9 November 2016

Activities of Secretary-General in Switzerland, 7 November

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon left New York on Sunday, 6 November, for Switzerland, where he arrived on Monday morning.

He opened a week of intensive negotiations between the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, in Mont Pèlerin.  The Secretary-General was accompanied by Espen Barth Eide, his Special Adviser on Cyprus, and Elizabeth Spehar, Deputy Special Adviser.

Speaking to the press before the start of the meeting, the Secretary-General noted that the leaders have expressed their hope that this meeting would pave the way for the last phase of the talks, in line with their shared commitment to do their utmost in order to reach a settlement within this year.

He said that the leaders have reached a critical juncture in their talks and he encouraged them to make the most of the moment and the momentum.  The Secretary-General commended them for their vision, courage and leadership, stressing that the prospect of a solution in Cyprus is within their reach.  He emphasized that Cyprus offers tremendous hope to people around the world that long-standing conflicts can be resolved peacefully through negotiations.  The Secretary-General assured them of his full support and the commitment of the United Nations to assist them in their efforts.

Mr. Ban returned to New York on Monday evening.

For information media. Not an official record.