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UN Security Council
Resolution 540
Date: 31 October 1983
Meeting no.: 2,493
Code: S/RES/540 (Document)

Vote: For: 12 Abs.: 3 Against: 0
Subject: Iraq-Islamic Republic of Iran
Result: Adopted

Security Council composition in 1983:
permanent members:


non-permanent members:

Iran-Iraq War Montage.png
Iran-Iraq War

United Nations Security Council Resolution 540, adopted on October 31, 1983, noting the report of the Secretary-General and the increased cooperation from the governments of Iran and Iraq, the Council requested he continue with the mediation efforts in the region.

Resolution 540 went on to condemn all acts in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, affirming the right to free navigation in international waters. It also requested the Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar continue in his efforts to find a way to end hostilities between the two countries and urged Iran, Iraq and other Member States to refrain from actions that could destabilise the region.

The resolution was adopted by 12 votes to none, with three abstentions from Malta, Nicaragua and Pakistan.

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

United Nations Security Council Resolution 540
by the United Nations
←Indexes: United Nations Security Council Resolutions

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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