Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

18 April 1996



Resolution 1052 Adopted Unanimously; Arab-Sponsored Draft Resolution Condemning Israel Rejected

Acting on two draft resolutions on the situation in Lebanon, the Security Council this evening called for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties in the fighting there and declared its support for ongoing diplomatic efforts to that end, after rejecting an Arab-sponsored draft that would have strongly condemned Israeli aggression.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1052 (1996), the Council deplored the Thursday, 18 April, shelling that caused a heavy loss of civilian lives at a site of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Council also reaffirmed its commitment to Lebanon's territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence and the security of all States in the region, calling upon all concerned to fully respect those policies. They are also called upon to respect UNIFIL's safety, security and freedom of movement and to allow it to fulfil its mandate without any interference.

Calling upon Member States to offer humanitarian help to alleviate the population's suffering and to help the Lebanese Government reconstruct the country, the Council requested the Secretary-General to ensure that the United Nations and its agencies played their part in meeting civilian humanitarian needs.

An earlier draft resolution sponsored by 19 Arab States was not adopted, with only four votes in favour (China, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia) to none against, and 11 abstentions. By its terms, Israel would have been called upon to withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory and been held responsible for compensating Lebanon.

On Monday, when 32 speakers addressed the Council on Lebanon, the representative of Lebanon had asked the Council to order Israel to stop its attacks, which were then in their fifth day. Today, Lebanon's representative expressed regret at the Council's delay in acting and deplored the fact that the Arab-sponsored resolution was not adopted.

During tonight's discussions, many delegations called for the violence to stop, for negotiations to be pursued, expressed condolences to the families of the innocent victims and sought international humanitarian assistance for Lebanon.

Statements were made by the representatives of Egypt, Indonesia, Honduras, China, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Poland, Republic of Korea, Botswana, France, Italy (also speaking for the European Union), Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States, Chile, Israel, Norway, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Cuba, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Iran.

The meeting, called to order at 9:32 p.m., was adjourned at 11:37 p.m.

Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this evening to consider the situation in Lebanon.

A 13 April letter to the President of the Security Council from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon (document S/1996/280) requests an urgent meeting of the Council to consider "the grave situation in Lebanon resulting form the large-scale Israeli bombardment", which he terms "flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon and the Charter of the United Nations".

The first draft (document S/1996/292), sponsored by Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yeman, reads as follows:

The second draft text (document S/1996/304), sponsored by France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Poland, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, and the United States, reads as follows:
The Council also had before it a letter dated 17 April 1996 from the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the Secretary-General (A/51/118-S/1996/295), which transmits the text of a resolution adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States on 17 April entitled, "Condemnation of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon and the means to confront it".

The President of the Council, JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile), put the first draft resolution (document S/1996/292) to the vote.

The vote was 4 in favour (China, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia) to none against, with 11 abstentions. The resolution was not adopted, as it had not received the required number of votes.

On the second draft resolution (document S/1996/304), the Council voted 15 in favour and adopted it as resolution 1052 (1996).


NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said that eight days after the Israeli aggression, the Council was meeting to adopt a resolution that called for the immediate cessation of hostilities in the country, which was Member of the United Nations. The Egyptian Government rejected Israeli aggression against Lebanon and supported the people of Lebanon in their troubles. The people should be able to defend their land. The manner in which the issue of Lebanon had been mocked by some negativity would have a distressing effect on the maintenance of peace and security in the region. Lebanon had sought a meeting earlier, but a decision had been delayed, deferring a decision for eight days, allowing the aggressor to continue its acts.

The case of Lebanon, which had called on the Security Council to take action to protect its land and its people, when compared with the case of aggression against the citizens of another State where the Security Council had adopted immediate measures, would suggest that there were double standards regarding the State subjected to aggression, the citizens of the State and who was carrying out the aggression.

