In July 2016, UNMAS became an integral component of UNFICYP, providing dedicated expertise in mine action planning and coordination, demining capacity, quality assurance oversight, and data management for 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; to 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 (CMP) to ensure safe access to areas it conducts activities and to UNFICYP for explosive ordnance disposal call out tasks.
UNMAS activities facilitate the achievement of UNFICYP mandated objectives, as described in UN Security Council Resolution 2338 (January 2017), and support progress towards a mine-free Cyprus:
Confidence building measures
UNMAS operations are focused on clearance of five minefields in northern Cyprus that are part of a package of confidence building measures agreed between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders. Removal of the legacy threats helps promote peace and facilitates implementation of a final settlement agreement.
Return to normal conditions
UNFICYP data indicates there are 67 suspected hazardous areas that may be contaminated with mines and/or ERW. Each area requires survey to determine the need for clearance. UNMAS conducted data analysis to prepare for future activities, when access is possible, to begin operations to release safe land to communities. UNMAS is providing assistance to the CMP to remove contamination and ensure safe access to sites it is conducting activities and investigations.
Safer Freedom of Movement
UNMAS is committed to implementing activities to 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 provides support in the following areas: planning and coordination of UN demining activities; operational implementation of mine/ERW clearance; quality assurance of UN-supported activities; and data management of mine action information.
UNMAS Cyprus is funded entirely by the United Nations peacekeeping assessed budget for UNFICYP for the 2016/17 fiscal year ending 30 June 2017. The resources ensure UNMAS is fully funded and can continue to carry out activities without delay or disruption.
For more information please visit: http://www.mineaction.org/programmes/cyprus
Updated: March 2017