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UN Emergency Force (UNEF):
Report of the Secretary-General on UNEF Deployment

(October 26, 1973)


UNEF: Table of Contents | Presence & Functions | Deployment (1957)


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The following is the report of Secretary General Kurt Waldheim on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 340.

1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of Security Council resolution 340 (1973) of 25 October 1973 in which the Council, among other things, decided to set up immediately a United Nations Emergency Force under its authority and requested the Secretary-General to report within 24 hours on the steps taken to this effect.

The terms of reference are:

2. (a) The Force will supervise the implementation of the operative paragraph 1 of resolution 340 (1973), which reads as follows:

"1. Demands that immediate and complete cease-fire be observed and that the parties return to the positions occupied by them at 16.50 hours GMT on 22 October 1973."

(b) The Force will use its best efforts to prevent a recurrence of the fighting.

(c) In the fulfilment of its tasks, the Force will have the co-operation of the military observers of UNTSO.

General considerations:

3. Three essential conditions must be met for the Force to be effective. Firstly, it must have at all times the full confidence and backing of the Security Council. Secondly, it must operate with the full co-operation of the parties concerned. Thirdly, it must be able to function as an integrated and efficient military unit.

Having in mind past experience, I would suggest the following guidelines for the proposed Force:

(a) The Force will be under the command of the United Nations, vested in the Secretary-General, under the authority of the Security Council. The command in the field will be exercised by a Force Commander appointed by the Secretary-General with the consent of the Security Council. The commander will be responsible to the Secretary-General. It is my intention to keep the Security Council fully informed of developments relating to the functioning of the Force. All matters which may effect the nature or the continued effective functioning of the Force will be referred to the Council for its decision.

(b) The Force must enjoy the freedom of movement and communication and other facilities that are necessary for the performance of its tasks. The Force and its personnel should be granted all relevant privileges and immunities provided for by the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. The Force should operate at all times separately from the armed forces of the parties concerned. Consequently separate quarters and, wherever desirable and feasible, buffer zones will have to be arranged with the co-operation of the parties. Appropriate agreements on the status of the Force will have to be concluded with the parties to cover the above requirements.

(c) The Force will be composed of a number of contingents to be provided by selected countries, upon the request of the Secretary-General. The contingents will be selected in consultation with the Security Council and with the parties concerned, bearing in mind an adequate geographic representation.

(d) The Force will be provided with weapons of a defensive character only. It shall not use force except in self-defence. Self-defence would include resistance to attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council. The Force will proceed on the assumption that the parties to the conflict will take all the necessary steps for compliance with the decisions of the Security Council.

(e) In performing its functions, the Force will act with complete impartiality and will avoid actions which could prejudice the rights, claims or positions of the parties concerned.

(f) The supporting personnel of the Force will be provided as a rule by the Secretary-General from among existing United Nations staff. Those personnel will, of course, follow the rules and regulations of the United Nations Secretariat.

Proposed plan of action:

4. If the Security Council is in agreement with the principles outlined above, I intend to take the following urgent steps:

(a) I propose, with the consent of the Security Council, to appoint the Commander of the Emergency Force as soon as possible. Pending the Commander's arrival in the mission area, with the consent of the Council given at its meeting of 25 October 1973, I have appointed the Chief of Staff of UNTSO, Major-General E. Siilasvuo, as Interim Commander of the Emergency Force, and have asked him to set up a provisional headquarters staff consisting of personnel from UNTSO.

(b) In order that the Force may fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to it, it is considered necessary that it have a total strength in the order of 7,000.

(c) The Force would initially be stationed in the area for a period of six months.

(d) In my letter of 25 October to the President of the Security Council, I proposed, as an urgent interim measure and in order that the Emergency Force may reach the area as soon as possible, to arrange for the contingents of Austria, Finland and Sweden now serving with United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to proceed immediately to Egypt. I am at present actively engaged in the necessary consultations, bearing in mind the consideration in paragraph 4 (c) above, with a view to making requests to a number of other Governments to provide contingents of suitable size for the Force at the earliest possible time. As the Members of the Council are aware, this is a complex matter in which a number of factors have to be taken into account. I shall report further to the Council as soon as possible.

(e) In addition to the countries requested to provide contingents for the Force, I propose to request logistic support as necessary from a number of other countries, which may include the Permanent Members of the Security Council.

Estimated cost and method of financing:

6. At the present time there are many unknown factors. The best possible preliminary estimate based upon past experience and practice is approximately 30,000,000 dollars for a Force of 7,000 all ranks for a period of six months.

7. The costs of the Force shall be considered as expenses of the Organization to be borne by the Members in accordance with Article 17, Paragraph 2, of the Charter."


Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry

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