December 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 November 2006
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EUROPE

Cyprus

Expected Council Action
The mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) expires on 15 December. It is expected to be renewed for six months.

Key Recent Developments
The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, in July brought together Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for the first time since April 2002. On 8 July, they agreed that technical committees would commence work by the end of the month on matters affecting daily life and that they would exchange a list of substantive issues. They agreed to meet occasionally to direct working groups and review the work of technical committees. In August the Council welcomed this and called for prompt full implementation. For more details please consult our 28 August 2006 Update Report.

At press time, neither technical committees nor working groups have commenced.  Both sides disagree on several issues, including which steps should be taken first to reach a comprehensive settlement and the level of involvement of leaders in working groups.

On 15 November, Gambari wrote to leaders recommending a timetable to implement the 8 July agreement, including that they meet within seven days of the start of working groups and meet with a senior representative of the Secretary-General during the first quarter of 2007 to assess progress and the prospect of full resumption of his good offices.  Both responded positively.

Options
The Council is likely to extend UNFICYP’s mandate for another six months.  An option is to press the parties to meet their commitments under the 8 July agreement.

Key Issues
The 8 July agreement is a key issue. The Secretary-General’s UNFICYP report is expected to appear in early December. It is likely to address recent political developments and urge parties to implement the agreement.

Underlying Problems
Stagnating endeavours towards a comprehensive settlement may finally exhaust UNFICYP support. Options for presently downsizing UNFICYP seem limited. Council members are mindful of the political signals of such a move.

Selected UN Documents

 Latest Security Council Resolution
  • S/RES/1687 (15 June 2006) extended the mandate of UNFICYP until 15 December 2006 and urged for the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement.
 Latest Secretary-General’s Report
  • S/2006/315 (23 May 2006) recommended a six-month extension of UNFICYP and urged the parties to resume contact.
 Selected Press Statement
  • SC/8820 (29 August 2006) expressed support for the Secretary-General’s efforts aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, welcomed the agreement reached on 8 July 2006 and called for its full implementation without further delay.

Other Relevant Facts

 Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief of Mission
Michael Møller (Denmark)
 Force Commander
Major General Rafael José Barni (Argentina)
 Size and Composition of Mission
Total authorised strength as of 30 September: 913 total uniformed personnel, including 851 troops and 65 police; supported by 34 international civilian personnel and 109 local civilian staff.
 Cost (approved budget)
1 July 2006 – 30 June 2007: $46.77 million (gross), including voluntary contributions of a one-third share from Cyprus and $6.5 million from Greece

Full forecast