President Mustafa Akıncı attended the conference of the Social International Praesidium and Heads of State and Government held at the UN Headquarters. Akıncı was invited to attend by its president, former Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou.
This year’s annual meeting took take place on Wednesday afternoon.
The meeting addressed matters of particular concern such as climate change, the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, sustainable development, current challenges that require the efforts of the International in conflict resolution, peace and democracy.
Addressing the conference, Akıncı pointed out at the beginning of his speech that in addition to increasing social inequality and poverty in the world, climate change was causing alarm.
He went on to say that that Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, had over the last two year, given different messages to different people regarding a solution to the Cyprus problem. This was creating confusion, said Akinci.
President Akıncı reiterated that effective participation and political equality are the ‘sine qua non’ for the Turkish Cypriot side. “We will either move towards a bi-communal, two-state federal solution based on political equality, or if this fails, permanent division will become more inevitable”.
He added that two important opportunities such as the Annan Plan 2004 and the Conference on Cyprus, 2017 had been lost in the recent past. Akıncı also pointed to the creation of the Joint Declaration signed on 11 February, 2014 between former TRNC President Derviş Eroğlu and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, past agreements and the Guterres framework dated 30 June, 2017 and the formation of terms of reference for the Cyprus negotiations.
President Akıncı stressed the importance of active participation, which is indispensable for the federation, and explained the details of the negotiations with the Greek Cypriot leader. Akıncı said that it is inevitable that decisions would be taken jointly in every field, but that the Greek Cypriot side does not accept equality and effective participation in the decision making. He added that the Greek Cypriot leader was trying to dilute and distort the Guterres framework.
Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot leader had rejected issues agreed upon in the past and that they had become UN parameters. He stressed the point that Anastasiades had given different messages to different people in different periods in the last two years. Akıncı said he has come across elements that create confusion for the two states, such as “confederation, loose federation to a decentralised federation, from the presidential system to the parliamentary system, even from the rotating presidency to the rotating prime ministry”. Akıncı emphasised that there is a need for clarity by stating that the process cannot be extended for another 50 years and that a well-defined, well structured and planned and non-open-ended result-oriented process is required. This requirement was also entered into the reports of the UN Secretary-General. Akıncı said the international community should help.
President Akıncı also touched on the natural gas issue in the Eastern Mediterranean and reiterated that three paths can be taken in the field of hydrocarbons, in which it is widely accepted that both sides have rights. Akıncı said that one of them is to declare a moratorium until a solution is found. If this does not happen, a joint committee could be formed, as he had proposed on 13 July, 2019. If that can’t happen, do it separately, as it is now being done. “Our choice is the joint committee, even if the Greek Cypriot side rejects it”, said Akıncı.