As the Deputy Prime Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we deem it necessary to share that the United Nations Secretary-General’s (UNSG) latest report, which reviews the activities of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and seeks the mandate renewal of the mission for six months, features concerning notions both in substance and procedure.
Unfortunately, the report, in general terms, upholds the Greek Cypriot side’s desire for the continuation of the status quo and the UN’s unwillingness to forego its presence in the island, which seem to go hand in hand. This approach further reinforces the already entrenched position of the UN Peacekeeping Force as a symbol of status quo in Cyprus.
We would like to point out, at the outset, that we have serious objections to many aspects of the report and that we will share these objections, in detail, with the UN officials, especially the UN Secretary-General, through our Ministry and our Representative Office in New York.
Throughout the report, there is an attempt to create a false impression that it is the UN Peacekeeping Force that is providing peace and stability on the island. This attempt, which caters for the artificial agendas of the Greek Cypriot side, is for the sole purpose of ensuring the continued presence of the mission on the island.
The unbalanced approach prevalent in the report tolerates the problematic and concerning actions of the Greek Cypriot side and, thus, is not acceptable. Though the constructive and decisive steps taken by the Turkish Cypriot side are welcomed, the report, assigns equal importance to steps which are not on par with each other. The report seems to be inclined to welcome even the most basic steps, which should have already been taken by the Greek Cypriot side.
On the other hand, instead of exposing the Greek Cypriot side’s various breaches of the status quo and border violations, the report makes an effort to put the responsibility on the Turkish Cypriot side in disputed cases. This approach is unacceptable and is complimenting the Greek Cypriot side’s efforts of according responsibility to the Turkish Cypriot side.
Bearing in mind the Greek Cypriot Government Spokesman Prodromou’s latest statement, influence of the Greek Cypriot side is evident in the report, confirming the fact that the presence of UNFICYP is an important element for the Greek Cypriot side to continue their baseless discourse. This approach solidifies the UN Peacekeeping Force as the symbol of the status quo in Cyprus.
The report, as in recent years, has, once again, referred to the inhuman and archaic isolation on the Turkish Cypriot side, which affects the lives of the Turkish Cypriot people in all spheres of life, including culture, education and sports, as a mere “concern” of the Turkish Cypriot side. Hence the UN is leaving the issue of removal of inhuman isolation on the Turkish Cypriot people
at the mercy of the Greek Cypriot administration, which has done all in its power and mobilized all its means as to ensure that the Turkish Cypriot side remains isolated from the international community. In summary, the UN, with this report, has put on record that it condones the continuation of the status quo.