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Opening remarks at press encounter at the Conference on Cyprus

12 Jan 2017
António Guterres

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you very much for your presence. 
I want, first of all, to pay tribute to the extraordinary statesmanship, to the courage and to the determination of Mr. [Nicos] Anastasiades and Mr. [Mustafa] Akıncı, who for 20 months have been conducting in a very determined way a dialogue aiming at creating the conditions to allow for Cyprus to be able to be again a country united, living in normal conditions for its people.
And it is only thanks to their work that it was possible to come today to the opening of the Conference that, historically and for the first time, has put around the same table, not only the two protagonists, but also the guarantors: the Republics of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom. 
We had this morning an extremely constructive opening session, followed by a very open debate during lunchtime, a true brainstorming, in which it was possible to identify, not only the very important progress that was made in the negotiations, as taken in the last few days, on the first five chapters, but also to identify the complexity of the problems related to security and guarantees that need to be addressed and resolved. 
In that lunch, it was possible to clearly come to the conclusion that we need to find instruments, instruments that allow for the implementation of the settlement that would be achieved in a way that guarantees simultaneously the response to the security concerns of the Turkish Cypriot community and the security concerns of the Greek Cypriot community. 
But there is obviously a way to go, work to continue.  We will reconvene the Conference today in the late afternoon.  You cannot expect miracles or immediate solutions.  We are not looking for a quick fix.  We are looking for a solid and sustainable solution for the Republic of Cyprus and for the communities of the Republic of Cyprus, and we will be working as long as necessary in order to achieve that goal, with the objective naturally to reach these in the context of the present Conference. 
I would like to say very clearly that for the United Nations, our role is to support the parties, in order for them to be able to come to the agreement that is necessary.  We do not aim at any protagonism, we have no agenda but the agenda that results from the consensus possible to be established between the parties. 
As I said during our lunch, those that deserve the Oscar of the best actor, if this was a competition of cinema, are on my right-hand side and my left-hand side.  In the UN, we do not aim at more than to eventually get an Oscar of the best actor in a supporting role.  What we really want is to help create the conditions and we were very encouraged by the fact that the European Union has shown total commitment to support this process. And we are also ready in the context of the UN to make, to seize, the Security Council to guarantee, in an effective and strong way, the results that will be possible to achieve in the context of the present Conference. 
From now on, you will have to be patient. As I said, we are not here for a quick fix. We are here to work seriously for a solution that is simultaneously a solid and a sustainable solution for Cyprus, for the people of Cyprus. And I believe a solution will be a symbol of hope in a world where so many conflicts are emerging, where so many problems do not seem to come to an end, but where I very much trust the courage, determination and the statesmanship of the two leaders that are here with me today.