UN SC Resolution 242 (Middle East)

Resolution 242 has inspired more writing than any other. This is due to a subtle difference between the English and the French texts (both official) which refer to withdrawal « from territories occupied » and « des territoires occupés » (from the territories occupied) respectively. The Israeli government would only consider a restrictive interpretation of the English version which would allow them to hold onto certain occupied territories, without taking into account, however, the second preambular clause, emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.

« The Security Council,

Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East;

Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area live in security;

Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with article 2 of the Charter;

1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

– withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

– termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

2. Affirms further the necessity:

– for guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;

– for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;

– for guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

3. Requests the Secretary general to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provosions and principles in this resolution;

4. Requests the Secretary General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible. »

Adopted unanimously at the 1382nd meeting on 22 Dec. 1967

For some other information go to the United Nations and the question of Palestine