AKEL C.C. Press Office, 29th July 2020, Nicosia
The new UN Security Council resolution, as expected, renews the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months and reiterates the positive provisions included in previous relevant resolutions. Among other things, reference is made to resolutions 550 and 789 on Varosha, the restoration of the status quo in Strovilia is requested and others. Certainly, however, the fact that the resolution does not record Turkey’s machinations on Varosha is a negative development, nor does the resolution explicitly denounceTurkey’s provocative actions in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus apart from the correct conclusion that hydrocarbons will benefit both communities with the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The substance of the resolution, however, is that this time the emphasis is clearly put not on the peacekeeping role of the UNFICYP, but on the Good Offices Mission.
Stressing once again that the status quo is not sustainable, the UN Security Council welcomes the tripartite meeting held in Berlin, recalling that both sides there reaffirmed their commitment to a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality as set out in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Joint Declaration of 11th February 2014, the previous convergences that have been recorded and the Guterres Framework of 30th June 2017.
Furthermore, the commitment of the UN Secretary-General to step up the efforts to reach an agreement on terms of reference as a starting point for gradual, substantive and results-oriented negotiations with a sense of urgency, is welcomed. The UN Security Council calls on the two leaders to improve the public atmosphere by transmitting positive messages about the convergences that have been registered, avoiding actions or rhetoric that render a successful outcome to the procedure more difficult. Indeed it calls on the leaders to make an effort to achieve further convergence on core issues.
Concern is expressed in the resolution with regards the crossing points that uncoordinated decisions and their prolonged closure threaten asetback. It calls for their opening as soon as possible and on both sides not to handle the issue in a way that goes beyond the necessary checksfor the protection of public health.
The resolution concludes by requesting from the UN Secretary General that he submits a Good Offices Report by 10th January 2021 with regards the achievement of consensus on the resumption of substantive settlement-oriented negotiations. In addition, the resolution calls on the two leaders to provide written updates to the Good Offices Mission on the steps they will take for the implementation of this resolution. Indeed, it further asks Mr. Guterres to prepare an additional Report on the implementation of the resolution also by 10th January 2021.
In conclusion, the resolution confirms what AKEL has tirelessly been warning about, that is to say, that time is running out and that with the completion of the voting procedure in the occupied territories, the effort for a solution of the Cyprus problem will reach a climax and everyone must assume their share of responsibilities. The President of the Republic must focus on the powerful messages of the resolution, transmit a positive rhetoric and, above all, be fully prepared for a substantive negotiation on the basis of the Guterres Framework.