SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS CYPRUS MISSION UNTIL 15 JUNE 2003,
NEW YORK, 25 November (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this evening extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which was to expire on 15 December, until 15 June 2003.
By unanimously adopting resolution 1442 (2002), the Council also urged the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to rescind the restrictions imposed on 30 June 2000 on the UNFICYP operations and to restore the military status quo ante at Strovilia.
The meeting began at 6:15 p.m. and adjourned at 6:20 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1442 (2002) reads, as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 15 November 2002 (S/2002/1243) on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, and in particular the call to the parties to assess and address the humanitarian issue of missing persons with due urgency and seriousness,
"Noting that the Government of Cyprus has agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it is necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 15 December 2002,
"Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peacekeeping operations,
"1. Reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, and in particular resolution 1251 (1999) of 29 June 1999 and subsequent resolutions;
"2. Decides to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period ending 15 June 2003;
"3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 June 2003 on the implementation of this resolution;
"4. Urges the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to rescind the restrictions imposed on 30 June 2000 on the operations of UNFICYP and to restore the military status quo ante at Strovilia;
"5. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
When the Security Council met this evening to consider the situation in Cyprus, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus (document S/2002/1243), covering developments from 30 May to 15 November, and updating the record of activities of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The Secretary-General recommends that that Force's mandate be extended for a further period of six months, until 15 June 2003.
According to the report, the situation along the ceasefire lines was generally calm, despite moments of tension due mainly to the National Guard improving its defensive positions. The Turkish forces made some improvements to their observation posts. During the period covered, there were 37 recorded air violations. Restrictions imposed on UNFICYP in July 2000 by the Turkish forces and the Turkish Cypriot authorities continued, including the violation of the military status quo in the village of Strovilia, where recently Turkish soldiers have begun to carry loaded firearms during patrols. The restriction of movement along the Famagusta-Dherinia road, imposed on 1 November 2000, continued to prevent UNFICYP from monitoring the entire fended-off area of Varosha. The United Nations holds the Government of Turkey responsible for maintaining the status quo in Varosha.
The UNFYCIP facilitated 28 events bringing together some 13,000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the buffer zone, such as the annual United Nations Day celebrations, gatherings of politicians under the aegis of the Slovak Embassy, seminars, and meetings between businessmen and representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Chambers of Commerce. The Force continued to perform its mandated humanitarian tasks in support of the 426 Greek Cypriots and 160 Maronites living in the north of the island and the 486 Turkish Cypriots in the south who have made themselves known. It further continued to support civilian activities in the buffer zone. During the period under review, the two leaders, Glafkos Clerides and Rauf Denktash, continued to give particular attention to the problem of missing persons.
The Secretary-General met with the two leaders in September in Paris and in October in New York, and shared with them his growing concern that the talks were not producing the kind of progress needed. On 11 November, after long and extensive preparations, he conveyed to the two leaders a document which could provide a sound basis for agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. He is awaiting the reaction of the parties, and hopes it will be possible to bring the effort to a decisive conclusion in the coming weeks.
The UNFICYP was set up in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. After the hostilities of 1974, UNFICYP's mandate was expanded. The UNFICYP remains on the island to supervise ceasefire lines, maintain buffer zones, and undertake humanitarian activities.
* *** *