Thursday, January 10, 2019


10 Jan 2019
UNIFIL's Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col today chaired the first regular Tripartite meeting of 2019 with senior officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN position in Ras Al Naqoura, with a focus on discussions regarding tunnels and ongoing engineering works near the Blue Line.

Today's meeting offered a forum to hear perspectives from both sides, especially regarding activities near the Blue Line, with the UNIFIL Head of Mission reiterating his call to the parties to continue to work through UNIFIL's coordination mechanisms to maintain the overall stability.

"I again call on the parties to make full use of UNIFIL's liaison and coordination arrangements," said Major General Del Col. "Any activity close to the Blue Line should be predictable, with sufficient prior notification to allow UNIFIL to duly inform the other party and so that coordinated security arrangements could be put in place to prevent incidents or violations."

The parties were updated about UNIFIL's independent investigation that had confirmed the existence of four tunnels, of which two crossed the Blue Line in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006). UNIFIL remains closely engaged with both sides in this regard as the operations continue.

Looking back at 2018, the UNIFIL head noted that despite the challenges there had been many successes, and commended the parties for their continued commitment to resolution 1701. "Going forward, there is a need to build on these achievements and work towards more sustainable solutions to long standing problems along the Blue Line," he added.

Tripartite discussions also touched on air and ground violations, as well as other issues within the scope of resolution 1701 and related Security Council resolutions.

Tripartite meetings have been held regularly under the auspices of UNIFIL since the end of the 2006 war in south Lebanon as an essential conflict management and confidence building mechanism.

UNIFIL currently has around 10,300 peacekeepers who carry out some 14,500 operational activities monthly in the area of operation south of the Litani River and at sea. The mission also has more than 800 civilian staff.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Secretary-General Appoints Ján Kubiš of Slovakia Special Coordinator for Lebanon

9 JANUARY 2019

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as his Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

Mr. Kubiš succeeds Acting Special Coordinator Pernille Dahler Kardel of Denmark, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedication and leadership of the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

Mr. Kubiš, who served as Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), from 2015 to 2018, brings with him many years of experience in diplomacy, foreign security policy, and international economic relations, both internationally and in his own country.

Mr. Kubiš served as Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2011 to 2015, as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) from 2009 to 2011, as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia from 2006 to 2009, as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from 2007 to 2008, and as Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) from 1999 to 2005.

Mr. Kubiš also served as the European Union's Special Representative for Central Asia with the office in Brussels and as the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office of OSCE for Central Asia, as well as the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Tajikistan and Head of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan from 1998 to 1999.  He was previously the Director of OSCE's Conflict Prevention Centre.  Mr. Kubiš worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the former Czechoslovakia from 1976 to 1992 and thereafter at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.  In 1993, he served as Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.

Mr. Kubiš is a graduate in international economic relations of the Moscow State Institute of International Affairs and speaks Slovak, Czech, English, Russian and basic French.

Born in 1952, he is married and has one daughter.