Today, the UN Security Council unanimously extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

In 1960, the Republic of Cyprus became independent. Following the outbreak of violence between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities on the island, the UN Security Council dispatched UNFICYP in 1964. UNFICYP has thus been contributing to stabilisation on the ground for decades. A setback followed in 1974, when Turkey invaded the northern part of the island and began occupying it. Although a ceasefire was concluded, the country remains divided to this day, without a formal agreement. UNFICYP maintains a buffer zone between the troops of both camps. This is to create the conditions for a political solution.  The UN has also maintained political dialogue – for example on the Bürgenstock (2004), on Mont Pèlerin (2016) and in Crans-Montana (2017). Despite these efforts, a decisive breakthrough has so far failed to materialise.

As a host for negotiations, Switzerland has thus been closely following the conflict in Cyprus for some time. It also provides financial support to institutions on the ground, such as the Committee for Missing Persons. As a member of the Security Council, Switzerland has now participated in the negotiations to extend the UNFICYP mandate. In the UN Security Council, Switzerland advocates a lasting, comprehensive solution that is fair to both sides. According to UN Security Council resolutions, this solution should be founded on the principle of a federation consisting of two community-based zones. In particular, Switzerland supports the appointment of a UN envoy to closely accompany the process towards a just and lasting solution to the conflict. In addition, Switzerland continues to offer to host reunification talks.