CMP members brief UNSG on developments in missing persons issues in Cyprus

CMP members brief UNSG on developments in missing persons issues in Cyprus

Members of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot Gülden Plümer Küçük, Greek Cypriot Nestoras Nestoros and Paul-Henri Arni met on Wednesday with the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon whom they briefed on progress made and challenges faced by the CMP.

According to a press release issued by UNFICYP on the Thursday, the Secretary-General reaffirmed his support to the Members and expressed the United Nations` commitment to provide access to all relevant archives for the purpose of helping the CMP find information on possible burial sites of missing persons. He further expressed hope that a pragmatic way would be found to obtain information from all other relevant archives.

On 31 May Ban Ki-moon opened a photo exhibition at United Nations Headquarters that documents the work of the CMP in Cyprus. In his opening remarks, he underlined the importance of the CMP`s humanitarian work for reconciliation and praised the young Greek and Turkish Cypriot scientists who spare no efforts to bring closure to families.

The CMP Members had additional meetings with the United Nations Departments of Political Affairs and Peacekeeping Operations as well as with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.

The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. As a result of the invasion, many Greek Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield. Turkish Cypriots are also listed as missing.

A Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) was established, upon agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning the remains of missing persons to their relatives.