On 25 March 2014, the members of the Security Council met during closed consultations to hear Mr. Derek Plumby, Special Coordinator for Lebanon, and Mr. Edmond Mulet, Deputy Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, on the implementation of Resolution 1701.
The Permanent Representative of France deplored the fragility of the situation in Lebanon. Making progress in the implementation of Resolution 1701 was all the more important that the pressure from the Syrian conflict on Lebanon had further increased, with the growing number of violations of Lebanese sovereignty, the influx of Syrian refugees, increased terrorist attacks, as well as the active participation of Hizbollah in the Syrian crisis. It was crucial that the Council reiterates its support for the country, in particular by encouraging the Lebanese to continue working in the spirit of “consensus”, which had allowed the formation of a new government. It was also crucial for the stability of the country that the presidential and legislative elections are conducted as scheduled.
On 18 March 2014, the Security Council met on the situation in the Middle East in presence of Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
Mr. Feltman called on all parties to continue to work together to solve humanitarian and security problems. Lebanon was impacted by the Syrian conflict with almost one million Syrian refugees in its territory.
During the closed consultations that followed, the Permanent representative of France deplored the continuation of terrorist acts and disruption of the civilian peace in Lebanon. He welcomed the reaffirmation by the international community, during the meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon in Paris in March, of its full support to Lebanon and to the policy of disassociation. He finally welcomed the constitution of Tamman Salam’s government.
On 15 February 2014, the Security Council adopted a press statement in which it welcomes the formation of a new government in Lebanon.
On 1st February 2014, the Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the terrorist attack in Hermel, which killed at least four people and injured dozens.
On 21 January 2014, the Security Council adopted a press statementcondemning the terrorist attack in southern Beirut, killing at least four people and injuring dozens.
On 20 January 2014, during the Security Council open debate on the Middle East, the French representative supported the determination of the Lebanese authorities to dissociate themselves from impacts of conflicts in the region. All participants to the debate also expressed concern at the situation in Lebanon.
On 16 January 2014, the Security Council adopted two press statments; one condemning the terrorist attack - in Hermel,which killed five people and injured dozens, and one welcoming the opening of the trial at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, nearly nine years after the terrorist attack that killed former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 21 others.
On 2 January 2014, the Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the terrorist attack in South Beirut, which killed at least five people and wounded dozens.
On 27 December 2013, the Security Council adopted a press statement condemning the terrorist attack in the city centre of Beirut, which killed former Lebanese Minister M. Mohammed Chatah along with at least four other people, and caused numerous injuries, including among civilians.
On 16 December 2013, the Security Council adopted a press statement in which it deplored the shooting of an Israel Defense Forces soldier by a Lebanese Armed Forces soldier, on 15 December in the vicinity of the Blue Line at Naqoura, and called for calm and continued restraint by all parties.
The complete timeline of events here.
France traditionally enjoys favorable relations with Lebanon. French involvement in Lebanon is characterized as much by strong economic and cultural cooperation as by political support.
"France remains fully committed to the strengthening of the unity, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability of the country in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, particularly resolution 1701", as reiterated by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in the wake of the parliamentary elections held on 7 June 2009.
This commitment is notably demonstrated through the French participation in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). UNIFIL was created by Security Council Resolutions 425 and 426(1978). It was deployed in 1978.
UNIFIL’s mandate and personnel were strengthened and extended by resolution 1701, adopted on 11 August 2006. This resolution put an end to the month-long hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and set the parameters for a lasting cease-fire. UNIFIL, in this context, plays a key role in supporting the Lebanese army.
The primary mission of the Force is to monitor the cessation of hostilities and respect the Blue Line, as well as to assist the deployment of Lebanese Armed Forces in the south (effective from autumn 2006) and restore their authority in these areas.
UNIFIL’s troop ceiling was raised to 11,400 by resolution 1701. It has almost 11,000 personnel (December 2013). France, with almost 900 troops, is one of the biggest contributors after Indonesia (1,200 men) and Italy (1,100 men).
The mandate of the force was renewed by the Security Council until 31 August 2014, with resolution 2115.
