The President of Cyprus addressed the United Nations Assembly, questioning if we have the determination to prioritize peace.
Mr. Christodoulides reiterated his disapproval of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and encouraged member countries to fulfill the obligations outlined in the United Nations Charter.
Mr. Christodoulides stated that the atrocities of World War II, which originated in Europe and affected the entire world, served as a unifying force for nations. Assembled together today, we must fulfill the duties outlined in the UN Charter.
“We must honor the legacy of those who came before us and uphold our responsibility to achieve the ultimate goal of peace, which inspired the establishment of this resilient Organization. Cyprus strongly denounces any violation of global peace and security resulting from military intervention by any nation, targeting the autonomy, sovereignty, and territorial unity of another nation.”
Mr. Christodoulides reiterated Cyprus’ support for the immediate cessation of hostilities between the two states. He emphasized that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a violation of international law, and pushed for standing on what he called the “right side of history.”
The international community must rally behind this initiative, not just because of its historical significance, but also to prevent a potential war that could destroy this institution.
A shared struggle
Drawing a correlation between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Türkiye’s occupation of Northern Cyprus, Mr. Christodoulides discussed the struggles faced by Cyprus’ civilian population and called for a removal of the border divide.
“From the start of the attack on Ukraine, the citizens of Cyprus have shown their support for the Ukrainian people through actions, not just words. This is especially significant as one-third of the Cypriot population is still displaced due to foreign aggression against their own country. We stand in solidarity because we remember and believe it is the ethical choice to make.”
The individuals affected by the invasion, occupation, and division of Cyprus are the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. They are currently enduring a lack of basic freedoms and human rights. Despite Europe having experienced some of the worst atrocities in history, the division of Cyprus continues to contribute to its ongoing fragmentation.
Mr. Christodoulides expressed regret over the UN Charter’s lack of effectiveness in addressing regional conflict and highlighted Cyprus’ determination to achieve reunification.
‘Good neighbourly relations’
Mr. Christodoulides contacted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, urging for talks to achieve peace in the disputed area of Northern Cyprus.
“I would like to seize this chance to personally communicate with President Erdogan. This is an opportunity for us to actively implement the principles of the UN Charter, promoting peace and unity among nations. No one benefits from conflict and division, but through open dialogue and positive relationships with our neighbors, we and future generations can reap the rewards,” stated Mr. Christodoulides.
“Dear Mr. Erdogan, I propose that we collaborate with a shared goal of achieving peace. Together, we can create a promising future for our nations by engaging in open communication and upholding international laws.”
During the discussion, Mr. Christodoulides highlighted the susceptibility of the Eastern Mediterranean region to severe weather events and the effects of climate change on the island nation.
“The destructive wildfires and floods of this summer serve as a solemn warning that our inaction comes with great risk. We have sadly witnessed nature’s fury, from the storms in our neighboring countries to the tragic loss of thousands of lives in places like Libya,” stated Mr. Christodoulides.
The summit happening today is a crucial step in demonstrating our shared determination to achieve a shift towards a global economy that is able to withstand the effects of climate change.
The complete statement can be found here.