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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/SPC/42/SR.6
27 October 1987

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

SPECIAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE
6th meeting
held on
Tuesday, 20 October 1987
at 10 a.m.
New York


SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 6th MEETING

AGENDA ITEM 77: COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE WHOLE QUESTION OF PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS IN ALL THEIR ASPECTS (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.

AGENDA ITEM 77: COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE WHOLE QUESTION OF PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS IN ALL THEIR ASPECTS (continued)

1. Mr. ABOUL-GHEIT (Egypt) ...

...

4. With respect to Lebanon, attacks by Israeli troops and illegitimate armed groups supported by Israel against the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were preventing UNIFIL from successfully discharging its mandate. The speedy abolition of the Israeli controlled "security zone" inside Lebanon would be the best way of ensuring the Force's resumption of its effective role and achieving stability and peace for the residents of southern Lebanon and the border areas between Israel and Lebanon.

...

12. Mr. ABOUASSI (Lebanon) said that Lebanon's position on the subject under discussion remained unchanged with respect to the basic principle. However, the experience of the past year again proved the need to take speedy, effective action to enable UNIFIL, and southern Lebanon itself, to emerge from the current impasse and thus prevent the possibility of more serious conflicts.

13. Over the past 12 months, various incidents had occurred between the Israel and pro-Israeli forces in southern Lebanon and the United Nations Force. Attacks and bombardments by those forces had resulted in the death or wounding of several UNIFIL soldiers, had brought the agricultural and commercial activity of the region to a standstill and had led to the exodus of many inhabitants, as well as preventing UNIFIL from discharging its mandate. His country wished to express gratitude to the members of that Force and to the countries which had sent contingents.

14. Nor had there been any progress at the political level, largely due to Israeli intransigence, and there was no evidence that the Security Council was making new efforts to find a solution.

15. The difficulties faced by UNIFIL were increased by a serious financial crisis caused by the non-payment of contributions by various countries that imposed unacceptable financial burdens on those sending contingents. The immediate question was whether or not the Security Council was prepared to assume responsibility for the possible disintegration of UNIFIL and the consequences of its withdrawal from Lebanon and, above all, whether the Council was ready to allow its own resolution to remain unimplemented. The withdrawal of UNIFIL from southern Lebanon would in no way provide a solution to the problem, nor was its presence itself a solution. Its mission should be redefined.

16. The general conditions for the success of peace-keeping operations were generally accepted, but the means of meeting them should still be reconsidered. For instance, co-operation by the parties concerned remained an essential objective but sustained effort, and even the exertion of pressure, was required to achieve it. In that connection, the Lebanese Government wished to express its appreciation of the untiring efforts of the Secretary-General and his staff since 1978. Another prerequisite was adequate support from the Security Council, the body primarily responsible for peace-keeping. Paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 444 (1979) had reaffirmed tho Council's determination, in the event of continuing obstruction of the mandate of the Force, to examine practical ways and means in accordance with relevant provisions of the Charter to secure the full implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). His delegation hoped that advantage might be taken of the new climate in international relations to reach agreement on such practical ways and means; culminating in the convening of a special meeting of the Security Council. Lebanon itself had taken various steps in that direction since 1979, but, so long as the Security Council resolutions were not implemented and the occupation or of southern Lebanon persisted, it was normal that the Lebanese population should resist the occupier.

17. Mr. OKUDA (Japan) ...

...

18. His delegation paid special tribute to the courageous members of UNIFIL and expressed deep regret that several members had been killed and wounded. It also expressed its sincere gratitude to the countries which had provided the personnel. It was disturbed by reports that the authority vested in those forces by the United Nations was often challenged in the field and called upon the parties concerned to ensure the safety of the forces and facilitate their tasks.

19. All Member States shared a collective responsibility for financially sustaining those operations, and his Government deplored the large deficits which had accrued in the case of UNIFIL and of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), rendering implementation of their mandates extremely difficult. ...

...

24. Mr. RECHNER (Canada) ... Canada, along with other countries had put forward numerous suggestions for improving peace-keeping operations. In addition to the political problems involved, the financial situation of peace-keeping operations, particularly with regard to UNIFIL and UNFICYP, remained critical. ...

25. ... Since 1948, almost 80,000 Canadian servicemen had served in peace-keeping missions at a cost of millions of dollars to Canadian taxpayers. In addition, a number of Canadians had lost their lives while carrying out peace-keeping duties. The latest fatalities in UNIFIL once again demonstrated the need for restraint on the part of all concerned and for all parties to participate in the search for political solutions to the problems at hand.

...

30. Miss BYRNE (Ireland) ...

31. Unfortunately, the conditions for successful peace-keeping operations have not always existed in reality. The current situation of UNIFIL continued to cause serious concern. Co-operation was withheld from UNIFIL, and troops were subjected to continual harassment by illegal forces. In the last 14 months, three members of the Irish contingent had lost their lives on duty in southern Lebanon. In that connection, her delegation extended its condolences to the families of the two soldiers from the Nepalese contingent who had recently been killed and reiterated its condemnation of such attacks.

32. Ireland once again called for the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon and the dismantling of the so-called "security zone". The full co-operation of all parties to the conflict was essential in order to enable UNIFIL to carry out its mission. She welcomed the fact that UNIFIL now had the full backing of all the permanent members of the Security Council and supported the request by the Secretary-General for the necessary co-operation with the Force.

...

46. Mr. TEKAYA (Tunisia) said that peace-keeping operations had made an essential contribution to world peace and were among the Organization's most important accomplishments. His delegation wished to pay tribute to those who were serving with United Nations forces, and to express their condolences to the countries whose soldiers had been killed in 1987 while serving under the United Nations flag. It deplore the recent incidents which had cost the lives of two Nepalese members of UNIFIL.

...

50. Peace-keeping operations must be treated with respect. His delegation noted with concern the deterioration of the already dangerous situation in which UNIFIL was placed, particularly after the attacks on its personnel. The core of the problem lay in Israel's refusal to co-operate with UNIFIL and in its continued harassment of the Force.

...

52. Mr. BRACEGIRDLE (New Zealand)...

...

55. Since peace-keeping forces were often sent to some of the most hazardous areas in the world, the lives of their personnel were often on the line, as had been tragically borne out by the experience of UNIFIL. It was incumbent upon all States to support the Organization's peace-keeping personnel in the difficult but vital contribution that they were called upon to make to the maintenance of international peace and security.

...

60. Mr. THOMPSON (Fiji) ...

...

62. As a troop contributor to UNIFIL since its inception, his Government was disappointed that the Force had been unable to fulfil its mandate because of lack of support from all the relevant parties. Nevertheless, it fully endorsed the Secretary-General's belief that UNIFIL constituted a vital stabilizing influence in its area of operation.

63. UNIFIL also suffered from chronic financial difficulties, cause partly by substantial arrears and partly by the withholding of contributions by a major contributor as well as many other Member States. That had placed an unfair and unduly heavy burden on the troop-contributing countries. His country was, nevertheless, fully committed to the peace-keeping responsibilities of the United Nations, and would continue to play a role in such operations when called upon in the future. It believed that such involvement was one of the ways in which a small country could demonstrate its commitment to the ideals of the Charter and contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.

...
The meeting rose at 12.30 p.m.

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