The resolution for the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force on Cyprus (UNIFCYP) is expected to be adopted by the UN Security Council on January 30.
Moreover, according to reports, the Security Council members will receive the six-monthly report of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on UNFICYP by January 10 at the latest.
UNFICYP was set up in 1964 “to prevent a recurrence of fighting and, as necessary, to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions.” UNFICYP’S mandate has not changed since then but has included, since the Turkish invasion in 1974, supervising the ceasefire lines, maintaining a bufferzone and facilitating inter-communal contacts.
Guterres said in his report that the preventive and deterrent role of UNFICYP should be maintained for the time being.
“While the actual impact of such a role is very difficult to ascertain, the risk associated with any drastic reduction of the force is not justified under present circumstances,” Guterres said. “The review team has identified an opportunity for a limited reduction in the military strength of the mission, mainly with respect to the military support elements. In line with the findings of the review team as detailed in this report, I therefore recommend that the actual military strength of UNFICYP be reduced to 802 troops.”
“This need not be reflected in a reduction of the authorized strength; in fact, if the authorized strength were to remain at 860, it would allow some flexibility to increase deployment should the need arise, for example in support of eventually resumed settlement talks,” he added.