Peace & Stability Journal Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 18

“After the hostilities of 1974, the Security Council adopted a number of resolutions expanding UNFICYP’s mandate. The changes included supervising the de facto ceasefire that came into effect on 16 August 1974, and maintaining a buf- fer zone between the lines of Cyprus National Guard and of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces…. Following reports every June and December of the Secretary-General to the Security Council about the status of the Cyprus conflict and UNFICYP, the Council has consistently renewed the mandate.” 13 Over the years, the Security Council has further expanded UN- FICYP’s mandate several times, giving the mission the authority to govern the use of farmlands and other properties inside the buffer zone, maintain checkpoints, and host both formal peace talks and localized peacebuilding meetings in UN-controlled facilities. Although incidents of violence in and along the buffer zone have been rare in recent years, even this relatively calm peace operation has not been without incident: “since 1964, almost 180 U.N. personnel have lost their lives while serving in UNFICYP.” 14 While some observers have criticized the U.N. for political bias toward the Greek Cypriot-led Republic of Cyprus 15 – a U.N. member state – and for failing to bring the Cyprus conflict to 16 a decisive end, 16 UNFICYP has managed to achieve its gradu- ally expanding mandate, decade after decade, despite declining personnel and financial resources. 17 In addition to enforcing a decades-long ceasefire, the peacekeeping force governs a 180km- long buffer zone, 18 contributes to the normalization of trade relations and economic growth, and facilitates the delivery of humanitarian assistance to minority communities on both sides of the island’s political and ethnic divide. Most importa