President Anastasiades expressed the hope that the UN Security Council resolution for the renewal of the Unficyp mandate would include the things that were missing from the report of the UN Secretary-General. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, he said he wanted the resolution to mention the settlement basis of the Cyprus problem as well as the actions and initiatives that had to be undertaken “for the creation of those conditions that would allow us to return to a creative dialogue.”
This is a perfect illustration of the unjustified importance successive governments have attached to resolutions for the renewal of the Unficyp mandate, which is a routine biannual matter that has no bearing on anything, apart from maintaining the peacekeeping force in Cyprus. Yet successive governments, given their abject failure to deliver anything in 50 years of peace efforts make a big issue out of the UN resolutions and reports, which experience has shown to be of no practical value whatsoever.
If the president’s hopes are fulfilled and there is mention of actions and initiatives that had to be undertaken for a resumption of talks, would the probability of this happening increase? What kind of actions and initiatives would create the conditions that would allow the two sides to return to talks? Perhaps this would be achieved by the resolution condemning the actions of the Turkish Cypriot side in Varosha, which the UNSG also failed to do in his report, prompting accusations of keeping equal distances from the two sides.
Anastasiades wants the Turkish actions to be condemned by the UN resolution, which would give him something to offer for domestic consumption, but at the same time, supposedly, wants the resolution to create conditions for the return to the dialogue. Does anyone seriously think that the UN condemning Turkish actions would assist the desired return to creative dialogue? The reality is that successive Cyprus governments have always searched for the odd, mildly positive phrase or paragraph in the UN resolutions that could be sold to the public as a diplomatic success.
These perceived successes are worthless, as we know after 50 years of accumulating properly-phrased resolutions, but this does not seem to bother anyone. Every six months our government tries to secure a satisfactory resolution, lobbying members of the Security Council for this purpose. Once it achieves its objective it waits for the next resolution to do the same thing. And this futile activity will keep going on for as long as Unficyp remains in Cyprus.