14 June 2002
Security Council Extends Cyprus Force Until 15 December, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1416 (2002)
NEW YORK, 13 June (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further six months, until 15 December 2002.
By unanimously adopting resolution 1416 (2002), the Council also urged the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish forces to rescind the restrictions imposed on 30 June 2000 on the operations of UNFICYP and to restore the military status quo ante of Strovilia.
By further terms of the resolution, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 December 2002 on the situation. It also reaffirmed all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular, resolution 1251 (1999) and those subsequent to it.
The full text of resolution 1416 (2002) reads, as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 30 May 2002 (S/2002/590) 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 June 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 December 2002;
"3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 December 2002 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 the UNFICYP and to restore the military status quo ante of Strovilia;
"5. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
When the Security Council met this morning, it had before it a report of the Secretary-General covering developments in Cyprus from 28 November 2001 to 29 May 2002, and bringing up to date the record of activities of UNFICYP. The Secretary-General states that the presence of the Force is essential to maintaining the ceasefire between the two sides, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, and recommends its extension for a further six months until 15 December. Under resolution 1384 (2001), the current mandate expires on 15 June.
According to the report, the situation along the ceasefire lines remained calm during the past six months, but UNFICYP's operations continued to be impeded by the restrictions imposed on it by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the Turkish forces. Similarly, no progress has been achieved in restoring the military status quo in the village of Strovilia. On the civilian side, the Secretary-General was encouraged that there were increased contacts between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
Concerning the restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions, the report finds that the Force facilitated 39 events in the buffer zone between the two communities, including a youth festival in April. Among its other activities, the Force carried out its mandated humanitarian tasks in support of the 428 Greek Cypriots and 162 Maronites living in the northern part of the island and of those Turkish Cypriots in the southern part who had made themselves known to the Force. Also during the period under review, both leaders committed themselves to solving the problem of missing persons.
As indicated in his previous report, the Secretary-General recalls that the General Assembly had appropriated $42.4 million for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002. That amount included the voluntary contribution of one third of the cost of the Force, equivalent to $13.6 million, from the Government of Cyprus and the voluntary contribution of $6.5 million from the Government of Greece. His proposed budget for the maintenance of the Force from the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003, which amounted to $43.7 million, is currently under consideration by the Assembly.
Cyprus became independent on 16 August 1960. Accumulated tension between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities resulted in the outbreak of violence on the island on 21 December 1963. The UNFICYP was established through Security Council resolution 186 in 1964, with the mandate to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the two communities, and to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order.
In 1974, after a coup d'état by Greek elements followed by Turkish military intervention, the Council expanded the mandate to include maintaining a buffer zone between forces. In the absence of a political settlement, UNFICYP has been extended thereafter every six months.
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