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Korea: United Nations Command

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 3 September 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, in pursuance of the policy expressed by the Foreign Secretary on 17 July (HC Deb, col. 682) that "key decisions on peacekeeping and conflict prevention are taken to the United Nations", they will take steps to place the United Nations Command in Korea under full United Nations Security Council control and to update the mandate of that Command, especially as regards anti-personnel landmines. [HL3119]

Following the United Nations Security Council's resolution of 27 June 1950, the Security Council delegated responsibility for United Nations Command operations in Korea to the United States of America, as its executive agent. This remains the position, with the United Nations Command reporting to the United Nations on a fixed annual and "as-required" basis. We are satisfied that this arrangement allows adequate UN supervision.We are aware of the positions of the US and Republic of Korea on the deployment of anti-personnel landmines in Korea. As one of the first countries to ratify the December 1997 Ottawa Convention, the United Kingdom continues to use its contacts with all countries to encourage their early accession to the convention. However, three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as the Republic of Korea, have not signed the convention, and there is at present little or no prospect of agreement to revise the mandate of the UN Command in Korea, to take account of the convention's provisions.