By Staff Reporter
A CYPRUS settlement can be achieved with the good will to overcome the challenges, and with the support of the international community, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said last night.
In his report on the ten political missions of the United Nations, including Cyprus, Ban said the objective of a Cyprus solution “is expected to be achieved, provided that the political will of the leaders and of their respective communities overcome current political and economic challenges and that there is continuing support from the international community.”
In his planning assumptions for 2016, the UN chief said “the Office of the Special Adviser does not foresee any major changes in its priorities, activities and operational requirements in 2016”.
The UN chief noted that the proposed sum for Cyprus in the 2016 budget would be $2,564,600, which was less than last year, despite the fact that the number of the good offices mission members remained unchanged.
The chapter on Cyprus contains a summary of the talks from 2008 to date, with an estimated 38 meetings between the leaders of the two communities for this year.
He added that “it is expected that the work of the technical committees may intensify, given the current positive overall climate in the negotiations”.
Ban said that during the period from January to May 2015, 126 meetings of technical committees and their subordinate bodies were held. In May 2015, three new confidence-building measures were formulated and approved by the leaders. “It is expected that the technical committees will continue to implement further confidence-building measures during the remainder of 2015,” he said.
Ban said his Good Offices Mission would also continue to engage in regular shuttle diplomacy meetings with the two sides separately in order to facilitate the discussions on specific issues; engage with a variety of interlocutors, including representatives of political parties, civil society and women’s groups, in support of the process; and engage with regional and international stakeholders in support of the process.
While Office staff and facilitators assumed overall responsibility for each chapter of the negotiations, consultants provide specialised technical expertise when needed to contribute to resolving areas of disagreement and devise ideas for implementation strategies, he said.
“Should significant progress be achieved in the negotiations in 2016, the United Nations will be called upon to host a multilateral conference to address the final outstanding issues”, and that “the Office of the Special Adviser will engage, as and when required, in support of a broader assessment of the United Nations presence in Cyprus”.
According to data included in the report, the leaders of the two communities held 26 meetings in 2014. The estimate for 2015 is 38 and the target for 2016 is 54.
The number of meetings between the representatives/ negotiators of the leaders to identify areas of convergence was 87 in 2014. The estimate for 2015 is 100 and the target for 2016 is 146.
Furthermore, the number of meetings of the working groups and technical committees to discuss specific areas of expertise and identify areas of convergence was 247 in 2014. The estimate for 2015 is 250 and the target for 2016 is 250.
The number of papers indicating movement towards convergence between the parties within the full-fledged negotiation process was 100 in 2014. The estimate for 2015 is 150 and the target for 2016 is also 150.
Advice to the sides and policy options papers on issues related to all the chapters of the negotiations were 150, briefings and bilateral meetings with the international community were 100, and the facilitation of meetings held by the working groups as well as meetings of the technical committees on procedural, legal, technical and substantive issues related to all the chapters of the negotiations reached 229.
There were 80 meetings with leaders of political parties and other influential individuals and groups, media, academics and civil society from the two communities, and participation in events contributing to an enabling environment for the negotiation process.