Cablegate: Unsc: Council Consultations On Undof

DE RUCNDT #1123/01 3492143
O 152143Z DEC 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 126217

1. (SBU) Summary: The Council met on December 14 in
consultations to discuss the UN Disengagement Observer Force
(UNDOF) since its mandate expires at the end of the month.
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Mulet
briefed the Council on the Secretary-General's six-month
report, UNDOF's patrols, and the new Philippine contingent
that is now operating in the southern sector. While noting
that the area has been generally quiet, Mulet stated that
UNDOF's freedom of movement is occasionally restricted by the
parties. Nevertheless, he said the Secretary-General
recommends another six-month renewal and hopes the parties
will return to negotiations. Council members expressed
appreciation and support for UNDOF and troop contributors.
Several, including Ambassador DiCarlo, asked DPKO to consider
recommending a longer mandate during the next review period
and the P-3 pressed the Department of Peacekeeping Operations
(DPKO) for a more robust report. The Council is scheduled on
December 21 to adopt the draft resolution extending UNDOF's
mandate for another six months. End summary.

DPKO briefing

2. (SBU) The Council met on December 14 in consultations to
discuss the Secretary-General's six-month report, dated
November 18, on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
(Note: Report was e-mailed to IO/PSC and IO/UNP. End note.)
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
Edmond Mulet briefed the Council first. (Comment: Mulet's
comments were largely the same as Department of Peacekeeping
Operations (DPKO) Asia and Middle East Division
Officer-in-Charge Nina Lahoud's briefing during the Council's
December 7 private meeting with troop-contributing
countries (TCCs). End comment.) Mulet stated that UNDOF is
currently operating from 40 fixed positions in and around the
area of operations and has more mobile monitoring positions.
It currently performs approximately 70-80 patrols of the area
per day and ten patrols at night, as well as fortnightly
patrols and inspections in the areas of limitation to ensure
that upper force strength limits are respected. In
addition, two new watchtowers have been constructed in the
southern area, which have increased the mission's
observational abilities.

3. (SBU) Mulet referred to DPKO and UNDOF's May 2009
technical assessment which concluded that the Philippine
brigade replacing the Polish brigade should have an increased
operational presence in the southern areas because of the
increased Syrian civilian activity there. Mulet confirmed
that the hand-over between the Polish and Philippine forces
had successfully taken plans and another 30 addition UNDOF
personnel had been redirected from logistics to operational
activities in the southern area. (Note: DPKO's assessment
last spring, which they only briefed orally to the Council
but never in writing, indicated a need for more operational
forces in the southern zone given the increased Syrian
civilian presence in the area. The increased civilian
presence does not contravene the disengagement protocol. End

4. (SBU) Mulet referred to the report, which notes that the
parties sometimes deny inspection teams access to some of
their positions and impose restrictions on the Force's
freedom of movement. (Note: In the TCC meeting, Lahoud
highlighted the need for the parties to give the teams full
access to all sites in question, especially through the A and
B gates. She urged that restrictions on UNDOF's freedom of
movement be halted but noted that, overall, both Israel and
Syria are making improvements in this regard. End note.)
Mulet also noted from the report that mines continue to pose
a threat to UNDOF, especially when their condition
deteriorates. He called for the resumption of negotiations
between the parties and said that the Secretary-General
recommends that the mandate be extended for another six
months to June 30, 2010. Mulet announced that Austrian UNDOF
Force Commander Jilke is scheduled to rotate out on February
4, 2010 and that the Secretariat is proceeding with the
selection of his replacement. No rotational delay is

Council appreciates UNDOF's
efforts and voices its support

5. (SBU) All Council members expressed appreciation for
UNDOF's efforts and the contributions of troop contributors.
A number of countries voiced hope that the two parties would
restart negotiations, whether indirectly or directly. The
Turkish Perm Rep said that Turkey is ready to continue its

USUN NEW Y 00001123 002 OF 002

role in indirect negotiations between the parties. The
Libyan Deputy Perm Rep referred to Israeli Knesset action to
require a referendum before any Israeli withdrawal from
occupied territory and expressed doubt about the sincerity of
Israeli authorities' efforts towards a comprehensive
settlement. A number of Council members called for both
parties to give UNDOF full access and freedom of movement.
China added a call for all counties to pay their peacekeeping
assessments on time. Several members, including Austria,
Costa Rica, and Vietnam, expressed concern about mines in the
areas of operation, to which Mulet replied that UNDOF
de-mines for operational reasons but does not have a
humanitarian de-mining mandate.

Number of members ask DPKO to consider
recommending longer mandate

6. (SBU) Drawing from reftel, Ambassador DiCarlo expressed
strong U.S. preference for a 12-month mandate for the sake of
Council efficiency, given UNDOF's non-controversial nature,
and asked DPKO to consider recommending a longer mandate for
the next renewal period. A number of countries called for
the same, including the UK and Costa Rica. Austria and
Croatia, both TCCs, said they would be open to a 12-month
mandate if both parties agreed.

P-3 calls for a more robust report
7. (SBU) The UK Deputy Perm Rep called on DPKO to follow up
on its May technical assessment now that the Philippine
contingent is in place. Both the UK and France reminded the
Council that all peacekeeping operations should be under
constant review and UNDOF is no exception. They both joined
Ambassador DiCarlo in calling DPKO to revamp the format of
its UNDOF report since it currently "offers little value."
Mulet later replied that he had taken note of requests for a
more detailed report and that there would be a move away from
"recycled texts." Japan voiced appreciation to the Security
Council President for holding the Council's meeting with TCCs
one week before the Council's own consultations, thereby
giving the TCCs time to feed their thoughts into the
Council's own deliberations.

Council scheduled to adopt
mandate extension

8. (SBU) The Council is scheduled on December 21 to adopt a
draft resolution, identical to UNSCR 1875, to extend UNDOF's
mandate for another six months to June 30. As in previous
renewals, the Council has also been asked to approve an
accompanying one-paragraph Presidential Statement. Both
drafts have been e-mailed to IO/PSC.

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