SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNFICYP UNTIL 15 JUNE 2000

15 December 1999
SC/6773

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNFICYP UNTIL 15 JUNE 2000

15 December 1999

Press ReleaseSC/6773

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS UNFICYP UNTIL 15 JUNE 2000

19991215

Resolution 1283 (1999) Adopted Unanimously

Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operations in Cyprus of 29 November, and in particular the call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness, the Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 15 June 2000.

The Council, noting that the Government of Cyprus had agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it was necessary to keep UNFICYP in Cyprus beyond 15 December, unanimously adopted resolution 1283 (1999).

By that text, the Council, which decided to remained actively seized of the matter, reaffirmed all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 June 2000 on the implementation of the current resolution.

The meeting, which was called to order at 6:18 p.m., was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1283 (1999) reads, as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 29 November 1999 (S/1999/1203 and Corr.1 and Add.1) on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, and in particular the call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness,

“Noting that the Government of Cyprus has agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it is necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 15 December 1999,

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

“2. Decides to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period ending 15 June 2000;

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“3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 June 2000 on the implementation of this resolution;

“4. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Report of Secretary-General

When the Council met today to take up the situation in Cyprus, it had before it the Secretary-General's 29 November report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus (documents S/1999/1203, S/1999/1203/Corr.1 and S/1999/1203/Add.1), covering developments during the period from 10 June, and reporting on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the Secretary-General's good offices.

Observing that UNFICYP's presence on the island remains indispensable for the maintenance of the ceasefire between the two sides, the Secretary-General asks the Council to extend the Force's mandate for another six months, until 15 June 2000. He states that the situation along the ceasefire lines remained essentially stable during the reporting period and that the prevention of incidents depended on the discipline imposed upon the troops on both sides and upon their consistent cooperation with UNFICYP.

There were numerous minor but provocative incidents, particularly in the area of Nicosia, where the positions of the opposing forces are in close proximity, according to the document. These included the pointing and cocking of weapons, laser and searchlight illumination, the shouting of insults and stone-throwing. Military construction along the ceasefire lines continued on both sides.

On-island contact between the two communities remained limited owing to the restrictions imposed by Turkish Cypriot authorities, the report continues. The UNFICYP continued to promote civilian activities in the buffer zone, subject to operational and security requirements. New regulations related to farming at night and the burning of fields were introduced to increase safety. The UNFICYP maintained close cooperation with both sides in order to resolve problems concerning water, electricity and sewage. In the mixed village of Pyla, UNFICYP continued to promote stability and the well-being of residents. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the United Nations Office for Project Services, is encouraging both communities to work together in preparing and implementing projects in areas of mutual concern, such as the preservation of natural resources and cultural heritage, public health and sanitation.

The Force carried out its mandated humanitarian tasks in support of the 432 Greek Cypriots and 159 Maronites living in the northern part of the island and the 310 Turkish Cypriots in the southern part who have made themselves known to the Force, the report states. An unresolved problem is the Turkish Cypriot practice of preventing the burial of Greek Cypriot residents in the Karpas Peninsula whenever their bodies have been temporarily brought to the southern part of the island for post-mortem examinations. The UNFICYP continued to press the Turkish Cypriot authorities to allow Greek Cypriots from the Peninsula to be

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buried there regardless of where and by whom the post-mortem examinations were conducted. The third member of the Committee on Missing Persons continued his consultations on both sides in order to resume the Committee's activities. While these exchanges of views further clarified the respective positions of both sides, they did not resolve their differences. The Secretary-General appeals to the two sides to assess the implications of the situation urgently and seriously, with a view to overcoming the stalemate.

The UNFICYP was established in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities and contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions. Its mandate was expanded to include monitoring a de facto ceasefire which came into effect in 1974 and maintaining a buffer zone between the lines of the Cyprus National Guard and of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces. James Holger is Acting Special Representative and Chief of Mission; Alvaro de Soto, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, will take up residence on the island in the spring of 2000 as his Special Representative. As of November 1999, UNFICYP comprised 1,219 troops, 35 civilian police and 234 local and international civilian staff.

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For information media. Not an official record.