Following the assassination of popular Lebanese politician
Rafiq Hariri in February of 2005, widely attributed to Syria, pressure grew on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon, and Syria
withdrew its troops, but not its intelligence agents.
A key provision of Resolution 1559 was disarmament of
3. Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias;
4. Supports the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory;
Provisions for disarming of militias were not implemented. The
Hezbollah, puppets of Iran and Syria, remained under arms and prevented independent action by the Lebanese government.
Hezbollah claimed that a small part of the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel, was really a part of Lebanon, and
therefore it claimed justification for continued attacks on Israel. The United Nations ruled that the land is part of
occupied Golan Heights. Lebanon requested that Syria conclude a treaty with Lebanon delineating borders. This ran
contrary to Syrian policy, which holds that Lebanon is part of Syria.
Hezbollah representatives were taken into the Lebanese
government of Fouad Seniora.
In May of 2006, the Security Council, responding to Lebanese
requests, called upon Syria to delineate its border with Lebanon, and renewed the call for disarmament of militias,
which was ignored by the Lebanese government in Resolution 1680.
In July 2006, Hezbolla renewed attacks on Israel, resulting in a major confrontation.
Lebanon continued its refusal to disarm the Hezbollah.
Resolutions of the UN Security Council have the validity of international law.
The United Nations Press release includes the following
background for this resolution (emphasis added)
When the Security Council met this morning, it had
before it a letter of the Secretary-General dated 18 April transmitting his third semi-annual report on the
implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 (2004) (document S/2006/248).
He recalls in the report that, in resolution 1559
(2004), the Council had reiterated its strong support for Lebanon’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and political
independence, and called on all parties concerned to cooperate fully and urgently with it for full implementation of
the text, which defined a number of provisions, among them: the withdrawal of all remaining foreign forces from
Lebanon; the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias; the extension of the control of the
Lebanese Government over all Lebanese territory; and strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity,
unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Lebanese Government
Since his last report to the
Council of 26 October 2005 (document S/2005/673), the Secretary-General notes in the present report that the Lebanese
have made further significant progress towards implementing in full all provisions of resolution 1559, in particular
with the agreements reached in the national dialogue. However, the provisions of the text calling for the disbanding
and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias; the extension of the control of the Lebanese Government over
all Lebanese territory; and strict respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence
of the country under the Government’s sole and exclusive authority have not yet been fully implemented. There has not
been a presidential election process, as called for in the resolution and the Security Council presidential statement of
23 January 2006 (document S/PRST/2006/3).
The report goes on to say that the recent national
political dialogue in Lebanon has forged consensus on how to consolidate the political integrity of the country, but
further progress requires the cooperation of Syria. With the agreements unanimously reached in the National Dialogue
and their initiative to work proactively and constructively with Syria, a united Lebanon has “offered an outstretched
hand to Syria”. Although there has been progress in implementing the resolution –- including the withdrawal of Syrian
forces and the holding of legislative elections –- many of its requirements have not yet been met.
With regard to the militias, the Secretary-General
welcomes the agreement on the arms of Palestinian militias outside of refugee camps and calls on all parties who have
the ability to influence Hizbollah and other militias to support the full implementation of the resolution.
Implementation is part of a wider process of historical transformation, which also encompasses the investigations into
the terrorist assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others in downtown Beirut and into other acts
of assassination and terror in Lebanon over the past period, the ongoing work to reform electoral processes in Lebanon
more broadly and the ongoing preparations and subsequent implementation of economic reforms.
Lebanon has continued its journey into a new era of its
history, the report says further. Yet, the new Lebanon is still fragile. There is an urgent need to take tangible
measures in order to retain the momentum and maintain Lebanon’s progress towards full reaffirmation of its sovereignty,
territorial integrity, unity and political independence, consistent with the 1989 Taif Agreement and resolution 1559
In particular, the report says,
the implementation of the agreements reached in the national dialogue now urgently necessitates and depends on the
cooperation of parties other than the Lebanese themselves for the full implementation of resolution 1559. The
Secretary-General emphasizes that the text explicitly calls on all parties concerned to cooperate fully and urgently
with the Council for the full implementation of this and all relevant resolutions concerning the restoration of the
territorial integrity, full sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon, and that the Council in its presidential
statement of 23 January 2006 (document S/PRST/2006/3), called on all other parties concerned, particularly the Syrian
Government, to cooperate in the implementation of resolution 1559.
The Secretary-General calls on Syria to accept the
Lebanese offer of cooperation and to take measures to establish embassies and delineate the border between the two
countries. Diplomatic representation in other States and the existence and clear delineation of national boundaries are
basic indicators and intrinsic elements of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of any
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Text of UN Security Council Resolution
“The Security Council,
“Recalling all its previous resolutions on
Lebanon, in particular resolutions 1559 (2004), 425 and 426 (1978), resolution 520 (1982) and resolution 1655 (2006), as
well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21),
of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17) and of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3),
“Reiterating its strong support for the territorial integrity,
sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders,
“Noting positively that further significant progress has been
made towards implementing in full all provisions of resolution 1559 (2004), in particular through the Lebanese national
dialogue, but noting also with regret that other provisions of resolution 1559 have not yet been fully implemented,
namely the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, the extension of the control of the
Government of Lebanon over all its territory, the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and
political independence of Lebanon, and free and fair presidential elections conducted according to the Lebanese
constitutional rules, without foreign interference and influence,
“Noting with concern the conclusion of the Secretary-General’s
report (S/2006/248) that there had been movements of arms into Lebanese territory for militias over the last six months,
“Expressing full support for the Lebanese National Dialogue and
commending all Lebanese parties for its conduct and for the consensus reached in this context on important matters,
“Having heard the Prime Minister of Lebanon’s address to the
Security Council on 21 April 2006 (S/PV.5417),
“1. Welcomes the third semi-annual report of the
Secretary-General to the Security Council of 18 April 2006 on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004) (S/2006/248);
“2. Reiterates its call for the full implementation of all
requirements of resolution 1559 (2004);
“3. Reiterates also its call on all concerned States and
parties as mentioned in the report, to cooperate fully with the Government of Lebanon, the Security Council and the
Secretary-General to achieve this goal;
“4. Strongly encourages the Government of Syria to respond
positively to the request made by the Government of Lebanon, in line with the agreements of the Lebanese national
dialogue, to delineate their common border, especially in those areas where the border is uncertain or disputed and to
establish full diplomatic relations and representation, noting that such measures would constitute a significant step
towards asserting Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and improving the relations
between the two countries, thus contributing positively to the stability in the region, and urges both parties to make
efforts through further bilateral dialogue to this end, bearing in mind that the establishment of diplomatic relations
between States, and of permanent diplomatic missions, takes place by mutual consent;
“5. Commends the Government of Lebanon for undertaking measures
against movements of arms into Lebanese territory and calls on the Government of Syria to take similar measures;
“6. Welcomes the decision of the Lebanese national dialogue to
disarm Palestinian militias outside refugee camps within six months, supports its implementation and calls for further
efforts to disband and disarm all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and to restore fully the Lebanese Government’s
control over all Lebanese territory;
“7. Reiterates its support to the Secretary-General and his
Special envoy in their efforts and dedication to facilitate and assist in the implementation of all provisions of
resolution 1559 (2004);
“8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”