UN Security Council extends mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted Resolution 2646 to extend the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until January 31, 2023.

Through the text, the Council on Thursday urged the sides and all involved parties to respect UNFICYP’s mandated authority in — and delineation of — the buffer zone, renewing its call on both sides to respect the integrity of the buffer zone, remove all unauthorised constructions and prevent unauthorised military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire lines.

The Council also stressed that UNFICYP’s mandated authority extends throughout Cyprus, and that restrictions on its freedom of movement can present serious risks to the safety and security of UN personnel serving in peacekeeping operations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Expressing regret over the lack of progress on an effective mechanism for direct military contacts between the sides and the relevant involved parties, the Council urged flexibility and engagement by the same, facilitated by UNFICYP, to develop and implement an acceptable proposal on establishing such a mechanism. It called on the sides to reduce existing barriers to intercommunal contact and urged them to implement further confidence-building measures that can contribute to a conducive environment for settlement.

In 1963, constitutional crises in Cyprus resulted in the outbreak of intercommunal violence. After all attempts to restore peace failed, the Security Council adopted a resolution that recommended the establishment of UNFICYP, and it has become one of the longest-running UN peacekeeping missions.

The mission’s responsibilities expanded in 1974, following a coup by elements favouring union with Greece and a subsequent military intervention by Turkey, whose troops established control over the northern part of the island.




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