UN top envoy: July agreement can help reunify Cyprus
Nicosia, Oct 24 - The UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Cyprus, Mr. Michael Moller, said on Wednesday that the process provided by a UN-brokered agreement on July 8, 2006 is flexible and viable enough to accommodate the concerns and needs of the two communities in Cyprus, while enabling the reunification of the island.
He appealed to all Cypriots to look to the future and think constructively and imaginatively about the shape of things to come, adding that the time was more than ripe for a settlement and that the UN and the international community were steadfast in their determination to help Cyprus move forward.
Speaking during a reception in Nicosia to mark the 62nd birthday of the UN, Mr. Moller said the UN Secretary General has urged the leaders of both communities on the island to show “the political will and strength to move this vital process of reconciliation ahead.''
''It is our firm conviction that the July 8 process is flexible and viable enough to accommodate the respective concerns and needs while enabling the long awaited, long elusive goal of reuniting this beautiful island. I appeal to all Cypriots to look to the future and think constructively and imaginatively about the shape of things to come. An active and involved civil society is crucial to how that future is shaped,'' Mr. Moller added.
Furthermore, he stated that ''understanding and peace is best achieved by those who already know each other, it is seldom sustainable if imposed by outsiders.''
''It is for the people of Cyprus to find a Cypriot solution to what is a Cypriot problem. The time is more than ripe for that to happen. We, the United Nations and the international community, are steadfast in our determination to help Cyprus more forward. Let us do so together, expeditiously and with determination,'' he added.
The top UN envoy in Cyprus also referred to the message of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for UN Day, in which he pointed out, inter alia, that more people and governments understand that multilateralism is the only path in an interdependent and globalizing world, and that going it alone is not a viable option.
''The UNFICYP inter-communal survey conducted earlier this year showed some disillusionment about prospects for an early Cyprus settlement, underscoring the vital need to promote and encourage dialogue, debate and discussion between and among the island’s communities on all the issues pertinent to the island’s future,'' Mr. Moller said.
He added that the survey showed that ''a large majority in each community is willing to accept a federal settlement but it also showed that misperceptions and misgivings exist within each community about the other’s real intentions and/or preferences,'' noting that ''any attempt to reach an agreed federal settlement has to overcome this lack of trust and skepticism about prospects for a settlement.''
President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on 8 July 2006, during a meeting in Nicosia in the presence of UN official Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.