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Sunday, December 23, 2012

House urges Obama to shut PLO office as punishment for UN vote

Over half of the U.S. House of Representatives called in a letter on President Barack Obama to shut down the PLO office in Washington DC as punishment for its "pursuing non-­member state observer status at the United Nations". Here is the official text of the letter. 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
addressing the UN General Assembly. 29 November 2012
Congress of the United States
Washington DC 20515
December 21, 2012
The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:
Your Administration discouraged the Palestinian leadership from pursuing non­member state observer status at the United Nations and took a firm stance in both voting “no" and encouraging other nations to do the same, and we appreciate those efforts.
We are deeply disappointed and upset that the Palestinian leadership the entreaties of your Administration and the Congress and insisted on pursuing this distinctly unhelpful initiative. This Palestinian action violated both the letter and spirit of the Oslo Accords, and it opened the door for expanded Palestinian efforts to attack, isolate, and delegitimize Israel in a variety of international forums _ a threat which, even if unrealized, would hang over Israel’s head during any future negotiation or any effort by the Israeli government to defend its citizens from terrorism.
This is a truly unfortunate outcome. History has shown that direct talks are the only means for resolving disputes between Israel and its neighbors. Direct talks were the path that brought peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. Direct talks also led to the Oslo agreements between Israel and the PLO, and the PLO pledged in Oslo that it would take no unilateral action to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza.
Now PLO Chairman Abbas has violated that signed agreement. Accordingly, we believe the United States must respond strongly to the Palestinian leadership’s failure to uphold its obligations. First, we must send a clear message of disapproval, beyond our negative vote, with Chairman Abbas and the PLO’s decision to seek a UN status upgrade at the General Assembly. One important way of expressing U.S. disapproval would be to send the message that such actions are not and that, at a minimum, they result in setbacks to U.S.-Palestinian relations. We can do this by closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. We can also call Our Consul-General in Jerusalem home for consultations. We urge you to take these steps.
Second, we stand ready to work with you and commit to using every means at our disposal to ensure that this General Assembly vote does not serve as a precedent for elevating the status of the PLO in other UN bodies or international forums. Over the past year, Palestinian leaders have indicated an intention to apply for full membership in the International Criminal Court and over a dozen other international institutions in order to assert Palestinian claims against Israel. Such efforts would not only unfairly target our Israeli ally, but would devastate efforts to resume the peace process and do possibly i1‘repa1‘able harm to those international institutions. We should do everything possible to make sure that does not happen, including by reaffirming our commitment to maintaining and enforcing U,S. laws that require withholding U.S. contributions from any international forum that grants membership to the PLO.
 Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your response.
Respectfully, (signed)
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

European members of the Security Council condemn Israeli settlements

Press Statement by the European Union members of the Security Council 
on Israeli settlements

We have just heard a briefing from Mr Jeffrey Feltman about the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories. The current stalemate in the Peace Process is a source of great concern to us.

France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom underscore that sustainable peace will only be achieved through a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition.

France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom are extremely concerned by and strongly oppose the plans by Israel to expand settlement construction in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, and in particular plans to develop the E1 area. If implemented, these plans would jeopardize the possibility of a contiguous, sovereign,
independent and viable Palestinian State and of Jerusalem as the future capital of both Israel and Palestine. The reported planning in the E1 area would risk cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and could also entail the forced transfer of civilian population.

We are also deeply disappointed by 17th December announcement regarding the approval of 1500 housing units in the East Jerusalem district of Ramat Shlomo and today’s announcement of 2610 housing units in Givat Hamatos.  We are also concerned about reports of an additional 1000 housing units over the Green Line, including in Har Homa and Givat Ze’ev, being tendered.

Israel’s announcements to accelerate the construction of settlements send a negative message and are undermining faith in its willingness to negotiate.

The viability of the two-state solution, that is key for Israel’s long-term security is threatened by the systematic expansion of settlements. Settlements are illegal under international law and detrimental to any international efforts to restart peace negotiations and secure a two-state solution. All settlement activity, including in East Jerusalem, must cease immediately.

