UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) could provide an impetus to the ongoing negotiations.
“I trust that in the period ahead, both sides, with support from the United Nations, will strive for such a comprehensive settlement so that Cyprus may be united again,” Ban said in a written statement.
UNFICYP’s mandate in Cyprus was established by Security Council resolution 186 of March 4, 1964. It was given a three-month mandate in response to the outbreak of intercommunal violence in late 1963. By June 1964 there were 6,500 UN troops stationed on the island.
Ban said the Security Council had mandated UNFICYP to contribute to a return to normal conditions following the violence. “Over the past fifty years, UNFICYP has played a crucial role in preventing a recurrence of fighting and contributing to the resolution of issues that affect the everyday lives of Cypriots across the island,” Ban added.
He expressed his gratitude to the 32 countries that have contributed either troops or police or both to the mission, and their peacekeepers, He also paid tribute to the 184 peacekeepers who lost their lives in support of peace in Cyprus.