United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres departed New York on Wednesday, 11 January, for his first overseas trip, arriving in Geneva, Switzerland, on the morning of Thursday, 12 January.
The Secretary-General opened and chaired the Conference on Cyprus, which took place in the Council Chamber at the Palais des Nations, with the participation of the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı, and the representatives of the guarantor Powers — Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The European Union also attended as an observer. The Secretary-General was accompanied by Espen Barth Eide, his Special Adviser on Cyprus, and Elizabeth Spehar, Deputy Special Adviser.
Speaking to the press after the opening of the Conference, the Secretary-General paid tribute to Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akıncı, who, for the past 20 months, have conducted a dialogue aimed at creating the conditions for Cyprus to again be a united country. He said that made possible this historic Conference that brought together, for the first time, the protagonists and the guarantors.
The Secretary-General also said that the Conference had so far been very constructive, noting the complexity of the problems related to security and guarantees that needed to be addressed and resolved.
He also chaired the afternoon meeting of the Conference on Cyprus, after which a statement was issued.
The Secretary-General returned to New York on Friday evening.