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Transcript of remarks to the press by Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, Tuesday, 7 April 2015

 

EBE-08-04-2015

 

Transcript of remarks to the press by Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, Tuesday, 7 April 2015
  
Good afternoon.
Many of you will remember that on the 17th of September last year, the two leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community gathered here and declared to move into the next phase of talks - structured, substantial talks.
In the weeks proceeding just after that event, we had thorough and serious, and very constructive meetings on how this substantial phase of the talks should be organized. But you will also remember that a little bit less than a month later on the 7th of October 2014, the meeting that was planned then was cancelled. Read More
SASG Eide “Empowering women, empowering humanity”

 

EBE-Women_DAY

 

Transcript of remarks by the Special Adviser on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Wednesday, 11 March 2015
  
For the particular issue of this day and link to the women’s and gender issue that I’m, I’m proud from, for being a Norwegian for some reasons, that, one of them, I think the main reason is that we are a country that took gender issues seriously early, which is not to say that we solved all of them, and everyone and Kristin said, who is a fellow Norwegian, now that we are struggling there is a long way to go, is not that we found all the solutions. But there is one statistic that I want to you to remember. Because in Cyprus, I am often asked, as a Norwegian, about the oil and gas experience, which is a fair question, and we have something to share I think, although every country should find its own solution, but economically, empowerment of women has been more important than finding oil.
What is the statistic: it means that women working in Norway, the economic benefit of women working in Norway, compared to the OECD average.
The value of that is higher than the value of all the oil and gas we have exploited and will exploit.
So, even if it’s nice to have natural resources is how you structure your society that really matters. And this will go on, because oil and gas comes and goes, and that women will be around and hopefully men will be around too, otherwise both, neither, will be true. But but, you really to understand the society of transformation that I have been part of, I am exactly as old as UNFICYP.
I was born a few days before UNFICYP, now I think I am quite young as a human being, UNFICYP is an old mission, which is why we are looking for ways to think beyond it now. But that also means that when I grew up in the 1970s in a family and with a mother who really took this issue seriously, very inspired by the 1975 movement, which I believe was the first women, year of the women. I was eleven and was become, gradually becoming a teenager, and I was always told that these issues matter and it’s a matter for women and men together. So I will stop talking about this as a women’s issue, it’s a women and men issue, which is why many of all political debates lately, is not about how we give women the possibility to do the same thing as men do, but how do we change both? For instance, paternity leave, right? So why do we care about paternity leave? The first battle was to get maternity leave for obvious reasons, make it possible for women to have jobs and babies, and go back to the jobs and have more babies and go back to the jobs and er, but, but, then we realize that if you, if you do too much of that without addressing the male side it becomes, in a sense, a disadvantage for working women because people who are about to employ a 25 year old woman, will say “Well, she is probably going to have two or three children, that will mean at, at least three years of absence from work, out, go for the man”. So it become problem. Well, if you move that, and say, here’s a person, 25 years, he is probably going to have three children, he will also be away, so you kind neutralize the effect and by the way I think you get better men when people who are in leadership position has spent some of the time at home with their children and get a richer experience. So it’s not only, it’s really time to think beyond the same, let’s reorganize society so that women can be common like men, where have already been, we need both to be different and think about the societopoliticaleconomic dimensions of real gender equality, so that is my first message. The second, and it’s only two, don’t worry, I’m the one standing between you and food anyway, and I know how unpleasant that can be. Is that, this is a particularly important moment that we will meet. Because I know a lot of you either from your civil society engagement or your role in the media, you are people who shape, who are shaping the future of Cyprus, by definition of course, but particularly now, because I honestly believe that we are not only about to restart the process that I am supposed to help the Cypriots with, but that we will restart it in earnest and that the crisis that we’ve had over the last half year, which of course, was unfortunate, may, when history is written, be seen as the necessary crisis before a real return to serious negotiations. That can happen. It doesn’t happen automatically, it doesn’t happen by itself, it happens if there is will. I felt yesterday that there is will on the top level on both sides to do so, we will test how deep that will goes, but I think that people in Cyprus, both sides, need to encourage their leaders, actually, hold leaders to their promise. And help them, help them, encourage, but also hold them to the promise of trying to solve this.
