Address by H.E. Dr. Ioannis Kasoulides
Minister of Foreign Affairs
at the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement
New York, 25 September 1997

Madame Chairperson,
Distinguished colleagues,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity and honour to address this meeting.

I would like to begin by congratulating you, Mme. Chairperson, as well as the entire Colombian delegation, for the outstanding way in which you have been steering our work internationally and in particular here at the United Nations.

Cyprus believes in the United Nations as a functioning, indispensable, universal, concrete entity in the service of humanity. My country has direct experience of the usefulness of the United Nations, through the successful operations of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force.

As you know the Government of Cyprus contributes substantially for the costs of the above peace-keeping operation. Our experience also of the contribution to World Peace extends to the personal efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General under whose auspices a solution is sought for the long outstanding division of our island and occupation of 37% of its territory.

If the United Nations is to become relevant to our present day world, it needs to be reformed, modernized and strengthened. As the Secretary General himself put it, the United Nations must reform in order to renew the confidence of member states in its relevance and effectiveness and in order to revitalize the spirit and commitment of the United Nations staff.

We are particularly pleased to welcome the Secretary General's recent comprehensive package of proposals on United Nations reform.

As we move into a new century and a new millennium, the institutional and financial reform of the United Nations is a fundamental priority. Our Organization should be ready to face the new challenges, address the important issues of our days and regain the universal acceptability that it deserves.

To achieve these goals, financial resources are necessary, as well as a fair scale of assessment of contribution and every member-state must meet its financial commitments promptly and to the full.

Our Movement, through its unity and solidarity, has managed both during the cold war and after its end, to be pivotal for world peace without domination and hegemonies, for freedom, democracy, and sustained development and also for socio-economic parity between the North and the South, between developed and developing countries.

For these reasons the United Nations Organization has particular relevance to Non-Aligned Member States. A strong, democratic and financially sound United Nations Organization will be able to promote the principles advocated by our Movement.

The Secretary-General's reform proposals must, of course, be carefully studied and debated. This debate, however, should not be protracted. The Secretary-General has worked hard, diligently and purposefully. He is one of us and he deserves our support in order to be able to achieve results soon.

As we all know, for over three years now, we have all been involved in the various working groups mandated by the General Assembly to reform and strengthen the United Nations.

With only one exception, that is to say the adoption of our Agenda for development, we have seen very little progress so far.

As far as the reform of the Security Council is concerned, although a lot of work has been done, more vigorous efforts are necessary. However we must adhere to our criteria such as the increase in the membership of the Security Council, the transparency in its working methods, the principle of equitable geographic distribution and the restriction in the scope and applicability of the veto.

We hope that at the end of the day we shall have a Security Council that reflects the realities of today and not those of the 1940s and that it will enjoy the overwhelming support of the membership.

The new Security Council should be able to discharge its responsibilities under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, promptly and with particular attention to the compliance of member states.

In this way it will be able to implement its decisions in a decisive manner.

This leads me to the Cyprus question which is a classic case of numerous Security Council resolutions yet to be implemented and blatantly ignored by Turkey. As a result of the non-implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions, not only does the Cyprus problem remain unsolved for twenty-three years, but moreover, we now face new Turkish threats of annexing the occupied part of Cyprus. Full implementation of Security Council resolutions is the only effective way to restore peace in the whole world, including Cyprus.

I take this opportunity Mme. Chairperson to thank the Non-Aligned Movement for its consistent and continued support and solidarity in the case of Cyprus.

Thank you Mme. Chairperson.