We call on the Israeli government to rescind these plans and recall that we will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.

The viability of the two-state solution is at stake and must be preserved. A bold demonstration of political will and leadership is needed from both sides to break the current impasse and resume negotiations. To make urgent progress towards the shared goal of a two state solution, parties must engage in direct and substantial negotiations without pre-conditions.

All parties must avoid unilateral acts which undermine confidence and the viability of the two-state solution. We call on Israel to avoid any step undermining the financial situation on the Palestinian authority. Any such action by Israel would undermine existing cooperation mechanisms between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and thus negatively affect the prospects of negotiations. We also call on the Palestinian leadership to use constructively their new status within the United Nations with the view to early resumption of direct and meaningful negotiations.

France, Germany, Portugal and the UK welcome that President Abbas has publicly rejected the recent inflammatory statements by Hamas leaders that deny Israel’s right to exist, and that he has stated clearly the position of the legitimate Palestinian leadership which has accepted the State of Israel in the borders of 1967.France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom reiterate their fundamental commitment to the security of Israel, including with regard to vital threats in the region.

But the responsibility lies also with the international community, and notably the Security Council, to provide urgently for a credible framework for the resumption of direct talks. We remain ready to contribute to renewed, structured and substantial peace efforts,  together with the US, members of the Quartet and other international and regional stakeholders, and reaffirm our position that clear parameters outlining the basis for negotiations, as stated in our E4
December 2011 press statement and set out by the European Union in December 2009, December 2010 and May 2011, are key to such an outcome.

We believe that Israel’s security and the realization of the Palestinians’ right to statehood are not opposing goals. On the contrary they are mutually reinforcing objectives. But they will not be achieved while settlement building continues. The only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending all claims, is one that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and that fulfils the aspiration of both parties towards the shared goal of a two-state solution.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Security Council resolution 2085 on military intervention in Mali (Revised)

