Colin Stewart has arrived in Cyprus to formally take up his duties as the new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp), the force announced on Monday.
Stewart, who succeeds Elizabeth Spehar, will also be the Deputy Special Adviser to the Secretary-General (DSASG) in Cyprus.
Speaking upon his arrival, he said he was “honoured” to be in Cyprus, paying tribute to Spehar “for her stalwart leadership of Unficyp and the Good Offices mission.
“I am keenly aware of the importance of Unficyp’s mandate for the lives of all Cypriots and I look forward to working with all of you and our partners in Cyprus,” he said.
“I look forward to continuing the work of the United Nations in Cyprus and hope to forge strong working relationships with all stakeholders and learn from them so that, together, we can hopefully bring a lasting peace to the island”.
Stewart will meet President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar as well as other senior officials, civil society representatives, and diplomats across the island over the coming weeks.
Local media reported that the UN had expressed interest in hosting a reception at Ledra Palace but that both leaders must agree and there are concerns over the epidemiological situation.
A tentative schedule of the event taking place on December 14 (19:00) with a total of 30-40 guests presents is the current outline.
The guestlist would include members from both negotiating teams along with officials from the five permanent states.
It was further reported that Stewart is due to meet with members of the committee on missing persons (CMP) and UN peacekeepers in due course.