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Agenda item 85: Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects (continued)
55. Mr. Fallouh (Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation associated itself with the statement made by the representative of South Africa on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. Peacekeeping operations were a very important instrument for achieving the United Nations purpose of maintaining international peace and security. They were entrusted with the vitally important role of lessening tensions and promoting the settlement of conflicts, as well as creating the conditions for post-conflict peace-building. In recent years, peacekeeping operations had proved effective in various areas and had made the transition from the traditional function of monitoring ceasefire agreements to fulfilling more multifaceted and complex objectives, including in the area of restoring institutions of governance. His delegation noted the success of United Nations peacekeeping activities in many countries, and expressed the hope that peacekeeping operations would be extended to conflict regions that had been neglected, in particular Somalia.
56. Peacekeeping operations were not, however, an alternative to long-term peace settlements, but rather temporary measures that served to prevent further escalation of conflict. It was important that such operations should not go beyond the established framework of their mandates and that once under way, they should abide by the basic principles of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States. Such operations must also be carried out within specific time frames.
57. Furthermore, peacekeeping operations in the Middle East that had been authorized for a short transitional period had lasted for more than 50 years, yet the prospects for achieving peace there remained distant, given that Israel stubbornly refused to comply with Security Council resolutions and continued its policy of aggression, expansion of settlements and reprisals against defenceless civilian populations living under the yoke of occupation.
58. Israel’s barbarous attack on Syrian territory in October 2003 was yet another example of its flagrant violation of the most important principles of the Charter of the United Nations and posed a threat to regional and international peace and security. There was no justification for such actions, and it was solely due to the great restraint shown by the Syrian Arab Republic that further escalation of the conflict had been averted and the region spared from an outbreak of violence.
59. His delegation reiterated its commitment to the general principles for the carrying out of peacekeeping operations and highlighted the need to take additional steps to provide security for peacekeeping personnel. It also attached great importance to effective trilateral cooperation between the Security Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries in the planning and organization of missions.
The meeting rose at 1.10 p.m.
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