Security Council renews Unficyp mandate for a year

​By Gina Agapiou


The foreign ministry on Monday welcomed the decision to renew the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (Unficyp) for another year.

It said the security council will continue to be updated semi-annually on both the Good Offices and the Peace Force through the UN Secretary General’s Reports.

But the Unficyp mandate will now be extended for a year, until January 31, 2024.

The resolution reaffirms the agreed basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem, a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, the ministry said.

The announcement added that the references to the issue of the Famagusta fenced-off area are extremely important. The Security Council called on Turkey to withdraw its illegal actions and expressed disappointment at Ankara’s failure to comply with previous calls.

Furthermore, the ministry said, the Security Council warned that any new unilateral action within the fenced-off area of Varosha will trigger its reaction.
The resolution also reiterated the Security Council’s strong support for the UN secretary-general’s efforts to resume negotiations and includes references to the need to reach agreement on the appointment of a United Nations special envoy with a mandate to assist the effort to resume negotiations.

The mandate was extended for 12 instead of six months under the new procedure coted by the security council.

A source told CNA, the idea had come from Britain, which is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The source said the issue had been in discussion for a long time.

He added that the Cyprus government had given its consent on the understanding that the UN secretary-general’s reports on Cyprus would still come out normally every six months so that the Cyprus issue can be discussed on an ongoing basis.

The other condition is that if there is a serious violation by the Turkish side during the 12-month mandate, the Cyprus government can appeal to the Security Council for a special resolution or a special declaration, as was done in the case of the fenced-off area of Varosha when the Turkish side opened it to development.

By March 2024, Unficyp will have been in Cyprus for 60 years.​