University lecturer Nicholas A. Ioannides was on Friday appointed deputy minister of migration and international protection.

A statement from government spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis confirmed the appointment, the first-ever such position in Cyprus.

“The establishment of the deputy ministry is an important milestone for our country in terms of the effective management of immigration,” the spokesman said.

He also said that President Nikos Christodoulides wished to thank Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou and his colleagues, “whose efforts have had significant results in terms of the effective management of iImmigration in our country and expresses the certainty that they will work closely together and support the new deputy minister especially during the first important steps in staffing the deputy ministry,” he added.

Letymbiotis said the targeted policy of the government would continue “with the same seriousness and determination”, with the deputy ministry as the central body in terms of planning, coordination and supervision of the co-competent state services.

Ioannides holds a PhD in Public International Law from the University of Bristol. In the academic period 2017-2018 he was a Nippon Foundation Fellow at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. He graduated from the School of Law of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and received a master’s degree (LLM) in Public International Law from the University of Bristol.

He has taught Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law and European Law in academic institutions in Cyprus and abroad. He was a legal adviser to the ministry of foreign affairs for issues of public international and European law. Ioannides has also represented Cyprus at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and in working groups of the Council of the European Union.

In 2019 he was awarded by the Hellenic Society of International Law and International Relations for the best doctoral thesis in international law for the years 2017-2019. He has published one book (a second is forthcoming) and several academic articles/chapters in international legal publications. He has also been the president of the International and European Law Committee of the Pancyprian Bar Association.

Ioannides is the son of former navy chief Andreas Ioannides, who died in the 2011 Mari blast.

The government announced its plan for the creation of a new deputy ministry for migration last year, as it grappled with an influx of arrivals. It was voted into law in parliament in February, heralded as a “milestone” for the country.