United Nations.- by Apostolos Zoupaniotis
The Cyprus talks must resume within the established framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and the leaders’ joint statements of 23 May and 1 July 2008, UN Secretary General Ban Ki – moon stresses in his report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus.
The report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus, which was submitted Thursday to the UN Security Council, covers developments from 25 November 2009 to 30 April 2010, and brings up to date the record of activities carried out by his mission regarding the fully fledged negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders.
“Considerable progress was made in the United Nations-sponsored peace talks in Cyprus during the reporting period. The peace talks, in particular the intensive rounds of early 2010, have generated increasing international focus on reaching a lasting solution in Cyprus. There is now a unique opportunity to make a decisive push forward on the talks”, Ban notes.
Recalling that on 18 April 2010, Dervis Eroglu replaced Mehmet Ali Talat as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, he points out that Talat made an important contribution to advancing a solution between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, and adds “I look forward to Mr. Eroglu continuing on that constructive path”.
In the report he says that his Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer will continue to work with both sides to ensure that the talks continue in a productive and expeditious way.
“The talks must resume within the established framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and the leaders’ joint statements of 23 May and 1 July 2008”, UNSG stresses.
The talks, he adds, must build on the convergences achieved since the fully fledged negotiations began on 3 September 2008.
“This significant body of work should provide the basis for breaking new ground in the negotiations and bridging remaining divergences. The broad outline and established parameters of a solution are well known and will facilitate the task of reaching a comprehensive settlement”, he continues.
According to the UNSG “a solution is well within reach. As the leaders themselves said in their 1 February 2010 statement, however, time is not on the side of a settlement. On 21 December 2009, the two sides expressed their strong hope that they would conclude the negotiations by the end of 2010, and I share this objective”.
Ban Ki – moon points out that in pursuit of this objective, he will be monitoring closely over the coming months the progress made in the negotiations and will submit a further report to the Security Council in November assessing the state of the process.
The UNSG notes that the international community expects the peace process to succeed.
“Following the change of leadership in the Turkish Cypriot community, the international community has encouraged the continuation of the negotiations in a positive spirit and the pursuit of a settlement based on United Nations parameters set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions”, he goes on to add.
He also welcomes the “constructive involvement of all regional actors in supporting the Cypriots to find a solution”.
“Greece and Turkey continue to demonstrate their commitment and both their leaders have expressed a strong desire for a negotiated and lasting comprehensive settlement”, he adds.
“In conclusion, I wish to thank my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, my Special Representative, Taye Brook Zerihoun, and the men and women serving in my good offices mission in Cyprus for the dedication and commitment with which they have discharged the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Security Council”, he concludes.
The report on UNFICYP’s mandate will be submitted to the UNSC next week.
Meanwhile, the UNSG has chosen Director of Asian and Pacific Affairs at the UN Lisa Buttenheim to replace Tayee Brook Zerihoun who served as his Special Representative in Cyprus. Buttenheim’s appointment is subject to the approval of the two sides in Cyprus. The government of Cyprus gave its consent on Friday.