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UN Observer Force In Golan Heights Extended

UN Observer Force In Golan Heights Extended For Another Six Months

The Security Council today extended the United Nations force observing the ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights for a further six months, until 30 June 2009.

The 15-member body voted unanimously to renew the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which was established in May 1974, as recommended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his latest report on the mission.

“The situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained generally quiet,” he wrote. “Nevertheless, the situation in the Middle East is tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached.”

Under the prevailing circumstances, he considered the continued presence of UNDOF in the area to be “essential.”

The Secretary-General also drew attention to $23.7 million shortfall in the funding of the Force, as at 30 September. In addition, as at 31 October, $2.4 million was owed to the troop contributors to UNDOF.

“The outstanding contributions impede the ability of the Secretariat to support the operations of the Force and to reimburse Member States contributing troops to the Force,” noted Mr. Ban.

ENDS

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