SUMMARY RECORD OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIRST MEETING
VIEWS OF THE CONCILIATION COMMISSION
CONCERNING THE SITUATION RESULTING FROM THE INCIDENTS
IN THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND SYRIA
The concern of the Commission with that problem has been based:
(a) on its instructions, under the General Assembly resolution of 11 December 1948, “to take steps to assist the Governments and authorities concerned to achieve a final settlement of all questions outstanding between them”;
(b) on its task, under the same resolution, “to assume, insofar as it considers necessary in existing circumstances, the functions given the United Nations Mediator on Palestine by the resolution of the General Assembly of 14 May 1948”;
(c) on the fact that the General Assembly has urged the Governments and authorities concerned repeatedly, and again as recently as 14 December 1950, “to seek agreement by negotiations conducted either with the Conciliation Commission or directly, with a view to the final settlement of all questions outstanding between them”;
(d) on the fact that the Security Council, in its resolution of 11 August 1949, “expresses the hope that the Governments and authorities concerned, having undertaken by means of negotiations now being conducted by the Conciliation Commission, to fulfil the request of the General Assembly in its resolution of 11 December 1948 to extend the scope of the armistice negotiations and to seek agreement by negotiations conducted either with the, Conciliation Commission or directly, will at an early date achieve agreement on the settlement of all questions outstanding between them”.While it recognizes the continuing obligation of the parties to comply with the Armistice Agreements signed during the year 1949, which have maintained the security of the Middle East during the past two years, the Commission has not lost sight of the fact that these Agreements were not envisaged as permanent instruments but were intended “to facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine”. In the Agreements themselves it is stated that the provisions contained therein were “dictated exclusively by military, and not by political considerations”.
In its Supplementary Report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations dated 23 October 1950, the Commission stressed this point in the following terms:
“... the Armistice Agreements are of 'a purely military character, intended to provide a transitional stage between the truce and a final peace. They constitute, in effect, non-aggression agreements of unlimited duration, but they contain in themselves no provision establishing normal relations between the neighbouring countries. It is obvious that, though a situation based exclusively on negative undertakings of non-aggression may last a long time and result in a consolidation of existing circumstances, it will never succeed in providing the guarantees of stability which are the characteristics of a peace based on the final settlement of all questions outstanding between the parties, accompanied by the establishment of normal relations between them.”
The recent developments in the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria have unfortunately confirmed these views of the Commission.
Since the beginning of the Israel-Syrian crisis, the members of the Commission have on several occasions had exchanges of views with members of the two governments concerned. They also held discussions with the Acting Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, on 3 May last, and with the Chief of Staff, on 19 May, after his return from United Nations Headquarters. The Commission intends to maintain liaison with the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization, in accordance with the Security Council resolution of 11 August 1949, which provides that the Commission be informed by the Chief of Staff of all developments affecting its work.
In reviewing at this time the directives given to the Conciliation Commission and recalling its previous observations in the light of recent developments, the members of the Commission, having already expressed to General Riley their hope for the success of his mission and bearing in mind not only military, but also political and economic considerations, cannot but emphasize the need for arrangements more comprehensive in scope than the Armistice Agreements.
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