Susan Rice, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, and Youssoufou Bamba (left, facing camera), Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire to the UN, speak with colleagues before the Security Council’s meeting on the situation in Mali. 05 December 2012
France: draft resolution
The Security Council,
Recalling its resolutions 2056 (2012) and 2071 (2012), its Presidential Statements of 26 March 2012 (S/PRST/2012/7), 4 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/9) as well as its Press Statements of 22 March 2012, 9 April 2012, 18 June 2012, 10 August 2012, 21 September 2012, 11 December 2012 on Mali,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali,
Emphasizing that the situation and entrenchment of terrorist groups and criminal networks in the north of Mali continue to pose a serious and urgent threat to the population throughout Mali, and to the stability in the Sahel region, the wider Afi'ican region and the international community as a whole,
Condemning strongly the continued interference of members of the Malian Defence and Security Forces in the work of the Transitional authorities of Mall, stressing the need to work expeditiously toward the restoration of democratic governance and constitutional order in Mali and taking note of the on-going efforts of the Secretary-General, including through the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, to assist the Transitional authorities of Mali in developing a roadmap for the electoral process and national dialogue,
Remaining seriously concerned over the i!lsecurity and the significant ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region, which is further complicated by the presence of armed groups, including separatist movements, terrorist and criminal networks, and their increased activities, as well as the continued proliferation of weapons from within and outside the region that threaten peace, security, and stability of States in this region,
Condemning strongly all abuses of human rights in the north of Mali by armed rebels, terrorist and other extremist groups, including those involving violence against civilians, notably women and children, killings, hostage-taking, pillaging, theft, destruction of cultural and religious sites and recruitment of child soldiers, reiterating that some of such acts may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute and that their perpetrators must be held accountable and noting that the Transitional authorities of Mali referred the situation in Mall since January 2012 to the International Criminal Court on 13 July 2012,
Recalling the letter of the Transitional authorities of Mali dated 18 September 2012 addressed to the Secretary-General, requesting the authorization of deployment through a Security Council resolution, under Chapter VII as provided by the United Nations Charter, of an international military force to assist the Armed Forces of Mall to recover the occupied regions in the north of Mali and recalling also the letter of the Transitional authorities of Mali dated 12 October 2012 addressed to the Secretary-General, stressing the need to support, including through such an international military force, the national and international efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the north of Mall,
Taking note of the endorsement of the Strategic Concept for the Resolution of the Crisis in Mali at the second meeting of the Support and Follow-Up Group on the Situation in Mall in Bamako on 19 October 2012, attended by ECOWAS Member States, countries of the region and other international partners, as well as its adoption by the African Union Peace and Security Council on 24 October 2012,
Taking note of the final communiqu6 of the Extraordinary Session of the authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held in Abuja on 11 November 2012 and of the subsequent communiqu6 of the African Union Peace and Security Council on 13 November 20!2 endorsing the Joint Strategic Concept of Operations for the International Military Force and the Malian Defence and Security forces,
Welcoming the appointment of Romano Prodi as Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the Sahel, as well as the appointment of Pierre Buyoya as High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel and encoztraging them to work in close coordination with the Special Representative of the Secretary- General for West Africa and the ECOWAS mediator,
Welcoming the efforts of the ECOWAS-Ied mediation, with the support of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and neighbouring countries of Mall,
Taking note of the Secretary-General's report on Mali dated 28 November 2012 (S/2012/894) for continued action on the political and security tracks and a comprehensive solution to the crisis affecting Mali,
Emphasizing that the Malian authorities have primary responsibility for resolving the inter-linked crises facing the country and that any sustainable solution to the crisis in Mall should be Malian-led,
Encouraging the international community to provide support to resolve the crisis in Mali through coordinated actions for immediate and long-term needs, encompassing security, development and humanitarian issues,
Determining that the situation in Mali constitutes a threat t0 international peace and security,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
I. Political process
1. Urges the transitional authorities of Mall, consistent with the Framework agreement of 6 April 2012 signed under the auspices of ECOWAS, to finalize a transitional roadmap through broad-based and inclusive political dialogue, to fully restore constitutional order and national unity, including through the holding of peaceful, credible and inclusive presidential and legislative elections, in accordance with the agreement mentioned above which calls for elections by April 2013 or as soon as technically possible, requests the Secretary-General, in close coordination with ECOWAS and the African Union, to continue to assist the transitional authorities of Mall in the preparation of such a roadmap, including the conduct of an electoral process based on consensually established ground rules and further urges the transitional authorities of Mall to ensure its timely implementation;
2. Demands that Malian rebel groups cut off all ties to terrorist organizations, notably AI-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and associated groups, and take concrete and visible steps to this effect, takes note of the listing of Mo.vement of Unity and Jihad in Western Africa (MUJWA) on the A1-Qaida sanctions list established and maintained by the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) and further reiterates its readiness to continue to adopt further targeted sanctions, under the above-mentioned regime, against those rebel groups and individuals who do not cut off all ties to al-Qaida and associated groups, including AQIM and MUJWA;
3. Urges the transitional authorities of Mall to expeditiously put in place a credible framework for negotiations with all parties in the north of Mali who have cut off all ties to terrorist organizations, notably AQIM and associated groups including MUJWA, and who recognize, without conditions, the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian State, and with a view to addressing the long-standing concerns of communities in the north of Mali, and requests the Secretary-General, through his Special Representative for West Africa, in coordination with the ECOWAS Mediator and the High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel, and the OIC, to take appropriate steps to assist the transitional authorities of Mali to enhance their mediation capacity and to facilitate and strengthen such a dialogue;
4. Condemns the circumstances that led to the resignation of the Prime Minister and'the dismissal of the Government on 11 December 2012, reiterates its demand that no member of the Malian Armed Forces should interfere in the work of the Transitional authorities and expresses its readiness to consider appropriate measures, as necessary, against those who take action that undermines the peace, stability, and security, including those who prevent the implementation of the constitutional order in Mali;
5. Calls upon all Member States to implement their obligations pursuant to resolution 1989 (2011) and 2083 (2012) and strongly condemns incidents of kidnapping and hostage taking by A1-Qaida in Mall and across the Sahel region with the aim of raising funds or gaining political concessions;
II. Security process
Training of Malian forces
6. Emphasizes that the consolidation and redeployment of the Malian Defence and Security forces throughout the Malian territory is vital to ensure Mall's long term security and stability and to protect the people of Mali;
7. Urges Member States, regional and international organizations to provide coordinated assistance, expertise, training, including on human rights and international humanitarian law, and capacity-building support to the Malian Defence and Security Forces, consistent with their domestic requirements, in order to restore the authority of the State of Mali over its entire national territory, to uphold the unity and territorial integrity of Mall and to reduce the threat posed by terrorist organizations and associated groups, further invites them to regularly inform the Secretariat of their contributions;
8. Takes note of the commitment of Member States and international organizations to the rebuilding of the capacities of the Malian Defence and Security forces, including the planned deployment by the European Union of a military mission to Mali to provide military training and advice to the Malian Defence and Security Forces;
Deployment of AFISMA
9. Decides to authorize the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mall (AFISMA) for an initial period of one year, which shall take all necessary measures, in compliance with applicable international humanitarian law and human rights law and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Mall to carry out the following tasks:
(a) To contribute to the rebuilding of the capacity of the Malian Defence and Security Forces, in close coordination with other international partners involved in this process, including the European Union and other Member States;
(b) To support the Malian authorities in recovering the areas in the north of its territory under the control of terrorist, extremist and armed groups and in reducing the threat posed by terrorist organizations, including AQIM, MUJWA and associated extremist groups, while taking appropriate measures to reduce the impact of military action upon the civilian population;
(c) To transition to stabilisation activities to support the Malian authorities in maintaining security and consolidate State authority through appropriate capacities;
(d) To support the Malian authorities in their primary responsibility to protect the population;
(e) To support the Malian authorities to create a secure environment for the civilian-led delivery of humanitarian assistance and the voluntary return of internally displaced persons and refugees, as requested, within its capabilities and in close coordination with humanitarian actors;
(f) To protect its personnel, facilities, premises, equipment and mission and to ensure the security and movement of its personnel;
10. Requests the African Union, in close coordination with ECOWAS, the Secretary-General and other international organizations and bilateral partners involved in the Malian crisis, to report to the Security Council every 60 days on the deployment and activities of AFISMA, including, before the commencement of offensive operations in the north of Mali, on: (i) the progress in the political process in Mali, including the roadmap for the restoration of constitutional order and negotiations between the Malian authorities and all parties in the north of Mali who have cut off all ties to terrorist organizations; (ii) the effective training of military and police units of both AFISMA and the Malian defence and security forces ill their obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law; (iii) the operational readiness of AFISMA, including the level of staffing leadership and equipment of the units, their operational adaptation to the climate and terrain conditions and ability to conduct joint armed operations with logistical, air and ground fire support; (iv) the efficiency of the chain of command of AFISMA, including its interaction with that of the Malian Defence and Security Forces and fitrther expresses its willingness to monitor closely these benchmarks before the
commencement of offensive operations in the north of Mali;
11. Emphasizes that the military planning will need to be further refined before the commencement of the offensive operation and requests that the Secretary-General, in close coordination with Mall, ECOWAS, the African Union, the neighbouring countries of Mall, other countries in the region and all other interested bilateral partners and international organizations, continue to support the planning and the preparations for the deployment of AFISMA, regularly inform the Council of the progress of the process, and requests that the Secretary-General also confirm in advance the Council's satisfaction with the planned military offensive operation;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to provide, as and when requested by the Malian authorities, support in critical areas that will be required to accompany or follow a military operation in the north of Mall, with respect to the extension of the Malian State authority, including rule of law and security institutions, mine action, promotion of national dia!ogue, regional cooperation, security sectorreform, human rights and the initial demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of former combatants;
International support
13. Calls upon Member States, including from the Sahel region, to contribute troops to AFISMA in order to enable AFISMA to fulfil its mandate, welcomes the troop contributions already pledged by ECOWAS countries and further encourages Member States to cooperate closely with the African Union, ECOWAS, the United Nations, countries contributing troops and other donors to this end;
14. Urges Member States, regional and international organizations to provide coordinated support to AFISMA, including military training, provision of equipment, intelligence, logistical support and any necessary assistance in efforts to reduce the threat posed by terrorist organizations, including AQIM, MUJWA and associated extremist groups in accordance with paragraph 9 (b), in close coordination with AFISMA and the Malian authorities;
15. Calls upon the transitional authorities of Mali and all other parties in Mali to cooperate fully with the deployment and operations of AFISMA, in particular by ensuring its safety, security and freedom of movement with unhindered and immediate access throughout the territory of Mali to enable it to fully carry out its mandate and further calls upon neighbouring countries of Mali to take appropriate measures to support the implementation of AFISMA mandate;
16. Demands that all parties in Mali take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and supplies, and further demands that all parties in Mall ensure safe and unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to persons in need of assistance across Mall, consistent with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance;
Human rights
17. Emphasizes that the Malian authorities have primary responsibility to protect civilians in Mall, further recalls its resolutions 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2010) on Children And Armed Conflict and its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010) on Women, Peace and Security, and calls upon all military forces in Mall to take them into account;
18. Emphasizes that any support provided by the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations and Member States in the context of the military operation in Mall shall be consistent with international humanitarian and human rights law and refugee law, further requests the Secretary-General to ensure the relevant capacity within the United Nations presence as referred to in paragraph 23 below in order to observe adherence to international humanitarian and human rights law with regards to military operations in the north of Mali and include in his regular reports to the Security Council, as referred to in paragraph 24 below, the situation of civilians in the north of Mali and any violation of human rights law, international hmnanitarian law and refugee law in the north of Mali, as well as to advise on ways to mitigate any adverse impact of military operations on the civilian population, including on women and children;
19. Calls upon AFISMA, consistent with its mandate, to support national and international efforts, including those of the International Criminal Court, to bring to justice perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Mali;
Funding
20. Calls upon Member States and international organisations, to provide financial support and contributions in kind to AFISMA to enable its deployment and implementation of its mandate and welcomes the willingness of the European Union to provide such financial support to AFISMA through the mobilization of the African Peace Facility;
21. Expresses its intention to consider the provision of a voluntary and a United Nations-funded logistics support packages to AFISMA, including equipment and services for an initial period of one year, takes note of the letter of the Secretary-General (S/2012/926) on the possible deployment of a logistics support package to AFISMA and on the support financial costs and, to this effect, requests the Secretary-General, in coordination with the African Union, ECOWAS and the Malian authorities, to further develop and refine options within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution for such a voluntary and a United Nations-funded logistics support packages, including detailed recommendations for a swift, transparent and effective implementation;
22. Requests the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund through which Member States can provide earmarked and/or non-earmarked financial support to AFISMA and/or to the training and equipping of Malian Defence and Security forces, also requests the Secretary-General to support, in coordination with the African Union and ECOWAS, the holding of a donors conference to solicit contributions to this trust fund as soon as possible, calls upo17 Member States to contribute generously and promptly to the trust fund, while noting that the existence of the trust fund does not preclude the conclusion of direct bilateral arrangements and f!ÿrther requests the Afi'ican Union, in consultation with ECOWAS and the Secretary-General, to submit budgetary request to this trust fund; United Nations presence and reporting
23. Requests the Secretary-General to establish, in consultation with the Malian authorities, a multidisciplinary United Nations presence in Mall, in order to provide coordinated and coherent support to (i) the on-going political process and (ii) the security process, consistent with paragraph 12 above and including support to the planning, deployment and operations of AFISMA and therefore requests the Secretary-General to submit as soon as possible specific and detailed proposals to the Council for further consideration;
24. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed of the situation in Mali and to report back to the Council, through the provision of written reports, every 90 days, on the implementation of this resolution, including on the United Nations support to the political and security efforts to solve the crisis in Mali, the deployment and preparation of AFISMA and updated information and recommendations related to a voluntary and United Nations-funded support packages to AFISMA;
    25. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Security Council draft resolution on UNDOF/ Syria


