May 14, 2021

S/2007/699 – Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus

United Nations


  Security Council Distr.: General

3 December 2007

Original: English



I. Introduction


1.       The present report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus covers developments from 26 May to 15 November 2007 and brings up to date the record of activities carried out by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) pursuant to Security Council resolution 186 (1964) and subsequent Council resolutions, most recently resolution 1758 (2007).

2.       As at 15 November 2007, the strength of the military component stood at 856 all ranks, and the strength of the police component stood at 66 (see annex).


          II.   Mission of good offices and other developments


3.       Since my previous report, my Special Representative has continued efforts aimed at facilitating the implementation of the 8 July agreement (see S/2006/572) through discussions with the two leaders and their representatives. Towards that end, the Coordination Committee, comprising the advisers of the two leaders and my Special Representative, convened six more times over the summer, and my Special Representative held numerous bilateral meetings with each side. The meetings were aimed at agreeing on the modalities for the implementation of the agreement between the leaders, in line with the procedural clarifications outlined in November 2006 also agreed to by the leaders. On 5 July, the Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, requested a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, echoing the latter’s long-standing position that the leaders should meet directly.

4.       On the occasion of the anniversary of the 8 July agreement, I urged the two leaders to show the necessary creativity and political courage to move from talks about procedures to real engagement on substance. I reiterated the same message to Mr. Talat in a telephone call on 13 July and to Mr. Papadopoulos in a letter dated 8 August. The leaders subsequently met on 5 September in the presence of my Special Representative. While the positions of the parties appear to be within the agreed 8 July framework, no agreement was reached on the start of the process.

5.       I met with the leaders in New York — Mr. Papadopoulos on 23 September and Mr. Talat on 16 October. Expressing concern at the lack of progress, I urged both to move the process forward. Mr. Papadopoulos presented to me a number of proposals concerning the 8 July process and confidence-building measures. He also proposed the establishment of a civil society consultative body in support of the negotiations process. Mr. Talat presented a set of proposals (see A/62/499-S/2007/625) on confidence-building measures, including the establishment of a reconciliation commission. Mr. Talat also called for the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots to be lifted and stated that the Ledra Street crossing should be opened without preconditions. In mid-October, Mr. Papadopoulos submitted to me a revised proposal. Since then, the main differences between the parties have centred on questions concerning preparations for negotiations and the need for a time frame.

6.       On 22 September, I met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, Dora Bakoyannis, in New York and expressed my hope that the dialogue between the sides would continue. She reiterated her belief that Mr. Papadopoulos was ready to implement the 8 July agreement.

7.       On 29 September, I met with the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in New York. I expressed my disappointment at the fact that the meeting on 5 September of the leaders had not resulted in any progress. The Prime Minister agreed. He reiterated that it was important for the Security Council to endorse my predecessor’s report of 28 May 2004 (S/2004/437) and for the international community to lift the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. I asked the Prime Minister for his support in facilitating the symbolically important opening of Ledra Street. He agreed on the importance of the matter.

8.       In the light of various proposals made by the two sides, my Special Representative held a series of meetings with the leaders and their aides with a view to addressing the concerns of both sides, and encouraged them to flexibly engage, particularly with regard to confidence-building measures. Both sides proposed further openings across the buffer zone, including Ledra Street; a pull-back of military personnel from sensitive areas, particularly in Nicosia; and the cessation of military exercises near the buffer zone. In contrast to these positive signals, however, mutual recriminations continued to be exchanged throughout the reporting period, undermining trust between the communities.

9.       On 18 September, the European Commission published its annual report for 2006-2007 on the implementation of a €259 million aid package for the Turkish Cypriot community. The aid is aimed at helping to reduce the socio-economic disparities between the two communities and is thus an important component of European Union efforts towards the lifting of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. The Commission’s report concluded that the implementation process faced challenges, most notably with regard to works for upgrading Greek Cypriot property, a low absorption capacity by the Turkish Cypriot administration and the propensity of both communities to block projects for political reasons.