I will say, I will share with you, as I have been sharing and will be sharing with leaders as we go back to the table that the problem in Cyprus is not the other side. I think this is a misconception. It is not if you are Greek Cypriot, your biggest problem of life is the existence of Turkish Cypriots or Turkey if you are Turkish Cypriot, is not the existence of Greek Cypriots or their positions. It is a problem that you share. And the problem is that this country, honestly speaking, is not progressing as it should have. It doesn’t have the economic opportunity that it should have. Too many people are unemployed, too many young people leave. Too few companies come to Cyprus to invest despite of the duty and the perfect location, because they don’t know exactly what is going to happen here. So there is a daily economic opportunity cost. Thanks to the political process that is stuck and if you keep trying to solve that by looking backwards, you won’t make it. The vast majority of people in Cyprus are far younger than the political leaders. Honestly speaking, they are far younger than me, even younger than Kristin and Lisa, believe it or not. The vast majority is the youth and that will be increasingly true, every year that is more true than the last year, right? The purpose of solving this is for them, for the future generation to have a normal country, perfectly located in Europe close to the Middle East in a very interesting, important region with serious challenges, but also a lot of opportunities, but what you really want to do is to focus the sides on how this can be solved. If we create that atmosphere, all the technical problems are solvable. They are not easy and I respect the difficulties. For instance, there are serious deep difficulties around property issues, which affect real people in a real way and some people will be happy and all the people will not be happy whatever we do. I am not saying that is not important, there are serious issues on state level on exactly how to organize governance for instance. There are many of those issues, but I have studied it with my team and with predecessors and with people engaged in this, have not found a single issue that can’t be solved. I know a lot of other conflicts, I have been to most places where people kill each other in the world, in previous jobs and sometimes you wonder how on earth are they going to solve this. Really, can’t see it. I do not have the feeling here. I think all of us know roughly how you can solve it. It just to get the think in the right order and get the will and that is why my strong wish for you is that of course you do exactly what you think is the right thing, but remember that is the future of Cyprus is also in your hands and don’t leave it only to people who happened to be elected. We need to respect democracy and respect leaders and give them space, but they exist in a society and that society has to empower itself.
So, with those few words it is great to see you all, to see representatives of the media and I want to use this opportunity again that I try to be as available as I possibly can. If I had not said yes to your request yet, it is not like a will, I will and I enjoy engaging with you, I will do it on record, off record whatever way you like and I also very much like to reach out with the civil society and of course in this contexts, not at least with the people who try to bring the gender aspects into their conflict, because one of the last frontiers of gender equality is peace process. There are so many peace processes, even in countries which are normally reasonably ok; they are still run by a man. Good news here is that while leaders and negotiators are still men, there are women, serious women central placed on both teams. But it is not only an issue of representation in numbers, it is also about what we talk about.
I think and I discussed with the gender advisory team in great dinner we had some time ago, the conflict seems to be construed in a male way. Male way is not wrong; it is just half of the reality. I gain you lose, or it is some kind in a way you think about how you organize the conflict which will benefit not by giving it all to the women, but by making sure that women and men’s perspectives are equally represented in defining what the problem is and also what the solution is and that’s I think where it come all together. Working well together, I think we can start a very interesting phase of the Cyprob. Thank you for the attention. 
Transcript of Special Adviser interview with media, following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, 17 March 2015

