The members of the Security Council agreed on the text of a draft resolution for UNFICYP, which is set for adoption tomorrow

The members of the Security Council agreed on the text of a draft resolution for UNFICYP, which is set for adoption tomorrow

The text is shorter in length and with quite a different structure

By Michalis Michael

The Security Council members agreed on the text of the draft resolution, which they will be invited to adopt on Thursday at an open meeting, where the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus will be renewed for another six months.

Furthermore, it reaffirms all its relevant resolutions regarding Cyprus, in particular Resolution 1251 of 1999 that identifies the features of the federal solution, and in addition to the repeated call to the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish forces to restore to Strovilia the military status quo that existed there before 30 June 2000, this time “it reminds the special regime for Varosha, as defined in the relevant resolutions”.

The text of the resolution is shorter in length and with quite a different structure than the previous one, while the battle from the side of Nicosia was mainly given in paragraphs 5 and 15 of the operative part, wherever there were references, which could be seen as a challenge of resolutions 550 and 186. The final formalities, according to a diplomatic source, do not lead to misinterpretations.

In paragraph 5, concerning the so-called mechanisms,  the Security Council “calls on the parties and the relevant people involved to intensify their efforts, with UNFICYP as a facilitator through its role as an intermediary, in order to establish a direct military contact mechanism and to continue to explore ways to establish mechanisms and strengthen existing initiatives wherever necessary, to effectively alleviate tensions, to increase joint efforts in criminal matters and to help address the issues that affect the whole island and all the Cypriots”.

Whereas in the 15th paragraph of the operative part, the Security Council requests from the Secretary-General to submit, by 15 November 2019, a report on his good services, in particular as regards the progress towards the achievement of a consensual starting point for meaningful, outcome-oriented negotiations that can lead to a settlement. It encourages the leaders of the two communities to provide written briefings to the Secretary-General’s Mission of Good Offices regarding the actions they have taken to support the relevant sections of this resolution in order to achieve a lasting and comprehensive settlement. It further calls on the Secretary-General to include the contents of these updates in the Good Offices report. It also asks the Secretary-General to submit by 10 January 2020 a report on the implementation of this resolution, as well as further information on how best to strengthen UNFICYP’s role in the buffer zone in order to defuse the tensions, and to keep the Security Council informed about events as necessary”.

The Council regrets the lack of progress towards a settlement after the conclusion of the Cyprus Conference in 2017 and urges the parties and all the participants to renew their political will and commitment to a settlement under the auspices of the United Nations, including active engagement, with a sense of urgency, with senior United Nations official Jane Holl Lute, in order to reach an agreement on the terms of reference, so that negotiations can be facilitated in light of the results that can lead to a settlement as quickly as possible.

What is interesting is the 4th paragraph of the preamble, according to which the Security Council is essentially directly involved in disagreements on the issue of political equality. It also urges the parties to “renew their efforts to achieve a lasting, comprehensive and equitable settlement, based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as defined in the relevant Security Council resolutions, including the 4th paragraph of the operative part of resolution 716 (1991), underlining that the status quo is not sustainable.”

This paragraph refers directly to the 11th paragraph of the first annex of the report of the then Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar in March 1990, on the issues of political equality and effective participation./ibna