        III.   Operations of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force
in Cyprus


             A.    Prevention of a recurrence of fighting and maintenance of the military status quo


10.     The security situation in the buffer zone remained stable. A total of 365 violations and other incidents were reported during this period. This represents a decrease of 108 violations compared with the last reporting period. The pattern of violations broadly reflects those reported previously, including the completion of unauthorized repairs and minor enhancements to, and overmanning of, military positions along both ceasefire lines; minor air incursions into the buffer zone; photographing of the opposing side’s positions; the completion of ground orientations by incoming troops at observation posts; limited incursions by the ground forces of each side into the buffer zone; and, most significantly, restrictions on United Nations movement at access points to the buffer zone.

11.     Incidents reflecting a lack of discipline on the part of junior soldiers posted in observation posts along both ceasefire lines, as observed in the previous reporting period and noted in my previous report (S/2007/328), remain of concern. These have included incidents in which weapons were cocked and pointed at the opposing side. The majority of incidents have continued to occur where the opposing forces are in close proximity, in the old city of Nicosia. In this context, I welcome the proposals made by both sides for the pull-back of military personnel from sensitive areas, particularly in Nicosia.

12.     UNFICYP maintained a close working relationship with the two opposing forces. As requested by the Security Council in its resolution 1758 (2007) of 15 June 2007, UNFICYP engaged with both sides in discussions on the 1989 aide-memoire with the aim of reaching an early agreement on its wording.

13.     The situation in the area of Ledra Street remains delicate, as throughout the reporting period the Turkish Forces made attempts to exert control over an area of the buffer zone in the vicinity of the proposed new crossing point. In May 2007, the Turkish Forces moved south of their ceasefire line into the buffer zone in the area and cleared a section of Ledra Street. Subsequent Turkish Forces incursions into Ledra Street and the contentious “four-minute walk” area of the old city of Nicosia to the east of Ledra Street were reported by UNFICYP patrols. Tensions between the opposing forces in the area rose further throughout June 2007, during which time a section of the screen erected by the National Guard following the destruction of the wall that formerly blocked Ledra Street was broken. The National Guard alleged that this damage was inflicted by a projectile thrown by a Turkish soldier who had entered the buffer zone; UNFICYP was unable to confirm that claim. Turkish Forces subsequently installed a video surveillance camera on their ceasefire line overlooking Ledra Street. UNFICYP, which is still negotiating on this issue with the Turkish Forces, protested about this action. UNFICYP continues to vigorously engage with both opposing forces to facilitate the opening of a crossing point at Ledra Street.

14.     In the early summer, several areas of the buffer zone were affected by a number of serious fires. While all were effectively extinguished by UNFICYP with the assistance of the fire services of both communities, the proximity of the fires to the ceasefire lines and to mined areas threatened to escalate tensions between the opposing forces. The most serious of the fires occurred in an area north-west of Athienou, close to the Turkish Forces ceasefire line, and engulfed a mined area attributed to the Turkish Forces, causing some of the mines to detonate. Following that incident, UNFICYP and the Turkish Forces reached an agreement on the marking of a “safety zone” around mined areas and on the clearer marking of the perimeters of minefields.

15.     In spite of the call to exercise restraint expressed in my previous report, both sides conducted military exercises. In June 2007, the Turkish Forces completed a naval exercise, code-named “Exercise Seawolf 2007”, in international waters north of Cyprus. The National Guard held “Exercise Demeter”, a logistics support exercise, in July 2007. In October 2007, the National Guard completed “Exercise Nikiforos”, which included the mobilization of a larger number of reservists and was conducted on a larger scale than had been observed previously. Throughout the five-day exercise period, UNFICYP noted increased military road and air traffic on routes south of the buffer zone. In response, the Turkish Forces conducted “Exercise Toros” in November 2007, which was similar to the exercise carried out in 2006. In this context, I welcome the proposals made to me by both leaders for the cessation of military exercises near the buffer zone.

16.     Turkish Forces continue to violate the status quo in Strovilia, where they have consistently overmanned their liaison post and have imposed constraints on UNFICYP movement in the area. Those restrictions have extended to denying UNFICYP access to its liaison post. UNFICYP access to and operations within the walled area of Varosha remain severely limited by the Turkish Forces. The United Nations continues to hold the Government of Turkey responsible for the status quo in Varosha. Tight restrictions applied by the Turkish Cypriot side on United Nations movement in certain parts of the Karpas peninsula continue to hamper humanitarian and monitoring operations in the area. Both sides retain observation posts, referred to in my previous reports (S/2006/931, paras. 14 and 15, and S/2007/328, paras. 13, 18 and 19), in violation of the status quo in the Dherinia area. The checkpoint in the Laroujina pocket, referred to in my report of May 2006 (S/2006/315, para. 13), was enhanced and was occupied on an irregular basis by the Turkish Forces in violation of the standing local agreement. UNFICYP continues to protest about this and to demand the removal of the position.


