Cyprus became independent in 1960 with a constitution that was intended to balance the interests of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom entered into a treaty to guarantee the basic provisions of the constitution and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus.
A series of constitutional crises resulted, however, in the outbreak of intercommunal violence in December 1963. After all attempts to restore peace failed, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 186 (1964), which recommended the establishment of UNFICYP.
As given in resolution 186 (1964), UNFICYP’s mandate is to use its best efforts to:
- prevent a recurrence of fighting;
- contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order;
- contribute to a return to normal conditions.
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 buffer zone between the lines of the Cyprus National Guard and of the 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.