Security Council Distr.: General 19 December 2019
Resolution 2503 (2019)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 8693rd meeting, on 19 December 2019
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 (UNDOF) of 4 December 2019 (S/2019/923) and also reaffirming its resolution 1308 (2000) of 17 July 2000, Stressing that both parties must abide by the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic and scrupulously observe the ceasefire, Expressing concern that the ongoing military activities conducted by any actor in the area of separation continue to have the potential to escalate tensions between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, jeopardize the ceasefire between the two countries, and pose a risk to the local civilian population and United Nations personnel on the ground, Expressing its appreciation in this regard to UNDOF’s liaison efforts to prevent any escalation of the situation across the ceasefire line, Expressing alarm that violence in the Syrian Arab Republic risks a serious conflagration of the conflict in the region, Expressing concern at all violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement, Noting the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in the area of operations of UNDOF, including findings about weapons fire across the ceasefire line as well as ongoing military activity on the Bravo side of the area of separation, and in this regard underscoring that there should be no military forces, military equipment, or personnel in the area of separation other than those of UNDOF, Calling upon all parties to the Syrian domestic conflict to cease military actions throughout the country, including in the UNDOF area of operations, and to respect international humanitarian law, Noting the significant threat to the UN personnel in the UNDOF area of operation from unexploded ordnance, explosive remnants of war and mines, and emphasizing in this regard the need for demining and clearance operations in strict compliance with the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement, Reaffirming its readiness to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities providing support to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) or to the Al-Nusra Front (also known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham or Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham), including those who are financing, arming, planning, or recruiting for ISIL or the Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with ISIL and Al-Qaida as listed on the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List, including those participating in or otherwise supporting attacks against UNDOF peacekeepers, Recognizing the necessity of efforts to flexibly adjust UNDOF’s posture to minimize the security risk to UNDOF personnel as UNDOF continues to implement its mandate, while emphasizing that the ultimate goal is for the peacekeepers to return to UNDOF’s area of operations as soon as practicable, Emphasizing the importance of Security Council and troop-contributing countries having access to reports and information related to UNDOF’s redeployment configuration, and reinforcing that such information assists the Security Council with evaluating, mandating, and reviewing UNDOF and with effective consultation with troop-contributing countries, Underscoring the need for UNDOF to have at its disposal all necessary means and resources to carry out its mandate safely and securely, including technology and equipment to enhance its observation of the area of separation and the ceasefire line, and to improve force protection, as appropriate, and recalling that the theft of United Nations weapons and ammunition, vehicles and other assets, and the looting and destruction of United Nations facilities, are unacceptable, Expressing its profound appreciation to UNDOF’s military and civilian personnel, including those from Observer Group Golan, for their service in an ongoing, challenging operating environment, underscoring the important contribution UNDOF’s continued presence makes to peace and security in the Middle East, welcoming steps taken to enhance the safety and security of UNDOF, including Observer Group Golan, personnel, and stressing the need for continued vigilance to ensure the safety and security of UNDOF and Observer Group Golan personnel, Strongly condemning incidents threatening the safety and security of United Nations personnel, Expressing its appreciation to UNDOF, including Observer Group Golan, for re-establishing its presence at Camp Faouar and for further progress towards expanding its presence in its area of operations through patrols and rehabilitation of positions on the Bravo side, Taking note of the Secretary-General’s plan for UNDOF to return to the Bravo side based on a continuous assessment of security in the area of separation and its surroundings, and continued discussion and coordination with the parties, Recalls that UNDOF’s deployment and the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement are steps toward a just and durable peace on the basis of Security Council Resolution 338 (1973), Recalling resolution 2378 (2017) and its request of the Secretary-General to ensure that data related to the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, including peacekeeping performance data, is used to improve analytics and the evaluation of mission operations, based on clear and well identified benchmarks, and further recalling resolution 2436 (2018) and its request of the Secretary-General to ensure that decisions to recognize and incentivize outstanding performance and decisions regarding deployment, remediation, training, withholding of financial reimbursement, and repatriation of uniformed or dismissal of civilian personnel, are predicated on objective performance data, Recalling resolution 2242 (2015) and its aspiration to increase the number of women in military and police contingents of United Nations peacekeeping operations, 1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973; 2. 