             B.    Mine clearance


17.     Between January and July 2007, the Mine Action Centre retained a single team in the country and operated at a reduced capacity owing to Mr. Talat’s reservations concerning the European Union funding source for the project. On 13 August 2007, following the resolution of the funding disagreement, limited mine-clearance operations recommenced in mined areas not attributed to either side. Since then, the Centre has cleared a number of minefields of unknown origin, bringing the area of land released to a total of 415,566 square metres for the period under review. Discussions continue on clearance of the remaining minefields of unknown origin.

18.     Negotiations between UNFICYP and the Turkish Forces to renew protocol terms for the clearance of the remaining mined areas in the buffer zone attributed to the Turkish Forces resumed on 22 August 2007. So far, the Turkish Forces have agreed in principle to the clearance of non-contentious mined areas attributed to them and the clearance of further mined areas which lie in the buffer zone close to their ceasefire line. UNFICYP continues to actively engage the Turkish Forces to finalize the protocol agreement. Once that agreement has been reached, the Centre will mobilize three more mine-action teams.


         C.    Restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions


19.     UNFICYP, in cooperation with international partners and local stakeholders, continued to support confidence-building activities aimed at fostering interaction between the two communities across the buffer zone.

20.     During the reporting period, UNFICYP recorded 700,000 persons from both sides crossing through the buffer zone, while goods worth approximately 832,000 Cyprus pounds (approximately $1.7 million) crossed from the northern to the southern part and goods worth approximately £C 178,000 (approximately $356,000) crossed in the opposite direction.

21.     As part of its overall efforts to establish trust among Cypriots, UNFICYP continued discussions aimed at facilitating agreement on the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point. In their respective proposals for confidence-building measures addressed to me, Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Talat attached priority to the opening of that crossing point. The proposals also presented the respective approaches of the two leaders on the opening of Kato Pyrgos-Yesilirmak (Limnitis) in the north-western area of Cyprus. In preparation for the opening of this prospective crossing point, the Greek Cypriot side completed the construction work to the west of the National Guard ceasefire line outside of the buffer zone, while the Turkish Cypriot side conveyed to UNFICYP that it would consider this crossing only after the opening of the Ledra Street crossing.

22.     During the reporting period, UNFICYP facilitated 55 bicommunal events in which 2,680 people from both sides participated. Those events were held at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone, which continues to be seen by both sides as an essential, neutral venue for hosting activities involving the two communities.

23.     Regular monthly meetings between Greek and Turkish Cypriot political party leaders continue to be held at the Ledra Palace Hotel under the auspices of the Embassy of Slovakia. As a result of the agreement reached on a range of bicommunal confidence-building measures, as mentioned in my previous report, party leaders played one football match and made joint visits to the Hala Sultan Tekke in the south and the church of Saint Barnabas in the north. Party leaders from both sides confirmed that such bicommunal activities would continue and that they believed it was a positive step towards bringing the two communities closer together and an expression of their respect for religious and cultural sites in Cyprus. On 14 November, political party leaders issued a joint communiqué calling upon Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Talat to take decisive action towards opening the Ledra Street crossing. To that end, they expressed their wish to visit this area of the buffer zone. UNFICYP has offered its full assistance in facilitating this positive initiative.

24.     During the reporting period, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its “Action for Cooperation and Trust” (ACT) peacebuilding initiative, organized more than 100 bicommunal activities which brought together 7,500 Cypriots from all communities. Currently, UNDP-ACT funds 120 peacebuilding projects, which involve the participation of 135 Cypriot organizations and groups from both communities. In November, one of those projects, the Emergency Disease Forum, was used by Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot experts to organize a bicommunal meeting on the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. At the same time, the UNDP programme “Partnership for the Future”, through which funding is channelled to the Committee on Missing Persons and to demining activities, focused on infrastructure and rehabilitation projects and private-sector development.

