A review on the operations of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), is expected early in November.
The date of the visit by a UN team led by an external assessor is expected to be announced soon.
Sources say that the review is not linked to the failed Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana in July. “The review is to look at how best to implement UNFICYP’s existing mandate to see if it’s fit for purpose,” the sources said. “All peace operations are reviewed on a regular basis.” Nor is it a review of the UN Secretary-General’s Good Offices Mission.
The last review of UNFICYP took place in 2005.
In July, the Security Council, as part of its resolution renewing the force’s mandate, called for a review of the mission. “A review team led by an external expert – who is not a UN staff member – is expected to visit the island,” it said.
The team could take up to ten days reviewing the force’s military and police operations and must report back to the UN secretary-general, and the Security Council by the end of November, sources said.
There is a debate going on inside the UN on what to do with the peacekeeping mission in Cyprus and there has been some pressure being exerted by the new American administration regarding costs. Also there are some personnel inside the UN contemplating either a total shutdown of UNFICYP or at the least a scaling back, sources have said.