The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for six months and endorsed implementation of recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s strategic review of the mission.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2398 (2018), the Council extended UNFICYP’s mandate until 31 July and welcomed efforts by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership to reach a comprehensive and durable settlement.
Noting the outcome of the Conference on Cyprus, which reconvened in June 2017 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, it urged the sides and all involved participants to renew their political will and commitment to a settlement under United Nations auspices.
Recalling its resolution 2369 (2017), the Council called upon leaders of the two sides to, among other things, put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences on core issues, and to improve the atmosphere for negotiation, including through more constructive and harmonized messages and refraining from rhetoric that could make success harder to achieve.
Requesting the Secretary-General to maintain transition planning in relation to a settlement, the Council welcomed his report on the Strategic Review of UNFICYP (document S/2017/1008) and endorsed implementation of its recommendations within existing resources.
The meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 10:11 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2398 (2018) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 28 November 2017 on the Strategic Review of the United Nations Force in Cyprus (document S/2017/1008), of 28 September 2017 on his Good Offices (document S/2017/814) and of 9 January 2018 (document S/2018/25) 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 2018,
“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,
“Welcoming the commitments set out in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders’ joint statement of 2 April 2017 on the basis of the Joint Declaration adopted on 11 February 2014, further welcoming the progress in negotiations since then, including the reconvening of the Conference on Cyprus under United Nations auspices in June 2017, the participants’ commitment to support the process towards a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, and the support provided by the Secretary-General and Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Elizabeth Spehar,
“Recalling the importance attached by the international community to all parties engaging fully, flexibly and constructively in negotiations to secure a settlement and noting that last year’s Conference on Cyprus did not result in an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions, urging the sides to renew their commitment to such a settlement, 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 referenda,
“Highlighting the importance, both political and financial, of the supporting role of the international community, and in particular that of all parties concerned in taking practical steps towards helping the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to renew their commitment to a settlement under United Nations auspices; 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 proposals and discussions as well as positive initiatives 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, and therefore, the need to provide all information required as expressed in the press release of the Committee on Missing Persons on 28 July 2016 regarding review of archival materials, noting that the remains of 1,147 missing persons, from a total of 2002, have not yet been positively 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 the active participation and leadership of women 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 as recognised in United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), and related resolutions; and further recalling the importance of the active participation of youth, consistent with resolution 2250 (2015),
“Urging the sides to step up their efforts to promote intercommunal contacts and events and the active engagement of civil society, including bicommunal initiatives and development projects where the two communities can work together and jointly benefit, 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,
“Recognizing the need to regularly review all peacekeeping operations to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, and noting the importance of transition planning in relation to the settlement, including recommendations as appropriate for further adjustments to the mandate of UNFICYP, 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 the Secretary-General and Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar,
“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. Welcomes the progress of the leaders-led process since 11 February 2014 and the efforts of the leaders and their negotiators to reach a comprehensive and durable settlement, notes the outcome of the Conference on Cyprus and urges the sides and all involved participants to renew their political will and commitment to a settlement under United Nations auspices;
“2. Takes note of the reports of the Secretary-General (documents S/2017/814, S/2017/1008 and S/2018/25);
“3. Reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 (1999) of 29 June 1999 and subsequent resolutions;
“4. Recalls Security Council resolution 2369 (2017), and calls upon the two leaders to:
(a) Put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences on the core issues;
(b) Intensify work with the Technical Committees with the objective of enhancing intercommunal contacts and improving the daily lives of the Cypriots;
(c) Improve the public atmosphere for negotiation to secure a settlement, including by focusing public messages on convergences and the way ahead, and delivering more constructive and harmonised messages; and by refraining from rhetoric that could make a successful process more difficult to achieve; and
(d) Increase the participation of civil society in the process as appropriate;
“5. Welcomes the Secretary-General’s willingness, and expresses its full support, for his good offices to remain available to assist the sides, should they jointly decide to re-engage in negotiations with the necessary political will, as stated in his report of 28 September 2017; and requests the Secretary-General to maintain transition planning in relation to a settlement, guided by progress in negotiations, and encourages the sides to engage with each other, as well as with UNFICYP and the United Nations good offices mission in this regard;
“6. Urges the implementation and further development of confidence‑building measures based on a shared vision for the future and joint actions, and looks forward to agreement on and implementation of further such mutually acceptable steps, including military confidence-building measures and the opening of crossing points already agreed upon and others, and urges the sides to promote intercommunal contacts, exchange and cooperation thereby contributing to a conducive environment for a settlement;
“7. Stresses the importance of the full and effective participation of civil society and women in particular at all stages of the peace process and urges their involvement in the development and implementation of post-conflict strategies for sustainable peace; and further stresses the importance of the full and effective participation of youth;
“8. Welcomes all efforts to accommodate the Committee on Missing Persons’ exhumation requirements as well as the joint appeal for information issued by the two leaders on 28 May 2015, and calls upon all parties to provide more expeditious, full access to all areas, given the need to accelerate the Committee’s work;
“9. Expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 31 July 2018;
“10. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the Strategic Review of UNFICYP (document S/2017/1008), and endorses implementation of its recommendations within existing resources;
“11. Supports the need to improve the mission’s capacity for liaison and engagement with the sides across all components, including people to people contacts, to keep stability and calm, and thereby contribute effectively to conditions conducive to progress in a settlement process;
“12. Calls on both sides to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency and while respecting the mandate of UNFICYP, 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;
“13. 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;
“14. 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;
“15. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on progress towards a settlement by 15 June 2018, and on implementation of this resolution by 10 July 2018 and to keep the Security Council updated on events as necessary;
“16. 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;
“17. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”