Bookmark and Share

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Political /
UN Security Council Resolutions

UN Security Council Chamber
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

UN Security Council Chamber in New York.

Here are included those resolutions of the United Nations that have had the greatest impact on politics of the Middle East in modern times. They deal mainly with Israel and Iraq.
Possibly the most important of all these resolutions is no. 687, which regulated 12 years of international sanctions on Iraq 1991-2003, set in between two wars: the Gulf War and the US/British-Iraq War. Many would claim that this policy has been instrumental in forming the uncertain situation in world politics from the 2000's.
The UN Security Council is made up of 15 members, of which 5 are permanent: China; USA; Russia; France; and Great Britain. The other 10 seats shift between remaining member states of the United Nations.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 1967 ended the Six-Day War between Israel and Arab countries. Israel favoured the resolution as it secured the country's "...right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force" (Israel is not mentioned excplicitly). Israel's opponents in the war would also accept the resolution, but not the PLO before 1988.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 1973 called for the end of the Yom Kippur War between Isarel and Arab countries. It calls for the resoration of the political situation (including borders) from 1967 (see 242). Figthing continued on the Egyptian front, bringing forth one more resolution, the 339th, which resulted in a cease fire.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 1978 came few days after Israel invaded Lebanon, and called for Israel to withdraw immediately. It did not bring about such a response from Israeli side, rather it marked the beginning of UNIFILs operations in south Lebanon; international peace keeping forces from numerous countries. UNIFIL is still operative in the region, but this is set to end 2010.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 1987 calls for the end of fighting between Iran and Iraq (see Iran-Iraq War). It was a follow-up of resolution 582 which the preceding year had make a similar demand.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 1990 calls for Iraq with withdraw from Kuwait. Similar resolutions had been issued before, mainly no. 660, but this gives Iraq "one final opportunity" to comply. It was central in forming a legal basis for the Gulf War that began January 1991. Cuba and Yemen (non-permanent members) voted against, China abstained.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 1991 followed the end of the Gulf War, where Iraq was forced out of Kuwait. It regulates several issues aiming at securing peace between the two countries. Although not being the resolution that began sanctions on Iraq (which was 661), it is the resolution that brought upon Iraq the 12 year long policy of sanctions, before the US/British-Iraq War in 2003 brought an end the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 1999 was a follow-up of no. 687, making structural changes to the administration of international politics on Iraq.

Detailed articleFull text
This resolution of 2002 continued from nos. 687 and 1284

By Tore Kjeilen