There is another peacekeeping operation deployed in the region : the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights. The Golan Heights were conquered by Israel in 1967 from Syria. UNDOF was established in 1974 to monitor the cease-fire following the Arab-Israeli war of 1973. The force has about one thousand personnel. The UNDOF mandate is renewed every six months by a resolution of the Security Council, whose text has remained unchanged for many years, and which calls on parties to "immediately implement resolution 338" of 1973.
Resolution 1757 (2007) created the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to prosecute those responsible for the attack of 14 February 2005 which resulted in the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. France welcomed the commencement of the Tribunal’s work on 1 March 2009. According to the resolution, the progress of work of the Special Court will be reviewed within three years after its establishment (ie before March 2012), in consultation with the Security Council. The duration of its activities will be extended if necessary.
France has contributed €7 million to the budget of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon since its creation (including €1.5 million in 2013).
In resolution 1559 adopted in September 2004, the Security Council "reaffirms its call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanon". It "calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon", and "calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias".
Resolution 1559 was reaffirmed by resolution 1680 (May 2006), which calls on Syria to help Lebanon to demarcate its borders and to establish full diplomatic relations with Lebanon. It also recalls the need to carry out the disarmament of militias in Lebanon and calls for an end to arms trafficking.
The situation in Lebanon is frequently examined in the Security Council:
— The Security Council holds quarterly public debates on the "Situation in the Middle East", as well as monthly consultations, where issues related to Lebanon are regularly raised (see our file on Israel and Palestinian territories).
— Every four months, the Secretary-General produces a report on the implementation of resolution 1701, which is discussed in private consultations.
— Every six months, the Secretary-General produces a report on the implementation of resolution 1559, which is discussed in private consultations.
— The Council may also hold meetings on Lebanon as required by the situation on the ground.
Lebanon joined the Security Council as an elected member on 1 January 2010 until 31 December 2011.
20 January 2014 - Security Council - Situation in the Middle East - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
26 November 2013 - Security Council - Press Statement
19 November 2013 - Security Council - Press Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Lebanon
22 October 2013 - Security Council - Situation in the Middle East - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
10 July 2013 - Lebanon - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
24 April 2013 – Security Council - Situation in the Middle-East – Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
24 October 2011 - Security Council - Debate on the Middle East - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
All French Statements here
Read all the statements by France at the Security Council under the Agenda Item "Situation in the Middle East" in our file on Israel - Palestinian Territories
15 February 2014 - Security Council - press statement - formation of a new government in Lebanon.
1st February 2014 - Security Council - Press statement - terrorist attack in Hermel
21 January 2014 - Security Council - Press statement - terrorist attack in southern Beirut
16 January 2014- Security Council - Press statement - terrorist attack in Hermel
16 January 2014 - Security Council - Press statement
opening of the trial at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
2 January 2014 - Security Council - Press statement - terrorist attack in South Beirut
27 December 2013 - Security Council - Press statement - terrorist attack in the city centre of Beirut
16 December 2013 - Security Council - Press statement - Shooting of an Israel Defense Forces soldier by a Lebanese Armed Forces soldier
29 August 2013 - Security Council - Resolution 2115 renewing UNIFIL’s mandate until 31 August 2014
15 August 2013 - Security Council - Press statement - Terrorist attack South Beirut
10 July 2013 - Security Council - Press statement
10 July 2013 - Security Council - Presidential statement
14 March 2013 - Security Council - Press statement
19 October 2012 - Security Council press statement - condemning a terrorist attack in Beirut
30 August 2012 - Security Council - Resolution 2064 renewing for one year UNIFIL’s mandate
30 August 2011 - Resolution 2004 - renewing the mandate of UNIFIL for one year
30 August 2010 - Resolution 1937
3 August 2010 - Serious incidents along the blue line between Israel and Lebanon - Statement by Mr. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
27 August 2009 - Resolution 1884 (2009) - renews UNIFIL’s mandate until 31 August 2010
30 May 2007 - Resolution 1757 (2007)
11 August 2006 - Resolution 1701 (2006)
17 May 2006 - Resolution 1680
2 September 2004 - Resolution 1559 (2004)