Israeli-Syrian Water Diversion Dispute: United Nations Security Council Resolution, October 27, 1953(1)

The Security Council,

Having taken note of the report of the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization dated 23 October 1953 (S/3122),(2)

Desirous of facilitating the consideration of the question, without however prejudicing the rights, claims or position of the parties concerned,

Deems it desirable to that end that the works started in the Demilitarized Zone on 2 September 1953 should be suspended during the urgent examination of the question by the Security Council,

Notes with satisfaction the statement made by the Israel representative at the 631st meeting regarding the undertaking given by his Government to suspend the works in question during that examination,(3)

Requests the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization to inform it regarding the fulfilment of that undertaking.(4)

(1) U.N. doc. S/3128, Oct. 27, 1953. The resolution was adopted following a complaint by Syria concerning Israeli activity on a hydroelectric project involving the diversion of the Jordan River at Banat Yaacov in the Syrian-Israeli demilitarized zone. Back

(2) The report stated, among other things, that the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization had informed Israel on Sept. 23, that the work in the demilitarized zone should cease "so long as an agreement is not arranged." Back

(3) U.N. Security Council, Official Records, 631st Meeting, Oct. 27, 1953, p. 5. Back

(4) The Security Council continued to consider this question. In December 1953 the United States, the United Kingdom, and France sponsored a resolution which among other things, supported the Chief of Staff in his decision with regard to stopping the diversion project, called upon him to maintain the demilitarized character of the zone, and authorized him to explore conciliation possibilities. The Soviet Union opposed the resolution on the ground that bilateral consent and not the decision of the Chief of Staff was the basis for permitting any undertaking in the demilitarized zone, and vetoed the resolution on Jan. 22, 1954. It was its 57th veto. For statements by the U.S. Representatives in the Security Council on Dec. 16 and 21, 1953, and Jan. 21, 1954, in connection with the draft resolution, see Department of State Bulletin, Jan. 11, 1954, pp. 58 59, and Feb. 22, 1954, pp. 297-298. For background discussion see United States Participation in the United Nations: Report by the President to the Congress for the Year 1953 (Department of State publication 5459; 1954), pp. 77-78; ibid., 1954 (Department of State publication 5769; 1955), pp. 73-74; and Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly Covering the Period from 16 July 1953 to 16 July 1954 (A/2712), pp. 15-29. Back

American Foreign Policy 1950-1955
Basic Documents Volumes I and II
Department of State Publication 6446
General Foreign Policy Series 117
Washington, DC : U.S. Governemnt Printing Office, 1957

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