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Resolution 2561

The situation in Cyprus. Letter from the President of the Council on the voting outcome (S/2021/96) and voting details (S/2021/99)


29 January 2021
Resolution 2561 (2021)
Adopted by the Security Council on 29 January 2021
The Security Council,
Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 10 January 2021 on his Good
Offices S/2021/5 and on the United Nations operation in Cyprus (S/2021/4), and
expressing its full support for his Good Offices, including the existing body of work,
to remain available to assist the sides,
Underscoring that the responsibility for finding a solution lies first and foremost
with the Cypriots themselves, and reaffirming the primary role of the United Nations
in assisting the parties to bring the Cyprus conflict and division of the island to a
comprehensive and durable settlement with a sense of urgency,
Expressing full support for the Secretary-General’s ongoing efforts, and
welcoming his intention to convene an informal “five plus UN meeting” with the
leaders of the two Cypriot communities and the Guarantor powers at the earliest
opportunity, further welcoming the stated determination of the leaders of the two
communities to respond positively in this regard to find common ground between the
parties to negotiate a sustainable lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a
foreseeable horizon,
Urging the sides to renew their efforts to achieve an enduring, comprehensive
and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality,
as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions, including OP4 of its resolution
716 (1991),
Stressing that the status quo is unsustainable, and that the lack of an agreement
furthers political tensions and deepens the estrangement of both communities, risking
irreversible changes on the ground, and reducing the prospects of a settlement,
Expressing deep concern at the ongoing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean
over hydrocarbons exploration, convinced of the many important benefits, including
economic benefits, for all Cypriots that would flow from a comprehensive and durable
settlement, and reiterating the Secretary-General’s call for serious efforts to avoid
any further escalation and to defuse tensions,
Recalling its Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2020/9), which expresses deep
concern at developments in Varosha, and calls for the reversal of this course of action,
reaffirming the status of Varosha as set out in its previous resolutions, and reiterating
that no actions should be carried out in relation to Varosha that are not in accordance
with those resolutions, and stressing the need to avoid any unilateral actions that could
trigger tensions on the island and undermine the prospects for a peaceful settlement,
Recalling its resolution 1325 (2000) and related resolutions, recognising that
the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of women is essential in
building peace in Cyprus and will contribute to making any future settlement
sustainable, welcoming efforts to bring together a broader range of women actors on
both sides, acknowledging that the gender-sensitive socioeconomic impact
assessment that was launched 17 February 2020 in response to resolution 2453 (2019)
substantiated that delaying a settlement in Cyprus increases both the economic, and
non-economic costs of the prevailing political status quo, looking forward to the full
and swift implementations of its recommendations, encouraging the sides to ensure
the needs and perspectives of women are addressed in a future settlement,
Recalling its resolution 2250 (2015) and related resolutions that recognise the
important and positive contribution of youth in efforts for the maintenance and
promotion of peace and security, and as a key aspect of the sustainability,
inclusiveness and success of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, and further
encourages the full, equal and meaningful participation of youth in this process,
Recognising that effective contact and communication between the sides
enhances the prospects for settlement and is in the interests of all Cypriots, and helps
to address island-wide matters, including health, crime, environmental protection, and
issues related to the adverse impacts of climate change,
Recognising the ongoing impact on the island of Cyprus of the COVID-19
pandemic and the efforts made by both communities to suppress the spread of the
virus and mitigate its effects,
Regretting that the sides have continued to pursue largely uncoordinated
responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and expressing concern that the closure of the
crossing points along the Green line has limited opportunities for bi communal
engagement and trust-building activities, and that the continued and prolonged
closure of some crossing points threatens to set back the progress made in this area
since 2003,
Expressing concern at the continued deterioration of the law and order situation
in Pyla, and urging both sides to continue to work with UNFICYP to establish
effective measures to tackle criminal activities,
Reiterating the importance of confidence-building measures and their timely
implementation, and urging the sides to step up their efforts to promote
intercommunal contacts, reconciliation and the active engagement of civil society, in
particular women and youth,
Noting that the Government of Cyprus is agreed that in view of the prevailing
conditions on the island it is necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force
in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 31 January 2021,
Welcoming measures to date to strengthen the liaison and engagement capacity
of the mission, noting the importance of transition planning in relation to the
settlement, and emphasising the need to review regularly all peacekeeping operations,
including UNFICYP, to ensure efficiency and effectiveness,
