UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted that conflict prevention and mediation was a key element of his activities and gave the example of the Cyprus 5+1 informal meeting that took place in Geneva between April 27 and 29.
His point was that no matter how difficult, it was necessary to persist.
The UNSG spoke on Friday night in New York before the UN General Assembly in a dialogue as the candidate for his current position as chief of the UN. Guterres is the official candidate for the new term that starts January 1, 2022.
Cyprus` permanent representative to the UN Andreas Hadjichrysanthou posted on his twitter account: “At today`s @UN General Assembly Dialogue with @antonioguterres, candidate for the position of @UN SG: he stressed that conflict prevention/mediation is key element of his activities; gives example Cyprus 5+1 informal meeting: no matter how difficult it was necessary to persist.”
Despite the failure of the Geneva talks in finding common ground between the two sides in Cyprus to move negotiations forward, Guterres said at the end of the conference that he would call another 5+1 meeting in the near future.
“The truth is that, in the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common grounds to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem,” Guterres said.
“But I do not give up,” he added, stressing that his agenda is strictly to fight for the security and well-being of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, “that deserve to live in peace and prosperity together.”
“We are determined to do everything we can to make this dialogue move on and to make this dialogue at one moment be able to reach positive results.”
Guterres said there would be consultations before the next meeting as there was before the Geneva meeting with the aim of trying to create as much as possible the conditions to allow for the next one to be successful. It is believed a special envoy will be appointed to carry out these consultations but there was no information if it will be Jane Holl Lute or someone else.
To a question on how he could square the circle in this situation, given the sides’ divergent views he said: “To square the circle is an impossibility in geometry but it is very common in politics,” the UNSG said.