November 23, 2017

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Mr. Menelaos Menelaou at the 68th Session of the GA, March 27,2014

Preventing of armed conflict: Strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution: draft resolution (A/68/L.39) [item 33(b)]

Mr. President,

Cyprus aligns itself with the statement of the European Union, as well as the European Council Conclusions. We will vote in favor of the draft resolution before us. Developments in Ukraine are a source of major concern. 

Cyprus, as a country that suffers foreign occupation, stresses the importance of adhering to the fundamental principles of respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, which must apply uniformly and for all. 

We believe that a political solution, based on full respect of the principles of and obligations under international law, is possible and must be pursued by all parties involved. We encourage a restrained and consensual approach and reiterate the importance of defusing the situation through diplomatic means. 

In this regard, we welcome the mediation efforts of the Secretary-General and his personal visit to Kiev, as well as the deployment to Ukraine of the Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Eliasson and of Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Simonovic. We also welcome the deployment of the OSCE mission, as well as the continued cooperation of the United Nations with other regional actors, such as the Council of Europe. 

Cyprus enjoys close relations with both Ukraine and Russia. We encourage the Ukrainian authorities to reach out to all regions and population groups and to ensure full protection of the rights of people belonging to different ethnicities. The new government should be representative of all Ukrainian citizens and their aspirations. We also encourage the Ukrainian authorities to investigate all acts of violence. 

At the same time, we encourage Russia to commit to a diplomatic solution and contribute to the de-escalation of tensions. 

Thank you Mr. President.