The United Nations has one overarching goal, to support for the day when Cyprus division ends in a mutually agreed comprehensive settlement, said Thursday Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus and UNFICYP Chief of Mission, Lisa M. Buttenheim.

Speaking at a reception on the occasion of the United Nations Day, Buttenheim said that 2014 will mark the 50th anniversary of UNFICYP, which is the longest continuous presence of a UN peacekeeping force.

“One must acknowledge that the mission, and the tens of thousands of troops and police who have served with it since its inception in 1964, has contributed to the maintenance of peace and security on the island.  But truly, we await the day when our presence is no longer needed” she pointed out.

Buttenheim said that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike express disappointment that a solution has yet to be reached after so many years.

“There is a need to reinvigorate the debate with momentum and a genuine sense of hope”, she said, adding that “just as the United Nations works to assist the peoples of the world in resolving common problems, so too are UNFICYP and the Secretary-General’s Good Offices mission dedicated to help Cypriots find a sustainable solution”.

“The United Nations has one overarching goal – support for the day when the island’s division ends in a mutually agreed comprehensive settlement” she stressed.

Buttenheim recalled that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “has repeatedly expressed his belief that a solution to the Cyprus issue is within the grasp of the leaders and their two communities”.

“He expects them and all who are in a position of influence to redouble their efforts, to take that extra stride and show the initiative required to bring this about. He conveyed his readiness to go the extra mile in his respective meetings with Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Eroglu in New York last month, underlining the same message to other  leaders with whom he met during the General Assembly” she continued.

Referring to UN Day, she said that since the United Nations was founded 68 years ago, the world has advanced in ways that would barely have been recognizable to those who drafted the charter in 1945.

“But the principles and purposes remain the same – to bring an end to armed conflict, to promote sustainable economic and social development, with respect for the human rights of all”, she concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied 37% of Cyprus’ territory. Repeated UN-led efforts over the past decades have not led to a negotiated settlement in Cyprus. Talks are expected to resume in the coming weeks

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