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

Security Council
5101st Meeting (PM)
15 December 2004

In Complementary Presidential Statement, Council Reiterates Need
For ‘Comprehensive Settlement Covering All Aspects’ of Middle East Problem

The Security Council this morning renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which was set to expire on 31 December, for a further six months, until 30 June 2005.  The Force has supervised the ceasefire between Israel and Syria since 1974.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1578 (2004), the Council also called upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 of October 1973.  By that text, the Council decided that negotiations should start between the parties with the aim of establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Also by the 1973 resolution, the Council called upon the parties to begin implementing its resolution 242 of November 1967, which affirmed that fulfilment of the United Nations Charter principles included withdrawal of Israel’s armed forces from territories occupied in the conflict and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area.

In a complementary presidential statement (document S/PRST/2004/47) Council President Abdallah Baali (Algeria) said that the Council’s view had been reflected in the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNDOF (document S/2004/948), in which he states that “the situation in the Middle East is very tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached”.

The meeting began at 12:14 p.m. and adjourned at 12:17 p.m.


The full text of resolution 1578 (2004) reads as follows:

Presidential Statement

The complete text of presidential statement S/PRST/2004/47 reads as follows:

In his report on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) (document S/2004/948), the Secretary-General recommends that the Council extend the Force’s mandate for a further six-month period, until 30 June 2005, noting that both the Governments of Syria and Israel have agreed to the proposed extension.

The situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained generally quiet, the Secretary-General says.  Established in May 1974 to supervise the ceasefire called for by the Council and the agreement on disengagement between Syrian and Israeli forces of 31 May 1974, UNDOF has continued to perform its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties.

The Secretary-General adds, however, that the situation in the Middle East is very tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached.  The Secretary-General calls for determined efforts by all concerned to tackle the problem in all its aspects, with a view to arriving at a just and durable peace settlement, as called for by Council resolution 338 (1973).

Under the prevailing circumstances, UNDOF’s presence in the area is essential, the Secretary-General states.  Regarding a shortfall in funding to the Force, the Secretary-General notes that, at present, unpaid assessments amount to some $19.9 million, representing money owed to troop-contributing Member States.  In that regard, he appeals to Member States to pay their assessments promptly and in full, and to clear all remaining arrears.

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For information media - not an official record