On the anniversary of its Establishment, UNIFIL calls for full implementation of Resolution 1701

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19 Mar 2024

On the anniversary of its Establishment, UNIFIL calls for full implementation of Resolution 1701

As UNIFIL marked the 46th anniversary of its establishment today, its leadership renewed calls for all actors to put down their weapons, recommit to Security Council Resolution 1701, and work toward a political and diplomatic solution.

“Resolution 1701 has been challenged by current events, but it remains as relevant and necessary as ever,” said Head of Mission and Force Commander Aroldo Lázaro. “We call on all parties to commit to implementing the resolution in full. Our more than 10,000 peacekeepers continue their critical monitoring, de-escalation, and liaison work, and we stand ready to support a peaceful resolution to the current situation.”

The mission did not hold its yearly ceremony at its headquarters in Naqoura today, as peacekeepers are focused on accomplishing their mission amidst the breaches of the cessation of hostilities in violation of resolution 1701 along the Blue Line. Nonetheless, Lieutenant General Lázaro paid tribute to the civilian and military peacekeepers who have served with the mission over the years, including over 330 who have died serving for peace.

“The sacrifice of those who lost their lives here is not in vain,” Lázaro continued. “Our efforts today, in these very difficult circumstances, are a tribute to their memories. Their sacrifice motivates us to continue our work toward de-escalation in the short-term, and peace in the long-term.”

He commended the work of the more than 10,000 military peacekeepers from 49 countries who, alongside their civilian colleagues, and despite relentless and daily exchanges of fire, have stayed their course in monitoring the fast-evolving situation in south Lebanon, maintaining high operational tempo and visible presence, and in assisting local communities.

The United Nations Security Council established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, with Resolutions 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978. The mission’s mandate was expanded in with Resolution 1701 following the 2006 war.