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UN Resolutions

Volume 463: debated on Monday 23 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701; and if he will make a statement. (150947)

There has been significant progress towards the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has successfully helped to bring peace and stability to south Lebanon. Their efforts, in conjunction with the Lebanese army, have ensured that the cessation of hostilities has been maintained with few significant breaches. There has also been steady progress on the clearance of unexploded munitions from the conflict last year. With significant UK support, UN and Lebanese teams have cleared approximately 17.5 square kilometres of contaminated land. This amounts to half of the total contaminated land.

However, the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon is hindering progress towards full implementation of UNSCR 1701. In particular, we continue to be concerned by reports of arms smuggling across the Syria/Lebanon border. We are working with international partners and the Government of Lebanon to address this issue. As part of this we are supporting a German-led project aimed at strengthening the border.

We are also deeply concerned by the firing of three rockets from south Lebanon into Israel on 17 June and an attack on a UNIFIL vehicle on 24 June that killed six soldiers. Such attacks are unacceptable and serve only to destabilise Lebanon. The UK will continue to work for the full implementation of UNSCR 1701.

The UN Secretary-General’s most recent report on the implementation of UNSCR 1701 was published on 28 June. I will arrange for copies of this report to be placed in the Library of the House.