The draft sponsored by the Arab group and Egypt would have stated some principles, such as having Israel withdraw from Lebanese territory, called for respect for Lebanon's territorial integrity, condemned the attacks on Lebanon and called for compensation for Lebanon for the attacks that it had suffered. The principles in the resolution that had not been adopted had shown the scope of the Israeli action in Lebanon. It was hard to be convinced by those who had opposed the Arab draft resolution. Was it shameful to condemn aggression or to seek compensation for aggression? he asked. It was deplorable that the Council could not adopt that resolution.

As for the adopted resolution, he expressed appreciation to the Permanent Representative of France for the efforts of his country, which had led to the resolution. While Egypt had supported the resolution, it had not contained all the principles Egypt wanted, such as condemning Israeli aggression and calling for compensation. Egypt had voted for the text as it had called for an immediate halt to hostilities. However, it had not lived up to his expectation as to what the Security Council action should be. His heart was heavy when he recalled the suffering that Lebanon had suffered in the last few days. He hoped that the Council would ensure the implementation of the resolution just adopted and remain seized on the matter.

MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said he was disappointed at the intensification of the Israeli military incursions into Lebanon. That was evidenced by the brutal shelling of the UNIFIL compound earlier today. In the face of those developments, the Council must shoulder its responsibilities by taking effective action or its credibility might be called into question. He regretted that no consensus was reached on the divergent positions of Council members, precluding the submission of a consolidated text, in spite of the need for the Council to send a clear and unambiguous message for the cessation of hostilities.

He subscribed to the common elements in both draft resolutions, he said. Those were the call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries. A cessation of hostilities was an essential first step in stemming further casualties, preventing the exodus of civilians and ensuring a restoration of normalcy throughout Lebanon. Central to the texts was the recognition of the need for action. The Council must act now to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population caused by the conflict. The need to respect the safety, security and unhindered movement of UNIFIL, as well as of humanitarian organizations, must be underscored.

It was clear that the onus of the Council's responsibility must be to bring an end to the current hostilities, he continued. Indonesia had been consistent in its support of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). In that context, he reiterated his conviction that the Israeli military action in Lebanon was a violation of those resolutions and were in total contradiction of the aims and the objectives of the Madrid peace process.

GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said he was very concerned about the escalation of hostilities along the Israeli-Lebanese border. They continued to cause the loss of life and property among the civilian population and destroyed the Middle East peace process and international peace and security. The military actions against Lebanon were a violation of territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence within its internationally recognized borders. They were also a flagrant violation of the Charter, of international human rights instruments and of the relevant Council resolutions, especially resolution 425 (1978) and the 1949 armistice agreement between Lebanon and Israel.

The hostilities must cease immediately, he said. Continuation of the shellings contributed to a deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and were acts contrary to international humanitarian law. They were an obstacle to the negotiations for a just and lasting peace. The ongoing diplomatic negotiations were important. The humanitarian emergency created by the hostilities must be attended to immediately. The safety of UNIFIL personnel was also cause for concern, and he appealed for their freedom of movement. The resolution was the appropriate response to the current situation, he said.

QIN HUASUN (China) said it was necessary for the Council to react to the situation to bring about the immediate cessation of hostilities. He was concerned at the large-scale military action by Israel in Lebanon, and he was shocked at the large number of casualties suffered by civilian as a result of shelling today. He condemned any action that violated international law. All parties should exercise restraint and work for a cease-fire.

Lebanon's sovereignty and independence should be respected and relevant Council resolutions implemented, including resolution 425 (1978). Help should be provided to the civilians in Lebanon. It was on the basis of those considerations that China had voted for both resolutions. He expressed hope that all parties would exercise restraint and refrain from action that could undermine the peace process in the Middle East.

TONO EITEL (Germany) expressed shock at the shelling that had killed some civilians and expressed condolences to the families of the victims. The violence must come to an end, and it must end now. International humanitarian law must be fully respected and the safety of civilians should be accorded the highest priority. There must be a political solution on the basis of relevant Council resolutions, including resolution 425 (1978). Such a solution would best be helped by a decision of the Council that addressed the principal problems and commanded the widest support. That was why he had voted for the second draft, and had had to abstain on the first draft text.