 

EBE-EROGLU-TRANS
 

Transcript of Special Adviser interview with media, following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, 17 March  2015

 

 

We are now all seeing, you know I also saw Mr Anastasiades today. I think we have a shared sense that we are about to come out of the hydrocarbons’ crisis as we knew it and the circumstance will soon be such that we will be able to declare the resumption of talks. I am not doing that right now because there are still some things that have to happen but I think that we are seeing that this spring will be much more promising than last autumn. With weather and spring I think we can take some optimism and say that maybe we will not only be back on track, but actually be able to accelerate talks and have faster process than what we originally planned.
I want to reiterate this thing has to be agreed and declared, but my sense is that there is a will on both sides to make sure that this is possible within relatively short time. I am talking about a number of weeks, not months.    
 
Q: You are [inaudible] and proceed as it has to be, but the most important thing is how the [inaudible] will overcome the hydrocarbons’ crisis. What do you bring with you here?    
A: Well, as you know the current NAVTEX expires on the 6th of April and NAVTEX of course was from the Turkish Cypriot side, a response to other activities. It seems that without going too much into detail, it seems that the whole picture will be such that we will have a climate where we are going back to talks based on the initial positions of both sides, will be possible within weeks or at least before the course of this spring. And what I am pushing for is, when the sides come back; they come back with a shared will to make it happen – to actually dedicate themselves to serious negotiations, fast negotiations, accelerated phase and try to overcome even the most difficult issues, so that later this year and in a number of months we will be able to sum up and see this is where we are and this is what is possible. And I know that there is significant international support from, I would say all relevant quarters, to make that happen. While I’ve not being so much here in Cyprus over the last weeks, I have been elsewhere and preparing for this and it looks promising.
Again, let me be very clear we are not there yet, so what I am saying what my sense is, but my sense is a qualified sense of optimism that spring will bring new times to the Cyprus problem.
 
