December 16, 2017

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Cyprus Ambassador Sotos Zackheos to the 5th Committee on Pattern of Conferences

Madame Chairman,

Cyprus aligned with the statement made by the representative of France on behalf of the European Union. I would like, however, to make some additional remarks.

My delegation attaches great importance to the item under consideration, not least because result-oriented meetings strongly correlate with high-quality conference services. Concise and timely documentation, effective interpretation, good coordination and sound planning are some of the salient factors contributing to successful meetings.

In this connection, we support the genuine and ongoing efforts of the Secretariat to improve on the quality of conference services. We also endorse the specific recommendations outlined in the report of the Committee on Conferences and highlight the increasing application of new technologies which, I must add, we consider as sine qua non for cost-effectiveness.

My delegation commends the efforts of the Department of Public Information (DPI) in using new technology to expand outreach efforts and effectively target audiences. At the same time, the DPI is improving its use of traditional media. We welcome the “explosive growth” of the UN web site. It has been acknowledged that the increasing demand for multilingual web pages requires additional resources. We would like to see further improvements, particularly in the search capability of the system and the availability of official documents. In brief, it is imperative that we strengthen the existing mechanism of DPI to further enhance the UN web site.

My delegation shares the concern of small delegation arising from the scheduling of meeting in related sectors that are close to each other. We express the hope that this situation will be improved in 2001. My delegation also supports further efforts to reduce the length of documents, both for the sake of cost benefits to the organization, better management of time and more effective participation by small delegations.

In my capacity as Chairman of the Fourth Committee in the 54th Session of the General Assembly, I made a special effort to efficiently utilize the allocated conferences resources by starting the meeting on time when there was quorum. I also cancelled meetings, when we knew in advance that there were not enough speakers. Despite my best efforts, however, the Committee did not manage to achieve the 80% coefficient for use of services. The reason was that either the speaker was not in the room on time, or there was not enough Delegations in the room, which would make it embarrassing for the speaker. Moreover, some statements were shorter than expected and the meeting was concluded much sooner than the allocated time. I believe the solution lies with the punctuality of members and inscription in the list of speakers ahead of time for the sake of sound planning. Prior accurate indication of the length of the statements would also be beneficial.

Madame Chairman,

In a previous intervention, we raised an issue of particular concern to my delegation. We bring it up once again, urging the responsible bodies to take corrective action. I refer specifically to the abuse, on the part of the delegation of Turkey, of the circulation process of official UN documents. The Turkish delegation, under cover of its own insignia, systematically circulates letters from the self-declared “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC). This is a tactical maneuver aiming to promote the entity’s statehood. Such a practice is totally unacceptable and creates a dangerous precedent. It is contrary to UN resolutions on Cyprus, notably Security Council resolution 541 (1983) which calls that entity “legally invalid” and SC resolution 550 (1984) which calls upon all states “not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity.” Moreover, it incurs additional costs to the Organization.

My delegation requests that immediate action be taken so that letters submitted by the Turkish mission and bearing the name “TRNC” are not accepted for publication as official UN documents.

Thank you, Madame Chairman.