24 January 2013
Security Council

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

Security Council

6908th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Extends Mandate of Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus Until


31 July 2013, Adopting Resolution 2089 (2013) by Vote of 14-0-1

Adoption in the Security Council this morning of a resolution to extend for a further six months, until 31 July 2013, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), first established in 1964, received the support of 14 members, while one delegation, that of Azerbaijan, had abstained.

Through passage of resolution 2089 (2013), the Council acknowledged progress made so far to end the division on the island and bring the Cyprus conflict to a comprehensive and durable settlement, and urged the sides to continue their discussions to reach decisive progress on the core issues.

It called on the two leaders to put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences and to improve the public atmosphere for the negotiations by delivering more constructive and harmonized messages and to increase the participation of civil society in the process.

As a matter of urgency, it called for the sides’ continued engagement in consultations with the United Nations Force on the demarcation of the buffer zone, and on the United Nations 1989 aide-mémoire, with a view to reaching early agreement on outstanding issues.

Further, the Council urged the implementation of confidence-building measures, and looked forward to agreement on, among others, military confidence-building measures and the opening of crossing points.  It urged all parties to better accommodate the Committee for Missing Persons exhumation requirements.

Prior to the resolution’s adoption, Masood Khan of Pakistan, whose delegation holds the Council’s rotating presidency for January, informed the 15-member body that his office had met with representatives of the parties, who had confirmed that they maintained their well-known positions with respect to “this item”.  On the basis of those meetings, and with the Council’s consent, the President had concluded that the Council could proceed with a decision.

Explaining the reasons for his abstention, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev said he fully supported the six-month mandate renewal, and noted this was the fifteenth year since the “ Cyprus problem” began.  A just and lasting political settlement without further delay was the hope of the international community, but finding that solution would also be in the interest of both sides and of the entire region.  The settlement should be within established United Nations parameters and obtained only through the agreed process and continued support of the Secretary-General.

He said that while the resolution had had to be a technical rollover, it nonetheless contained outdated language in regard to negotiations and calls to intensify them.  There were factual inaccuracies, as well, such as the reference to the “military areas” in the north, in operative paragraph 5, which was no longer an issue, as was the case with concerns mentioned by the Secretary-General in his report.  Many important points noted by his delegation had not been taken into account during negotiations on the text and, thus, he had abstained in the voting.

For the Council’s consideration of the draft resolution, it had before it the Secretary-General’s report, dated 7 January (document S/2013/7), in which he recommends the extension, of the view that UNFICYP continued to play an “essential role on the island” by exercising authority in the buffer zone and keeping the calm, among other tasks associated with its mandate.  He said, however, that the United Nations Force’s ability to play its role depended on the commitment of the sides to refrain from challenging its authority and legitimacy in the buffer zone.

The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 10:21 a.m.


The full text of resolution 2089 (2013) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 7 January 2013 (S/2013/07) on the United Nations operation in Cyprus,

Noting that the Government of Cyprus is agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions on the island it is necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 31 January 2013,

Noting the intention of the Secretary-General to report on his Good Offices in the next reporting period, and echoingthe Secretary-General’s firm belief that the responsibility for finding a solution lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves, and reaffirming the primary role of the United Nations in assisting the parties to bring the Cyprus conflict and division of the island to a comprehensive and durable settlement,

Welcoming the progress made so far in the fully fledged negotiations, and the leaders’ joint statements including those of 23 May and 1 July 2008,

Recalling the importance attached by the international community to all parties engaging fully, flexibly and constructively in the negotiations, and noting that the move towards a more intensive phase of negotiations has not yet resulted in an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions, encouraging the sides to resume the substantive negotiations on the core issues, and stressing that the status quo is unsustainable,

Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General to stimulate progress during his meeting with the two leaders on 31 October 2011 and 23 January 2012, and expressing continued support for his efforts,

Noting the need to advance the consideration of and discussions on military confidence-building measures, calling for renewed efforts to implement all remaining confidence-building measures, and for agreement on and implementation of further steps to build trust between the communities,

Reaffirming the importance of continued crossings of the Green Line by Cypriots, and encouraging the opening by mutual agreement of other crossing points,

