Nicosia says UNFICYP is ‘indispensable’

As long as the foreign occupation of almost 37 percent of the island’s territory persists, Nicosia deems the continued presence of United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) as indispensable, First Secretary at the  Cyprus’ Delegation to the United Nations Michael Mavros has stressed.

Speaking at the 72nd Session of the 4th Committee of the UN General Assembly M. Mayros highlighted the fact the UN remains the forum through which a settlement can be achieved and should be at the forefront of efforts to reunite Cyprus, adding that Cyprus strongly believes in the vital role of UN peacekeeping missions around the world.

Regarding the  UNFICYP’s  currently undergoing review, mandated by the Security Council and is expected to be completed in November, he noted that the UNFICYP is the least costly UN peacekeeping operation of the total peacekeeping budget, given that Cyprus and Greece voluntarily cover almost 50 percent of the force’s resources.

He also said that Cyprus, as a host country of a peacekeeping operation since 1964, is particularly grateful to the UN and to all of UNFICYP’s personnel-contributing countries for their decades-long involvement on the island.

“We are certain that the situation on the ground and the prospects for peace would now be much worse had it not been for the UN´s involvement all these years.  The UN remains the forum through which a settlement can be achieved and should be at the forefront of efforts to reunite Cyprus”, Mavros said adding that Cyprus also strongly believes in the vital role of UN peacekeeping missions around the world.

Reducing the cost of peacekeeping should not constitute an end in itself, he noted underling that savings should be just one of the parameters under examination in the process of peacekeeping reform.

“Any review of peacekeeping operations should be guided by the situation on the ground. The objective and mandate should always correspond to the situation on the ground, and, in turn, the means available to an operation must correspond to its objective and mandate”, he concluded.

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