Expressing appreciation to Member States that contribute personnel to
UNFICYP, and noting the continued voluntary contributions to the funding of
UNFICYP by the Government of Cyprus and the Government of Greece,
Noting with appreciation the efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special
Representative Elizabeth Spehar, and senior United Nations official Jane Holl Lute,
1. Reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution
1251 (1999) and recalls the importance of achieving an enduring, comprehensive and
just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as
set out in relevant Security Council resolutions, including OP4 of its resolution 716
2. Fully supports the Secretary-General’s decision to convene an informal
“five plus UN” meeting between the leaders of the two Cypriot Communities and the
Guarantor Powers at the earliest opportunity, and urges the sides and all involved
participants to approach these talks in the spirit of openness, flexibility and
compromise and to show the necessary political will and commitment to freely
negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement under United Nations auspices;
3. Reiterates its call for a reduction of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean,
and underlines that disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with
applicable international law, and further calls upon the leaders of the two Cypriot
communities and all involved parties to refrain from any actions and rhetoric that
might damage chances of success;
4. Recalls its resolution 2537 (2020) and calls upon the two leaders urgently to:
(a) provide the necessary political support and overall guidance to free the
Technical Committees from obstructions in their work and enable them to function
effectively, and to empower them to submit proposals for their consideration to
enhance intercommunal contacts and improve the daily lives of all Cypriots, and
consider the advice of the Good Offices Mission of the Secretary-General regarding
further ways to empower the Technical Committees and improve their performance;
(b) engage the Technical Committees more actively to ensure effective
coordination and cooperation on health matters, particularly in response to the
COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases which have island-wide
implications, including through the effective use of the expertise available in the
bicommunal Technical Committees on Health, Crisis Management, Humanitarian
Affairs and Economic Matters;
(c) ensure effective coordination and cooperation on criminal matters;
(d) promote peace education across the island, including by further
empowering the Technical Committee on Education to implement the
recommendations contained in its joint report of 2017, in particular those concerning
policy-making, and to address impediments to peace in school materials, including
text books, as a contribution to trust-building between the communities, on which
there continues to be no progress;
(e) improve the public atmosphere for negotiation to secure a settlement,
including by preparing the communities for a settlement through public messages on
the way ahead, and delivering more constructive and harmonised messages, including
by more explicitly encouraging contact and cooperation between the communities and
providing direct support to grassroots people-to-people initiatives, and by refraining
from actions or rhetoric that detracts from a successful process or could make it more
difficult to achieve;
(f) increase their support to, and ensure a meaningful role for, civil society
engagement in peace efforts, in particular strengthening the participation of women’s
organisations and youth in the process, including by empowering the Technical
Committee on Gender Equality to meet and develop an action plan supporting
women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in peace talks and providing direct
support and encouragement to civil society organisations to enhance inter communal
contact and trust-building, and to support implementation of the recommendations of
the gender sensitive socioeconomic impact assessment to address existing barriers
and ensure a future peace agreement can more equally benefit men and women in
5. Regrets the lack of progress on an effective mechanism for direct military
contacts between the sides and the relevant involved parties, requests the SecretaryGeneral to report further on the reasons behind this lack of progress, and urges full
engagement with the proposal on the establishment of such a mechanism presented
by UNFICYP, and its timely implementation;
6. Calls upon the sides to reduce existing barriers to intercommunal contact,
emphasizes the importance of effective communication for risk-mitigation and trustbuilding between the communities, and urges the sides to agree and implement further
confidence building measures that can contribute to a conducive environment for
settlement, including those related to the military, economic cooperation and trade;
7. Further calls on the leaders of both communities to urgently agree on the
reopening of all the crossing points and the return to the operating status that existed
prior to 29 February 2020 as soon as practically achievable, and to work on
harmonizing the protocols governing the crossing points, and urges effective
coordination to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ensuring any continuing restrictions
on movement across the island to prevent the spread of COVID-19 do not go beyond
what is necessary to protect public health; and noting that the opening of the crossings
since 2003 has been an important confidence-building measure between both
communities and one which is essential for the settlement process;
8. Commends the ongoing work of the Committee on Missing Persons, and
calls upon all parties expeditiously to enhance their cooperation with the Committee’s
