Report on review of the UNFICYP to be tabled to the Security Council next week

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will submit early next week his report on the strategic review of the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

The report has been submitted by the UN Peacekeeping Force Operations under the UN Undersecretary Pierre Lacroix and it is based on the suggestions of a group of experts which, under UN SG special representative to Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar, visited Cyprus in early-November for a fact-finding mission and met President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

The Security Council has set November 27 as the deadline for the submission of the report but sources said the report may be tabled a couple of days later.

Diplomatic sources told CNA that UNFICYP’s mandate will not change, as its usefulness in maintaining tranquillity on the island remains undisputed.

However, the report proposes a slight reduction of the UNFICYP staff and a reduction of operating expenses which will lead to the reduction of the Forces overall overheads.

The same sources said the UN Peacekeeping Operations Office would brief the states participating in UNFICYP, while the Security Council is not expected to be briefed on the report.

The report will be taken into account in the Security Council deliberations in view of the renewal of the UNFICYP’s term on end-January 2018.

UNFICYP is one of the longest-running UN Peacekeeping missions. It was set up in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island and bring about a return to normal conditions.

The Mission’s responsibilities expanded in 1974, after the Turkish invasion which lead to the occupation of 37% of Cyprus’ territory.

Source: Cyprus News Agency