World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Annan Praises Middle East Resolution

Annan Praises Middle East Resolution

Welcoming tonight's Security Council resolution that calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Middle East, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he believed it could serve as a base to reach a sustainable and lasting ceasefire agreement in the coming days and ultimately to the start of a process to solve the underlying political problems in the region through political means.”

In his <"http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=2163">address to the Council ahead of the vote on the resolution, Mr. Annan said he would work with the Lebanese and Israeli Governments over the weekend to determine the exact date and time at which the cessation of hostilities will come into effect.

But the Secretary-General also told the 15-member body how profoundly disappointed he was that the Council took so long to agree to such a resolution.

“All members of this Council must be aware that its inability to act sooner has badly shaken the world's faith in its authority and integrity, he said.

In a unanimous vote, conducted after weeks of intensive diplomacy with Mr. Annan pushing for action, the 15-member Council called for Hizbollah to stop all attacks immediately and for Israel to cease all offensive military operations.

The resolution welcomed the Lebanese Government's plan to deploy 15,000 of its own troops in the country's south as Israel withdraws its forces behind the Blue Line at the earliest, while at the same time the size and mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is significantly expanded.

During his speech, Mr. Annan said that too many children have died in the conflict, and Lebanon's economy and infrastructure have been devastated at a time when its population was “making real progress towards political reform and economic recovery.

The country's attempts to cast off the chains of external interference and domestic strife will require not only constructive cooperation among Lebanon's different groups, but mutual goodwill and sustained dialogue with key figures in the region, including the Syrian and Iranian Governments.

Voicing pride and admiration for the courage of UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers, as well as UN humanitarian workers, he observed that UNIFIL faces a task under the resolution perhaps even more difficult and dangerous than its previous one.

“It must be robust and effective, and ensure that no vacuum is left between the Israeli withdrawal and the deployment of Lebanese forces, he said, adding it must be provided with sophisticated military capabilities and additional troops as soon as possible.

Mr. Annan also called for:

  • humanitarian convoys and relief workers to be given “a real guarantee of safe passage and access to those who need help”;

  • a resolution of the Shebaa Farms border dispute in accordance with resolution 1680;

  • the release of prisoners in the region, “starting with those who have been taken hostage”;

  • potential donors to respond swiftly to requests from Lebanon for financial help;

  • and the Security Council and the wider international community to tackle the crises in the Middle East not in isolation or bilaterally, but as part of a holistic and comprehensive effort.

    He also warned Council members not to turn their backs on the bloodshed, suffering and hardship” suffered by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, or the danger to Israelis from rockets launched from inside Gaza.

    The Lebanese Government said more than 1,000 of its civilians have been killed and another 3,600 others have been injured, while about a quarter of the population or a million people have been displaced from their homes. Some 41 Israeli civilians have also died, while many others have had to flee their homes or seek shelter from rocket attacks.

    Ends

    © Scoop Media

  •  
     
     
     
     
    World Headlines

     

    Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

    The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

    ALSO:

    At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

    The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

    ALSO:

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

    The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

    Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

    Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

    ALSO:

    Other Australian Detention

    Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

    Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

    Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news