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Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization
Supplement No. 1 (A/55/1)
Conflict prevention and peacemaking
51. An area of renewed engagement of United Nations efforts in the last year — and one that has seen significant progress — is the Middle East. For 22 years, United Nations peacekeepers have served in southern Lebanon in one of our longest standing peacekeeping commitments anywhere in the world. Following several missions to the region by my Special Envoy, I reported to the Security Council on 16 June that Israeli forces had withdrawn from Lebanon in compliance with Council resolution 425 (1978). Soon afterwards, I visited the countries of the region to encourage the parties and other regional leaders to support the efforts to consolidate the restoration of peace and stability in Lebanon. Notwithstanding the reservations of the Governments of Lebanon and Israel about the withdrawal line, they both confirmed that they would respect the line as identified by the United Nations. After Israel withdrew its forces, the Government of Lebanon began to reassert law and order functions throughout the area.
52. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon is being reinforced so that it may carry out its responsibilities under the resolution. I trust that the international community will be quick to assist Lebanon with the task of reconstructing the economy in the south and rebuilding its links with the rest of the country. In August 2000, I appointed a Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon to coordinate United Nations efforts and assist in bringing peace and stability to the region.
53. I have also been encouraged by the renewed bilateral and multilateral efforts in search of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. At the Camp David summit hosted by President Clinton, the quest for a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians reached a crucial stage. I hope that the parties will persist in their efforts to bring the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the permanent status agreement to a successful conclusion.
137. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) combines humanitarian and developmental strategies in providing education, health and relief and social services to approximately 3.7 million refugees in its five fields of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Syrian Arab Republic. In May 2000, the Agency commemorated 50 years of service in the field. The work of UNRWA, carried out principally by more than 20,000 dedicated local staff, has continued to produce impressive achievements, often under challenging circumstances including emergencies and conflict situations. However, serious shortfalls in funding the Agency’s budget have inevitably had a negative impact on the level and standard of services. The voluntary donor contributions on which UNRWA depends must be secured and enhanced if the Agency is to meet the challenges it is sure to face in the years ahead.
287. The programme for broadcasters and journalists from developing countries, now in its twentieth year, and the programme for Palestinian journalists continue to provide training while raising awareness of the work of the United Nations in the developing world. ...
325. The Office of Legal Affairs was also responsible for developing the legislative mechanisms for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, the first of the Organization’s peacekeeping missions to exercise legislative and executive authority. The Office also drafted the basic legal framework under which those missions were to operate and administer the territories placed under their charge. The Office has provided legal support and advice to the missions from the time of their establishment, as well as to other United Nations peacekeeping missions. The Office provided particularly valuable assistance to the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and the withdrawal by Israel of its forces from Lebanon.