ADELINO MANO QUETA (Guinea-Bissau) said the hostilities must cease immediately. The text would encourage efforts by some leaders to get some settlement. Relevant resolutions of the Council must be respected. He deplored today's shelling in Lebanon and expressed sympathy for those who had been forced to flee in their own country. The international community should help those who had suffered from the war in Lebanon. Guinea-Bissau had voted for both draft resolutions, trusting that they would contribute to a cessation of hostilities and lasting solutions to the problems in the region.

ZBIGNIEW MARIA WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said what the Council faced today with regard to the situation in Lebanon was complex and had far-reaching consequences. The news of the loss of lives of civilians and UNIFIL personnel this morning had been shocking. He offered his condolences to all concerned. Today's events had brought death and suffering to many people and threatened the peace process in the Middle East. It was time to break the vicious cycle. The resolution offered a solution to the current crisis.

The negotiations that would be pursued in the region by the United States Secretary of State was welcome, as was the role of the European Union, he said. He hoped that they would bear fruit. The resolution called for respect for Lebanon's territorial integrity. The resolution had placed appropriate emphasis on the humanitarian situation and had stressed its concern for UNIFIL personnel. More that 500 Polish soldiers served in Lebanon and, hence, the safety of UNIFIL personnel was of great concern to his Government. He reiterated his support for the peace process in the Middle East.

PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said that the resolution was the collective will of the members of the Security Council. It called for a cessation of hostilities, respect for the territorial integrity of Lebanon and for the safety of civilians. He expressed pride in the fact that the members of the Security Council had been able to act in unison in dealing with the issue. Such action would send a clear message to the parties in the region and the international community. That was why his delegation had voted for it. The text would shore up the efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement. Some of the thrusts of the resolution that had not been accepted were acceptable. He knew that some of its elements had been contentious enough to be opposed by some members of the Security Council. It was in that context that he had encouraged France and others to seek a consensus text, taking into consideration the urgent need for action today.

MOTHUSI D.C. NKGOWE (Botswana) said that the situation could have been averted had the Council adopted a formal decision in its debate last Monday. It was an extremely serious matter to which the Council should have reacted urgently. The people of Lebanon were now being massacred in the most brutal manner. The Israeli military actions had gone beyond the limits of its legitimate right of self-defence. The present Israeli military action was an outright invasion of Lebanon, which had even resulted in the shelling of the UNIFIL site. Israel should respect United Nations personnel at all times.

The Security Council should always be ready to respond in a timely manner to situations that constituted a grave threat to international peace and security, he said. The parties should be called upon to cease hostilities immediately. In that regard, he welcomed the contents of the draft resolution. There should be an immediate cease-fire, support for diplomatic efforts, respect for Lebanon's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and the safety and security of UNIFIL, as well as humanitarian aid for Lebanon. The parties should comply with the resolution. The fighting must stop.

ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said hundreds of thousands of refugees had been forced on to the road -- men, women and children. The French Government had expressed its concern at the intense drama. It was time to act. The diplomatic efforts to end the crisis should be supported. Hostilities must be stopped immediately. That was the Council's immediate mission. The resolution created a broad movement in favour of an immediate cessation of hostilities. The French President had expressed that today. He had appealed to all parties to accept the diplomatic solutions presented to them to end the crisis. That appeal had been supported by the unanimous vote in the Council tonight.

He praised the representative of Egypt's efforts towards ending the crisis. The resolution had reaffirmed the territorial integrity of Lebanon's borders and had called on all parties to respect such principles. It called for the protection of the civilian population and UNIFIL personnel. France had attempted to provide assistance to the Government of Lebanon. He looked forward to humanitarian assistance being sent to Lebanon, as called for in the resolution, and to continue Lebanese Government efforts to build peace. He hoped that the support for the diplomatic efforts under way would give "a breath of fresh life to the Middle East peace process".

FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union, reiterated that body's concern for the continued escalation of military activity in Lebanon, which had led to the loss of too many innocent lives and create a huge number of displaced persons. He conveyed his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives this morning at the UNIFIL base. Italy called on all parties to show restraint and cease all military activities.

He said that as the current President of the European Union, Italy had tried to define a common European platform of action on the crisis. The European Union's political committee had urged the parties to reach agreement on the cessation of hostilities and displaced persons. Italy continued to hope that the crisis would not jeopardize the peace process. He quoted a statement of his Foreign Minister, issued a few hours ago, in which she had appealed for an end to the hostilities. The Foreign Minister would travel to Beirut in her capacity as the current President of the European Union, he said.

GENNADI M. GATILOV (Russian Federation) said that the situation had seemed to escalate since the last debate on the situation. Israeli had continued their bombardment, a large refugee flow had started, an historical site had been attacked, and the rebuilding of Lebanon was also threatened. This morning, some people had died from shelling into southern Lebanon. Israel's actions were undermining the integrity of Lebanon, hurting its civilian population, and threatening the peace process. All of that disturbed Russia, one of the co-sponsors of the Middle East peace process. The way should be found towards a political solution and to protect Israel from attacks on its civilians. Russia was trying on its own to promote peace. Its Foreign Minister was involved.

The draft from the Arab Group had overlooked some crucial aspects of the problems, such as the need to prevent extremist actions that undermined the peace process and the need to protect Israeli security, he said. The second draft had been more balanced. It could have been more precisely worded and some things called by what they were. However it had confirmed the relevant resolutions that had been adopted by the Security Council, particularly resolution 425 (1978). He expressed the hope that the adoption of today's resolution would help promote settlement peacefully in Lebanon.

DEREK PLUMBLY (United Kingdom) expressed satisfaction that the Security Council had adopted a clear, strong and balanced resolution that would underpin the efforts being made to resolve the crisis. His Government had condemned the rocket attacks by Hezbollah on northern Israel, which had led to civilian casualties and started the present crisis. It deeply deplored the loss of innocent civilian lives in Lebanon. He expressed condolences to the families of the victims. There should be an immediate cessation of hostilities and an attempt to build on the 1993 arrangements. He supported the efforts of the United States and France in that regard. Prime Minister John Major had met with the Lebanese Foreign Minister, Rafic Hariri, and had been in touch with French President Jacques Chirac and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. There would be further discussions at the G7 summit meeting in Moscow later this week. The long-term solution to the problem would be the result of the successful conclusion of the Middle East peace process. He reaffirmed his support for resolution 425 (1978). All parties should redouble efforts to reach a lasting peace.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT (United States) expressed shock and sorrow at the suffering from the recent actions and expressed her condolences to the people of Fiji, whose peace-keepers had been taking part in the UNIFIL mission and had suffered casualties. An end to the fighting was essential if diplomatic efforts being undertaken by United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher were to succeed. The resolution put forward by Lebanon and others was not one that the United States could support, as it had been one-sided. It would have set back negotiations and not led to an end of the fighting. It was now time for the Security Council and for nations around the world to renew the call for peace and efforts towards a new era of reconciliation. That process needed restraint from the parties and a willingness to confront directly the source of violence. It would require from the Council a sense of fairness and balance that was present in the resolution that had been adopted, but not in the one that had not been approved. The United States position on resolution 425 (1978) was unchanged. None of the principles in the resolution just adopted could be fulfilled outside the context of the peace process.

JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Lebanon. Calm should follow the crisis. It involved human life. Israel should immediately end its attacks on Lebanon. The main concern must be the innocent civilians in a country which was a friend to Chile. As Council President, he had been determined that the day should not end until the Council acted to put an end to the hostilities. The deaths and sufferings had been great. Chile rejected the use of force and open military threats. The United Nations must be a place in which people could place their trust, regardless of their power. He expressed the hope that someday the Security Council would see the security of people as the priority. That was not the situation today. He hoped the resolution would put an end to the crisis in the region.

