UNMAS Cyprus: “Removing threats, building confidence, and facilitating lasting peace”
In July 2016, UNMAS became an integral component of UNFICYP, providing dedicated expertise in mine action planning and coordination, operational demining capacity (2016-17), quality assurance oversight, and data management of mine action information. The objectives of UNMAS operations are to: reduce the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) to contribute to confidence building measures; facilitate a return to normal living conditions; and to ensure safer freedom of movement for UNFICYP, UN partners, and communities. UNMAS also provides assistance to the Committee on Missing Persons to facilitate safe access to areas it conducts activities and technical guidance to UNFICYP for small arms ammunition storage.
UNMAS activities facilitate the achievement of UNFICYP mandated objectives, as described in UN Security Council Resolution 2430 (July 2018), and support progress towards a mine-free Cyprus:
Confidence building measures
UNMAS assistance is focused on the removal of mines and ERW that create barriers between communities and threaten peace. UNMAS operations contribute to confidence building measures and enable progress towards the implementation of a final settlement agreement. UNMAS also provides technical advice and training to the Committee on Missing Persons. The assistance facilitates safe access to sites where it conducts activities and contributes to its efforts to promote reconciliation between communities.
Return to normal conditions
UNFICYP data indicates that there are 47 suspected hazardous areas in Cyprus that may be contaminated with mines and/or ERW, amounting to approximately 1.7 million square meters of land. Each area requires survey to determine the need for clearance. To prepare for future surveys and clearance, UNMAS conducts planning and coordination; data analysis and management of information on minefields and suspected hazardous areas; and conducts assessments. The activities help ensure that survey and clearance can get underway to release safe land to communities as soon as access is authorised by the sides.
Safer Freedom of Movement
UNMAS is committed to implementing activities to help reach the shared goal of a mine-free Cyprus, where communities are free from the threat of mines and ERW. To achieve this goal, UNMAS conducts advocacy and outreach activities to raise awareness and promote a mine-free Cyprus; provides training in mine/ERW awareness for UNFICYP personnel to help increase force protection and the implementation of UNFICYP activities; supports planning and coordination of UN activities; and implements the establishment or maintenance of minefield marking, as needed.
UNMAS Cyprus is funded by the United Nations peacekeeping assessed budget for UNFICYP for the 2018-19 fiscal year ending 30 June 2019. The resources cover technical capacity for planning and coordination; awareness training for UNFICYP personnel; advocacy activities, and data management of mine action information.
For more information please contact:
Stefan De Coninck, Officer in Charge, UNMAS Cyprus, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Heslop, Chief of Programmes, UNMAS New York, email@example.com
Updated: September 2018