Newsroom / CNA
Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has described on Saturday as positive the fact that the United Nations consider the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate imperative.
Invited to comment on Antonio Guterres’ report on UNFICYP, an unofficial copy of which was delivered late Friday to the members of the UN Security Council, Prodromou said that the only thing he can comment on is that “it is positive, just like the Cypriot side considers imperative the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate and maintaining the peacekeeping forces’ role”.
I recommend that the Security Council extends the mandate of UNFICYP for six months until 31 July 2019
The Spokesman further said it is also positive that the SG reconfirms his willingness and readiness to offer his mission of good offices and conveying the message that the two sides should properly prepare for the resumption of the negotiations. And this is the work carried out by Jane Holl Lute, he added.
Guterres underlines that he remains convinced that prior to deploying the full weight of his good offices, the sides should agree on a joint way forward.
“ I therefore urge the leaders and the guarantor powers to continue their constructive engagement with the United Nations Senior Official and to engage with each other, to this end, " he adds.
The UN Secretary also notes that UNFICYP will continue to monitor the evolving situation on the ground, assess its impact against the requirements of the mission mandate and adapt its operations to implement its mandate effectively.
“In light of its continued contribution to peace and stability and the creation of conditions conducive to a political settlement, I recommend that the Security Council extends the mandate of UNFICYP for six months, until 31 July 2019”, he notes.
He furthermore refers to Lute's discussions with the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı, as well as representatives of the guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom and adds that Lute also met with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, as an observer to the Conference on Cyprus, in Brussels during the reporting period.
He also refers to recent perception surveys conducted jointly by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot market research companies, with the involvement of the United Nations and the World Bank, suggesting that, while expectations remain low, a clear majority in both communities continue to desire a settlement of the Cyprus issue.
“ Although their reasons and motivations differ, there is apprehension in both communities about the implications of a prolonged status quo. At the same time, uncertainty about the future of the settlement negotiations appears to hamper political engagement, and risks eroding the support for reunification in the two communities”, he explains.
As he also says, both communities continue to express the desire for a peace process that is more inclusive, transparent and representative of the people and also notes that due to the uncertain future of the peace process, there is widespread and growing anxiety among Turkish Cypriots with regard to the future livelihood of their community.
“The serious economic impact of the devaluation of the Turkish Lira remained the primary preoccupation of the Turkish Cypriot authorities and public during the reporting period. On the Greek Cypriot side, surveys reveal a marginal increase in that community’s interest in the Cyprus issue, closely followed by concerns related to the economy and governance”, it is added.
As the Secretary General notes, the diminishing hope for a settlement and low levels of trust between the two communities highlighted in recent perception surveys should be a matter of concern to all Cypriots, with the leaderships on both sides having the key responsibility to work to overturn these trends.
“It is of concern also to UNFICYP, given its mandate to facilitate a return to normal conditions and its efforts to create conditions conducive to a lasting settlement. In this regard, UNFICYP will further increase its efforts to bring the two communities together, including beyond Nicosia, and remains ready to support cooperation in priority areas, including those identified through the recent surveys”, he adds.