25.     Since my previous report, UNFICYP has conducted 62 humanitarian convoys and visits in support of the 384 Greek Cypriots and 142 Maronites living in the northern part of the island. UNFICYP has also continued to assist Turkish Cypriots in the southern part in obtaining identity documents, housing, welfare services, medical care, employment and education. UNFICYP continues to receive with concern reports about the demolition of Greek Cypriot houses in the Karpas, including residences of persons who had indicated their desire to return to the north. In this connection, UNFICYP has repeatedly reminded the Turkish Cypriot side of the need to respect ownership rights, including in cases where properties remain unoccupied.

26.     The Turkish-language primary school in Limassol is still not operational. The formal proceedings of a lawsuit filed by the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Trade Union in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Cyprus to guarantee Turkish Cypriots the right to an education in their mother tongue is ongoing and was last adjourned on 12 October. No date has been set for the trial yet. In the meantime, more than 60 Turkish-speaking children in Limassol attend the existing Greek Cypriot school, which provides Turkish-language instruction.

27.     Management of civilian activities in the buffer zone outside the civil-use areas continues to be one of the main challenges facing UNFICYP. The mission is concerned at the steady increase in requests for civilian activities in the buffer zone outside of designated civil-use areas, particularly at proposals for large-scale commercial projects. If not addressed, that trend and the magnitude of civilian undertakings in the buffer zone, given the presence of the two armed opposing forces, will not only be unsustainable, but also undermine the mandate of UNFICYP to preserve the integrity of the buffer zone, potentially leading to a negative impact on security.

28.     UNFICYP authorizes civilian activities in the buffer zone whenever it determines that such projects would not raise tension between the opposing forces or interfere with the Mission’s operational requirements. During the reporting period, UNFICYP approved 12 such projects, including the construction of a water reservoir for irrigation and the drilling of a public borehole in the area of Peristerona/Cengizkoy. UNFICYP believes that it is in the interest of all concerned parties to adhere to its established procedures for civilian activities in the buffer zone, and continues to call on both sides to provide support in this regard. UNFICYP received a legal opinion from the European Commission affirming that the European Union is obliged to respect the mandate of UNFICYP established by a resolution of the Security Council before the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. The European Commission stated that the authority of UNFICYP in the buffer zone allowed it to prohibit civilian activities in case of security concerns and that the acquis communautaire should not be allowed to challenge the mandate and authority of UNFICYP.

29.     In the mixed village of Pyla in the buffer zone, UNFICYP continued working with the two communities, including on issues related to civilian activities in the buffer zone outside of the designated civil-use area. On 18 August, tensions arose due to an electricity connection by Kibris Turk Elektrik Kurumu from the Electricity Authority of Cyprus network to a network on the Pyla plateau. UNFICYP is continuing to mediate the resolution of this problem between the two sides.

30.     UNFICYP continues to face difficulties in mediating on issues involving religious sites and buildings, despite continued appeals to the two communities to agree on practical modalities to address such matters. Following the meeting between H.E. Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Nova Justina and All Cyprus, and Ahmet Yönlüer, the head of religious affairs in the north, as reported in my previous report (S/2007/328, para. 32), my Special Representative engaged with the two sides to establish lists of sites of religious significance to the other community which are in need of repair and restoration. Regrettably, these efforts have thus far failed to yield concrete results.

31.     During the reporting period, UNFICYP facilitated six religious and commemorative events in the buffer zone and on both sides of the island. On 17 July, more than 1,000 Greek Cypriots prayed in the Ayia Marina Church in the area of Dherynia, and on 27 September 130 Greek Cypriots attended prayer services at the newly renovated Church of Ayios Neophyos, in the village of Troulli. In the northern part, on 22 July, 200 Maronites attended services at the Prophet Elias Monastery. On 1 and 2 September, about 300 Greek Cypriots travelled to Morphou to pray at the Church of Saint Mamas, and on 8 September, for the first time since the 1974 events, approximately 500 Greek Cypriot worshippers gathered for religious services at the Church of Agios Georgios and the Chapel of Panagia ton Pervolion. On 6 October, 50 Greek Cypriots performed a mass at the Apostolos Barnabas Monastery, and on 8 August, 650 Turkish Cypriots travelling through the southern part, visited Kokkina/Erenkoy as part of an annual commemorative event.

