Reduction of UNFICYP’s military personnel will have no bearing on its operational capacity, Foreign Ministry says

Cyprus Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that if the UN Secretary-Generals report regarding UNFICYPs review is endorsed by the Security Council, the reduction of its military personnel will have no bearing on UNFICYP’s operational capacity, as it mainly affects support staff, noting that “assurances at the highest level have been received in this regard.”

The Foreign Ministry noted in its statement that as per usual practice, it will convey to the UN Secretariat the Government’s observations on the report’s various elements. Moreover it said that “the report’s reference to Security Council Resolution 186(1964) is considered important, as this Resolution established UNFICYP � with the consent of the Republic of Cyprus � and it contains the Force’s mandate, which remains unchanged to this day.”

“The mandate was not part of the review, as indicated in the report. The report also refers to the agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the UN concerning UNFICYP’s status, known as SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement),” the Foreign Ministry said.

According to the statement, the UN Secretary-General’s report regarding UNFICYP’s review (S/2017/1008) which has been released, is expected that it will be considered by the Security Council in January, along with the Secretary-General’s biannual report on UNFICYP’s activities (which is to be released early next year), as well as last September’s Good Offices report (S/2017/814).

“The Secretary-General’s report is based on the findings of the comprehensive assessment of UNFICYP’s activities by a UN Secretariat team during the past few months. The review was mandated by the Security Council through Resolution 2369(2017), in the framework of the regular evaluation of all UN peacekeeping missions across the globe,” the Foreign Ministry noted.

It also said that the report proposes that UNFICYP’s military personnel be slightly reduced to 802, while still allowing for an immediate increase to 860, which was the military’s strength until very recently, adding that “should the report be endorsed by the Security Council, the reduction will have no bearing on UNFICYP’s operational capacity, as it mainly affects support staff. Assurances at the highest level have been received in this regard.”

Source: Cyprus News Agency