Q: Do you have also a sense about the timetable of the negotiations.
A: I do, but I think that this is something that this is something that I will not finalize when the conditions are there as I described, we should first agree to have a meeting, then we will have a meeting and then we will agree on exactly how it is organized and I think I leave that for then. But I can tell you what I would like in not only we get back quickly, but then when we are back we are structured, systematic, dedicated and sustained without interruptions to see how far we can go. I want to say again and I have said this many times, so I am repeating myself because sometimes it is necessary, there are many difficult issues that we will be facing. In any negotiations that I have ever seen or I have been involved in, there will be or seemed to be crisis and interruptions and so on, but I don’t see anything in the Cyprob which is not solvable. If there is will on both sides. If there is will, all the issues can be solved through some kind of compromise or joint understanding. And I remain convinced that both sides actually want a solution, even if it is challenging to get there and this is what keeps me optimistic and far more optimistic from my last visit.          

 

END

 

66952015-04-08 10:00:00.0Transcript of remarks to the press by Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, Tuesday, 7 April 2015

EBE-08-04-2015

 

Transcript of remarks to the press by Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, Tuesday, 7 April 2015
       
Good afternoon.
Many of you will remember that on the 17th of September last year, the two leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community gathered here and declared to move into the next phase of talks - structured, substantial talks.
In the weeks proceeding just after that event, we had thorough and serious, and very constructive meetings on how this substantial phase of the talks should be organized. But you will also remember that a little bit less than a month later on the 7th of October 2014, the meeting that was planned then was cancelled. Mr. Anastasiades suspended his participation in the talks, and we moved into a phase which I will describe as the hydrocarbons crisis.
The hydrocarbons crisis has many roots, but the key issue is that at least it seemed at the time that Cyprus was moving very quickly into a hydrocarbons economy and that this was happening before the Cyprus issue itself was solved; and the paradox was that, while there was and is a substantive agreement on how hydrocarbons issues will be dealt with post-settlement, there was deep and divisive divisions around how there should be dealt with prior to a settlement. And this led to a sequence of events that lasted exactly half a year - it’s exactly on the day half a year since that meeting was cancelled.
A lot of things have changed. And a number of people have been working to see if it was possible to create the conditions or more precisely to remove the conditions that prevented the resumption of the talks. And I am very happy to share with you that my judgment is that this is now the case, that the state of reasons why talks could not happen are gone, at least for the foreseeable future, and that that makes it possible to prepare for the resumption of talks in a structured, results oriented and fast manner. But even more importantly than what I think about this is that I have shared this perspective with both leaders today, with Mr. Anastasiades, representing the Greek Cypriot community and Mr. Dervis Eroglu, representing the Turkish Cypriot community, and they both agreed that the circumstances are now right.
And let me here quite precisely quote what I heard from Mr. Anastasiades today. Making reference to the fact that the seismic vessel Barbaros has already left Cypriot waters and the fact that the NAVTEX that expired at 12 o’ clock yesterday is not, and will not be renewed, and that there is no overhanging threat, he declared to me, he informed me, that he was ready to lift his suspension, or lift the suspension of his participation in the talks and that he looks forward to engage in constructive dialogue with whoever emerges as the Turkish Cypriot leader after elections happening in the north.
I also shared this of course with Mr. Eroglu and that means that I see no obstacle to a very early resumption of talks once the election process in the north of Cyprus is done.
It’s also very important that, both leaders agreed with me, that when we meet again, we will pick up from where we left. This exact wording was used by both sides and I very much agree with that. We have done substantial preparations for the next round so while we did lose half a year, we also know where we will be starting.
The UN has been ready all the time, my team, working both here and also in New York, engaging the Secretary-General on many occasions on this, have been systematically preparing for the restart of talks by looking into our reading of where the two sides stands, and where possible bridges can be made between the starting positions of both sides.
I am also aware that the negotiating teams, both on the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot side, are making their own preparations for this phase.
I want to very strongly appeal, not only to the leaders who I just met and had excellent conversations with today, but also to all Cypriots, that I strongly feel - I strongly feel - that 2015 is going to be a decisive year.
I very much hope it will be a decisive year in the right direction.
The conditions are in place. We also have behind us a crisis that illustrates the broader dimensions of the Cyprus problem and why it is maybe more important than ever before to work towards a settlement in line with the Joint Declaration and the principles already laid out, both there, and also in the statement that was presented here on 17 September, where the two leaders agreed to bridge the gaps to renegotiation on unresolved core issues, to increase the pace of their meetings, through that to increase the frequency of their meetings as appropriate, and all meetings at least twice as long as leaders, and then the negotiating teams would meet much more frequently, and work very seriously on all issues.
I want to call on all Cypriots to realize that this is a decisive moment, not only for political leaders, but also for everybody living on this island.
Having come to know a lot of people in the time I have been in this role, I feel that while some Cypriots believe that their problems are other Cypriots, I think that’s fundamentally wrong.
The problem Cypriots share is the absence of a settlement which is one of the reasons why a lot of young people leave the island, why investments that could have happened are not happening, why the benefits of economy of scale cannot be reached to their full potential, and why it has been very difficult to prepare for this hydrocarbons phase of Cyprus history.
So I think that this is really a time to think strategically and not tactically, and not only at the leaders’ level but across all elements of society, and understand that this is an opportunity that has to be grasped. It is a window of opportunity. We do not necessarily talk of deadlines, but the window may not be open forever. It’s not me saying that, but that’s my strong sense working with key interlocutors internationally and on the island that this country has to find a solution after 51 years. It’s possible. We have difficult months ahead, but there is nothing - I repeat nothing - in all the chapters that I know now quite well which I deem as unresolvable.
Every single issue can be solved if there is will, if there is dedication, and if that will is sustained as we go through all the chapters and eventually bring in the international community in some kind of [inaudible] final stage.
So that’s the news I have to share with you today. I am sure one of the first questions will be when exactly we will start - I can see that from the show of hands. I don’t have a date. The main reasons we don’t have a date is that we do not know the outcomes of the election in the north, but as soon as we know we will of course reach out to whoever is the Turkish Cypriot leader, and quickly agree on the date, but I’m thinking of something within weeks – not months - from now and also from the date when elections start over.
 
