The first United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 (ES-I) on 7 November 1956. The force was developed in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal and effort from Canadian Minister of External Affairs Lester B. Pearson, who would later win the Nobel Peace Prize for it. The General Assembly had approved a plansubmitted by the Secretary-General which envisaged the deployment of UNEF on both sides of the armistice line; Egypt accepted receiving the UN forces, but Israel refused it. The first UNEF lasted until 1967. The Second United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF II) deployed from October 1973 to July 1979.
The first UN military force of its kind, UNEF's mission was to:
UNEF was formed under the authority of the General Assembly and was subject to the national sovereignty clause, Article 2, Paragraph 7, of the U.N. Charter. An agreement between the Egyptian government and the Secretary-General, The Good Faith Accords, or Good Faith Aide-Memoire,placed the UNEF force in Egypt with the consent of the Egyptian government.
Since the operative UN resolutions were not passed under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the planned deployment of a military forces had to be approved by Egypt and Israel. Israel's Prime Minister refused to restore the 1949 armistice lines and stated that under no circumstances would Israel agree to the stationing of UN forces on its territory or in any area it occupied.After multilateral negotiations with Egypt, eleven countries offered to contribute to a force on the Egyptian side of the armistice line: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, India, Indonesia, Norway, Sweden, and Yugoslavia. Support was also provided by United States, Italy, and Switzerland. The first forces arrived in Cairo on 15 November, and UNEF was at its full force of 6,000 by February 1957. The force was fully deployed in designated areas around the canal, in the Sinai and Gaza when Israel withdrew its last forces from Rafah on 8 March 1957. The UN Secretary-General sought to station UNEF forces on the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice lines, but this was rejected by Israel.
The mission was directed to be accomplished in four phases:
Due to financial constraints and changing needs, the force shrank through the years to 3,378 by the time its mission ended in May 1967.
On 16 May 1967, the Egyptian government ordered all United Nations forces out of Sinai effective immediately.Secretary-General U Thant tried to redeploy UNEF to areas within the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice lines to maintain a buffer, but this was rejected by Israel. In a decision that proved to be controversial, Thant acted to effect the Egyptian order without consulting either the Security Council or the General Assembly. Most of the forces were evacuated by the end of May, but 15 UNEF forces were caught in combat operations and killed in the Six-Day War, 5–10 June 1967. The last United Nations soldier left the region on 17 June.
The second United Nations Emergency Forces (UNEF II) was established by United Nations General Assembly, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 340 (1973), to supervise the ceasefire between Egyptian and Israeli forces at the end of Yom Kippur War or October War, and following of the agreement of 18 January 1974 and 4 September 1975, to supervise the redeployment of Egyptian and Israeli forces and to man and control the buffer zones established under those agreements.
The mandate of UNEF II was to supervise the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 340 which demanded that an immediate and complete ceasefire between Egyptian and Israeli forces be observed and that the parties return to the positions they had occupied at 1650 hours GMT on 22 October 1973. The Force would use its best efforts to prevent a recurrence of the fighting, and in the fulfillment of its tasks it would have the cooperation of the military observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). UNEF II was also to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in its humanitarian endeavours in the area. The mandate of UNEF II which was originally approved for six months, until 24 April 1974, was subsequently renewed eight times. Each time, as the date of expiry of the mandate approached, the Secretary-General submitted a report to the United Nations Security Council on the activities of the Force during the period of the mandate. In each of those reports, the Secretary-General expressed the view that the continued presence of UNEF II in the area was essential, and he recommended, after consultations with the parties, that its mandate be extended for a further period. In each case, the Council took note of the Secretary-General's report and decided to extend the mandate of the Force accordingly. In October 1978, the mandate of UNEF II was extended a last time for nine months, until 24 July 1979.The area of operation of the UNEF II was at Suez Canal sector and later the Sinai peninsula, with the headquarters located at Cairo (October 1973 to August 1974) and Ismailia (August 1974 – July 1979). The deployment of forces as of July 1979 was as follows:
Stationed in Gaza City.
Contributors of military personnel were: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, India, Indonesia, Norway, Sweden, and Yugoslavia.
Contributors of military personnel were: Australia (air unit/helicopters and personnel), Austria (infantry), Canada (logistics/ signals air and service units), Finland (troops/infantry), Ghana (troops/infantry), Indonesia (troops/infantry), Ireland (troops/infantry), India (troops/infantry), Yugoslavia (troops/infantry), Nepal (troops/infantry), Panama (troops/infantry), Peru (troops/infantry), Poland (logistics/ engineering medical and transport unit), Senegal (troops/infantry), and Sweden (troops/infantry).
