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INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON
2. On 11 June 1982 reports were received that the Governments of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic had separately announced that, beginnings 12 noon local time (0600 hours New York time), each would cease fire, subject to certain conditions being met.
3. hostilities in Lebanon continued, however, the following statement was made on my behalf at noon New York time (1800 hours local time):
"The Secretary-General has just received from Chairman Arafat a reconfirmation of his acceptance of Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982).
"The plight of the civilian population of the area in which hostilities have taken place is desperate. The Secretary-General, as previously announced, has already taken.steps to mobilize an urgent humanitarian relief operation by the appropriate organizations and programmes of the United Nations system and has been in touch with the Israeli Government in this regard. He appeals for co-operation in this humanitarian effort, which is of the utmost urgency. He also is appealing to Member States for the necessary assistance and resources".
5. On Saturday, .12 June 1982, it was agreed that a cease-fire would come into being in Lebanon at 2100 hours local time (1500 hours New York time). In this connexion, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Mr. Arafat, sent me a message at 1445 hours New York time (2045 local time), stating,
"The PLO decided to agree to cease fire, schedule for 2100 hours, in light of its earlier acceptance of Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982). This is in response to Arab and international effort in that regard".
6. Shortly after 2100 hours local time (1500 hours New York times) the Permanent Representative of Lebanon informed me that the fighting in the Beirut area was subsiding.
7. Regrettably, however, the cease-fire did not hold. There were reports of resumed fighting and changes of position, including movements on the ground. The United Nations had no capacity for direct observation or monitoring of the cease-fire.
8. On Sunday, 13 June, my colleagues and I were in constant touch with the Government of Lebanon and other parties, seeking to explore the possibility of sending United Nations observers to monitor the cease-fire in the Beirut area with a view to making it effective. Furthermore, we have sought to secure the necessary co-operation of all concerned for humanitarian relief operations to start at the earliest possible opportunity on the massive scale that is required in the area of the hostilities.
9. I need hardly say that the United Nations organizations in the Middle East, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) with its military observers, as well as UNIFIL in southern Lebanon, stand ready to perform any task which the Security Council may wish them to undertake.
10. The Security Council held brief consultations in the late evening of 13 June, and heard my report on the above events. It was decided that the Council members would continue holding consultations on the following day.
12. The mandate of the Force was set out in Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) and was reaffirmed on numerous occasions subsequently. In the reports on UNIFIL issued by my predecessor and myself, it was repeatedly pointed out, despite considerable difficulties and a lack of co-operation, the Force was playing a vital role in maintaining peace in its area. Those reports also explained why UNIFIL was unable fully to implement the terms of its mandate and, in particular, to assist the Government of Lebanon-in ensuring the return of its effective authority in southern Lebanon up to the internationally recognized border.
13. UNIFIL, like all other United Nations peace-keeping operations, is based on certain fundamental principles, the foremost of which is the non-use of force, except in self-defence. The Force is not meant to engage in combat to attain its goals. It has a strictly limited strength and it is armed only with defensive weapons.
14. It was for these reasons that certain essential conditions were laid down at the time of the establishment of the Force. Those included, first, that it must function with the full co-operation of the parties concerned and, second, that it must have at all times the full confidence and backing of the Security Council. In this connexion, it was a fundamental assumption that the parties would fully abide by the decisions of the Security Council and that, in the event of non-compliance, the Council itself and those Member States in a position to bring their influence to bear would be able to act decisively to ensure respect for the decisions of the council.
15. In the case of UNIFIL, those conditions were not met. Instead, UNIFIL was faced with inadequate co-operation throughout its existence, culminating in an overwhelming use of force.
16. 0nce the Israeli action commenced, it was evident that UNIFIL troops could, at best maintain their positions and take defensive measures, seeking to impede and protest the advance. They were instructed to do so, unless their safety was seriously imperilled. These instructions were followed by the individual battalions using the means available to them. I wish to pay tribute to the Commander of the Force, his staff, both civilian and military, to the officers and men of the contingents of UNIFIL, as well as to the UNTSO observers assigned to the Force. They have served with courage and devotion in extremely difficult circumstances.
17. At present, despite the fundamentally altered situation and the dangers inherent in it, UNIFIL troops continue to man their positions. They are also endaeavouring, to the extent possible in the circumstances, to extend their protection and humanitarian assistance to the population of the area. These are obviously interim tasks, pending a decision by the Council on the status of UNIFIL.
18. At the time of reporting, the situation remains fluid and unclear. If the terms of resolution 509 (1982) are to be implemented, it is my view that UNIFIL could usefully contribute to the objectives prescribed by the Security Council. However, for UNIFIL to function effectively, there would need to be a clear definition by the Council itself of the terms of reference of the Force in the existing situation, as well as full co-operation from the parties. These are matters of obvious and deep concern not only to toe but to all the troop-contributing Governments. I should mention, in this connexion, that the Government of Lebanon has expressed the view that UNIFIL should continue to be stationed in the area pending further consideration of the situation in the light of Security Council resolution 509 (1982).
19. in bringing these developments to the attention of the Security Council. I am mindful of the guidelines which it approved when the Force was established and in accordance with which "all matters which may affect the nature or the continued effective functioning of the Force will be referred to the Council for its decision" (S/12611, para. 4).