Newsroom / CNA
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita is in Cyprus to review the UN peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) and the ongoing progress in the implementation of the Security Council-mandated strategic review of the Mission.
UNFICYP spokesperson Aleem Siddique told CNA that Keita was received by Head of Mission Elizabeth Spehar and UNFICYP’s Force Commander, Major General Mohammad Humayun Kabir.
During her three-day visit she will meet UNFICYP peacekeepers as well as stakeholders on both sides of the island, representatives of the diplomatic community and civil society, Siddique said.
“we are proceeding to certain adjustments which will enable the mission to be even more effective”
The review will see a slight reduction in UNFICYP staff and cuts in operating expenses, which will lead to the reduction of the force`s overall overheads.
The UN is convinced that UNFICYP will be fully equipped and resourced to implement its mandate and will be in a better position to do it, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said during a visit in March.
“we are proceeding to certain adjustments which will, I think, enable the mission to be even more effective in its prevention role.”
When asked if there is a scenario of downsizing the UN in Cyprus, Lacroix said: “All peacekeeping operations need to evolve. We need to make sure that they are as best equipped as possible in their resources, in their mandate, in their finance to fully comply with their mandate. So we did that strategic review with UNFICYP and we are currently implementing it."
UNFICYP is one of the world's longest-running UN Peacekeeping missions.
It was established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island and bring about a return to normal conditions.
Its role expanded to patrolling the ceasefire line after the 1974 Turkish invasion.