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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/48/1
10 September 1993

Original: English

Report of the
Secretary-General on the work
of the Organization

General Assembly
Official Records · Forty-eighth Session
Supplement No.1 (A/48/1)




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III. DEVELOPING THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY

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C. Regional development activities

204. The regional commissions carry out important information-gathering and socio-economic analysis functions in their respective regions. They have been playing a major role in developing policy on economic integration and in clarifying economic, social, political and environmental issues relating to sustainable development. They thus provide a forum and a network for cooperation among their member States and between them and other States at the technical level. In addition, they are increasingly becoming providers of technical cooperation, especially in intersectoral areas and in areas where no other United Nations body has a comparative advantage.

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5. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

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248. Under the auspices of ESCWA, a multidisciplinary task force on the Palestinian people and the occupied Arab territories was set up to deal with socio-economic issues emanating from the Israeli occupation and the implications of a peace settlement for countries of the region. The task force will also provide technical assistance to the Palestinian people.

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IV. EXPANDING PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY, HUMANITARIAN
ASSISTANCE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

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D. New departures in peace operations

308. The past 12 months have shown that it is not possible to draw clear lines between the different aspects of today's peace operations. Each of the cases which follow will highlight one or more of the aspects of peace operations in all their diversity; in some, nearly every technique and activity available has to be employed across the board.

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11. Lebanon

367. In southern Lebanon, there has been an increase in hostilities between Israeli forces and armed elements that have proclaimed their resistance to Israeli occupation. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has done its best to limit the conflict and to protect the inhabitants from its effects. In resolution 852 (1993), the Security Council reaffirmed the mandate of UNIFIL as defined in its resolution 425 (1978) and other relevant resolutions, which is to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restore international peace and security, and assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area. Although UNIFIL has not been able to make visible progress towards these objectives, its contribution to stability and the protection it is able to afford the population of the area remain important.

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14. The Middle East

377. In the course of the past year, the plight of the Palestinian people living under occupation has not been alleviated. There has, moreover, been a dramatic worsening of the human rights situation in the occupied territories. In a particularly grave incident, Israel deported over 400 Palestinian civilians to southern Lebanon in December 1992. The Security Council, in its resolution 799 (1992), inter alia reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to all the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, demanded that Israel ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied territories of all those deported, and requested me to send a representative to the area and to report to the Council. Conscious of the possible effect of that event on the fragile process of Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, and with a view to finding a solution, I dispatched several missions to the area, led respectively by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and my Special Political Adviser. I had a number of meetings and telephone conversations with leaders in the region and representatives of interested Governments. Regrettably, those efforts were not successful and, in my report to the Security Council of 25 January 1993 (S/25149), I recommended that the Council should take whatever measures were required to ensure that its unanimous decision was respected.

378. I have also been seriously alarmed by the reports of the rapid worsening of the socio-economic situation in the occupied territories. As the Palestinian economy is weak and highly dependent on that of Israel, the livelihood of the Palestinian communities suffered further damage when Israel closed off the occupied territories in March 1993. I have appealed to the international community to provide greater economic assistance to the occupied territories. In this connection, I have also reminded the major donors of the critical financial situation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

379. Because of the long-standing commitment of the United Nations to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), I welcomed the invitation extended in October 1992 by the co-sponsors of the Middle East peace process for the participation of the United Nations as a full extraregional participant in the multilateral working groups on environment, economic and regional development, water, refugees, arms control and regional security in the Middle East. Representatives of the United Nations attended and took an active part in the meetings of the working groups held in October-November 1992 in Paris, The Hague and Ottawa and in April-May 1993 in Geneva, Rome, Oslo, Washington and Tokyo. In November 1992, I appointed Chinmaya Gharekhan as my Special Representative at the multilateral talks.

380. The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has continued to supervise the separation between the Israeli and Syrian forces, and the limitation of armaments and forces provided for in the disengagement agreement of 1974. With the cooperation of both sides, UNDOF has discharged its tasks effectively and its area of operation has been quiet.

381. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which is the oldest existing peace-keeping operation, has continued to assist UNDOF and UNIFIL in carrying out their tasks and has maintained its presence in Egypt. During the last year, the personnel of UNTSO has been reduced by 25 per cent.

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