UNEF II was established on 25 October 1973 with the mandate to supervise the implementation of Security Council resolution 340 (1973), 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 fulfilment 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.

These terms of reference, which were approved by the Security Council on 27 October 1973 (resolution 341), remained unchanged during UNEF's entire mandate, but within this general framework the activities of the Force varied considerably over the years in the light of prevailing circumstances and of the agreements reached between the parties. Following the conclusion of the agreements of 18 January 1974 and 4 September 1975, UNEF II was 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 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 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 (resolution 438).


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