Sunday, August 06, 2006

Draft UN Security Council Resolution

If this draft resolution is accepted, it will be a major victory for the UN, international law, and the Lebanese people.

Here are a few excerpts from the preamble and the operative clauses:
PP2. Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hezbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,

PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,

PP4: Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,

OP1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;

OP2. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;

OP3. Also reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;
For Israel, too, this is an occasion to rejoice, provided that the resolution is actually implemented. With this resolution, the Security Council acknowledges that Hizbullah is to blame for the hostilities and the escalation. It also demands the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers.
OP6. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:

- strict respect by all parties for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Israel and Lebanon;

- full respect for the Blue Line by both parties;

- delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including in the Shebaa farms area;

- security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Lebanese armed and security forces and of UN mandated international forces deployed in this area;

- full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006) that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state;

- deployment of an international force in Lebanon, consistent with paragraph 10 below;

- establishment of an international embargo on the sale or supply of arms and related material to Lebanon except as authorized by its government;

- elimination of foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government;

- provision to the United Nations of remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;

For the Lebanese, this is an affirmation of the country's sovereignty and international recognition of its state's right to disarm foreign-backed militias such as Hizbullah. Furthermore, the resolution urges Israel to work on a settlement regarding Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails - once the soldiers are released - and also seems to promise some negotiations about the Sheeba Farms.


Ariel said...

Where does Syria fit into all this? It seems to me that whatever the UN Resolution calls for, it is unlikely to be implemented without Syria's tacit acceptance, meaning that it would stop providing an avenue for arms to flow from Iran to Hezbollah. I think we all recognize that no UN force is going to confront Hezbollah in any serious way, and Hezbollah is not going to acquiese in its own disarmament.

Gideon Levy writes in Haaretz's online English edition that the current war would not have occurred had Israel returned the Golan Heights and settled the Palestinian issue by giving up claims to the territories. It's hard to argue with that (although that's not to say that some other war would not have resulted). Here's what he writes:

'Just when territory is losing its military importance because of the development of new fighting technology, Israel is using security excuses to stay in the territories. Former-prime minister Ehud Barak criminally missed the opportunity to sign a peace treaty with Syria after he got "cold feet," as witnesses said, and retreated at the last minute. That's how it works with us. When the other side is quiet, why return territories? And when they do go to war, "there's nobody to talk to," and certainly not while we are "under fire."'

Underlining his thesis is the point that Syria has not sat quietly all this time as was supposed, but was busy finding other channels to make Israel pay for holding on to the Golan. Levy's proposal therefore is to use this opportunity to make an offer of land for peace to Syria, and he thinks the time is ripe because Syria does not want a wider war and is wary of the United States. I've read several bloggers and journalists who quote several diplomats who think it is the height of folly to negotiate with as unreliable a regime as Bashar al-Assad's. And yet without Syria onboard or at least not wholly in the enemy camp how can the situation in Lebanon ever settle down?

Anonymous said...

"For the Lebanese, this is an affirmation of the country's sovereignty and international recognition of its state's right to disarm foreign-backed militias such as Hizbullah."

The only real thing this resolution will acheive is a civil war in Lebanon from a lot of reasons im really really tired of stating and restating...