United Nations Organisation (UNO)
The Republic of Cyprus is a full member of the United Nations Organisation since its independence in 1960. It participates in UN peace-keeping missions, by assigning two members of the National Guard as representatives to the UN Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS), as staff officers, liaison officers and observers. It participates in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), with two officers who are serving in the UNIFIL headquarters in Naqurah. The Republic of Cyprus offered and continues to offer facilities to the countries participating in UNIFIL, as well as to the naval actions of the mission.
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
The Republic of Cyprus is a founding member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) since its establishment in 1975, and is represented with a permanent representation at the headquarters of the Organisation in Vienna.
Being a supporter of the OSCE Basic Principles and Values and of the Helsinki Final Act, Cyprus strictly fulfils its obligations in the framework of the 2011 Vienna Document.
Furthermore, Cyprus pays particular attention to the role of the OSCE in the international security environment, participating in all initiatives intended to strengthen the OSCE and making good use of its capabilities for the stability and security of its member states.
European Union (EU)
On the basis of the Decision of the European Council in Helsinki in December 1999, the Republic of Cyprus declared since November 2000, its contribution to the European Union Military capabilities, comprising a 174-men General Transport Company, search and rescue means, sea and air surveillance, infrastructure on the territory of Cyprus such as at ports, airports, hospitals, military installations and exercise ranges. These forces are included in the EU Capabilities Catalogue.
The Republic of Cyprus also contributes to the EU Battle Groups. It participates, together with Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, in the HELBROC Battle Group, with Greece being the “framework nation”. Cyprus’ contribution consists of a Medical Section, a Military Police Section and Staff Officers. HELBROC Battle Group is stand-by for a six-month period, according to the contribution of the “framework nation” and the EU planning.
The Republic of Cyprus participates in the EU Military Committee (EUMC), consisting of the Chiefs of Defence of the member states. Cyprus’ Permanent Representation in Brussels comprises a military representation headed by a Senior Officer, who is the Military Representative (MILREP) of the Chief of the National Guard in the Military Committee, aided by the Assistant Military Representative, as well as the Military Counsel. One Officer is also appointed as a liaison to the European Defence Agency (EDA), in order to monitor all issues concerning the Agency, which Cyprus joined on its establishment in 2005. Finally, one Officer is detached to the EU Military Staff (EUMS), and another one to the European Security and Defence School (ESDC). The position to the EU Military Staff has been permanently allocated to Cyprus and the Officer is replaced by the end of a three-year term.
At the same time, Cyprus participates with all other EU member states in various working groups dealing with issues related with European Military Capabilities and Planning.
Since Cyprus’ accession to the EU, officers of the National Guard have been participating in all operations undertaken exclusively by the EU.
European Defence Agency (EDA)
Cyprus is a member of the European Defence Agency since its establishment in July 2004. The Agency constitutes one of the Services of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU (CSFP), based in Brussels. All EU member states, excluding Denmark, participate in the Agency. Its mission is to support the Council and the member states in their effort to improve their defence capabilities. Its objectives are the promotion and reinforcement of European collaboration in the sector of equipment, the reinforcement of the European industry in the area of defence with the creation of a competitive European market of defensive equipment, as well as the promotion of research and technology on issues of defence material.
Treaty on Open Skies
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 by 25 OSCE member states, excluding Cyprus, and came into force on 1 January 2002.
The aim of the Treaty is to establish a program of air surveillance flights, which will facilitate the verification of the implementation of the existing arms control agreements as well as the crisis prevention and management, in the framework of OSCE. This regime has also environment protection capabilities.
On 30 May 2002, Cyprus applied for accession to the Treaty, which was rejected, however, as a result of Turkey’s veto, despite the consent of all other member states. Cyprus’ application remains on the agenda, as its rejection was not unanimous. Consultations will continue until a decision is taken in due course.
The National Guard has been participating since 2005 in the CHENS (Chiefs of European Navies), while in 2007 it joined FINABEL Organisation, which is a forum for Chiefs of Land Forces of European countries.
The National Guard, in the framework of its international activities, has developed multi-faceted bilateral cooperation in various military issues with member states of the EU and other countries. In the framework of this cooperation, visits and other activities take place between the Armed Forces of the countries with which there are agreements.
Ministry of Defence:
National Guard Website: www.army.gov.cy