December 14, 2017

Statement by Mr. Michael Mavros, First Secretary, 4th Committee, Item 56

Item 56 – Comprehensive Review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects (A/70/95) and (A/70/357)

United Nations, November 5, 2015 

Thank you Mr. Chair,

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

We welcome the ongoing reviews of peace operations, peacebuilding architecture and the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and we underline, in this respect, the need for coherence, synergies and complementarities among the three processes.

We express, in particular, our appreciation to the High Level Independent Panel for its balanced and comprehensive report and the inclusive and transparent way in which they accomplished their task. We also welcome the Secretary General’s implementation report which takes forward the recommendations of the High-level independent Panel and highlights key issues – such as the need for coherence, renewed focus on prevention and the pursuit of political settlements, tailored and appropriate responses, linking development and security efforts, the promotion of accountability, human rights and gender equality to name just a few.

Cyprus has continuously benefitted, since the 1960s, from two separate dimensions of UN involvement with the aim of achieving peace and the reunification of the island. The first is the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus, created in 1964 by the Security Council under Resolution 186, and deployed in the Republic of Cyprus that same year. The second dimension is the good offices mission of the Secretary General, entrusted to him by the Security Council, which he has always conducted with the two communities in Cyprus.

From Cyprus’ long standing experience with peace-keeping operations, I would like to underline the importance of objectivity and impartiality as key principles to ensure the United Nations’ credibility and ability to help a country address effectively the situation on the ground. And as neither the UN, nor its principal organs, operate in a vacuum, their decisions and actions should be in line with the Charter, the UN resolutions, the case law of the International Court of Justice, and international law, especially the body of international law whose depository and guarantor is the UN Secretary General. This is why, while always being impartial and objective, the UN can never be neutral as neutrality may imply the dismissal of all the above norms.

Cyprus also fully agrees that human rights, gender equality, as well as the humanitarian role of peacekeeping and in particular the protection of civilians, should be placed at the heart of peace operations. Specifically with regard to the humanitarian aspect, efforts and resources must be redoubled in promoting reconciliation and respect for human rights.

I would like to stress in this respect that building on Women, Peace and Security agenda experience and recommendations, Cyprus has, among other actions, set up, in the framework of the ongoing negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem, a technical committee on gender equality. The bi-communal committee is working towards making women’s voices heard and promoting gender equality in all stages of the peace-making process.

In conclusion, I would like to express Cyprus’s gratitude to the United Nations for their unwavering commitment and long-term efforts towards preventing the recurrence of fighting and finding a peaceful and lasting settlement. I would also like to reaffirm Cyprus’ commitment to work with all member states in order to ensure that the review is geared towards increased effectiveness with optimal use of the organisation’s resources, while taking into account the particularities of each mission.

Thank you Mr. Chair.