The Security Council today unanimously approved resolutions extending the United Nations missions in Iraq and Cyprus, recognizing the vital role they continue to play in the maintenance of peace and security.
The Council extended the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) until 31 July 2015. In doing so, the 15-member body called on all political entities to overcome divisions and work together in an inclusive and timely political process aimed at strengthening Iraq’s national unity.
Recently, the armed group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has taken control of more than a third of the Iraq’s territory after unleashing a wave of attacks that has taken thousands of lives and displaced more than 1.2 million people.
Last week, Nickolay Mladenov, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMI, called on the Council to demand that the Islamist forces cease all hostilities and to ensure that those responsible for horrific terrorist acts are held to account.
Speaking via video-teleconference from Baghdad, Mr. Mladenov said that ISIL aimed to establish a permanent foothold beyond the control of authorities through terror and violence. The Islamist forces seek to radicalize people and undermine the Government by exploiting legitimate grievances and manipulating divisions within society.
In extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, known as UNFICYP, until 31 January 2015, the Council acknowledged the progress made so far in the UN-facilitated negotiations aimed at reunifying the divided Mediterranean island nation.
At the same time, it noted that this “has not been sufficient and has not yet resulted in a comprehensive and durable settlement,” and urged the sides to continue their discussions to reach decisive progress on the core issues.
The United Nations works through the good offices of the Secretary-General to assist in the search for a comprehensive and mutually acceptable settlement to the Cyprus problem.
UNFICYP has been deployed in Cyprus since 1964, when inter-communal fighting erupted on the island.