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SG/T/3294
3 May 2021

Activities of Secretary-General in Switzerland, 26-29 April

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Geneva on Monday, 26 April, where on Tuesday he convened the informal 5+1 meeting on the Cyprus issue.

The Secretary-General decided to organize this meeting following the consultations conducted over the previous several months on his behalf by Under-Secretary-General Jane Holl Lute.  The purpose of the meetings was to determine whether common ground existed for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue within a foreseeable horizon.

The following people led their respective delegations:  Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Cypriot leader; Ersin Tatar, Turkish Cypriot leader; Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Nikos Dendia, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece; and the Right Honourable Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom.

Beginning on Tuesday afternoon, the Secretary-General held bilateral meetings, starting with the Turkish Cypriot delegation, followed by one with the Greek Cypriot delegation.  On Tuesday evening, the Secretary-General hosted a reception for the heads of delegations.

On Wednesday morning, he hosted a plenary meeting with the five parties at the Palais des Nations.  He then held bilateral meetings with each of the five delegations in the afternoon.  Later that evening, the Secretary-General hosted a small informal dinner for the heads of delegations.

On Thursday, 29 April, the Secretary-General concluded the informal 5+1 talks on the Cyprus issue after a plenary meeting.

At a press conference, the Secretary-General said that they had conducted extensive consultations in a succession of bilateral and plenary meetings in order to try to reach common ground.  He told journalists that they had not yet found enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations, but he stressed that he has not given up.

“My agenda is very simple,” Mr. Guterres said, “and that is to fight for the security and well-being of the Cypriots, of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, that deserve to live in peace and prosperity together.”

The next step, the Secretary-General added, is for him to convene, in the near future, another meeting of the 5+1 with the objective to move in the direction of reaching common ground to allow for formal negotiations to start.

In addition to the Cyprus meetings, the Secretary-General also met staff representatives in Geneva and was given a tour of the some of the construction related to the Strategic Heritage Plan of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

While in Switzerland, the Secretary-General also met with a number Geneva-based senior United Nations officials.

He returned to his New York office on Monday, 3 May.

For information media. Not an official record.