A vehicle of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) perched above the Golan Heights, near UNDOF’s Camp Faouar, Syria. August 2011
This draft resolution will be adopted on Wednesday, 19 December 2012, diplomats said. 

Draft resolution: UNDOF
The Security Council,
Noting with concern that the situation in the Middle East is tense and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached,
Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 27 November 2012 (S/2012/897), and also reaffirming its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000,
Expressing grave concern at all violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement, including the presence of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces and unauthorized military equipment inside the Area of Separation,
Concurring with the Secretary-General’s finding that the military operations carried out by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces have affected adversely the efforts of UNDOF to effectively carry out the mandated tasks,
Expressing serious concern at the presence of armed members of the opposition in the area of separation,
Underscoring that recent incidents across the ceasefire line have shown the potential for escalation of tensions between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, and jeopardize the ceasefire between the two countries,
Condemning the November 29 incident in which five peacekeepers were injured,
Expressing its continued appreciation to the military and civilian personnel serving with UNDOF in an increasingly challenging operating environment,
1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;
2. Calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of UNDOF, to respect its privileges and immunities and to ensure its freedom of movement, as well as the security of and unhindered and immediate access for the United Nations personnel carrying out their mandate, in conformity with existing agreements and stresses the need to enhance the safety and security of UNDOF personnel;
3. Stresses the obligation on both parties to scrupulously and fully respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement, calls on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire and the area of separation, and underscores that there should be no military activity of any kind in the area of separation including military operations by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces;
4. Welcomes the efforts being undertaken by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force to implement the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of its personnel with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary action in this regard and to keep the Security Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take preventive and disciplinary action to ensure that such acts are properly investigated and punished in cases involving their personnel;
5. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for a period of six months, that is, until 30 June 2013, and requests the Secretary-General ensure the Force has the capacity necessary to fulfill the mandate;
7. Requests the Secretary-General to report every 90 days on developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338 (1973).
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Russian draft statement on "terrorist attacks" in Aqrab/ Syria