For complete transcript with Q and As, please click here
        

 

 

EBE-08-04-2015

 

Transcript of remarks to the press by Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, Tuesday, 7 April 2015
  
Good afternoon.
Many of you will remember that on the 17th of September last year, the two leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community gathered here and declared to move into the next phase of talks - structured, substantial talks.
In the weeks proceeding just after that event, we had thorough and serious, and very constructive meetings on how this substantial phase of the talks should be organized. But you will also remember that a little bit less than a month later on the 7th of October 2014, the meeting that was planned then was cancelled. Read More
65762015-04-01 10:00:00.0SASG Eide “Empowering women, empowering humanity”

EBE-Women_DAY

 

Transcript of remarks by the Special Adviser on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Wednesday, 11 March 2015
       
For the particular issue of this day and link to the women’s and gender issue that I’m, I’m proud from, for being a Norwegian for some reasons, that, one of them, I think the main reason is that we are a country that took gender issues seriously early, which is not to say that we solved all of them, and everyone and Kristin said, who is a fellow Norwegian, now that we are struggling there is a long way to go, is not that we found all the solutions. But there is one statistic that I want to you to remember. Because in Cyprus, I am often asked, as a Norwegian, about the oil and gas experience, which is a fair question, and we have something to share I think, although every country should find its own solution, but economically, empowerment of women has been more important than finding oil.
What is the statistic: it means that women working in Norway, the economic benefit of women working in Norway, compared to the OECD average.
The value of that is higher than the value of all the oil and gas we have exploited and will exploit.
So, even if it’s nice to have natural resources is how you structure your society that really matters. And this will go on, because oil and gas comes and goes, and that women will be around and hopefully men will be around too, otherwise both, neither, will be true. But but, you really to understand the society of transformation that I have been part of, I am exactly as old as UNFICYP.
I was born a few days before UNFICYP, now I think I am quite young as a human being, UNFICYP is an old mission, which is why we are looking for ways to think beyond it now. But that also means that when I grew up in the 1970s in a family and with a mother who really took this issue seriously, very inspired by the 1975 movement, which I believe was the first women, year of the women. I was eleven and was become, gradually becoming a teenager, and I was always told that these issues matter and it’s a matter for women and men together. So I will stop talking about this as a women’s issue, it’s a women and men issue, which is why many of all political debates lately, is not about how we give women the possibility to do the same thing as men do, but how do we change both? For instance, paternity leave, right? So why do we care about paternity leave? The first battle was to get maternity leave for obvious reasons, make it possible for women to have jobs and babies, and go back to the jobs and have more babies and go back to the jobs and er, but, but, then we realize that if you, if you do too much of that without addressing the male side it becomes, in a sense, a disadvantage for working women because people who are about to employ a 25 year old woman, will say “Well, she is probably going to have two or three children, that will mean at, at least three years of absence from work, out, go for the man”. So it become problem. Well, if you move that, and say, here’s a person, 25 years, he is probably going to have three children, he will also be away, so you kind neutralize the effect and by the way I think you get better men when people who are in leadership position has spent some of the time at home with their children and get a richer experience. So it’s not only, it’s really time to think beyond the same, let’s reorganize society so that women can be common like men, where have already been, we need both to be different and think about the societopoliticaleconomic dimensions of real gender equality, so that is my first message. The second, and it’s only two, don’t worry, I’m the one standing between you and food anyway, and I know how unpleasant that can be. Is that, this is a particularly important moment that we will meet. Because I know a lot of you either from your civil society engagement or your role in the media, you are people who shape, who are shaping the future of Cyprus, by definition of course, but particularly now, because I honestly believe that we are not only about to restart the process that I am supposed to help the Cypriots with, but that we will restart it in earnest and that the crisis that we’ve had over the last half year, which of course, was unfortunate, may, when history is written, be seen as the necessary crisis before a real return to serious negotiations. That can happen. It doesn’t happen automatically, it doesn’t happen by itself, it happens if there is will. I felt yesterday that there is will on the top level on both sides to do so, we will test how deep that will goes, but I think that people in Cyprus, both sides, need to encourage their leaders, actually, hold leaders to their promise. And help them, help them, encourage, but also hold them to the promise of trying to solve this.
