Cyprus Mail

Unficyp mandate to be extended for 12 months from now on

The mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (Unficyp) will from this week be extended for a period of one year instead of the usual six months, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Sunday.

According to the news agency, the latest resolution on the extension of the mandate is due out on Monday once it’s voted on by the Security Council. Under the new procedure the mandate will be extended until January 2024 instead of the end of June 2023.

By March 2024, Unficyp will have been in Cyprus for 60 years.

A source told CNA, the idea had come from Britain, which is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The source said the issue had been in discussion for a long time.

He added that the Cyprus government had given its consent on the understanding that the UN Secretary-General’s reports on Cyprus would still come out normally every six months so that the Cyprus issue can be discussed on an ongoing basis.

The two reports, one on the UNSG’s Good Offices Mission and the other on Unficyp operations act as a precursor to the resolution every six months that normally justifies an extension of the force’s mandate.

The other condition is that if there is a serious violation by the Turkish side during the 12-month mandate, the Cyprus government can appeal to the Security Council for a special resolution or a special declaration, as was done in the case of the fenced-off area of Varosha when the Turkish side opened it to development.

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