UN Secretary-General’s Report on UNFICYP
AKEL on the UN Secretary-General’s Report on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 17th January 2020, Nicosia
The Report of the UN Secretary-General concerns the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus and is therefore of a primarily procedural character. The fact that the UN Secretary General Mr. Guterres concludes the relevant report by calling on the UN Security Council to renew the mandate of its peacekeeping force is without doubt positive.
Despite the fact that this is a Report whose character is primarily procedural, the Secretary General also addresses certain important issues related to his good offices and the peace procedure. Ringing the alarm, Mr. Guterres stresses that the absence of talks since June 2017 does not mean that the situation remains unchanged as tensions are also continuously increasing. The UN Secretary General considers that a viable solution can still be reached, but adds purposely that this time things will be different, given that the talks must be meaningful and geared towards yielding results.
From the Berlin meeting the Secretary General holds on to the two leaders’ commitment to a solution of Bi-zonal, Bi-communal Federation with political equality, as set out in UN Security Council Resolution 716. Furthermore, he recalls that the two leaders agreed that the talks would resume from where they had remained with the 2014 Joint Declaration, the convergences agreed so far and the Framework of 30th June 2017. He once again points out the repeated call issued by himself and the UN Security Council for the two leaders to abandon the negative rhetoric, linking it with the improvement of the public atmosphere and with the preparation of the two communities for a solution. At the same time, he calls on both leaders, as well as the guarantor powers too, to work in a constructive manner in the period ahead.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, unfortunately following the long-standing practice of the international organization, the UN Secretary General limits himself to making a general statement that while natural gas constitutes a powerful incentive for a solution, differences around this issue increase the tension with few chances of reducing it.
The conclusion of the Secretary General that the Green Line Regulation is not being fully implemented is a matter of concern, stating that this enhances the sense of isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. At the same time as Mr. Guterres calls for the full implementation of the Regulation, the recent decisions by the government with regards its code of implementation will likely be interpreted as measures in the opposite direction.
In conclusion, the UN Secretary General warns that the status quo is unchanged and that in the light of the increasing tensions, the solution of the Cyprus problem according to the agreed framework as soon as possible is an urgent need for the well-being of all Cypriots. While precious time has been lost and we are now forced to wait for the voting for the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, in the meantime, the two leaders instead of continuing to resort to damaging rhetoric have a duty to explain the benefits of a mutually acceptable solution to their communities.
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