I will say, I will share with you, as I have been sharing and will be sharing with leaders as we go back to the table that the problem in Cyprus is not the other side. I think this is a misconception. It is not if you are Greek Cypriot, your biggest problem of life is the existence of Turkish Cypriots or Turkey if you are Turkish Cypriot, is not the existence of Greek Cypriots or their positions. It is a problem that you share. And the problem is that this country, honestly speaking, is not progressing as it should have. It doesn’t have the economic opportunity that it should have. Too many people are unemployed, too many young people leave. Too few companies come to Cyprus to invest despite of the duty and the perfect location, because they don’t know exactly what is going to happen here. So there is a daily economic opportunity cost. Thanks to the political process that is stuck and if you keep trying to solve that by looking backwards, you won’t make it. The vast majority of people in Cyprus are far younger than the political leaders. Honestly speaking, they are far younger than me, even younger than Kristin and Lisa, believe it or not. The vast majority is the youth and that will be increasingly true, every year that is more true than the last year, right? The purpose of solving this is for them, for the future generation to have a normal country, perfectly located in Europe close to the Middle East in a very interesting, important region with serious challenges, but also a lot of opportunities, but what you really want to do is to focus the sides on how this can be solved. If we create that atmosphere, all the technical problems are solvable. They are not easy and I respect the difficulties. For instance, there are serious deep difficulties around property issues, which affect real people in a real way and some people will be happy and all the people will not be happy whatever we do. I am not saying that is not important, there are serious issues on state level on exactly how to organize governance for instance. There are many of those issues, but I have studied it with my team and with predecessors and with people engaged in this, have not found a single issue that can’t be solved. I know a lot of other conflicts, I have been to most places where people kill each other in the world, in previous jobs and sometimes you wonder how on earth are they going to solve this. Really, can’t see it. I do not have the feeling here. I think all of us know roughly how you can solve it. It just to get the think in the right order and get the will and that is why my strong wish for you is that of course you do exactly what you think is the right thing, but remember that is the future of Cyprus is also in your hands and don’t leave it only to people who happened to be elected. We need to respect democracy and respect leaders and give them space, but they exist in a society and that society has to empower itself.
So, with those few words it is great to see you all, to see representatives of the media and I want to use this opportunity again that I try to be as available as I possibly can. If I had not said yes to your request yet, it is not like a will, I will and I enjoy engaging with you, I will do it on record, off record whatever way you like and I also very much like to reach out with the civil society and of course in this contexts, not at least with the people who try to bring the gender aspects into their conflict, because one of the last frontiers of gender equality is peace process. There are so many peace processes, even in countries which are normally reasonably ok; they are still run by a man. Good news here is that while leaders and negotiators are still men, there are women, serious women central placed on both teams. But it is not only an issue of representation in numbers, it is also about what we talk about.
I think and I discussed with the gender advisory team in great dinner we had some time ago, the conflict seems to be construed in a male way. Male way is not wrong; it is just half of the reality. I gain you lose, or it is some kind in a way you think about how you organize the conflict which will benefit not by giving it all to the women, but by making sure that women and men’s perspectives are equally represented in defining what the problem is and also what the solution is and that’s I think where it come all together. Working well together, I think we can start a very interesting phase of the Cyprob. Thank you for the attention.                        

