The Reports of the United Nations Secretary-General dated 3 January on the United Nations operation in Cyprus (S/2023/3) and on his Mission of Good Offices (S/2023/6) has recently been published.

The Report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus refers to the Status of Forces Agreement draft as the “draft framework document” which was submitted during the reporting period by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the United Nations, with a view to determining a legal context for the operations of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force within the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Our Ministry will continue to spare all efforts to reach an understanding where the existence of our State is acknowledged and our legitimate demands are satisfied. The outcome of these efforts and the respective decision to be taken by our State will be shared with public.

The Secretary-General has put an effort to reflect all the developments on the island and within the buffer zone during the reporting period. However, yet again he refrained from explicitly referring to the inhumane isolation and embargoes imposed upon the Turkish Cypriot People as he did in his previous Reports.

Not being able to openly report the outdated restrictions inflicted upon the Turkish Cypriot People, as one of the co-owners of the island, implies that the United Nations has lost touch with the realities on the ground on the island. Pointing “intra-island trade” as a remedy for the  restrictions imposed upon the Turkish Cypriot people is tantamount to serving the Greek Cypriot policies, which aim at preventing the Turkish Cypriot people from engaging into direct trade with the rest of the world.

We have taken note of the fact that the Report has reflected the reaction of the TRNC vis-à-vis the military agreements the Greek Cypriot side reached with the United States of America, also reporting the Greek Cypriot sides’ still not removing the inappropriate wording adopted in the text books. References made to the “government of Cyprus” that has evolved in to a pure Greek Cypriot administration and lost its legitimacy and to the fact that one third of the budget of the UNFICYP is being covered by this administration, not only contradicts with the principle of impartiality but also indicates that the United Nations has itself become a part of the problem on the island. Moreover, the wording used in the Report, which poses the risk of implying that one side on the island is “state” and the other side is a “community” is unacceptable.

It is clear that the equal status that is allegedly being attributed to the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiation table is merely a perception game. So long as the status of the both sides is not put to an equal footing on the basis of international law and the inherent rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, such as sovereign equality and equal international status are not acknowledged, it will not be possible to reach an agreement between the two sides.

It is high time for the Secretary-General to finally take note of the fact that there exist no common ground between the two sides and propose to the Security Council to revisit its resolutions that are not in line with the realities on the ground.