Security Council extends UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus until early 2013
The United Nations Security Council today extended the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 31 January 2013, and reiterated its call for the leadership of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to accelerate the pace of talks aimed at reunifying the divided Mediterranean island nation.
In a resolution passed with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions – from Azerbaijan and Pakistan – the Council also acknowledged the progress made so far in fully-fledged negotiations, but noted that this has not been sufficient and has not yet resulted in a comprehensive and durable settlement.
UNFICYP has been deployed on the island since 1964, when inter-communal fighting erupted.
The UN has been facilitating talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership, with a view to the eventual establishment of a federal government with a single international personality, consisting of a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, each of equal status.
The Council’s resolution urged the implementation of confidence-building measures and noted that the 15-member body “looks forward to agreement on and the implementation of further such steps, including military confidence building measures and the opening of other crossing points.”
In April, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership that there was not enough progress on key aspects of reunification talks to warrant holding an international conference on Cyprus.
The UN chief also urged the two sides to take bold and decisive action in order to move the process forward.