A new six-month mandate for UNFICYP was issued by the UN Security Council on Tuesday, recommending that all sides renew their political will and commitment to a settlement under UN auspices, while it noted that the status quo was unsustainable.
The peacekeeping force will stay on the island until July 31, 2018.
In its statement, the Council also stressed the importance of implementing all remaining as well as new measures in the direction of building trust between the two communities, since a resolution to the problem is ultimately a prerogative of the Cypriots themselves, a belief ascribed to the UN Secretary-General.
Prior to any referenda, there is a need for increased flexibility and compromise from both sides, the Council says, adding that Greece and Turkey should refrain from any provocative actions that might undermine the process by damaging goodwill on either side of the island.
The Security Council also raised the issues of women’s active participation in the peace process as well as the need for the Committee on Missing Person to have access to all areas, which could promote reconciliation.
As it regards negotiations, the Council urges leaders to focus on finding a point of convergence on core issues and intensify work with the technical committees. The Secretary-General’s Good Offices will be at both sides’ disposal in case there is a joint decision for the resumption of negotiations.
As for the force itself, the Security Council welcomed the Secretary-General’s recent strategic review and said it supported the need to improve “the mission’s capacity for liaison and engagement with the sides across all components, including people to people contacts, to keep stability and calm, and thereby contribute effectively to conditions conducive to progress in a settlement process”.
The Council also expects another report from the Secretary-general on progress towards a settlement by June 15, 2018.