Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus until 31 July 2015, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2197 (2015)

SC/11756
29 January 2015
7370th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus until 31 July 2015, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2197 (2015)

Stressing the need for intensified efforts by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to reach a comprehensive settlement on their divided island, the Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 31 July 2015.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2197 (2015), the 15-member body called for an urgent resumption of structured negotiations to reach decisive progress on core issues.  They also called on the leaders to increase the participation of civil society in the process and to improve the public atmosphere for talks through support to confidence-building measures and the issuance of “constructive and harmonized messages”.

The Council again called on both sides to continue to engage in consultations with UNFICYP on the demarcation of the buffer zone between them and on other outstanding issues, and to facilitate the removal of mines remaining on the island.  In addition, it called on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore the military status quo existing in Strovilia before 30 June 2000.

After the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation, Vitaly Churkin, said that while he had supported the extension of UNFICYP, he objected to the way in which consultations had been carried out, particularly in regard to language regarding inter-community negotiations.  Fernando Fernández-Arias, Spain’s representative, and François Delattre, the representative of France, welcomed the adoption of the resolution and praised the continuing role of UNFICYP, underlining the importance of progress in negotiations towards a comprehensive settlement on the island.

The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 10:14 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2197 (2015) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 9 January 2015 (S/2015/17) 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 2015,

Noting the intention of the Secretary-General to report on his Good Offices in the next reporting period, and echoing the 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,

Expressing its support for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, noting the importance of a conducive environment, and calling for the resumption of structured negotiations without delay, in a results oriented manner as agreed to in the Joint Declaration adopted by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on 11 February 2014, and stressing the need for renewed efforts of the leaders and negotiators to reach a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible,

Recalling the importance attached by the international community to all parties engaging fully, flexibly and constructively in the negotiations and noting that the negotiations have 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 intensify the substantive negotiations on the unresolved core issues interdependently, and stressing that the status quo is unsustainable,

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,

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, including violations of the military status quo, 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, noting also recent proposals and discussions on demining, and urging rapid agreement on facilitating the recommencement of demining operations and clearance of the remaining minefields,

Commending the work of the Committee on Missing Persons, highlighting the importance of intensifying its activities, noting that half of all missing persons have yet to be located and more than 70% have yet to be identified, urging the opening up of access to all areas expeditiously to allow the Committee to carry out its 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 a critically 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,

Noting with appreciation the efforts of Lisa Buttenheim as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and, Force Commander Major General Kristin Lund, welcoming the Secretary-General’s appointment of Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide,

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 calls for an urgent resumption of structured negotiations to reach decisive progress on the core issues;

“2.   Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/17);

“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 mutually-acceptable steps, including military confidence building measures and the opening of other crossing points, that can contribute to a conducive environment for a settlement;

“5.   Welcomes all efforts to accommodate the Committee on Missing Persons exhumation requirements and calls upon all parties to provide more expeditious, full access to all areas, given the need to intensify the Committee’s work;

“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 2015;

“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 2015 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 pre-deployment 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.”

For information media. Not an official record.