UNSC to adopt resolution on UNFICYP on Thursday

UNSC to adopt resolution on UNFICYP on Thursday

The United Nations Security Council, which will convene on Thursday, is expected to adopt unanimously the resolution on the renewal of the mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The consultations were concluded yesterday and an agreement on the text of the resolution has been reached.

CNA has learned from diplomatic sources that the context of the resolution and the improvements that have been made are considered satisfactory, taking into consideration the negative circumstances under which the consultations took place, the negative stance Britain had adopted, the absence of assistance by the US, interventions made in the direction of UNSG Special Adviser on Cyprus in addition to Turkey`s attempts to include in the resolution references to what Ankara calls “isolation” of the Turkish Cypriots.

The resolution calls for the Turkish occupation forces to restore the status quo ante at Strovilia village, on the eastern part of the island, which they violated years ago and have seen refused to rectify the situation.

Specific improvements in the resolution were made in paragraphs 4 , 5 and 13.

In particular, in paragraph 4 the SC is expressing its support for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary General’s Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide, noting the importance of a conducive environment, and calling for the resumption of structured negotiations without delay, in a results oriented manner as agreed to in the Joint Declaration adopted by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on 11 February 2014. It is also stressing the need for renewed efforts of the leaders and negotiators to reach a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible.

In paragraph 5, the Council is recalling the importance attached by the international community to all parties engaging fully, flexibly and constructively in the negotiations and noting that the negotiations have not yet resulted in an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions. The sides are encouraged to intensify the substantive negotiations on the unresolved core issues interdependently, and it is stressed that the status quo is unsustainable,

Furthermore, in paragraph 13 the SC is commending the work of the Committee on Missing Persons, highlighting the importance of intensifying its activities, noting that half of all missing persons have yet to be located and more than 70% have yet to be identified. It is also urging the opening up of access to all areas expeditiously to allow the Committee to carry out its work, and trusting that this process will promote reconciliation between the communities,

The Council acknowledges the progress made so far in the fully fledged negotiations, but notes that this has not been sufficient and has not yet resulted in a comprehensive and durable settlement, and calls for an urgent resumption of structured negotiations to reach decisive progress on the core issues;

It also welcomes all efforts to accommodate the Committee on Missing Persons exhumation requirements and calls upon all parties to provide more expeditious, full access to all areas, given the need to intensify the Committee’s work;

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Numerous UN-backed negotiations with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof, have not yet yielded result.

As a result of the 1974 invasion, 1,619 Greek Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield. Many of those missing were last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military. A further 41 more cases of Greek Cypriot missing persons have been added. These cases concern the period between 1963-1964, when inter-communal fighting broke out but none of them has been identified yet. The number of Turkish Cypriot missing since 1974 and 1963/64 stood at 503. A total of 1073 remains have been exhumed by the CMP, 546 of which have been identified with the DNA method (421 Greek Cypriots and 125 Turkish Cypriots).

Only 27% of all missing persons have been identified so far.

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has suspended his participation in the talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.

Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.