32.     UNFICYP continued to liaise with the two sides on criminal matters and issues related to the crossings between the two parts of the island. Twenty-one medical evacuations were facilitated from the north and the remains of two Greek Cypriots returned for burial in their village in the Karpas area, in the north. Prison visits and interviews with inmates and relevant officials continue. There are currently 20 Turkish Cypriots detained in the south and 2 Greek Cypriots detained in the north. However, on the whole, despite the best efforts of UNFICYP, no further progress has been achieved in establishing closer cooperation on law enforcement matters.

33.     UNFICYP has improved cooperation with local authorities to combat activities such as illegal hunting and rubbish-dumping in the buffer zone, which represent a direct challenge to its authority. The mission welcomes the recent legislation prohibiting illegal dumping, as well as the creation of a Cyprus police Hunting Task Force, which now works in close cooperation with UNFICYP police to curb illegal hunting and bird-trapping. I hope that this cooperation will help prevent incidents such as the one that occurred on 14 November, during which hunters fired at a target some 5 metres away from an UNFICYP patrol which was attempting to remove the hunters from the buffer zone.

34.     UNFICYP continued to encourage contact between the two communities on gender-related issues. Discussions were held with the newly appointed Gender Adviser of the Turkish Cypriot leader and with Greek Cypriot individuals dealing with gender issues. My Special Representative continued contacts with the bicommunal, high-level Women’s Policy Group to discuss cooperation between the two communities.


         IV.   Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus


35.     During the reporting period, the Committee pursued its bicommunal project on the exhumation, identification and return of the remains of missing persons. To date, the remains of more than 350 individuals have been exhumed on both sides of the buffer zone by teams composed of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot scientists. The remains of over 250 have undergone examination at the Committee’s bicommunal anthropological laboratory in the United Nations Protected Area in Nicosia. During July and August, following genetic analysis, the first sets of identifications were concluded. As a result, 57 families received the remains of their missing relatives.

36.     The Committee continued to benefit from broad political and public support. I commend both communities for showing the necessary respect in relation to the return of the first sets of remains — a significant and sensitive moment for both communities. I encourage all concerned to build on this momentum towards the final resolution so as to put closure to this painful issue.


   V.   Financial and administrative aspects


37.     The General Assembly, in its resolution 61/280 of 29 June 2007, appropriated for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the period from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 the amount of $46.6 million gross ($44.6 million net). In this regard, I am grateful for the voluntary contribution of one third of the cost of the Force, equivalent to $15.5 million, by the Government of Cyprus, and the voluntary contribution of $6.5 million by the Government of Greece. I invite other countries and organizations to do likewise, with a view to reducing the portion of the cost of UNFICYP covered by assessed contributions.

38.     Should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period of six months, the cost of maintaining the Force would be limited to the amount approved by the General Assembly.

39.     As at 31 August 2007, the total outstanding assessed contributions to the special account for UNFICYP for the period from 16 June 1993 to 15 December 2007 amounted to $22.2 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations as at the same date amounted to $2,479.9 million.

40.     Reimbursement of troop- and contingent-owned equipment costs has been made only for the periods up to 30 September 2006 and 31 July 2006, respectively, owing to the delay in the receipt of assessed contributions.


   VI.   Observations


41.     During the previous reporting period, the situation along the ceasefire lines has remained calm and stable. The opposing forces extended their cooperation to UNFICYP and generally refrained from actions that could disrupt efforts to resume political negotiations. However, safety and stability in the buffer zone continued to be negatively affected by members of the civilian population seeking to exercise their property rights in the buffer zone in disregard of security considerations and of the mission’s mandate. In this connection, UNFICYP will continue to support civilian activities in the buffer zone in full respect of ownership rights. However, such activities will not be allowed at the expense of stability and security, for which the United Nations bears direct responsibility. I call on the members of both communities to respect the mandate of UNFICYP to maintain peace and security in that area. In this context, I welcome the European Commission’s legal opinion which supports this position. I reiterate my belief that the situation would further improve if both sides accepted the 1989 aide-memoire used by the United Nations to regulate activities in the buffer zone for the past 18 years. It is my hope that both sides will accept it without delay.

