UNSC discusses resolution on renewal of UNFICYP's mandate
United Nations, Dec 14 (CNA) – The UN Security Council expresses its concern over the “differences that have arisen” regarding the construction activity related to the proposed additional crossing point at Ledra Street, in the divided old city of Nicosia, and urges both sides to co-operate with UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to resolve this issue.
In its draft resolution regarding the renewal of the UNFICYP operation, the Security Council expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 15 June 2006.
The debate on the draft resolution begins today in New York at 1500 local time.
The Security Council reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 (1999) of 29 June 1999 and subsequent resolutions and calls on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000.
It urges both sides to avoid any action which could lead to an increase in tension and taking note with concern, in this context, of the conduct, for the first time since 2001, of the ''Nikiforos'' military exercise, of the Cyprus National Guard and, afterwards, the ''Toros'' military exercise of the Turkish occupation forces.
According to the draft resolution, the Security Council regrets that progress towards a political solution ''has been negligible at best'' and urges both sides to work towards the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement.
It also welcomes the Secretary-General's continuous engagement in the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Regarding the humanitarian issue of the missing people, the Security Council reiterates its call to the parties to assess and address the issue with due urgency and seriousness, and welcomes in this regard the resumption of the activities of the Committee on Missing Persons since August 2004, as well as the Secretary-General's intention to appoint a Third Member as of January 2006 and to reinforce his office.
Regarding developments at the Ledra Street, the Security Council “expresses concern that, since the release of the Secretary-General's report, differences have arisen over construction activity related to the proposed additional crossing point at Ledra Street and urges both sides to co-operate with UNFICYP to resolve this issue”.
It welcomes the fact that over nine million crossings by Greek Cypriots to the north and Turkish Cypriots to the south have taken place, and encourages the opening of additional crossing points.
The Security Council welcomes all efforts to promote bicommunal contacts and events, including, inter alia, on the part of the UN, and urges the two sides to promote further bicommunal contacts and to remove any obstacles to such contacts.
It welcomes all demining activity in the buffer zone, including the agreement to begin the clearing of Turkish Forces minefields in Nicosia and surrounding areas within the buffer zone.
In its draft resolution the 15-member body welcomes and encourages 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.
It is noted that the Government of Cyprus is agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it is necessary to keep UNFICYP beyond 15 December 2005.
The Security Council expresses its gratitude to the Government of Cyprus and the Government of Greece for their voluntary contributions to the funding of UNFICYP and urges other countries and organizations contribute as well.
“Taking note of the assessment of the Secretary-General that the security situation on the island continues to be stable and that the situation along the Green Line remains calm, welcoming in this context the further decrease in the overall number of incidents involving the two sides, while noting nonetheless that there were incidents of significant concern, (…) it expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 15 June 2006”, the draft text concludes.