The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for six months — until 31 January 2022 — expressing serious concern over violations of the military status quo along the ceasefire lines, reported encroachment by both sides into the buffer zone and increase in unauthorized construction — all of which pose challenges to the Force’s operations.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2587 (2021), the Council urged the sides — and all involved parties — to respect UNFICYP’s mandated authority in, and delineation of, the buffer zone separating Greek and Turkish communities in the northern and southern regions of the Mediterranean island since 1974.
By other terms, the Council reaffirmed the importance of the 2018 United Nations aide-memoire to ensure peace and security in the buffer zone and requested the Secretary-General to report to its 15 members and troop-contributing countries any actions that impede the Force’s ability to fulfil its mandate.
Similarly, the Council called on both sides to respect the integrity of the buffer zone, remove all unauthorized constructions and prevent unauthorized military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire lines. It likewise urged both sides to take “all appropriate measures” to ensure the safety and security of UNFICYP personnel.
In particular, the Council called on the two leaders to urgently provide political support — and overall guidance — to free the Technical Committees from obstructions in their work, empowering them to submit proposals to enhance intercommunal contacts. The leaders also were called on to engage the Committees more actively to ensure coordination on matters carrying island-wide implications, ensure cooperation on criminal matters, promote peace education, improve the public atmosphere for negotiation to secure a settlement and to increase their support for civil society engagement in peace efforts.
Expressing regret over the lack of progress on an effective mechanism for direct military contacts between the sides and the relevant involved parties, the Council urged engagement by these stakeholders — facilitated by UNFICYP — to develop a suitably acceptable proposal for such a mechanism. Calling on the sides to reduce existing barriers to intercommunal contact, it welcomed in that context the establishment of a dialogue between the sides and the United Nations, which resulted in the reopening of the crossing points on 4 June, and called on leaders to return the crossing points to the operating status that existed prior to 29 February 2020.
The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 10:09 a.m.