Stewart: Hope that the Cyprus issue will not continue for long

Hope that the Cyprus conflict will not continue for long, honored the blue-collar workers

Screenshot 5 24 Cyprus, Stewart

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus and head of the UN peacekeeping force on the island (UNFICYP), Colin Stewart, expressed the hope that the Cyprus conflict will not continue for much longer.

In his statement to KYPE after an event, on Wednesday morning, at the monument "In The Service of Peace" (In The Service of Peace) in the forecourt of Ledra Palace to celebrate World Blue Helmet Day, Mr. Stewart said that today " it is an opportunity to pay tribute to all those who serve in peacekeeping around the world and those who have served in the past."

Mr Stewart said this was the first time UNFICYP had been able to commemorate International Blue Helmet Day at the new memorial which was inaugurated on 4 March on the 60th anniversary of the Force's presence in Cyprus.

"This monument pays tribute to 150 thousand uniformed men who have served in Cyprus, 187 of whom have died in Cyprus. So we have this new permanent monument and the idea is to create a space that is accessible to all Cypriots and anyone, and that's why we chose this space to come and reflect on the effort, the contribution that has been made to resolution of the Cyprus issue and we hope that this will not continue for much longer."

At the event, Mr Stewart read UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' message on World Blue Helmet Day. In his message, Mr. Guterres said that today "we pay tribute to the more than 76.000 United Nations peacekeepers who embody the highest ideal of humanity: peace."

In his message, the Secretary-General said that “coming from more than 120 countries, our blue-collar workers are serving in 11 peacekeeping operations in conflict-affected areas in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Day after day, at great personal risk, these women and these men work bravely in some of the most dangerous and volatile places on earth to protect civilians, uphold human rights, support elections and strengthen institutions. They are part of a long tradition. For over 75 years, United Nations peacekeepers have supported communities rocked by conflict and unrest in 71 missions," he pointed out.
He noted that "we will never forget" the more than 4.300 military personnel who have paid the ultimate price while serving under the UN flag.

The Secretary-General underlined that in order for "our peacekeeping forces to respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow, they need the support of the world".

He said that "the Future Summit in September will be a moment for countries to promote ideas through a New Agenda for Peace, which links peacekeeping with all efforts to prevent and end conflicts," noting that "achieving peace requires hard work."

Concluding, the Secretary-General said in his message that "on this important day, and every day, let us recommit ourselves to support those who work for peace: the UN peacekeepers."