No Agreement on Contentious Issues - UN
Although progress in Cyprus reunification talks has been made, much more remains to be done and there is no agreement on the most contentious issues, said UN Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim speaking at the UN's Summer Medal Parade.
It is an important time in the history of the UN presence on the island, said Buttenheim.
"Nearly three years ago, the Cyprus leaders began a significant journey in search of a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island. While the road has been fraught with uncertainty and hard choices, the leaders have shown good will and the sides have achieved convergences on a number of key issues," she said.
The leaders are close to an agreement on some aspects of internal security, according to the latest comments from President Demetris Christofias. But it is on other issues (like property, territory and governance) where the two sides face their toughest choices, said Buttenheim. Overcoming these challenges will require courage, commitment and readiness for compromise and in two weeks, the leaders will meet again with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva.
"The Secretary-General has stressed with both leaders the need to accelerate their progress in order to achieve a mutually acceptable and lasting settlement on Cyprus as soon as possible. He expects the leaders to take advantage of this meeting, and the period leading up to it, to work jointly and concretely toward reaching that objective," she said.
A comprehensive settlement "will help unleash the enormous potential and capacity of this beautiful island and make it a stronger and more prosperous home for all its citizens. There is indeed good reason to strive for the larger good, to look beyond the past, to the common and promising future that awaits all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike," adds Buttenheim.
Meanwhile, in other UN-related news, the UNDP Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF)announced that a 180,000-euro restoration project in the village of Tremetousia/Erdemli has been completed. The UNDP-PFF is a project funded by the EU which aims to create new public spaces for community gatherings.
A playground for children was relocated in a new space far from traffic, and public furniture such as shading elements, benches and bins were provided as an incentive for outdoor activities and social gatherings. Traditional music and dances will mark the completion of the project on Thursday June 23rd from 7 to 9pm in the village main square.
There is more information about PFF on their website.