 

 

EBE-Women_DAY

 

Transcript of remarks by the Special Adviser on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Wednesday, 11 March 2015
  
For the particular issue of this day and link to the women’s and gender issue that I’m, I’m proud from, for being a Norwegian for some reasons, that, one of them, I think the main reason is that we are a country that took gender issues seriously early, which is not to say that we solved all of them, and everyone and Kristin said, who is a fellow Norwegian, now that we are struggling there is a long way to go, is not that we found all the solutions. But there is one statistic that I want to you to remember. Because in Cyprus, I am often asked, as a Norwegian, about the oil and gas experience, which is a fair question, and we have something to share I think, although every country should find its own solution, but economically, empowerment of women has been more important than finding oil.
What is the statistic: it means that women working in Norway, the economic benefit of women working in Norway, compared to the OECD average.
The value of that is higher than the value of all the oil and gas we have exploited and will exploit.
So, even if it’s nice to have natural resources is how you structure your society that really matters. And this will go on, because oil and gas comes and goes, and that women will be around and hopefully men will be around too, otherwise both, neither, will be true. But but, you really to understand the society of transformation that I have been part of, I am exactly as old as UNFICYP.
I was born a few days before UNFICYP, now I think I am quite young as a human being, UNFICYP is an old mission, which is why we are looking for ways to think beyond it now. But that also means that when I grew up in the 1970s in a family and with a mother who really took this issue seriously, very inspired by the 1975 movement, which I believe was the first women, year of the women. I was eleven and was become, gradually becoming a teenager, and I was always told that these issues matter and it’s a matter for women and men together. So I will stop talking about this as a women’s issue, it’s a women and men issue, which is why many of all political debates lately, is not about how we give women the possibility to do the same thing as men do, but how do we change both? For instance, paternity leave, right? So why do we care about paternity leave? The first battle was to get maternity leave for obvious reasons, make it possible for women to have jobs and babies, and go back to the jobs and have more babies and go back to the jobs and er, but, but, then we realize that if you, if you do too much of that without addressing the male side it becomes, in a sense, a disadvantage for working women because people who are about to employ a 25 year old woman, will say “Well, she is probably going to have two or three children, that will mean at, at least three years of absence from work, out, go for the man”. So it become problem. Well, if you move that, and say, here’s a person, 25 years, he is probably going to have three children, he will also be away, so you kind neutralize the effect and by the way I think you get better men when people who are in leadership position has spent some of the time at home with their children and get a richer experience. So it’s not only, it’s really time to think beyond the same, let’s reorganize society so that women can be common like men, where have already been, we need both to be different and think about the societopoliticaleconomic dimensions of real gender equality, so that is my first message. The second, and it’s only two, don’t worry, I’m the one standing between you and food anyway, and I know how unpleasant that can be. Is that, this is a particularly important moment that we will meet. Because I know a lot of you either from your civil society engagement or your role in the media, you are people who shape, who are shaping the future of Cyprus, by definition of course, but particularly now, because I honestly believe that we are not only about to restart the process that I am supposed to help the Cypriots with, but that we will restart it in earnest and that the crisis that we’ve had over the last half year, which of course, was unfortunate, may, when history is written, be seen as the necessary crisis before a real return to serious negotiations. That can happen. It doesn’t happen automatically, it doesn’t happen by itself, it happens if there is will. I felt yesterday that there is will on the top level on both sides to do so, we will test how deep that will goes, but I think that people in Cyprus, both sides, need to encourage their leaders, actually, hold leaders to their promise. And help them, help them, encourage, but also hold them to the promise of trying to solve this.
I will say, I will share with you, as I have been sharing and will be sharing with leaders as we go back to the table that the problem in Cyprus is not the other side. I think this is a misconception. It is not if you are Greek Cypriot, your biggest problem of life is the existence of Turkish Cypriots or Turkey if you are Turkish Cypriot, is not the existence of Greek Cypriots or their positions. It is a problem that you share. And the problem is that this country, honestly speaking, is not progressing as it should have. It doesn’t have the economic opportunity that it should have. Too many people are unemployed, too many young people leave. Too few companies come to Cyprus to invest despite of the duty and the perfect location, because they don’t know exactly what is going to happen here. So there is a daily economic opportunity cost. Thanks to the political process that is stuck and if you keep trying to solve that by looking backwards, you won’t make it. The vast majority of people in Cyprus are far younger than the political leaders. Honestly speaking, they are far younger than me, even younger than Kristin and Lisa, believe it or not. The vast majority is the youth and that will be increasingly true, every year that is more true than the last year, right? The purpose of solving this is for them, for the future generation to have a normal country, perfectly located in Europe close to the Middle East in a very interesting, important region with serious challenges, but also a lot of opportunities, but what you really want to do is to focus the sides on how this can be solved. If we create that atmosphere, all the technical problems are solvable. They are not easy and I respect the difficulties. For instance, there are serious deep difficulties around property issues, which affect real people in a real way and some people will be happy and all the people will not be happy whatever we do. I am not saying that is not important, there are serious issues on state level on exactly how to organize governance for instance. There are many of those issues, but I have studied it with my team and with predecessors and with people engaged in this, have not found a single issue that can’t be solved. I know a lot of other conflicts, I have been to most places where people kill each other in the world, in previous jobs and sometimes you wonder how on earth are they going to solve this. Really, can’t see it. I do not have the feeling here. I think all of us know roughly how you can solve it. It just to get the think in the right order and get the will and that is why my strong wish for you is that of course you do exactly what you think is the right thing, but remember that is the future of Cyprus is also in your hands and don’t leave it only to people who happened to be elected. We need to respect democracy and respect leaders and give them space, but they exist in a society and that society has to empower itself.
So, with those few words it is great to see you all, to see representatives of the media and I want to use this opportunity again that I try to be as available as I possibly can. If I had not said yes to your request yet, it is not like a will, I will and I enjoy engaging with you, I will do it on record, off record whatever way you like and I also very much like to reach out with the civil society and of course in this contexts, not at least with the people who try to bring the gender aspects into their conflict, because one of the last frontiers of gender equality is peace process. There are so many peace processes, even in countries which are normally reasonably ok; they are still run by a man. Good news here is that while leaders and negotiators are still men, there are women, serious women central placed on both teams. But it is not only an issue of representation in numbers, it is also about what we talk about.
I think and I discussed with the gender advisory team in great dinner we had some time ago, the conflict seems to be construed in a male way. Male way is not wrong; it is just half of the reality. I gain you lose, or it is some kind in a way you think about how you organize the conflict which will benefit not by giving it all to the women, but by making sure that women and men’s perspectives are equally represented in defining what the problem is and also what the solution is and that’s I think where it come all together. Working well together, I think we can start a very interesting phase of the Cyprob. Thank you for the attention. 
66842015-03-24 10:01:00.0Transcript of Special Adviser interview with media, following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, 17 March 2015

