Cypriot’s Voice met on the web on 17 February 2021 and having reviewed the current situation of the Cyprus issues, concluded the following:
- The recent UN Security Council Resolution reaffirms in a clear way the mandate given to the Secretary General to continue efforts for a Cyprus settlement based on Bizonal Bicommunal Federation with political equality in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. The UN Secretary General report tabulates all attempts towards achieving the goal and highlights the turbulence caused both by the hesitations and the political tactics of the parties concerned. In this respect the two documents urge the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot Authorities to undertake steps to restore the dynamics of cooperation between the two communities. Such recommended measures among others are (a) Re-opening of the crossing points by applying rules of hygiene which must be set by the experts of both sides via the relevant technical committee, (b) Cooperation in the COVIC19 fighting programme through fair apportioning of vaccine received through EU channels, (c) Cooperation in the economic field, (d) Implementation of various confidence building measures including military cooperation.
The clear message stemming from both documents is that the international community overwhelmingly supports a lasting negotiated settlement in Cyprus which must be based upon the principles of a Bizonal Bicommunal Federation as described in the framework which was set up by the UN Secretary General at Crans Montana. Cypriots’ Voice calls upon the Cypriot Leaders to read the message carefully and show the appropriate seriousness in their argumentation by participating in the forthcoming conference in a positive attitude for settlement.
- The forthcoming international conference which the UN Secretary General is working upon is a clear message that the UN is taking decisive initiative that will defeat the tactics which are associated with the local actors. The Guarantor powers and the EU have stated their support to a settlement in line with the UN stated mandate but also covering their strategy for wider equilibrium of their interests in Eastern Mediterranean policies. The Cypriot Leaders must bear in mind that this time the conference is convened with a view to achieving results and must be ready to promote Bizonal Bicommunal Federation for a Cyprus settlement. It must be highlighted in the minds of all involved that BBF is ideal for all Cypriots as it offers to Greek Cypriots access to all the territory of Cyprus and legitimates the access for Turkish Cypriots to the whole world via the normalisation of EU member status of a Federal Cyprus.
- Political equality of all constituent communities is a fundamental human right that should be inherent in a federal state.
UN Security Council Resolutions 716 defined in 1990 the type of political equality expected in a Cyprus settlement under the UN GN services: “… While political equality does not mean equal numerical participation in all federal government branches and administration, it should be reflected inter alia in various ways in the requirement that the federal constitution of the State of Cyprus be approved or amended with the concurrence of both communities in the effective participation of both communities in all organs and decisions of the federal Government, in safeguards to ensure that the federal Government will not be empowered to adopt any measures against the interests of one community and in the equality and identical powers and functions of the two federated States.”
The historical trend in Cyprus is characterised by competition between the leaders where the Turkish Cypriot community demanded equality status and the Greek Cypriots insisted on domination rights of the numerically superior community offering minority status to the Turkish Cypriots. The long-lasting separation of Cypriot communities developed economic, social, and political interests resulting in emergence of elitist groups benefited by the division and thus posing obstacles to prevent a federal settlement. This anachronistic situation must be overcome through consistent struggle of citizens who share contemporary values of democracy and fair citizenship. Implementation of human rights can constitute powerful instrumentation for achieving a lasting Cyprus settlement that could serve the interest of the people against the resisting plutocratic groups. Cypriots’ Voice supports a citizens’ movement that will unite forces towards the prevalence of political equality, freedom, and effective participation in a governance of the Cyprus Federation.
- The Government of the Republic of Cyprus being a member of EU has the privilege to activate resources and funds availed through European development programmes for strengthening the European identity and consciousness of its citizens. In this respect the Government may establish projects for the benefit of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots covering common areas such as health (a common hospital), environment (common solar plants), education (bilingual schools), culture (common participation in international events). The Republic of Cyprus can furthermore take advantage of these opportunities and promote, instead of blocking them, proposals which benefit development in the north. This way the Government will apply measures that would promote confidence among Cypriots building upon the outcome of such programmes thus helping the Turkish Cypriot Community become independent from Turkey both by the accumulation of economic benefits and by enjoying the status of European citizens.
- Cypriots’ Voice express deep concern because of the excessive violence exercised by the police of the Republic of Cyprus over peaceful protesters marching against corruption and against violation of human rights, such as freedom of movement, expression, and assembly. These tactics are also exercised in the north against similar protest. Such approaches characterise undemocratic societies and are violating the principles and values of European Union. We strongly condemn this kind of behaviour and call upon the authorities to immediately terminate this practice and treat their citizens with respect to their legal and human rights.
- Cypriots’ Voice strongly supports emerging initiatives for the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly which would consist of groups of activists and personalities from all Cypriot communities working for reunification of Cyprus. The Assembly could contribute to the promotion of strategies and practices for building-up Cypriot federal culture and participate in the political process for the emergence and prevalence of Bizonal Bicommunal Federation sealing Cypriot citizenship and coexistence in the European Union and the world.
The spirit of Cypriot citizenship promoted for all Cypriots is a key element that can lead to a permanent evolution of peace, reconciliation, and prosperity of Cypriots in their common homeland.
Communiqué No 39 – Cypriots’ Voice – 22/02/2021