14/12/2005
Security Council
SC/8582

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5324th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL, EXPRESSING FULL SUPPORT, EXTENDS UN PEACEKEEPING


FORCE IN CYPRUS UNTIL 15 JUNE 2006


Resolution 1642(2005) Adopted Unanimously


The Security Council this afternoon, expressing its full support for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), decided to extend its mandate for a further period ending 15 June 2006.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1642 (2005), the Council also called on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000.


As noted in the Secretary-General’s latest report, the lifting of the restrictions of movement of UNFICYP personnel in the north in May had enabled the Force to effectively restore operations in areas previously restricted.  However, the Turkish Forces/Turkish Cypriot security forces remain in violation of the military status quo in Strovilia.


The Secretary-General also stated that only the achievement of a comprehensive settlement will bring an end to the Cyprus problem.  Yet, progress towards a political solution has been “negligible at best”.  In the absence of such a comprehensive settlement, the presence of UNFICYP on the island continues to be necessary.


Established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, UNFICYP remains on the island to supervise ceasefire lines, maintain a buffer zone, and undertake humanitarian activities.


The meeting began at 3:13 p.m. and ended at 3:16 p.m.


Council Resolution


The full text of resolution 1642 (2005) reads, as follows:


The Security Council,


Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 29 November 2005 (S/2005/743) on the United Nations operation in Cyprus,


Reiterating its call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness, and welcoming in this regard the resumption of the activities of the Committee on Missing Persons since August 2004, as well as the Secretary-General’s intention to appoint a Third Member as of January 2006 and to reinforce his office,


Noting that the Government of Cyprus is agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it is necessary to keep UNFICYP beyond 15 December 2005,


Taking note of the assessment of the Secretary-General that the security situation on the island continues to be stable and that the situation along the Green Line remains calm, welcoming in this context the further decrease in the overall number of incidents involving the two sides, while noting nonetheless that there were incidents of significant concern,


Urging both sides to avoid any action which could lead to an increase in tension and taking note with concern, in this context, of the conduct, for the first time since 2001, of the “Nikiforos” military exercise, and, afterwards, the “Toros” military exercise,


Regretting that progress towards a political solution has been negligible at best and urging both sides to work towards the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement,


Welcoming the Secretary-General’s continuous engagement in the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem,


Welcoming all demining activity in the buffer zone, including the agreement to begin the clearing of Turkish Forces minefields in Nicosia and surrounding areas within the buffer zone,


Expressing concern that, since the release of the Secretary-General’s report, differences have arisen over construction activity related to the proposed additional crossing point at Ledra Street and urges both sides to cooperate with UNFICYP to resolve this issue,


Welcoming the Secretary-General’s intention to keep the operations of UNFICYP under close review continuing to take into account developments on the ground and the views of the parties, and to revert to the Council with recommendations as appropriate for further adjustments to UNFICYP’s mandate, force levels and concept of operation as soon as warranted,


Welcoming the fact that over nine million crossings by Greek Cypriots to the north and Turkish Cypriots to the south have taken place, and encouraging the opening of additional crossing points,


Welcoming all efforts to promote bicommunal contacts and events, including, inter alia, on the part of the United Nations, and urging the two sides to promote further bicommunal contacts and to remove any obstacles to such contacts,


Echoing the Secretary-General’s gratitude to the Government of Cyprus and the Government of Greece for their voluntary contributions to the funding of UNFICYP, and his request for further voluntary contributions from other countries and organizations,


Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peacekeeping operations,


“1.   Reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 (1999) of 29 June 1999 and subsequent resolutions;


“2.   Expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 15 June 2006;


“3.   Calls on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000;


“4.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on implementation of this resolution by 1 June 2006;


“5.   Welcomes the efforts being undertaken by UNFICYP to implement the Secretary-General’s zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of its personnel with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary action in this regard and to keep the Security Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including the conduct of pre-deployment awareness training, and to take disciplinary action and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;


“6.   Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Background


When the Council met today, it had before it the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus (documents S/2005/743 and Corr.1), which covers developments from 21 May to 24 November and brings up to date the record of activities carried out by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).


According to the report, the situation in Cyprus has remained stable, with calm prevailing along the ceasefire lines.  The opening of additional crossing points and small increases in trade between the two sides enhanced the opportunity for people-to-people contact, yet progress towards a political solution has been negligible at best.  The UNFICYP continued to enjoy generally good cooperation from both sides, but at the same time each side made attempts to alter the status quo to its advantage, whether in the form of new construction or incursions of personnel into the buffer zone.


The experience gained during the reporting period indicates that the new force structure of UNFICYP is adequate for the implementation of the mandate and that the reconfiguration of the Force has not led to deterioration in the overall security situation.  However, due to delays in achieving the full staffing levels for the UNFICYP civil affairs component and the civilian police, the restructured Force has not reached the full potential of its revised concept of operations. Under the circumstances, and in light of the lack of significant positive developments on the ground, it would be premature to suggest further adjustments to the Force at this stage.  The Secretary-General intends to keep the operations of UNFICYP under close scrutiny, with a view to offering recommendations for possible further adjustments as soon as warranted.


It is clear that an early completion of the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus and a solution to the issue of missing persons would greatly contribute to reconciliation on the island.  Therefore, the Secretary-General urges all concerned to redouble their efforts and put aside political considerations in order to close this painful humanitarian chapter and to end the suffering of the relatives of missing persons.


The Secretary-General continues to believe that only the achievement of a comprehensive settlement will bring an end to the Cyprus problem.  In the absence of such a comprehensive settlement, the presence of UNFICYP on the island continues to be necessary, and he, therefore, recommends that the Council extend the Force’s mandate for a further period of six months, until 15 June 2006.


The Secretary-General also states that he does not believe that the time is ripe to appoint a full-time person dedicated to his good offices.  While calls have come from all concerned for the resumption of negotiations, it appears that the conditions surrounding such a resumption necessitate further clarifications.  In the circumstances, the Chief of Mission will continue to act as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on the ground for contacts at the highest level with the two sides and other key actors on the Cyprus question.  The Secretary-General may continue, however, to dispatch, on an ad hoc basis, a senior official from the Secretariat to visit Cyprus, Greece and Turkey to assess the situation on the ground in the light of recent developments.


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For information media • not an official record