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Fonds United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) (1947-present) - AG-040

Identity area

Reference code

AG-040

Title

United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) (1947-present)

Date(s)

  • 1194 - 2011 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

Size/Number of Items/Parts: 320 boxes, 573 maps, No. of Boxes: 320

Context area

Name of creator

United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation

Administrative history

In November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a plan for the partition of Palestine, providing for the creation of an Arab State and a Jewish State, with Jerusalem to be placed under international status. The plan was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs and Arab States. On 14 May 1948, the United Kingdom relinquished its mandate over Palestine and the State of Israel was proclaimed. On the following day, the Palestinian Arabs, assisted by Arab States, opened hostilities against Israel. Over the years, UNTSO military observers have remained in the Middle East to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region. On 29 May 1948, the Security Council, in resolution 50 (1948), called for a cessation of hostilities in Palestine and decided that the truce should be supervised by the UN Mediator, with the assistance of a group of military observers. The first group of military observers, which has become known as the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), arrived in the region in June 1948. In August 1949, the Security Council, by its resolution 73 (1949) assigned new functions to UNTSO in line with four Armistice Agreements between Israel and the four neighbouring Arab countries – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. UNTSO's activities thus were spread over the territory within five States in the region. Following the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973, the functions of the UNTSO military observers have changed from time to time in light of changing circumstances, but they remained in the area, acting as go-betweens for the hostile parties and as the means by which isolated incidents could be contained and prevented from escalating into major conflicts. UNTSO personnel have also been available at short notice to form the nucleus of some other peacekeeping operations worldwide. The availability of UNTSO's military observers for almost immediate deployment after the Security Council had acted to create a new operation has been an enormous contributory factor to the success of those operations. (UNTSO website)

The first Chief of Staff of UNTSO was Major-General William E. Riley (1950), followed by Major-General E.L.M. Burns (1954), Major-General Carl C. von Horn (1960-1962), Lieutenant-General Odd Bull (1963-1969), Major-General Ensio Siilasvo (1970-1972), and Major-General Bengt Liljestrand (1974-1975). This post was changed to Assistant Secretary-General, Chief of Staff in 1980, with the following appointments: Major-General Emmanuel Alexander Erskine (1976-1977, 1981-1985), Major-General Erkki Raine Kaira (1980), Lieutenant-General William Callaghan (1986), Lieutenant-General Marin Vadset (1987-1989), Major-General Hand Christensen (1990-1991), and Krishna Narayan Singh Thapa (1992). In 1993, the post was vacant. The Officer-in-Charge in 1994 was Colonel Joseph Bujold, followed by Assistant Secretary-General, Officer-in-Charge Major-General Rufus Kupolati in 1995. Kupolati continued his post of Assistant Secretary-General, Chief of Staff from 1996-1997, followed by Major-General Timothy Ford (1998-1999), Major-General Franco-Ganguzza (2000-2001), Major-General Carl Dodd (2002-2003), and Brigadier General Clive William Lilley (2004-2006). He was succeeded by Head of Mission and Chief of Staff Major General Ian Gordon (2007-2009), Major General Robert Mood (2009-2010), and Major General Juha Kilpia (2011-present).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Records consist primarily of files, 1948-1968, of Henry Vigier, who was the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Lebanon Special Advisor/Consultant.
These contain correspondence, cables, minutes, maps, press releases, reports, and clippings.

They concern complaints from Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, investigations into these complaints, the Mount Scopus situation, water development, the Egypt/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission, the Israel/Syria Mixed Armistice Commission, the Israel/Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission, and miscellaneous other materials related to UNTSO's work in the area.

Some cables, reports, and miscellaneous documents, 1953-1972, from the general files of UNTSO concern incidents between the opposing parties, Suez Canal incidents, and miscellaneous other matters.

Related Series:
in AG-020 United Nations Office for Special Political Affairs fonds


  • S-0148 UN Truce Supervision Operation (UNTSO) military observer
  • S-0156 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - subject files
  • S-0163 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - Mixed Armistice Commission (MAC) records
  • S-0167 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - Chief of Staff weekly reports
  • S-0168 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - code cable correspondence with Chief of Staff
  • S-0171 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - clear cables
  • S-0312 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - subject files
  • S-0302 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - cables
  • S-0311 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - subject files

in AG-011 United Nations Executive Office of the Secretary-General fonds


  • S-0331 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) United Nations Military Observers (UNMO) correspondence files

in AG-025-003 RAG-3 Registry Section (1954-1979)


  • S-0373 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) files - Organization of UNTSO
  • S-0374 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) files - Personnel
  • S-0375 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) files - Political Affairs

in AG-031 Field Service and Successor Bodies


  • S-1681 Missions and Commissions Administrative Files: UNTSO
  • S-1682 Missions and Commissions Administrative Files: UNTSO
  • S-1698 Missions Administrative Section - Missions and Commissions Administrative Files: UNTSO
  • S-1757 Missions and Centers Administrative Section - Missions and Commissions Administrative Files: UNTSO
  • S-1770 Missions and Centers Administrative Section - Missions Administrative Unit (since 1972): Administrative Files: UNTSO

Fonds consists of the following Series:
S-1802 Historical Maps - Middle East, Operational and Boundary; Jerusalem and Government House Plan and Compound (UNTSO- HQ)
S-0645 Subject Files - United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)
S-0644 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant Henri Vigier
S-0643 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant - Mount Scopus
S-0642 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant - Israel/Syria Mixed Armistice Commission (ISMAC)
S-0641 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant - Israel/Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission (ILMAC)
S-0640 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant - Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission (HJK-I-MAC)
S-0639 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant - Egypt/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission (EIMAC)
S-0638 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant for the Chief of Staff (COS)
S-0637 Subject Files - Special Advisor/Consultant
S-0628 Cables
S-0577 Maps of Israel, Palestine, Syria and Jordan used by UNTSO Headquarters

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Alternative identifier(s)

Previous number(s)

2010/0043, 1988/0025

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Digital object metadata

Media type

Text

Mime-type

application/pdf

Filesize

145 KiB

Uploaded

May 4, 2015 2:10 PM

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