Convinced of the many important benefits, including economic benefits, for all Cypriots that would flow from a comprehensive and durable Cyprus settlement, urging the two sides and their leaders to foster positive public rhetoric, and encouraging them clearly to explain the benefits of the settlement, as well as the need for increased flexibility and compromise in order to secure it, to both communities well in advance of any eventual referenda,

Considering that undermining the United Nations credibility undermines the peace process itself,

Highlighting the importance of the supporting role of the international community, and in particular that of the parties concerned in taking practical steps towards helping the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to exploit fully the current opportunity,

Taking note of the assessment of the Secretary-General that the security situation on the island and along the Green Line remains stable, and urging all sides to avoid any action which could lead to an increase in tension, undermine the progress achieved so far, or damage the goodwill on the island,

Recalling the Secretary-General’s firm belief that the situation in the buffer zone would be improved if both sides accepted the 1989 aide-memoire used by the United Nations,

Noting with regret that the sides are withholding access to the remaining minefields in the buffer zone, and that demining in Cyprus must continue, noting the continued danger posed by mines in Cyprus, and urging rapid agreement on facilitating the recommencement of demining operations and clearance of the remaining minefields,

Highlighting the importance of the activities of the Committee on Missing Persons, urging the opening up of access to all areas to allow the Committee to carry out their work, and trusting that this process will promote reconciliation between the communities,

Agreeing that active participation of civil society groups, including women’s groups, is essential to the political process and can contribute to making any future settlement sustainable, recalling that women play an important role in peace processes, welcoming all efforts to promote bicommunal contacts and events including, inter alia, on the part of all United Nations bodies on the island, and urging the two sides to promote the active engagement of civil society and the encouragement of cooperation between economic and commercial bodies and to remove all obstacles to such contacts,

Stressing the need for the Council to pursue a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments,

Welcoming the intention of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations under close review to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, including a review of UNFICYP when appropriate, and noting the importance of contingency planning in relation to the settlement, including recommendations as appropriate for further adjustments to UNFICYP’s mandate, force levels and other resources and concept of operations, taking into account developments on the ground and the views of the parties,

Welcoming also the continued efforts of Alexander Downer as the Secretary- General’s Special Advisor with a mandate to assist the parties in the conduct of fully fledged negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement, and the efforts of Lisa Buttenheim as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative,

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, and expressing appreciation to Member States that contribute personnel to UNFICYP,

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.   Acknowledges the progress made so far in the fully fledged negotiations, but notes that this has not been sufficient and has not yet resulted in a comprehensive and durable settlement, and urges the sides to continue their discussions to reach decisive progress on the core issues;

“2.   Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/07);

“3.   Recalls Security Council resolution 2026 (2011), and calls upon the two leaders to:

(a)   Put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences on the core issues;

(b)   Continue to work with the Technical Committees with the objective of improving the daily lives of the Cypriots;

(c)   Improve the public atmosphere for the negotiations, including by focussing public messages on convergences and the way ahead, and delivering more constructive and harmonised messages; and

(d)   Increase the participation of civil society in the process as appropriate;

“4.   Urges the implementation of confidence-building measures, and looks forward to agreement on and implementation of further such steps, includingmilitary confidence building measures and the opening of other crossing points;

“5.   Urges all parties to be more forthcoming in accommodating the Committee for Missing Persons exhumation requirements by providing unrestricted access throughout the island, including in military areas in the north;

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

“7.   Expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 31 July 2013;

“8.   Calls on both sides to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency and while respecting UNFICYP’s mandate, in consultations with UNFICYP on the demarcation of the buffer zone, and on the United Nations 1989 aide-memoire, with a view to reaching early agreement on outstanding issues;

“9.   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;

“10.  Calls on both sides to allow access to deminers and to facilitate the removal of the remaining mines in Cyprus within the buffer zone, and urges both sides to extend demining operations outside the buffer zone;

“11.  Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on implementation of this resolution, including on contingency planning in relation to the settlement, by 10 July 2013 and to keep the Security Council updated on events as necessary;

“12.  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 predeployment awareness training, and to take disciplinary action and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;

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

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For information media • not an official record