Cyprus: The reports of the UN Secretary General on Cyprus released as official Security Council documents

Cyprus: The reports of the UN Secretary General on Cyprus released as official Security Council documents

The report of the UN Secretary General António Guterres on his Good Services in Cyprus, number S/2021/5, as well as his report on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, UNFICYP, number S/2021/4, were released as official Security Council documents.

The UN Security Council held closed-door consultations on the UNFICYP report on Tuesday morning.

The publication of the official content of the reports of the Secretary General of the United Nations in relation to Cyprus – renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP and Good Services in the Cyprus issue – showed that no change occurred in the original text and the omissions and errors for which Nicosia had protested remained about as they were.

The report on the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP removed the reference that existed for the contribution of the Cypriot as well as the Greek government for the peacekeeping force of the United Nations. It should be noted that Turkey does not offer any amount for the peacekeeping force in Cyprus.

The deletion of the United Nations report on Nicosia is not considered accidental and is related to the well-known demands of the Turkish side, which protests in any report on the Republic of Cyprus. This, according to information from “Phileleftheros”, was one of the issues that President Anastasiadεs had raised during his last meeting with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar.

The UN Secretary-General’s report contains another negative reference with which he attempts to give a “state entity” to the status of the Turkish Cypriot community. While in the previous respective reports of the Secretary General of the United Nations, any references to the Greek Cypriots and the Maronites living in the occupied territories were careful. In this report, and more specifically in paragraph 30, the Secretary-General states that “in accordance with its terms of reference, [UNFICYP]’s mission continued to cooperate with the Maronite and Greek Cypriot minorities living in the north…”.

The reference to the existence of “minorities” in the occupied part of Cyprus again raises questions about the expediency that may be hidden behind the writing of this report. According to international practice, the reference to minorities refers to the existence of a state entity and not to an occupied territory.

While from the beginning there was a marked absence of a mention by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the intended form of solution to the Cyprus problem, nevertheless the report on Good Services was released with the gap remaining.

Throughout the report, the only references to a federation are in the attached briefing reports of the two leaders, with President Anastasiades considering it the basis of the solution and Ersin Tatar considering that as an option it has been exhausted in the 10th paragraph where it quotes the statement of its President the Republic, after his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader on November 3rd, under the auspices of Elizabeth Spehar.

The UN Secretary-General, while referring to his efforts to solve the problem, avoids talking about what the ultimate goal will be. Specifically, referring to the effort to hold the informal meeting, the UN Secretary General notes:

“The purpose of this meeting will be to determine whether there is common ground for the parties to negotiate a viable, lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a predictable horizon. I intend to invite the parties and the guarantors to this informal meeting as soon as possible in 2021. As I have said many times, this time must be different, and this informal 5+1 meeting will help to clarify the true extent of the similarity of visions and highlight the necessary steps to move forward”.

Security Council briefing

The briefing of the members of the SA by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, lasted a little over 1.5 hours on both the issues of peacekeeping and the deployment of good services, at the forefront of the efforts of Antonio Guterres and his adviser Jane Holl Lute to convene a 5+1 informal meeting, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

According to the first information from diplomatic sources, support was expressed for the Secretary General’s efforts to return to the negotiation process and the basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem in a bi-zonal bi-zonal federation was widely supported.

It should be noted that it was given by the British to the other permanent members of the SA the draft resolution on the renewal of UNFICYP, which the Council will be invited to adopt on 28 January.

The five permanent members will begin consultations on the content of the resolution on Wednesday. The British draft reiterates the controversial references on the basis of the solution, while welcoming the intention of the Secretary General to convene the informal 5+1 meeting./ibna