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Cyprus calls for enhanced international cooperation and strong provisions on missing persons

ambassador hadjichrysanthou

Cyprus’ permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou has urged the Security Council to take more robust action in ensuring the right of displaced people and enhancing international cooperation on strengthening the mechanisms of investigating and identifying missing person’s cases.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Security Council’s open debate on “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,” Hadjichrysanthou acknowledged the small reduction in the number of civilian casualties but highlighted the alarming number of civilians surviving in dire conditions notwithstanding the obligations of states under international law to protect civilians and infrastructure in an armed conflict.

of states under international law to protect civilians and infrastructure in an armed conflict.

He expressed his concern regarding protracted displacement and acknowledged the growing number of persons displaced by conflict and with that in mind recommended robust action.

“We are convinced that the Council can take more robust action to ensure the right of returns as early as possible the respect for the property rights of those displaced and the prohibition of settling other populations in areas of forced displacement,” he said.

The ambassador also stressed the significance of Resolution 2474/2019.

“The number of persons who are missing as a result of conflict is also exceedingly high. We need better international cooperation frameworks and to strengthen search and identification mechanisms,” he said

“We also need the Council to build on its Resolution 2474/2019 as well as more robust provisions in Council resolutions on situations where the fate and whereabouts of missing persons remain unknown for decades, such as in Cyprus,” he added.

Moreover, he commented on the issue of civilians living under occupation and said that it is a subject largely overlooked by the council.

“Many of these civilians endure daily violations of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including privacy and family life, education, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and property rights. Moreover, the persistent harassment and intimidation of these civilians often result in indirect forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of an area’s indigenous population,” he said.

Lastly, he stressed the need for improvement in the accountability and administration of the international criminal justice system calling the council to refer by default cases to the International Criminal Court and at the same time reject peace agreements that include amnesties for atrocity crimes including sexual violence.

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