The Security Council is scheduled to convene on July 29 on the extension of the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Germany holds the chair of the UN Security Council in July and according to the schedule announced by the country’s Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, troop contributing countries will be briefed on July 16 via videoconference.
On July 20, Elizabeth Spehar, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Cyprus, will brief Security Council members, also via videoconference.
The German Presidency of the Security Council announced that it intends to gradually hold physical meetings, by observing all social distancing measures. Therefore, holding a face-to-face meeting for the extension of the mandate of UNFICYP, with reduced presence of diplomats, should not be ruled out.
The Secretary-General’s report on UNFICYP is expected to be handed over to the members of the Security Council by July 10. The updates the Security Council asked from the Cyprus leaders, concerning Antonio Guterres’ good offices, have been already submitted to the Secretary-General.
The United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), comprising military and civilian personnel from various contributing countries, arrived in Cyprus in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. The mandate of the force is renewed every six months by the Security Council. The latest renewal was in January this year.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.