In 1960, the Republic of Cyprus officially gained independence from the United Kingdom, and became a sovereign state. However, since this independence day, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has remained locked in a struggle between two of the country’s strongest political allies, Greece and Turkey, who have ensured the country feels not independent, but instead enshrouded in the culture of these two vastly different European powers. Today, Cyprus remains divided, not only in spirit, but also by a United Nations Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates Turkish Cyprus from Greek Cyprus. Locked in a decades-long dispute full of failed peace talks, guerilla warfare, and failed attempts to create a second independent Cyprus, this conflict has been stifled, but never solved by the United Nations Security Council.
In July of 2017, a desire for peace was reignited by both Greek-Cypriot President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot President of Northern Cyprus Mustafa Ackinci, but these talks broke down after a short ten days. Come February of 2019, both Greece and Turkey called for an end to their own decades-long dispute which included attempting to end the Cyprus dispute. But this issue remains unsolved. The UN Security Council has repeatedly called for Peace Talks and de-escalation of tensions, most recently in July 2019, yet these negotiations have yet to yield a removal of the Cypriot DMZ, or a clear future for the people of Cyprus.
In a time when the UN remains severely underfunded, and pressing crises arise across the globe that require the attention of the UNSC, we must ensure we are completing projects for peace, and are working to establish institutions of government that can function without the continued presence of UN soldiers and UN funds. In our first UNSC meeting of 2020, it is essential that the members of this council work to implement a final resolution to end the Cypriot conflict. Using the abundance of resources available to our organization, delegates will be expected to bring about peace that has gone nearly a generation without it.
United Nations Security Council