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, encourages the parties to take full advantage of UNDOF’s liaison function regularly to address issues of mutual concern, as appropriate, and to maintain their liaison with UNDOF to prevent any escalation of the situation across the ceasefire line, as well as to support the enhancement of the UNDOF liaison function, 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; 3. Underlines that UNDOF remains an impartial entity and stresses the importance to halt all activities that endanger United Nations peacekeepers on the ground and to accord the United Nations personnel on the ground the freedom to carry out their mandate safely and securely; 4. Acknowledges the Secretary-General’s intention to nominate a new permanent Head of Mission and Force Commander in consultations with all relevant parties; 5. Calls on all groups other than UNDOF to abandon all UNDOF positions, and return the peacekeepers’ vehicles, weapons, and other equipment; 6. 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, including the unimpeded delivery of UNDOF equipment and the temporary use of alternative ports of entry and departure, as required, to ensure safe and secure troop rotation and resupply activities, in conformity with existing agreements, and urges prompt reporting by the SecretaryGeneral to the Security Council and troop-contributing countries of any actions that impede UNDOF’s ability to fulfil its mandate; 7. Calls on the parties to provide all the necessary support to allow for the full utilization of the Quneitra crossing by UNDOF in line with established procedures to allow UNDOF to increase its operations on the Bravo side to facilitate effective and efficient mandate implementation; 8. Welcomes UNDOF’s ongoing efforts to consolidate its presence and to intensify its operations in the area of separation, including the mission’s intent to resume inspections in the area of limitation on the Bravo side conditions permitting per the Mission’s assessment, as well as the cooperation of the parties to facilitate this return, together with continued efforts to plan for UNDOF’s expeditious return to the area of separation, including the provision of adequate force protection, based on a continuous assessment of security in the area; 9. Underscores the importance of progress in the deployment of appropriate technology, including counter-improvised explosive device (IED) capabilities and a sense and warn system, as well as in addressing civilian staffing needs, to ensure the safety and security of UNDOF personnel and equipment, following appropriate consultations with the parties, and notes in this regard that the Secretary-General’s proposal for such technologies has been delivered to the parties for approval; 10. Encourages the parties to the Disengagement Agreement to engage constructively to facilitate necessary arrangements with UNDOF for the force’s return to the area of separation, taking into account existing agreements; 11. Encourages the Department of Peace Operations, UNDOF, and the UN Truce Supervision Organization to continue relevant discussions on recommendations from the 2018 independent review to improve mission performance and implementation of UNDOF’s mandate; 12. Welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the Secretary-General to standardize a culture of performance in UN peacekeeping, recalls its request in resolution 2378 (2017) and resolution 2436 (2018) that the Secretary-General ensure that performance data related to the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations is used to improve mission operations, including decisions such as those regarding deployment, remediation, repatriation and incentives, and reaffirms its support for the development of a comprehensive and integrated performance policy framework that identifies clear standards of performance for evaluating all United Nations civilian and uniformed personnel working in and supporting peacekeeping operations that facilitates effective and full implementation of mandates, and includes comprehensive and objective methodologies based on clear and well-defined benchmarks to ensure accountability for underperformance and incentives and recognition for outstanding performance, and calls on the United Nations to apply this framework to UNDOF as described in resolution 2436 (2018), notes the efforts of the Secretary-General to develop a comprehensive performance assessment system and requests the SecretaryGeneral and troop- and police-contributing countries to seek to increase the number of women in UNDOF, as well as to ensure the full, effective, and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of operations; 13. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary measures to ensure full compliance of all personnel in UNDOF, civilian and uniformed, including mission leadership and mission support personnel with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council fully informed through his reports to the Council about the Mission’s progress in this regard, including by reporting on the start, agreed deadlines, and outcomes of 2272 reviews, stresses the need to prevent such exploitation and abuse and to improve how these allegations are addressed in line with resolution 2272 (2016), and urges troop- and police-contributing countries to continue taking appropriate preventive action, including vetting of all personnel, pre-deployment and in-mission awareness training, and to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel through timely investigation of allegations by troop- and police-contributing countries and UNDOF, and to take appropriate steps to investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, hold perpetrators accountable and repatriate units when there is credible evidence of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation and abuse by those units; 14. Decides to renew the mandate of UNDOF for a period of six months, that is, until 30 June 2020, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that UNDOF has the required capacity and resources to fulfil the mandate in a safe and secure way; 15. Requests the Secretary-General to report every 90 days on developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338 (1973).