SAMIR MOUBARAK (Lebanon) said he regretted that the Council had not met on 14 April to end the aggression against Lebanon and had taken many days to act on the Arab draft resolution. He deplored the fact that the Arab draft had not been adopted, since it called, among other things, for Israel to observe all Security Council resolutions and strongly condemned the Israeli action against Lebanon. It had also called for compensation for the destruction of Lebanese infrastructure. The massacre of 110 civilians and the wounding of 150 others "equated to barbarity and was in the best tradition of the distorted logic of Israel". He expressed appreciation to the Council members that had supported the Arab resolution. He added that the only solution to end the violence was the full implementation of resolution 425 (1978). The Council must shoulder its responsibility.

GAD YAACOBI (Israel) said he regretted that innocent lives unconnected to the fanatic terrorists had been lost in the hostile activities. As indicated by the Spokesman of the United Nations, the tragedy had occurred because Hezbollah had launched rockets at Israel from locations a short distance away from the United Nations position. That was how tragedy had happened today. Hezbollah had used civilians as a shield. That had not been condemned by some members of the Security Council who had spoken tonight. He extended Israel's condolences to the families of those who were innocent.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres had announced today that he had accepted President Clinton's initiative to reach a cease-fire. He expressed hope that the mission of the United States Secretary of State to the region would bear fruit immediately and a cease-fire would be achieved without delay. He hoped that that would put a end to the situation that had forced Israel to retaliate and to use its right of self-defence. That was a necessary move to clear the way for the resumption of the peace process in the Middle East. There was a coalition for peace. The majority of the people in the Middle East shared the desire for peace. They must join forces against militant fanatic terrorists everywhere -- in Lebanon, as well as in Egypt. They must overcome the immediate hardships, clear the way and continue with the peace process.

JAKKEN BIORN LIAN (Norway) said that his country was shocked by today's shelling by Israel of the UNIFIL position in southern Lebanon and by other recent Israeli actions and deeply deplored the heavy losses of civilian life. The actions were totally unacceptable and out of proportion to the Hezbollah attacks on Israel targets. Norway was currently the most important contributor of troops to UNIFIL and deplored the casualties suffered by the Fijian contingent. It was unacceptable to put United Nations personnel at risk.

He demanded that Hezbollah stop their practice of establishing positions close to civilian or United Nations installations. The Israeli authorities should take every necessary step to prevent the shelling of United Nations and civilian targets. Both Israel and Hezbollah should immediately cease all military activities and conclude a cease-fire. He supported the diplomatic efforts being undertaken by the United States and France to that end.

DAVID KARSGAARD (Canada) joined others in calling for a cease-fire immediately. Beyond the human tragedy due to today's attacks, the world should look to the state of the Middle East peace process. The task of those in support of peace had been made more difficult by the escalation of hostilities in southern Lebanon and northern Israel. He believed that the peace process was the best way of resolving the conflict that had gripped the region. All parties should resume talks for a just and lasting peace.

In supporting the peace process, some fundamental principles should be respected, he said. They included Israel's need for security and well-being. At the same time, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon was central to the peace process. The implementation of resolution 425 (1978) was also crucial. The safety of peace-keepers should be ensured. He was pleased that the Security Council had adopted a text. All parties should cease military activities and reach a negotiated agreement to bring peace to the region.

JOHN CAMPBELL (Ireland) said the tragic events which took place today in southern Lebanon marked a grave deterioration of the current situation. It could only be viewed with the greatest concern by all interested in the peace process. The Government of Ireland had condemned the attack on the UNIFIL base. Such attacks on United Nations facilities were unacceptable. His Government had conveyed their condolences to all concerned. He called for respect for UNIFIL, in which Ireland had served for many years. He welcomed the clear language of the resolution.

