Statement by UNIFIL Spokesperson on renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate, 31 August 2010
The UN Security Council, acting on the request of the Government of Lebanon, on 30 August 2010 unanimously decided to extend the present mandate of UNIFIL for a period of one year until 31 August 2011.
The mandate of UNIFIL and its tasks are determined by resolution 1701. There has also been a Lebanese consensus supporting UNIFIL's mandate. UNIFIL's mission, deployment, concept of operations, the activities of its forces and rules of engagement will remain unchanged. This applies equally to all UNIFIL contingents that operate under singular UN command exercised on the ground by the UNIFIL Force Commander.
In its resolution 1937 adopted 30 August 2010, the Security Council brings focus on key issues that define the way forward for UNIFIL's mission:
First, it calls for further enhancement of the cooperation between UNIFIL and LAF, noting that their deployment helped to establish a new strategic environment in southern Lebanon and welcoming the expansion of coordinated activities between the two forces that has been achieved so far.
The Security Council makes several significant assertions in this context, calling upon member states to assist the LAF to enable it to perform its duties in line with resolution 1701, welcoming the deployment of an additional LAF brigade in the south recently and calling on the Government of Lebanon to further increase the LAF deployed in southern Lebanon.
Second, the Security Council clearly underlines the responsibilities of the parties towards the implementation of resolution 1701. All parties are strongly called upon to respect the cessation of hostilities and the Blue Line in its entirety, and to cooperate fully with UNIFIL. They also have to abide scrupulously by their obligation to respect the safety of UNIFIL, and to ensure that UNIFIL is accorded full freedom of movement.
UNIFIL can facilitate, but cannot act on behalf of, the parties. The responsibility lies with all of us, all those who have a stake in achieving security and stability in southern Lebanon.
This renewal represents a strong expression of the international community's support for UNIFIL's mission and its determination to stabilize the situation and strengthen security in south Lebanon.
Now, as we move into the fifth year of our mission under resolution 1701, we must build on the progress that has been made so far. The tremendous resources and support we continue to receive from the international community, the prevailing Lebanese consensus on our deployment, our positively evolving strategic partnership with LAF, the support and understanding of the people of south Lebanon and the continued commitment of the parties to the cessation of hostilities – these are all pillars to which our success is pegged. We must make it stronger.
The Security Council and the Secretary-General urged all parties to fully cooperate with them to make tangible progress towards a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution and emphasized that more work remains to be done by the parties to advance the full implementation of resolution 1701.