CNA News

Lacroix calls on all actors to redouble efforts for a Cyprus solution

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, has called on all actors involved in the Cyprus problem to redouble their efforts for a solution. 

At the same time, he said that UNFICYP peacekeepers, in the absence of a formal ceasefire agreement have successfully de-escalated tension in the buffer zone.

In video message on platform “X” on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force’s presence in Cyprus, Lacroix paid tribute to the contribution of its personnel. 

He said that “over the past 60 years more than 150,000 uniform personnel, from 43 countries, have served the course of peace in Cyprus. Each of these women and men serving under the blue flag, have made an indispensable contribution to maintaining stability on the island”, said Lacroix and expressed his “heartfelt, thanks”  to all of them and to the troop and police contributing countries, whose contingents have served the cause of peace in Cyprus.

“I also pay tribute to the 187 peacekeepers and staff who have lost their lives while serving under the United Nations flag in Cyprus”, he said, adding “this 60-year milestone for UNFICYP is a sobering reminder of just how long the people of Cyprus have been waiting for a resolution.”

Lacroix added that “for almost 50 of those years, in the absence of a formal ceasefire agreement UNFICYP, peacekeepers have successfully de-escalated tension in the buffer zone and prevented conflict” and “every day, they continue to make efforts to foster peace.”

This anniversary, he added, “is also a reminder that all actors should redouble their efforts towards the peaceful and lasting resolution of the Cyprus issue.”

As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently said, Lacroix remarked, “in today’s troubled world, building peace is a conscious, bold, and even radical act. It is humanity’s greatest responsibility. That responsibility belongs to us all individually and collectively. In this difficult and divided moment, let us meet that obligation for today and future generations. Starting here, starting now.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.