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks with a distressed woman during his tour of the Syrian refugee camp at Islahiye in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria. 07 December 2012
Russia proposed this draft statement on the "terrorist attacks in the Syrian village of Aqrab, Hama province, which occurred on 11 December". Diplomats said that this text would be under silence procedure until tomorrow 12 pm. 

"Security Council draft Press Statement on terrorist attacks in Syria

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in the Syrian village of Aqrab, Hama province, which occurred on 11 December and caused over one hundred deaths and injuries among civilians. They expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous acts.

The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at recurring attempts to provoke tensions between ethnicities and confessions and reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law."
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Security Council press statement on North Korea


Security Council press statement on Democratic People's Republic of Korea as read out by the Security Council President - Dec 12, 2012.

"The Security Council held consultations to address the serious situation and the oncerns arising from the launch using ballistic missile technology by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Members of the Security Council condemned this launch, which is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874.

Members of the Security Council recalled that in April 2012 they demanded the DPRK not proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology and also expressed the Council's determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch.

Members of the Security Council will continue consultations on an appropriate response, in accordance with its responsibilities given the urgency of the matter."
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

French draft resolution on military intervention in Mali

Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the UN, briefs
correspondents following Security Council consultations on Mali.
05 December 2012
The Security Council is scheduled to hold an experts meeting to discuss this French draft resolution, Wednesday afternoon at the French mission in New York. The US mission proposed amendments to this draft, diplomats said. 


