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This assessment has been prepared under my own responsibility following consultations with members of the Council, pursuant to the note by the President of the Security Council dated 12 June 1997 (S/1997/451) and should not be considered as representing the views of the Council.
I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
In total during the month of June the Security Council held 14 formal meetings and 15 consultations of the whole, and adopted four resolutions and three presidential statements. The President made several statements to the press on behalf of the Council members.
In June the Council dispatched missions to Central Africa and West Africa.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 13 June, during an open meeting, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East. He stressed that the successful summit in Aqaba had generated enormous hopes and expectations. At the same time the continuation of violence seriously undermined efforts to renew the peace process. He emphasized that it was important for both Israelis and Palestinians to stay the course of peace and start implementing the Quartet’s road map. He also briefed the Council on the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians, which had not improved despite the steps towards renewal of the political process.
The members of the Council condemned violence and terrorism, and stressed the need for Israel to take practical measures to ease the humanitarian burden of the Palestinians.
The President issued a statement to the press in which on behalf of the Council he expressed serious concern at the continuing and increasing violence, supported the Quartet’s road map, reiterated the demand for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, and reconfirmed the importance of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese tracks.
On 25 June the Council held consultations on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations briefed the Council on the latest report of the Secretary-General, emphasizing his recommendation to extend the mandate of UNDOF until 31 December.
The members of the Council supported the proposal of the Secretary-General. They also stressed the necessity of making active efforts aimed at achieving comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
On 26 June the Council adopted resolution 1488 (2003), extending the mandate of UNDOF until 31 December 2003. A presidential statement was adopted which reflected the Council’s view that the situation in the Middle East was very tense and likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached.
On the same day the President made a statement to the press in which he expressed support for the outcome of the meeting of the Quartet held in Amman on 22 June.