UN SG’s report on UNFICYP has been given to Security Council members

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that UNFICYP will continue to contribute, through its activities and assistance to the communities, to creating conditions conducive to a successful settlement process, including by supporting relevant confidence and trust-building initiatives.

Guterres’ six-monthly report was unofficially given on Tuesday to Security Council members.

In his report he proposes a renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months, until July 31 2018, while he notes that as requested by the Security Council, UNFICYP maintained its transition plans in relation to a settlement.

No progress was made in the further elaboration of such plans during the reporting period, however, because of the absence of new developments on the issue between the sides, he adds.

Guterres further recalls that as stated in the report on my good offices mission in Cyprus dated 28 September 2017 (S/2017/814), my good offices remain available to assist the sides, should they jointly decide to re-engage in negotiations with the necessary political will.

I reiterate my encouragement to the sides to preserve the body of work based on the convergences and understandings reached in the course of the past years of negotiation, and particularly in the period between 15 May 2015 and 6 July 2017, the UN Secretary General says.

UNFICYP, he points out in his report, will continue to contribute, through its activities and assistance to the communities, to creating conditions conducive to a successful settlement process, including by supporting relevant confidence and trust-building initiatives.

On the matter of hydrocarbons exploration within Cyprus’ EEZ Guterres says that it remains an issue that could lead to tensions between the various stakeholders.

As I have repeatedly stressed, it is important to ensure that any natural resources found around Cyprus will benefit both communities, the top UN official adds.

I remain of the view that the existence of common natural resources constitutes a strong incentive for all parties to find a durable solution to the Cyprus problem and should engender deeper cooperation for the benefit of all Cypriots and stakeholders in the region, he notes.

He continues recalling that Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders had previously agreed that natural resources in a unified Cyprus would lie within the competence of the future federal government.

It remains essential that all parties make every effort to defuse tensions, Guterres points out.

He also recalls that since the closing of the Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland on 7 July 2017, and a report on my mission of good offices issued on 28 September 2017 (S/2017/814), the sides have remained in a period of reflection to determine if and when conditions would mature again for a meaningful process to reach a comprehensive settlement.

UNFICYP was established by Security Council resolution 186 (1964), with a mandate “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”. While the mandate of the Mission remains the same to date, its responsibilities evolved following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, to include supervising the ceasefire lines, maintaining a buffer zone, and facilitating inter-communal contacts.

Source: Cyprus News Agency