). In addition to its mandated monitoring functions, it has helped pilgrims and students cross the region.

The new mandate would expire next 30 June, by which time the Secretary-General would have submitted an updated report on developments.

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