 

EBE-EROGLU-TRANS 

Transcript of Special Adviser interview with media, following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, 17 March  2015 

 

 

We are now all seeing, you know I also saw Mr Anastasiades today. I think we have a shared sense that we are about to come out of the hydrocarbons’ crisis as we knew it and the circumstance will soon be such that we will be able to declare the resumption of talks. I am not doing that right now because there are still some things that have to happen but I think that we are seeing that this spring will be much more promising than last autumn. With weather and spring I think we can take some optimism and say that maybe we will not only be back on track, but actually be able to accelerate talks and have faster process than what we originally planned.
I want to reiterate this thing has to be agreed and declared, but my sense is that there is a will on both sides to make sure that this is possible within relatively short time. I am talking about a number of weeks, not months.    
 
Q: You are [inaudible] and proceed as it has to be, but the most important thing is how the [inaudible] will overcome the hydrocarbons’ crisis. What do you bring with you here?    
A: Well, as you know the current NAVTEX expires on the 6th of April and NAVTEX of course was from the Turkish Cypriot side, a response to other activities. It seems that without going too much into detail, it seems that the whole picture will be such that we will have a climate where we are going back to talks based on the initial positions of both sides, will be possible within weeks or at least before the course of this spring. And what I am pushing for is, when the sides come back; they come back with a shared will to make it happen – to actually dedicate themselves to serious negotiations, fast negotiations, accelerated phase and try to overcome even the most difficult issues, so that later this year and in a number of months we will be able to sum up and see this is where we are and this is what is possible. And I know that there is significant international support from, I would say all relevant quarters, to make that happen. While I’ve not being so much here in Cyprus over the last weeks, I have been elsewhere and preparing for this and it looks promising.
Again, let me be very clear we are not there yet, so what I am saying what my sense is, but my sense is a qualified sense of optimism that spring will bring new times to the Cyprus problem.
 
Q: Do you have also a sense about the timetable of the negotiations.
A: I do, but I think that this is something that this is something that I will not finalize when the conditions are there as I described, we should first agree to have a meeting, then we will have a meeting and then we will agree on exactly how it is organized and I think I leave that for then. But I can tell you what I would like in not only we get back quickly, but then when we are back we are structured, systematic, dedicated and sustained without interruptions to see how far we can go. I want to say again and I have said this many times, so I am repeating myself because sometimes it is necessary, there are many difficult issues that we will be facing. In any negotiations that I have ever seen or I have been involved in, there will be or seemed to be crisis and interruptions and so on, but I don’t see anything in the Cyprob which is not solvable. If there is will on both sides. If there is will, all the issues can be solved through some kind of compromise or joint understanding. And I remain convinced that both sides actually want a solution, even if it is challenging to get there and this is what keeps me optimistic and far more optimistic from my last visit.          
END
 

 

EBE-EROGLU-TRANS
 

Transcript of Special Adviser interview with media, following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, 17 March  2015

 

 

We are now all seeing, you know I also saw Mr Anastasiades today. I think we have a shared sense that we are about to come out of the hydrocarbons’ crisis as we knew it and the circumstance will soon be such that we will be able to declare the resumption of talks. I am not doing that right now because there are still some things that have to happen but I think that we are seeing that this spring will be much more promising than last autumn. With weather and spring I think we can take some optimism and say that maybe we will not only be back on track, but actually be able to accelerate talks and have faster process than what we originally planned.
I want to reiterate this thing has to be agreed and declared, but my sense is that there is a will on both sides to make sure that this is possible within relatively short time. I am talking about a number of weeks, not months.    
 
Q: You are [inaudible] and proceed as it has to be, but the most important thing is how the [inaudible] will overcome the hydrocarbons’ crisis. What do you bring with you here?    
A: Well, as you know the current NAVTEX expires on the 6th of April and NAVTEX of course was from the Turkish Cypriot side, a response to other activities. It seems that without going too much into detail, it seems that the whole picture will be such that we will have a climate where we are going back to talks based on the initial positions of both sides, will be possible within weeks or at least before the course of this spring. And what I am pushing for is, when the sides come back; they come back with a shared will to make it happen – to actually dedicate themselves to serious negotiations, fast negotiations, accelerated phase and try to overcome even the most difficult issues, so that later this year and in a number of months we will be able to sum up and see this is where we are and this is what is possible. And I know that there is significant international support from, I would say all relevant quarters, to make that happen. While I’ve not being so much here in Cyprus over the last weeks, I have been elsewhere and preparing for this and it looks promising.
Again, let me be very clear we are not there yet, so what I am saying what my sense is, but my sense is a qualified sense of optimism that spring will bring new times to the Cyprus problem.
 
Q: Do you have also a sense about the timetable of the negotiations.
A: I do, but I think that this is something that this is something that I will not finalize when the conditions are there as I described, we should first agree to have a meeting, then we will have a meeting and then we will agree on exactly how it is organized and I think I leave that for then. But I can tell you what I would like in not only we get back quickly, but then when we are back we are structured, systematic, dedicated and sustained without interruptions to see how far we can go. I want to say again and I have said this many times, so I am repeating myself because sometimes it is necessary, there are many difficult issues that we will be facing. In any negotiations that I have ever seen or I have been involved in, there will be or seemed to be crisis and interruptions and so on, but I don’t see anything in the Cyprob which is not solvable. If there is will on both sides. If there is will, all the issues can be solved through some kind of compromise or joint understanding. And I remain convinced that both sides actually want a solution, even if it is challenging to get there and this is what keeps me optimistic and far more optimistic from my last visit.          

 

END

 

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