December 16, 2017

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Mr. Menelaou at the Security Council open debate – 15 February 2016

The Respect to the Principles and Purposes of the Charter of the United Nations as Key Element for the Maintenance of International Peace and Security

Thank you Mr. President.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and wishes to make some remarks in its national capacity.

Mr. President,

We would like to thank the Venezuelan presidency of the Security Council for giving member-states the opportunity to exchange views on the Charter of the United Nations, 71 years after the Organization’s foundation. Cyprus attaches utmost importance to the UN Charter, considering it to be the foundation stone of international law.

Mr. President,

In your concept paper you reminded us of some of the significant achievements of the Organization, most notably with regards to the promotion of human rights, decolonization, and economic and social development. You also stressed, however, that, at times, the UN has failed to live up to the expectations of the world’s peoples. We fully share this assessment, based on my own country’s experience as a case in point; I will thus take this opportunity to shortly reflect on the situation in Cyprus vis-a-vis the UN Charter.

Cyprus joined the United Nations immediately following its independence from British colonial rule in 1960. It has since remained a steadfast supporter of the Organization and the international legal framework it provides, despite having witnessed firsthand, from a victim’s standpoint, several violations of the UN Charter, including Article 1.1 on international peace and security, Article 2.1 regarding the sovereignty of states and Article 2.4 on the non-use of force. There are several Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions validating these violations, including GA Resolutions 3212(XXIX) and 3395(XXX) and Security Council Resolutions 353(1974), 365(1974), 541(1983), and 550(1984).

Notwithstanding the numerous aforementioned Resolutions and repeated efforts to resolve the Cyprus Question over the years, the situation has remained unchanged since 1974, with 37% of the island’s territory still under foreign occupation. Nevertheless, we need to look into the future; in this regard, we remain cautiously optimistic that the current round of negotiations, under the auspices of the Good Offices of the UN Secretary-General, will finally lead to a successful outcome, on the basis of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and in line with the principles of the European Union.

For that successful outcome to materialize, however, all parties involved need to acknowledge and assume their responsibilities, as well as come to realize that unproductive persistence in colonial era remnants has no place in today’s world.

Mr. President,

The UN Charter calls, inter alia, for ‘saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war’, ‘reaffirming fundamental human rights’, ‘justice and respect for international law’, ‘promoting better standards of life’, ‘living together in peace’. These principles should be our guiding light, not only in the case of Cyprus, but everywhere in the world where problems continue to exist.

I thank you.