Explanation of Vote after the Adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution on UNFICYP (Cyprus)

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
July 25, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you to the United Kingdom for your efforts to reach consensus on this resolution, and also to produce a more concise resolution in line with this Council’s agreement to reduce text in resolutions.

The United States believes this new mandate sends an important message from the Security Council to the sides and relevant parties: that the leaders of the communities must work with a sense of urgency to resume full-fledged negotiations that will fulfill the hopes of the Cypriot people to reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions. We also believe the mandate makes clear that peacekeeping missions must support political solutions and cannot substitute for an active political process.

The United States is disappointed by the lack of progress in the two years since the Conference on Cyprus, but we believe a settlement remains achievable. The leaders of the communities must demonstrate the political courage and will to transform their words of readiness into action, and engage in a UN-facilitated process.

We know that the ultimate settlement will require more than just the agreement of the leaders of the two communities. Direct contact between the sides does not implicate issues of recognition, but should be encouraged as a way to rebuild trust and improve the public atmosphere to prepare the communities for a future settlement. To that end, we also look forward to renewed progress in supporting women’s participation in the settlement effort.

In their 2014 Joint Declaration, the community leaders described the status quo as unacceptable. We agree and believe this holds true today. This resolution is a unanimous expression of the Council’s support for the leaders to take the political risks necessary to engage meaningfully and with a sense of urgency. We hope it spurs political progress that will reunify Cyprus and bring about a sustainable peace for all Cypriots.

We also look forward to the Secretary-General’s next report on UNFICYP, including his recommendations for how to further encourage the sides and all involved parties to respect UNFICYP’s mandated authority in, and delineation of, the buffer zone in an effort to defuse tensions.

Thank you, Mr. President.