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Constantinos Adamides and Michalis Kontos

This chapter examines the role of the United Nations (UN) as a third party in protracted conflicts, and more specifically in the case of Cyprus. The focus is on the actual role of the UN in Cyprus, as well as on the Greek Cypriot understanding of what this role should be. Similarly, it examines overall Greek Cypriot perceptions of the impact of the UN actions on the negotiations. The authors hypothesize that there are faulty assumptions in relation to what the UN role is or should be vis-à-vis the negotiations. Specifically, there seems to be a dominant perception that the UN should act as a promoter of international law in a way that would support the established Greek Cypriot positions regarding the nature of the conflict and its resolution. The authors also question the extent to which these assumptions and perceptions influence the effectiveness of the UN in the negotiation process.