December 14, 2017

Statement by Mr. Menelaos Menelaou – UN General Assembly – Strengthening of the UN

70th Session of the United Nations General Assemblly

Agenda Item 122 – Strengthening of the United Nations

UN Headquarters, 12 October 2015

Thank you Mr. President,

Let me at the outset thank you for organizing this meeting.

Cyprus aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and would like to add the following in its national capacity. 

We express our appreciation to the Secretary General for his Report A/70/357 and to the High Level Independent Panel, its President José Ramos-Horta and the rest of its members for their valuable work and the inclusive and transparent way in which they accomplished their task.

Cyprus is host to a United Nations Peace Keeping Mission for more than 50 years. We have therefore first-hand experience of the evolving nature of UN peacekeeping. We are also knowledgeable of the fact that as for every aspect of the work of this Organization, peacekeeping, needs to be harmonized with contemporary challenges in order to effectively respond to present-day needs, whilst upholding its purposes as defined in the UN Charter.

From this angle, we wish to reflect on some aspects that are identified and developed in the report, which in our view should constitute fundamental components of effective peacekeeping.

Firstly we fully share the position contained in the Report that negotiated political settlement should be the fundamental objective of United Nations peace operations and that such political solutions to conflicts, rest ultimately on a country’ s people and leaders. The United Nations role is, as also stated in the report, to assist parties to arrive to sustainable political agreements. Let us underline in this regard that in accomplishing this role, the UN must be neutral but not neutralized and that impartiality should not be misconstrued as a role of equidistance between the Charter and Resolutions on the one hand and illegality on the other. In the same vein, we consider that “sequenced mandates” constitutes an innovative notion that can strengthen the adjustability of peace operations without outweighing their politically driven nature, nor over-emphasizing the methodological considerations.

Secondly, Cyprus fully agrees that human rights, gender equality and the participation of women in peace operations, as well as the humanitarian role of peacekeeping, should be placed at the heart of peace operations and the security agenda. Specifically with regard to the humanitarian aspect, efforts and resources must be redoubled in the area of truth and reconciliation and the discovering and revealing of past wrongdoing.

In conclusion, let me once more express our appreciation to the Secretary General for his efforts and reaffirm our support to the effort for a more coherent, transparent and effective UN peacekeeping.

Thank you Mr. President.