On 9 August 1974, a Canadian Forces de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo making a scheduled supply flight (designated UN Flight 51) from Ismaïlia, Egypt, to Damascus, Syria was shot down by surface-to-air missiles fired from a Syrian airbase. All nine passengers and crew were killed, and it remains the worst single-incident loss of life by Canadian peacekeepers.Since 2008, the Canadian federal government recognizes National Peacekeepers' Day annually on 9 August in commemoration. A monument to this event was erected at Peacekeeper Park in Calgary, Alberta in 2005.
The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai, is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between Asia and Africa. Sinai has a land area of about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) and a population of approximately 600,000 people. Administratively, the vast majority of the area of the Sinai Peninsula is divided into two governorates: the South Sinai Governorate and the North Sinai Governorate. Three other governorates span the Suez Canal, crossing into African Egypt: Suez Governorate on the southern end of the Suez Canal, Ismailia Governorate in the center, and Port Said Governorate in the north.
The Six-Day War, also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and an Arab coalition primarily comprising Jordan, Syria and UAR Egypt.
The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel, was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France. The aims were to regain control of the Suez Canal for the Western powers and to remove Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalised the canal. After the fighting had started, political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Nations led to a withdrawal by the three invaders. The episode humiliated the United Kingdom and France and strengthened Nasser.
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The Straits of Tiran are the narrow sea passages between the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas which separate the Gulf of Aqaba from the Red Sea proper. The distance between the two peninsulas is about 13 km. The body is named after Tiran Island, located at its entrance 5 or 6 km from the Sinai, on which the Multinational Force and Observers has an observation post to monitor the compliance of Egypt in maintaining freedom of navigation of the straits, as provided under the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.
Thant, known honorifically as U Thant, was a Burmese diplomat and the third secretary-general of the United Nations from 1961 to 1971, the first non-Scandinavian to hold the position. He held the office for a record 10 years and one month.
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A United Nations Medal is an international decoration awarded by the United Nations (UN) to the various world countries members for participation in joint international military and police operations such as peacekeeping, humanitarian efforts, and disaster relief. The medal is ranked in militaries and police forces as a service medal. The United Nations awarded its first medal during the Korean War (1950–1953). Since 1955, many additional United Nations medals have been created and awarded for participation in various United Nations missions and actions around the world.
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The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) is a United Nations peacekeeping mission tasked with maintaining the ceasefire between Israel and Syria in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The mission was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 350 on 31 May 1974, to implement Resolution 338 (1973) which called for an immediate ceasefire and implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.
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The first emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly was convened on 1 November and ended on 10 November 1956 resolving the Suez Crisis by creating the United Nations Emergency Force to provide an international presence between the belligerents in the canal zone. The emergency special session was convened due to the failure of the Security Council to resolve the instability at the Suez Canal, invoking "Uniting for Peace" resolution which transferred the issue from the Security Council to the General Assembly. On the fourth day of the session the Canadian representative, Lester B. Pearson, introduced the concept of a UN police force. The creation of the United Nations Emergency Force was approved by the General Assembly with 57 supports and zero opposes. The vote had 19 countries abstaining, including the United Kingdom, France, Egypt, the Soviet Union and several Eastern European countries.
The origins of the Six-Day War, which was fought between June 5 and June 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, include both longstanding and immediate issues. At the time of the Six-Day War, the earlier foundation of Israel, the resulting Palestinian refugee issue, and Israel's participation in the invasion of Egypt during the Suez crisis of 1956 continued to be significant grievances for the Arab world. Arab nationalists, led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, continued to be hostile to Israel's existence and made grave threats against its Jewish population. By the mid-1960s, relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors had deteriorated to the extent that a number of border clashes had taken place.
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The United Nations Emergency Force Medal was a service medal of the United Nations for service in the United Nations Emergency Force between 7 November 1956 and 19 May 1967.
The second United Nations Emergency Forces was established by United Nations General Assembly, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 340 (1973), to supervise the ceasefire between Egyptian and Israeli forces at the end of Yom Kippur War, and following of the agreement of 18 January 1974 and 4 September 1975, to supervise the redeployment of Egyptian and Israeli forces and to man and control the buffer zones established under those agreements.