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UN report: further UNFICYP transformation possible
2005-05-06 11:26:18

United Nations, May 6 (CNA) -- The UN General Assembly has appropriated around 44 million US dollars gross for the maintenance of the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for the period July 2003 to end of June 2004, according to a report by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, released Wednesday as an official UN document.

One third of the net appropriation, equivalent to 14,567,500 was funded through voluntary contributions from the Government of Cyprus and the amount of 6.5 million was funded by Greece. Expenditures for the period totalled 45,464,200 gross.

Expenditure for the period totaled 45,464,200 gross.

''Another review of UNFICYP will take place in mid-2005, aimed at proposing a further transformation of UNFICYP, including the possible further downsizing of the Mission, based on the experience gained with the new structure that is being implemented from March 2005, and taking into account new developments from that time'', the report adds.

The recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions entails a reduction of 152,600 dollars in the proposed budget for UNFICYP for the period from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006.

Concerning the military component, it is noted that ''even though a recurrence of fighting on the island is extremely unlikely, the potential for minor, local violence and challenges to the ceasefire regime still exist'' and therefore ''the UNFICYP military component still needs to carry out the whole range of tasks entrusted to it, with a greater emphasis on liaison, observation and mediation as well as demining related activities''.

It is added that given the climate of uncertainty on key political questions and the potential for friction on the island, the Missionís political and civilian role has increased in scope and has again become particularly important.

''Since the referendums, contacts between leaders of both sides have ceased and signs of distrust have reappeared. Numerous confidence-building initiatives have, however, been put forward and are in the process of being implemented, with UNFICYP as the sole political interface between the two sides'', the report notes.

In his report, Annan notes that UNFICYP was established by Security Council resolution 186 of 4 March 1964 and from its inception until June 1993 costs were financed by troop contributing countries, the government of Cyprus and voluntary contributions to UNFICYP.

Since June 1993, costs of the force not covered by voluntary contributions started being treated as expenses of the UN to be borne by member states.

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