United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 was a resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on September 2, 2004. It called upon Lebanon to establish its sovereignty over all of its land and It called upon Syria to end their military presence in Lebanon by withdrawing its forces and to cease intervening in internal Lebanese politics. The resolution also called on all Lebanese militias to disband.
Nine countries voted in favor: Angola, Benin, Chile, France, Germany, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Six countries abstained: Algeria, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Pakistan, the Philippines and Russia.
The resolution was sponsored by France and the United States. The cooperation between these two nations on an issue concerning
the Middle East was seen as a significant improvement in their relationship, compared to their earlier bitter disagreement over the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Due to the fact that Lebanon was governed by France as a League of Nations mandate 1919-1943, France has long taken a special interest in Lebanon.
On September 2, 2004, the UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1559, coauthored by France and the United States.
Echoing the Taif Agreement, the resolution "calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon" and "for the disbanding and disarmament
of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias." Lebanon has requested that Israel withdraw from the disputed Shibaa Farms and
the hills of Kfar-Shouba and return the lebanese detainees in Israel as a condition for fully implementing Resolution 1559
which includes disbanding of the military wing of Hezbollah. Critics of the resolution argue however that an attempt from the weak and confessionally divided Lebanese army to
disarm Hezbollah would be very difficult and could restart the Lebanese civil war. Syria was also in violation of the resolution
until recently because of their military presence in Lebanon.
On October 7, 2004 the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reported to the Security Council regarding the lack of compliance with Resolution 1559. Mr. Annan concluded his report by
saying: "It is time, 14 years after the end of hostilities and four years after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, for all
parties concerned to set aside the remaining vestiges of the past. The withdrawal of foreign forces and the disbandment and
disarmament of militias would, with finality, end that sad chapter of Lebanese history."
The January 20, 2005 UN Secretary-General's report on Lebanon stated that "The continually asserted position of the Government of Lebanon that
the Blue Line is not valid in the Shab'a farms area is not compatible with Security Council resolutions. The Council has recognized the Blue Line as valid for purposes
of confirming Israels withdrawal pursuant to resolution 425 (1978). The UN Security Council has repeatedly requested
that all parties respect the Blue Line in its entirety."
On January 28, 2005 UN Security Council Resolution 1583 called upon the Government of Lebanon to fully extend and exercise its sole and effective authority throughout the south,
including through the deployment of sufficient numbers of Lebanese armed and security forces, to ensure a calm environment
throughout the area, including along the Blue Line, and to exert control over the use of force on its territory and from it.
Syria made few moves to comply with the resolution until the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, on February 14, 2005. International pressure to withdraw intensified and public perception in Lebanon turned strongly against Syria, evidenced
by mass demonstrations that were labeled the Cedar Revolution. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria announced on March 5, 2005 that he planned to "bring his forces home." The withdrawal, involving about 14,000 troops, took about seven weeks to complete.
On April 26, 2005, after 29 years of military action in Lebanon, the last Syrian troops left Lebanon. Syrian military and intelligence facilities, after the destruction of sensitive documents
or the transportation of logistical material, were turned over to Lebanese counterparts. This action left the Lebanese government
as the main violator of the resolution due to its refusal to dismantle the pro-Syrian Palestinian and Hezbollah militias.
On December 27, 2005 Katyusha rockets fired from Hezbollah territory smashed into houses in the Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona wounding three people . UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on the Lebanese government "to extend its control over all its territory, to exert
its monopoly on the use of force, and to put an end to all such attacks"