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UN Security Council set to renew Unficyp mandate.

The UN Security Council is expected to unanimously adopt on Thursday a resolution, renewing the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp) for a further six months, until January 31, 2018.

On the basis of the resolution's final draft the Security Council is expected to welcome "the progress of the leaders-led process since 11 February 2014 and the efforts of the leaders and their negotiators to reach a comprehensive and durable settlement", to note "the outcome of the Conference on Cyprus" and to encourage "the sides and all involved participants to sustain their commitment to a settlement under UN auspices."

It will also call on the two leaders to "put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences on the core issues" and to "improve the public atmosphere for negotiation to secure a settlement, including by focussing public messages on convergences and the way ahead, and delivering more constructive and harmonised messages" as well as increasing "the participation of civil society in the process as appropriate."

Moreover, the Security Council will request the Secretary-General conduct a strategic review of Unficyp, focused on findings and recommendations "for how Unficyp should be optimally configured to implement its existing mandate" and to report on the results of this review when appropriate within four months of the adoption of this resolution.

The council also referred to the need to advance the consideration of and discussions on military confidence-building measures and called for renewed efforts to implement all remaining confidence-building measures, and for agreement on and implementation of further steps to build trust between the communities. This includes the opening of further crossing points.

It also noted with regret that both sides are withholding access to the remaining minefields in the buffer zone, urging for demining to continue as mines continue to pose a threat.

The work of the Committee on Missing Persons was commended and the Council noted that nearly half of all missing persons have yet to be located and around 61.5 per cent have yet to be identified, urging the opening up of access to all areas to allow the Committee to carry out its work.

The Security Council also welcomed and encouraged efforts by the United Nations to sensitise peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peacekeeping operations.

Regarding the Cyprus problem, the Security Council called upon the two leaders to put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences on the core issues; continue to work with the Technical Committees with the objective of improving the daily lives of the Cypriots; improve the public atmosphere for negotiation to secure a settlement.

It also requested the Secretary-General maintain transition planning in relation to a settlement, guided by progress in negotiations.

Referring to Unficyp's mission, the Council called on both sides to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency, in consultations with Unficyp on the demarcation of the buffer zone, with a view to reaching early agreement on outstanding issues, calling on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore the military status quo in Strovilia which existed there prior to June 30, 2000.

The Council also welcomed the efforts being undertaken by Unficyp to implement the Secretary-General's zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance of its personnel with the United Nations code of conduct.

The Security Council established Unficyp on March 4, 1964 and has renewed the mission's mandate for six-month terms since then.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Jul 27, 2017
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