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FINUL - Rapport du Secrétaire général sur sa création

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        Security Council
S/12611 (1978)
19 March 1978


Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (l978)

1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 in which the Council, among other things, decided to set up a United Nations Force in Lebanon under its authority and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to it on the implementation of the resolution.

Terms of reference

2. The terms of reference of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) are:

(a) The Force will determine compliance with paragraph 2 of Security Council resolution 425 (1978)

(b) The Force will confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restore international peace and security and assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.

(c) The Force will establish and maintain itself in an area of operation to be defined in the light of paragraph 2 (b) above.

(d) The Force will use its best efforts to prevent the recurrence of fighting and to ensure that its area of operation is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.

(e) In the fulfilment of this task, the Force will have the co-operation of the Military Observers of UNTSO, who will continue to function on the Armistice Demarcation Line after the termination of the mandate of UNIFIL.

General considerations

3. Three essential conditions must be met for the Force to be effective. Firstly, it must have at all times the full confidence and backing of the Security 'Council. Secondly, it must operate with the full co-operation of all the parties concerned. Thirdly, it must be able to function as an integrated and efficient military unit.

4. Although the general context of UNIFIL is not comparable with that of UNEF and UNDOF, the guidelines for these operations, having proved satisfactory, are deemed suitable for practical application to the new Force. These guidelines are, mutatis mutandis, as follows:

(a) The Force will be under the command of the United Nations, vested in the Secretary-General, under the authority of the Security Council. The command in the field will be exercised by a Force Commander appointed by the Secretary-General with the consent of the Security Council. The Commander will be responsible to the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General shall keep the Security Council fully informed of developments relating to the functioning of the Force. All matters which may affect the nature or the continued effective functioning of the Force will be referred to the Council for its decision.

(b) The Force must enjoy the freedom of movement and communication and other facilities that are necessary for the performance of its tasks. The Force and its personnel should be granted all relevant privileges and immunities provided for by the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

(c) The Force will be composed of a number of contingents to be provided by selected countries, upon the request of the Secretary-General. The contingents will be selected in consultation with the Security Council and with the parties concerned, bearing in mind the accepted principle of equitable geographic representation.

(d) The Force will be provided with weapons of a defensive character. It shall not use force except in self-defence. Self-defence would include resistance to attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council. The Force will proceed on the assumption that the parties to the conflict will take all the necessary steps for compliance with the decisions of the Security Council.

(e) In performing its functions, the Force will act with complete impartiality.

(f) The supporting personnel of the Force will be provided as a rule by the Secretary-General from among existing United Nations staff. Those personnel will, of course, follow the rules and regulations of the United Nations Secretariat.

5. UNIFIL, like any other United Nations Peace-keeping Operation, cannot and must not take on responsibilities which fall under the Government of the country in which it is operating. These responsibilities must be exercised by the competent Lebanese authorities. It is assumed that the Lebanese Government will take the necessary measures to co-operate with UNIFIL in this regard. It should be recalled that UNIFIL will have to operate in an area which is quite densely inhabited.

6. I envisage the responsibility of UNIFIL as a two-stage operation. In the first stage the Force will confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanese territory to the international border. Once this is achieved, it will establish and maintain an area of operation as defined. In this connexion it will supervise the cessation of hostilities, ensure the peaceful character of the area of operation, control movement and take all measures deemed necessary to assure the affective restoration of Lebanese sovereignty.

7. The Force is being established on the assumption that it represents an interim measure until the Government of Lebanon assumes its full responsibilities in southern Lebanon. The termination of the mandate of UNIFIL by the Security Council will not affect the continued functioning of ILIIAC as set out in the appropriate Security Council decision (S/10611).

8. With the view to facilitating the task of UNIFIL, particularly as it concerns procedures for the expeditious withdrawal of Israeli forces and related matters, it may be necessary to work out arrangements with Israel and Lebanon as a preliminary measure for the implementation of the Security Council resolution. It is assumed that both parties will give their full co-operation to UNIFIL in this regard.

Proposed plan of action

9. If the Security Council is in agreement with the principles and conditions outlined above, I intend to take the following steps:

(a) I shall instruct Lt. General Ensio Siilasvuo, Chief Co-ordinator of United Nations Peace-keeping Missions in the Middle East, to contact immediately the Governments of Israel and Lebanon and initiate meetings with their representatives for the purpose of reaching agreement on the modalities of the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the establishment of a United Nations area of operation. This should not delay in any way the establishment of the Force.

(b) Pending the appointment of a Force Commander, I propose to appoint Major-General E. A Erskine, the Chief of Staff of UNTSO, as Interim Commander. Pending the arrival of the first contingents of the Force he will perform his tasks with the assistance of a selected number of UNTSO military observers. At the same time urgent measures will be taken to secure and arrange for the early arrival in the area of contingents of the Force.

(c) In order that the Force may fulfil its responsibilities, it is considered, as a preliminary estimate, that it must have at least five battalions each of about 600 all ranks, in addition to the necessary logistics units. This means a total strength in the order of 4,000.

(d) Bearing in mind the principles set out in paragraph 4 (c) above, I am making preliminary inquiries as to the availability of contingents from suitable countries.

(e) In view of the difficulty in obtaining logistics contingents and of the necessary for economy, it would be my intention to examine the possibility of building on the existing logistics arrangements. If this should not prove possible, it will be necessary to seek other suitable arrangements.

(f) It is proposed also that an appropriate number of observers of UNTSO be assigned to assist UNIFIL in the fulfilment of its task in the same way as for UNEF.

(g) It is suggested that the Force would initially be stationed in the area for a period of six months.

Estimated cost and method of financing

10. At the present time there are many unknown factors. The best possible preliminary estimate based upon current experience and rates with respect to other peace-keeping forces of comparable size, is approximately $68 million for a Force of 4,000 all ranks, for a period of six months. This figure is made up of initial setting-up costs (excluding the cost of initial airlift) of $29 million and ongoing costs for the six month period of $39 million.

11. The costs of the Force shall be considered as expenses of the Organization to be borne by the Members in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter.



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