United Nations Security Council Resolution 540

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United Nations Security Council Resolution 540
by the United Nations


Adopted by the Security Council at its 2493rd meeting on 31 October 1983, by 12 votes to none, with 3 abstentions (Malta, Nicaragua, Pakistan)

The Security Council,

Having considered again the question entitled "The situation between Iran and Iraq",

Recalling its relevant resolutions and statements which, inter alia, call for a comprehensive cease-fire and an end to all military operations between the parties,

Recalling the report of the Secretary-General of 20 June 19831 on the mission appointed by him to inspect civilian areas in Iran and Iraq which have been subject to military attacks, and expressing its appreciation to the Secretary- General for presenting a factual, balanced and objective account,

Also noting with appreciation and encouragement the assistance and co-operation given to the Secretary-General's mission by the Governments of Iran and Iraq,

Deploring once again the conflict between the two countries, resulting in heavy losses of civilian lives and extensive damage caused to cities, property and economic infrastructures,

Affirming the desirability of an objective examination of the causes of the war,

  1. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his mediation efforts with the parties concerned, with a view to achieving a comprehensive, just and honourable settlement acceptable to both sides;
  2. Condemns all violations of international humanitarian law, in particular, the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 in all their aspects, and calls for the immediate cessation of all military operations against civilian targets, including city and residential areas;
  3. Affirms the right of free navigation and commerce in international waters, calls on all States to respect this right and also calls upon the belligerents to cease immediately all hostilities in the region of the Gulf, including all sea-lanes, navigable waterways, harbour works, terminals, offshore installations and all ports with direct or indirect access to the sea, and to respect the integrity of the other littoral States;
  4. Requests the Secretary-General to consult with the parties concerning ways to sustain and verify the cessation of hostilities, including the possible dispatch of United Nations observers, and to submit a report to the Council on the results of these consultations;
  5. Calls upon both parties to refrain from any action that may endanger peace and security as well as marine life in the region of the Gulf;
  6. Calls once more upon all other States to exercise the utmost restraint and to refrain from any act which may lead to a further escalation and widening of the conflict and, thus, to facilitate the implementation of the present resolution;
  7. Requests the Secretary-General to consult with the parties regarding immediate and effective implementation of this resolution.

[1] Official Records of the Security Council, Thirty-eighth Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1983, document S/15834.

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