work, in particular through providing full access without delay to all areas and
responding in a timely manner to requests for archival information on possible burial
9. Expresses its full support for UNFICYP, and decides to extend its mandate
for a further period ending on 31 July 2021;
10. Expresses serious concern at the continued violations of the military status
quo along the ceasefire lines, urges the sides and all involved parties to respect
UNFICYP’s mandated authority in, and delineation of, the buffer zone, urges the use
of the 2018 United Nations aide-memoire by the sides to ensure peace and security in
the buffer zone, calls on the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council and
troop-contributing countries any actions that impede UNFICYP’s ability to fulfil its
mandate, and calls on both sides to remove all unauthorised constructions and to
prevent unauthorised military or civilian activities within and along the ceasefire
lines, and urges both sides to take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety and
security of UNFICYP personnel;
11. Reiterates its calls on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to
restore in Strovilia the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000,
and reaffirms that UNFICYP’s freedom of movement should be respected;
12. Recalls the status of Varosha as set out in relevant resolutions, including
resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992), and its Presidential Statement
(S/PRST/2020/9), which expresses deep concern at developments in Varosha, and
calls for the reversal of this course of action, and reaffirms that UNFICYP’s freedom
of movement should be respected;
13. Welcomes the announcement that 18 suspected hazardous areas across the
island have now been cleared of mines, and urges the leaders of both communities to
agree and continue a plan of work to achieve a mine-free Cyprus;
14. Requests UNFICYP to take fully into account gender considerations as a
cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate; requests the Secretary-General and troopand police-contributing countries to increase the number of women in UNFICYP and
ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of uniformed and civilian women
at all levels, and in all aspects of its operations including senior leadership positions,
and to implement other relevant provisions of resolution 2538 (2020);
15. Welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the Secretary-General to
standardise a culture of performance in UN peacekeeping, recalls its requests in its
resolutions 2378 (2017) and 2436 (2018) that the Secretary-General ensure that
performance data related to the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations is used to
improve mission operations, including decisions such as those regarding deployment,
remediation, repatriation and incentives, reaffirms its support for the development of
a comprehensive and integrated performance policy framework that identifies clear
standards of performance for evaluating all United Nations civilian and uniformed
personnel working in and supporting peacekeeping operations that facilitates
effective and full implementation of mandates, and includes comprehensive and
objective methodologies based on clear and well-defined benchmarks to ensure
accountability for underperformance and incentives and recognition for outsta nding
performance, calls on the United Nations to apply this framework to UNFICYP as
described in its resolution 2436 (2018), and notes the efforts of the Secretary-General
to develop a comprehensive performance assessment system;
16. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take necessary measures to
ensure full compliance of all UNFICYP personnel, civilian and uniformed, including
mission leadership and mission support personnel, with the United Nations zerotolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council fully
informed about the Mission’s progress in this regard, including by reporting on the
start, agreed deadlines, and outcomes of UNSCR 2272 reviews, stresses the need to
prevent such exploitation and abuse and to improve how these allegations are
addressed in line with its resolution 2272 (2016), and urges troop- and policecontributing countries to continue to take appropriate preventative action, includin g
vetting of all personnel, pre-deployment and in-mission awareness training, and to
take appropriate steps to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving
their personnel, including through timely investigations of allegations by troop - and
police-contributing countries, and UNFICYP as appropriate, holding perpetrators to
account, and repatriating units when there is credible evidence of widespread or
systemic sexual exploitation and abuse by those units;
17. Requests the Secretary-General to submit by 10 July 2021 a report on his
Good Offices, in particular on progress towards reaching a consensus starting-point
for meaningful results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement, encourages the
leaders of the two communities to provide written updates to the Good Offices
Mission of the Secretary-General on the actions they have taken in support of the
relevant parts of this resolution since its adoption, in particular with regard to
paragraphs 5 and 6 and 8, with a view to reaching a sustainable and comprehensive
settlement, and further requests the Secretary-General to include the contents of these
updates in his Good Offices report; further requests the Secretary-General to submit
by 10 July 2021 a report on implementation of this resolution, and to keep the Security
Council updated on events as necessary;
18. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

The situation in Cyprus. Letter from the President of the Council on the voting outcome (S/2021/96) and voting details (S/2021/99)
Related with resolutions
550 716 789 1251 1325 2250 2272 2378 2436 2453 2537 2538
Security Council Composition