Remarks by Special Advisor of the Secretary-General Alexander Downer following the meeting of Cyprus Leaders
Transcript of Remarks by Special Advisor of the Secretary-General Alexander Downer following the meeting of Cyprus Leaders at UNFICYP Chief of Mission Residence, United Nations Protected Area, Nicosia, 01 December 2011
Alexander Downer: Ladies and Gentlemen, as you know the Leaders met for around an hour and a half today in a very constructive spirit, in a positive frame of mind. They concentrated their discussions on governance and power sharing, with a particular but not exclusive focus on external relations. Their next meeting is on Monday, and the Representatives and their expert teams will be having some discussions about the talk today on external relations over the next few days. We will fix the time with them for their actual meeting but as they follow up from today’s discussion there will be some discussions at the Representatives’ level as well, probably early next week. I think that is all I’ve got to say today. If you’ve got any questions I will be happy to answer them.
Question: Is the United Nations losing patience in the process?
Alexander Downer: I think the United Nations is showing great patience over at the very least 37 years, but you could go back further than that and say 48 years. Look, it is not about patience or impatience. We haven’t lost patience with the process but it is about making sure that we get good results, and for our part we only are here to help. It is a Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led process so we provide the best support we possibly can. We have a lot of very high quality people working here, with great experience and knowledge of many different aspects of the issues on the agenda, and we hope that this phase of the talks will be really constructive in the lead up to the Greentree Two meeting which is likely to be between the 22nd and the 24th of January so ‘no’ is the answer. We are not losing patience. We are just doing what we can to make sure that our contribution is effective without, of course, being mediators or arbitrators as we constantly say.
Question: What will happen if there is no progress in the Greentree? There have been some speculations that the Secretary-General may decide to wind-up the process.
Alexander Downer: We obviously hope that by the end of the Greentree meeting, that is over the next very nearly two months, and through those days in the Greentree itself, we will come out with some very good results and that is what our ambitions and targets are here. We will obviously have to see by the time we get to the end of the Greentree meeting what the Secretary-General wishes to do and how he wishes to take the process forward but that is a hypothetical situation at the moment, we don’t know where we will have gotten to by then.