His Government had expressed grave concern at the growing humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, he said. All parties should respond to the appeals for the end of hostilities. The violence could pose a danger to the Middle East peace process. He welcomed the resolution that was adopted. That and the diplomatic initiatives being undertaken should serve to end the crisis and avoid further casualties.

HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said the recent violence in Lebanon was exacerbating the already tense situation in the region. It could jeopardize the peace process. The international community must prevent the situation from sliding into a circle of violence and retaliation. Japan was alarmed over the attacks on Israel and counterattacks on Lebanon and called on all parties to exercise self-restraint. Today's events had added to the number of casualties. It was a development that could not be justified.

Stressing the need for the cessation of hostilities, he said he had endorsed the resolution as an expression of the common will of the international community. All parties should comply with the resolution as a first step towards the normalization of the situation. Japan was determined to join in international efforts to combat terrorism and to work to ensure that the peace process was put back on track. At the same time, Japan intended to continue to extend its cooperation to Palestinians for their social and economic development, which was essential to the creation of conditions for durable peace in the region.

BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said the past week had witnessed the flagrant violation of international law by Israel. Cuba condemned such action and called for the end of the aggression against the people of Lebanon. He demanded the implementation of relevant General Assembly resolutions and of resolution 425 (1978). As called for in those resolutions, Lebanon's territorial integrity should be respected and its territory should be returned, among other things.

It was regrettable that the Arab resolution had not been adopted, he continued. The Council's credibility was at stake, because of its lack of democracy, the inconsistency of its decisions and its double standards. The Council's actions were helpless in the face of the veto. In addition, there was always the threat of the silent veto.

The United Nations was obliged to support the rights of any country against aggression of that kind, he said. Cuba, which had been the subject of acts of aggression for decades, continued to condemn such acts. No reason or pretext of a terrorist act could justify the mass violation of rules of international law, the massacre of civilians and the murder of children. Lebanese sovereignty must be defended.

MOHAMMAD J. SAMHAN (United Arab Emirates), as Chairman of the Arab Group in the United Nations, said Israel had continued its aggression in Lebanon, which had caused the death of almost 200 people and the displacement of almost 500,000 others. The massacres in Lebanon had not ceased. Rather, they had only increased, leading to this morning's death at the UNIFIL site. He expressed his condolences to the Government and people of Lebanon and the families of peace-keepers who had suffered. He reiterated the call for Israel, as occupying Power, to commit itself to the norms of international humanitarian law and the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Protocol.

The Israeli aggression should cease and the sovereignty and integrity of that country should be respected, he continued. Israel should withdraw its forces from Lebanon to the internationally recognized border. He expressed thanks for those who had supported the Arab Group's draft resolution. He regretted that others had abstained, causing that text to fail to get the necessary votes. The text would have called on Israel to withdraw to internationally recognized borders. He called on the Security Council to continue to shoulder its responsibility regarding the situation and to take measures to end the aggression, the massacre and to remove their consequences in accordance with international law and legitimacy.

KHALID AZIZ BABAR (Pakistan) condemned the Israeli actions in Lebanon. The continuation of the conflict was deplorable, and the Israeli forces should cease hostilities. The aggression was further increasing tension in the region, had displaced civilians and destroyed infrastructure. He condemned the targeting of civilians in the conflict. He expressed the belief that Israel was obliged to respect the Fourth Geneva Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions, such as resolution 425 (1978), which should be implemented. Israel must cease its actions and leave Lebanese territory. Lebanon deserved appropriate compensation for the damages it had suffered.

MAJID TAKHT-RAVANCHI (Iran) expressed condolences to families in Lebanon who had suffered losses due to the attacks of the Zionist army. Who was to blame for the situation in Lebanon? he asked. The Zionists or those who, by their silence, had given them the green light for their action? The Security Council should condemn the continued Israeli aggression in Lebanon, take action to deal with Israeli terrorism and take steps to implement resolution 425 (1978). Any attempt to distort that resolution would not help the Security Council's credibility.

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