United Nations (UN) maintains a peacekeeping mission in Cyprus called the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). This mission was established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities and to contribute to the return of normal conditions on the island. Since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the subsequent division of the island, the UNFICYP's role has evolved.
The UNFICYP is responsible for monitoring the ceasefire lines and the buffer zone (also known as the Green Line) that separates the Greek Cypriot-controlled southern part of Cyprus from the Turkish Cypriot-controlled northern part. The buffer zone runs through the capital city of Nicosia and across the island, stretching approximately 180 kilometres (112 miles) from east to west.
The UNFICYP's activities in the Green Line include:
Patrolling and monitoring the buffer zone to ensure that the ceasefire is maintained and to prevent any escalation of tensions between the two sides. Liaising with both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot military forces to build trust, reduce misunderstandings, and address any incidents that occur in the buffer zone. They are facilitating humanitarian assistance, such as access to health care, education, and social services for people living in the buffer zone. It is supporting efforts to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance within the buffer zone to improve safety for both residents and peacekeepers. Please note that the situation in Cyprus and the activities of the UNFICYP may have changed since September 2021. For the most up-to-date information on the UNFICYP's work in the Green Line and Cyprus, it is recommended to visit the United Nations website or the UNFICYP website.