Explanation of Vote at the Adoption of a Resolution on the UN Disengagement Observer Force

Rosemary A. DiCarlo
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
New York, NY
June 30, 2011

Thank you, Mr. President. The disengagement force has played a critical role since 1974 in maintaining the ceasefire between Israel and Syria, and we welcome today’s vote.

The calm in UNDOF’s area of operation was seriously disrupted just weeks ago.

The United States is deeply concerned by the grave events of May 15th and June 5th in the Golan Heights. We are further troubled by credible reports that the Syrian government played a role in these demonstrations, which resulted in fatalities and injuries. These actions are a transparent ploy by the Syrian government to incite violence along the disengagement line in order to divert public attention from its own indiscriminate killings and abuses of the human rights of the Syrian people.

These events clearly display the regime’s hypocrisy: it uses the Palestinian cause to encourage violence and risk its longstanding ceasefire with Israel, while continuing to brutally repress the Syrian people and deny their call for reform and democratic change.

The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests. It must release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests and torture. It must allow human rights monitors access and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition.

Mr. President, in operational terms, we are concerned about the increased restrictions of movement of UNDOF in the area of separation. Both parties must respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces agreement, including by preventing breaches of the area of separation.

Finally, the United States commends the men and women of UNDOF for their dedication and thanks Major General Ecarma for his leadership.

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2011/133