The Security Council, acting through its temporary silence procedure amid the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic, decided today to extend the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further period ending on 31 July 2021.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2561 (2021), the 15-member organ added that it fully supports the Secretary-General’s decision to convene an informal “five plus United Nations” meeting between the leaders of the two Cypriot communities and the guarantor Powers — Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom — at the earliest opportunity.
It urged the sides and all involved participants to approach those talks in the spirit of openness, flexibility and compromise and to show the necessary political will and commitment to freely negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement under United Nations auspices.
Reaffirming all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, the Council recalled the importance of achieving an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in previous Council texts.
Also through today’s resolution, the Council called upon the leaders of the two Cypriot communities to provide the necessary political support and overall guidance to free the bicommunal technical committees from obstructions in their work and enable them to function effectively, as well as to improve the public atmosphere for negotiation, including by delivering more constructive and harmonized messages and by more explicitly encouraging contact and cooperation between their two communities.
Further, the Council called upon those leaders to urgently agree on the reopening of all crossing points on the island while urging effective coordination to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Council also recalled the status of Verosha as set out in relevant resolutions and, in 2020, a presidential statement that expressed deep concern about developments in the one-time coastal resort.
[Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March 2020 (China).]