Explanation of Vote after the Adoption of the UNDOF Mandate

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
Acting Deputy Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
December 19, 2019


The United States, as co-penholder, welcomes today’s unanimous decision to renew UNDOF’s mandate. We would like to thank the members of this Council for their constructive work drafting the mandate. The United States is pleased that this Council voiced its unified support for the resumption of inspections in the Bravo-side Area of Limitation. The United States believes UNDOF continues to have a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria. We respect and recognize the Mission’s impartiality. This Council should be under no illusion however, that there is any equivalence between the noted violations on the Israeli and Syrian sides.

On November 19, four rockets were fired towards Israel from inside Syria. Those rockets were all intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system, likely saving the lives of civilian men, women, and children. While UNDOF has flagged Iron Dome emplacements as technical violations of the Disengagement agreement, no comparison should be drawn between these defensive systems and Syrian violations.

Much has been said about President Trump’s announcements earlier this year recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Today’s renewal demonstrates that the United States is committed to the 1974 Disengagement Agreement, and that this announcement in no way undermines UNDOF’s mandate.