Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus for Six Months, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2618 (2022)
The Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for six months — until on 31 July — expressing serious concern about several issues, including the continued violations of the military status quo along the ceasefire lines.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2618 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2618(2022)), the Council called on the leaders of the two Cypriot communities and all involved parties to refrain from any actions and rhetoric that might damage the settlement process and that could raise tensions on the island. It also expressed concern over tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, and underlined that disputes should be resolved peacefully, in accordance with applicable international law.
The Council expressed serious concern at the reported encroachment by both sides into the buffer zone separating Greek and Turkish communities in the northern and southern regions of the Mediterranean island since 1974 and the increase in unauthorized construction. It called on the sides to reduce existing barriers to intercommunal contact and welcomed the continuation of the regular dialogue between them and the United Nations.
By other terms, the Council expressed deep regret over the lack of progress on an effective mechanism for direct military contacts between the sides and the relevant involved parties. It urged flexibility and engagement by the sides and the relevant involved parties, facilitated by UNFICYP, to develop an acceptable proposal on the establishment of such a tool, and its timely implementation.
Reiterating that no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha, an abandoned quarter of the seaside town of Famagusta, that are not in line with its resolutions, the Council continued to stress the need to avoid any unilateral actions that could undermine the prospects for a peaceful settlement.
It recalled the status of Varosha — set out in relevant resolutions, including resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992), and its presidential statement (document S/PRST/2021/13), which condemned the 20 July 2021 announcement by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders on the further reopening of the fenced-off area, expressed deep regret regarding unilateral actions that run contrary to its previous related resolutions and statements and called for the immediate reversal of this course of action and of all steps taken on the matter since October 2020.
The Council urged the leaders of both communities to agree and continue a plan of work to achieve a mine-free Cyprus, and to overcome existing barriers in order to make expeditious progress towards clearing the 29 remaining suspected hazardous areas on the island.
It also requested the Secretary-General to submit by 5 July a report on his good offices, in particular on progress towards reaching a consensus starting point for meaningful, results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement.
The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 10:09 a.m.