Cyprus and the Roadmap for Peace
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Cyprus and the Roadmap for Peace

A Critical Interrogation of the Conflict

Edited by Michális S. Michael and Yücel Vural

While 2017 offered much ground for optimism in resolving the longstanding ‘Cyprus problem’, a closer inspection of the differences experienced reveals the complex difficulties that surround the conflict. The impasse introduced a short-lived confidence that concealed the contradictory combustion of a ‘frozen’/dormant conflict. Despite intense high-level negotiations, a way forward has proved elusive, while local constituency expectations are challenging their leaders for control over both process and outcome. This dilemma lies at the heart of this edited volume.
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Chapter 8: Re-engaging the United Nations in Cyprus

Ahmet Sözen


The United Nations (UN) has two distinct but complementary mandates in Cyprus. Firstly, the mandate of the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (head of the UNFICYP mission), since 1964, when the first peace-keeping forces were stationed in Cyprus, has been to provide ‘international peace and security, to use its best efforts to prevent a recurrence of fighting and, as necessary, to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions’ (Security Council Resolution 186 (1964)). Secondly, the Office of the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General (head of the Good Office) has the mandate to support the inter-communal peace negotiations between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Despite its limited mandate – that is, mostly facilitating the inter-communal negotiations without really ‘mediating’ them, except briefly in the run up to the 2004 referenda on the so-called Annan Plan – the Good Offices has always focused on supporting a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus conflict. During the history of inter-communal negotiations, which started in 1968, there has been one exception – a brief period in 1993 and 1994 when the UN proposed 15 confidence building measures in order to bridge the big gap in trust between the two Cypriot communities. This is one area that the UN could have done much better given its capacity. As for the UNFICYP, it has a lot of potential to play a significant role during the post-solution era in the united federal Cyprus. In this chapter, the author proposes concrete policy recommendations on how the capacity of the UN could be better utilized, first to reach a comprehensive solution, and second to transform the UNFICYP to allow it to play its post-solution peace-building role.

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