By Apostolis Zoupaniotis, New York
The UN Security Council (UNSC) members agreed on the text of the draft resolution for the renewal of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (Unficyp), which they will be called to adopt on Thursday during an open meeting.
The Council expresses in the draft resolution full support to the Secretary General’s decision to convene an informal “five plus UN” meeting between the leaders of the two Cypriot communities and the guarantor powers at the earliest opportunity, and urges the sides and all involved participants to approach these talks in the spirit of openness, flexibility and compromise and to show the necessary political will and commitment to freely negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement under United Nations auspices.
The silent procedure to which the draft text was put wrapped up on Wednesday and it has been finalised. A delay occurred due to the fact that Mexico reacted to a reference about “irregular migration” that was finally omitted.
During deliberations that took place over the last seven days the text was drafted taking into consideration the 5+1 informal meeting on the Cyprus problem which the UNSG will host, conveying the messages of the Security Council to the participants.
According to a diplomatic source there is satisfaction over the content of the text, under the circumstances, as the resolution clearly underlines the basis for a settlement, the need to respect the work that has been done during the negotiations so far, the need to reverse the fait accompli in Varosha and calls for a settlement of the disputes as regards maritime zones on the basis of the international law.
More specifically, the UNSC, among other things, stresses that the responsibility for finding a solution lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves, and reaffirms the primary role of the UN in assisting the parties to bring the Cyprus conflict and division of the island to a comprehensive and durable settlement with a sense of urgency.
It expresses full support for the secretary general’s ongoing efforts, and welcomes his intention to convene an informal “five plus UN meeting” with the leaders of the two Cypriot communities and the guarantor powers at the earliest opportunity, further welcoming the stated determination of the leaders of the two communities to respond positively in this regard to find common ground between the parties to negotiate a sustainable lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon.
The Council stresses that the status quo is unsustainable, and that the lack of an agreement furthers political tensions and deepens the estrangement of both communities, risking irreversible changes on the ground, and reducing the prospects of a settlement.
Furthermore, it recalls its Presidential Statement which expresses deep concern at developments in Varosha, and calls for the reversal of this course of action, reaffirming the status of Varosha as set out in its previous resolutions, and reiterates that no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance with those resolutions, and stresses the need to avoid any unilateral actions that could trigger tensions on the island and undermine the prospects for a peaceful settlement.
The Council recalls the status of Varosha as set out in relevant resolutions, including resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992), and its Presidential Statement, which expresses deep concern at developments in Varosha, and calls for the reversal of this course of action, and reaffirms that UNFICYP’s freedom of movement should be respected.
It reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 (1999) and recalls the importance of achieving an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions, including OP4 of its resolution 716 (1991).
It also reiterates its call for a reduction of tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, and underlines that disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with applicable international law. It further calls upon the leaders of the two Cypriot communities and all involved parties to refrain from any actions and rhetoric that might damage chances of success.