UNSC extends mandate of Cyprus peacekeeping force until Jan

United Nations, July 30 (IANS) The Security Council has decided to extend the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further period ending on January 31, 2022.

Unanimously adopting Resolution 2587, the Council on Thursday urged the sides, and all involved parties, to respect UNFICYP’s mandated authority in, and delineation of, the buffer zone separating Greek and Turkish communities in the northern and southern regions of the Mediterranean island since 1974, reports Xinhua news agency.

By other terms, the Council reaffirmed the importance of the 2018 UN aide-memoire to ensure peace and security in the buffer zone and requested the Secretary-General to report to its 15 members and troop-contributing countries any actions that impede the force’s ability to fulfil its mandate.

Similarly, the Council called on both sides to respect the integrity of the buffer zone, remove all unauthorised constructions and prevent unauthorised military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire lines.

It likewise urged both sides to take “all appropriate measures” to ensure the safety and security of UNFICYP personnel.

In particular, the Council called on the two leaders to urgently provide political support, and overall guidance, to free the Technical Committees from obstructions in their work, empowering them to submit proposals to enhance inter-communal contacts.

The leaders also were called on to engage the committees more actively to ensure coordination on matters carrying island-wide implications, ensure cooperation on criminal matters, promote peace education, improve the public atmosphere for negotiation to secure a settlement and to increase their support for civil society engagement in peace efforts.