Draft resolution on Mali
7 December 2012
  
The Security Council,
PP1- Recalling its resolution 2056 (2012) and 2071 (2012), its Presidential Statements of 26 March 2012 (S/PRST/2012/7), 4 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/9) as well as its Press Statements on Mali of 22 March 2012, 9 April 2012, 18 June 2012, 10 August 2012 and 21 September 2012,
PP2- Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali,
PP3- Emphasizing that the situation in the north of Mali and entrenchment of terrorist groups and criminal networks continue to pose a serious and urgent threat to the population throughout Mali, and to the stability in the Sahel region, the wider African region and the international community as a whole,   
PP4- Condemning strongly all abuses of human rights in the north of  Mali by armed rebels, terrorist and other extremist groups, including violence against its civilians, notably women and children, killings, hostage-taking, pillaging, theft, destruction of cultural and religious sites and recruitment of child soldiers, stressing that some of such acts may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute and that their perpetrators must be held accountable and noting that the Transitional authorities of Mali referred the situation in Mali since January 2012 to the International Criminal Court on 18 July 2012,

PP5- Recalling the letter of the Transitional authorities of Mali dated 18 September 2012 addressed to the Secretary-General, requesting the authorization of deployment through a Security Council resolution, acting under Chapter VII as provided by the United Nations Charter, of an international military force to assist the Armed Forces of Mali to recover the occupied regions in the north of Mali and recalling also the letter of the Transitional authorities of Mali dated 12 October 2012 addressed to the Secretary-General, stressing the need to support, including through such an international military force, the national and international efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the north of Mali,
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Brahimi's report to UN General Assembly on Syria

Brahimi speaks to correspondents after briefing
the Security Council in closed session. 
29 November 2012 (Click on picture)
THE JOINT SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SYRIA
REMARKS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE SITUATION IN SYRIA
New York, 30 November 2012

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Yesterday, I briefed the Security Council, and it is a great honour for me today to appear before this Assembly for the second time, to share with you all a few thoughts about the situation in Syria.
The Secretary-General has just briefed you on the humanitarian situation in particular. The numbers he gave illustrate eloquently and also very sadly the dramatic situation now prevailing in Syria.
On the ground, however, it is now the security situation that is a major handicap for the delivery of humanitarian aid. An even greater handicap is the shortage of funding. As you just heard from the Secretary-General, the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan is only 50 per cent funded and the Regional Response Plan is only 38 per cent funded.

Mr. President,
Military confrontations in Syria have continued, unabated. Indeed, fighting has expanded geographically to almost all parts of Syria and intensified very significantly.
Anti-Government forces have reportedly achieved gains on the ground in several areas these past few weeks. The areas of territory that they control are expanding, and at times with strategic value. The Government, however, remains confident that they will have the upper hand.
At the regional level, tension has been high for some time now along the border between Syria and Turkey. Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon are equally fearful of the consequences of events in Syria on their respective countries and people. Palestinian refugees, who number over 500,000, are also concerned that they not be dragged into the conflict raging around – and at times inside – their camps. Hundreds of Palestinian refugees have already been killed including UNRWA staff.
Developments in and close to the Israeli-Occupied Golan are also a source of worry. It seems that the Disengagement Agreement between Syria and Israel is also being affected. The potential for escalation affecting both parties and the larger region, unintentionally or otherwise, cannot be ignored.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Israeli Ambassador's remarks before the UN General Assembly


Mr. President,
Today I stand before you tall and proud because I represent the world's one and only Jewish state. A state built in the Jewish people's ancient homeland, with its eternal capital Jerusalem as its beating heart.
We are a nation with deep roots in the past and bright hopes for the future. We are a nation that values idealism, but acts with pragmatism. Israel is a nation that never hesitates to defend itself, but will always extend its hand for peace. 
Peace is a central value of Israeli society. The bible calls on us:
 בקש שלום ורדפהו
“seek peace and pursue it.”
Peace fills our art and poetry. It is taught in our schools. It has been the goal of the Israeli people and every Israeli leader since Israel was re-established 64 years ago. 
Israel’s Declaration of Independence states, “We extend our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help...”
This week was the 35th anniversary of President Anwar Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem. In a speech just before that visit, President Sadat famously stood in the Egyptian parliament in Cairo and stated that he would go "to the ends of the earth" to make peace with Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas's remarks before the UN General Assembly


كلمة الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس أمام الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة تمهيداً للتصويت على مشروع قرار منح فلسطين صفة الدولة غير العضو المراقبة في الأمم المتحدة، باللغة العربية - أنقر هنا. 
Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, addresses the 
UN General Assembly before the vote. 29 November 2012
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Palestine comes today to the United Nations General Assembly at a time when it is still tending to its wounds and still burying its beloved martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression, still searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace.