42.     Over the last six months, there has been no progress on the implementation of the agreement of 8 July 2006, although both parties continue to publicly support the principles contained therein, namely, that a comprehensive settlement will be based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation and political equality.

43.     The broad outline of a solution is well known and will be based on the considerable body of work and basic agreements on established parameters already worked on over the past decades, on which either side may, indeed should, draw in the search for a future settlement. The 8 July agreement and subsequent agreed procedural clarifications are aimed at facilitating direct talks, not blocking them. Given these realities, it is difficult not to conclude that an important obstacle to progress is currently a lack of political will to fully engage. All parties need to show greater flexibility and greater political courage. It is disappointing that the meeting of the leaders held on 5 September did not produce concrete results and was a lost opportunity for all Cypriots.

44.     I welcome, however, the various proposals made by both leaders containing confidence-building measures. Their early implementation would greatly contribute to an improvement in the atmosphere on the island. I would also urge both parties to put an end to mutual recriminations, as agreed between the two leaders on 8 July 2006, so as to ensure that the right atmosphere prevails.

45.     As I mentioned in my previous report, it is my firm belief that the responsibility of finding a solution lies with the Cypriots themselves. The coming year may prove to be crucial in the search for a comprehensive settlement. Only the required political will, translated into concrete actions, will provide an opportunity for progress and possible new initiatives.

46.     An active and flourishing civil society is an important element in the process of overcoming a culture of prejudice and is essential to the political process. All Cypriots should be encouraged to become more active in that regard. The proposals made by the two leaders on the roles that could be played by civil society should also be taken into account.

47.     It is regrettable that the ongoing debate on the lifting of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots has become a debate on recognition. Recognition, or assisting secession, would be contrary to the resolutions of the Security Council. Rather, the objective should be to engender greater economic and social parity between the sides by further promoting the development of the Turkish Cypriot community, so that the reunification of the island may occur in as seamless a manner as possible. The maintenance of economic, social, cultural, sporting or similar ties or contacts does not amount to recognition. On the contrary, it will benefit all Cypriots by building trust, creating a more even playing field and thus greatly contributing to the reunification of the island. It is therefore important for all actors concerned to reframe the debate and their actions with a view to achieving this crucial objective in conformity with Security Council resolutions.

48.     I note with satisfaction that the Turkish Cypriot side overcame concerns regarding European Union funding for a mine-free buffer zone. Notwithstanding that positive development, it is disappointing that discussions on the protocol governing the mine clearance that remains to be done are not proceeding as quickly as envisaged. I would therefore urge that this issue be resolved as soon as possible in order to operationalize the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish commitment to the complete demining of the buffer zone.

49.     I am gratified that the Committee on Missing Persons has maintained its momentum and is advancing towards the resolution of one of the most painful aspects of the Cyprus problem. The success of this bicommunal endeavour will depend on the continued and welcomed respect and restraint shown by both communities, which has allowed efforts in the context of this humanitarian issue to proceed in a depoliticized manner. I hope that the progress achieved can contribute towards a closer understanding between the two communities.

50.     It is important for all involved in the Cyprus issue to work to foster an atmosphere conducive to efforts aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement. In this regard, I am grateful for the support of Security Council members and of others concerned for our collective efforts both in New York and on the island.

51.     In view of the above, and in the absence of a comprehensive settlement, I believe that UNFICYP continues to play a vital role on the island. I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of UNFICYP by a further period of six months, until 15 June 2008.

52.     In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to my Special Representative and Head of Mission, Michael Møller, to the Force Commander, Major General Rafael Barni, and to the men and women serving in UNFICYP for the efficiency and dedication with which they have discharged the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Security Council.


                 Countries providing military and civilian police personnel (as at 15 November 2007)



Country Military personnel
Argentina* 294
Austria 5
Canada 1
Hungary 84
Slovakia** 200
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 272
      Total 856



  United Nations police
Argentina 4
Australia 15
Bosnia 5
Croatia 4
El Salvador 7
India 1
Italy 4
Ireland 18
Netherlands 8
      Total 66


*  The Argentinian contingent includes soldiers from Chile (15), Paraguay (14) and Peru (14).

**  The Slovakian contingent includes soldiers from Croatia (4).