Palestine comes today to the General Assembly because it believes in peace and because its people, as proven in past days, are in desperate need of it.

Palestine comes today to this prestigious international forum, representative and protector of international legitimacy, reaffirming our conviction that the international community now stands before the last chance to save the two-State solution.

Palestine comes to you today at a defining moment regionally and internationally, in order to reaffirm its presence and to try to protect the possibilities and the foundations of a just peace that is deeply hoped for in our region.

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip has confirmed once again the urgent and pressing need to end the Israeli occupation and for our people to gain their freedom and independence.  This aggression also confirms the Israeli Government’s adherence to the policy of occupation, brute force and war, which in turn obliges the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people and towards peace.

This is why we are here today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

US's letter to UN member states on Palestinian statehood


This is what diplomats say is an American letter to the UN member states on Palestinian Statehood. It was circulated on 27 September 2012 after the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's speech before the UN General Assembly, diplomats added. The letter was quoted by The Guardian on 1 October 2012. 
Here is the letter in full text. 

Coordination on Potential Palestinian Observer Status Initiative 
in the United Nations General Assembly
 The United States and its Quartet partners continue to work toward a two-state solution that would result in a secure, democratic Jewish State of Israel and a Palestinian State as a homeland for the Palestinian people. We remain focused on returning the parties to direct negotiations and quiet contacts towards that end are proceeding.
 At the same time, we continue to urge both parties to avoid provocative one-sided actions that could undermine trust or otherwise distract from the pursuit of peace. This includes efforts by the Palestinians to potentially press for a resolution in the UN General Assembly to give “Palestine” non-member observer state status. Such a resolution would have significant negative consequences for the peace process itself, for the UN system, as well as for our ability to maintain our significant financial support for the Palestinian Authority. A General Assembly resolution on Palestine statehood could also open door to Palestinian participation as a state in other international for a including at the International Criminal Court as well as a host of UN Specialized Agencies. Statehood for the Palestinians can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis.
 We believe your government understands what is at stake here, and – like us - wants to avoid a collision at the coming UNGA session. We hope you are willing to support our efforts, including in your conversations with other governments and with the Palestinians directly, that such a vote on status in the UN General Assembly would be extremely counterproductive.
 We would appreciate knowing where your government stands on this issue. We would also be interested in knowing whether you have been approached on this matter by Palestinian representatives.
Follow me on Twitter @NabilAbiSaab

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

GA Third Committee resolution on human rights violations in Syria

Bashar Ja'afari, Permanent Representative of Syria to the UN,
speaks at the Security Council’s stakeout area. 04 October 2012 
قرار اللجنة الثالثة في الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة حول انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان في سورية باللغة العربية - أنقر هنا
Voting record - click here
General Assembly
Sixty-seventh session Third Committee, Agenda item 69 (c)
Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights
situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives
Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America: draft resolution
Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic
The General Assembly,
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations,
Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(1) and relevant international human rights treaties, including the International Covenants on Human Rights,(2)
Recalling its resolutions 66/176 of 19 December 2011, 66/253 A of 16 February 2012 and 66/253 B of 3 August 2012, Human Rights Council resolutions S-16/1 of 29 April 2011,3 S-17/1 of 23 August 2011,(3) S-18/1 of 2 December 2011,(4) 19/1 of 1 March 2012,(5) 19/22 of 23 March 2012,(5) S-19/1 of 1 June 2012,(5) 20/22 of 6 July 2012(5) and 21/26 of 28 September 2012, and Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012) of 14 April 2012 and 2043 (2012) of 21 April 2012,