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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN SG Ban Ki Moon to EuroFora: Cyprus reUnification needs Long Vision +Human Rights = basis of Peace

UN SG Ban Ki Moon to EuroFora: Cyprus reUnification needs Long Vision +Human Rights = basis of Peace

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
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* By Angelo Marcopolo/Strasbourg/- After visiting both CoE/ECHR and EU Parliament, UNO's Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, replying to "EuroFora"'s questions, stressed that a desirable solution on Cyprus' issue needs "Long Vision", as he put it, shortly after underlying, earlier in Strasbourg, that, as a matter of General Principle, "Human Rights are at the foundation of Peace".

UNO's Head, was, precisely, replying to our Question if, after visiting here Europe's 2 best bodies on Human Rights, Democracy, and Foreign Pölicy : ECHR and EU Parliament (a meeting place also for EU Commission, EU Council, Ministers, Diplomats, etc), he hoped to facilitate Cyprus' Talks to progres towards a solution by Safeguarding Human Rights and Rule of Law, instead of letting anyone push them aside, so that the island may become in the Future succesfuly ReUnified.
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- "Our Partnership (EU - UNO) is delivering Results : We are working together to deliver Peace, Human Rights, Development" etc, which "are 3 Major Pillars of UN's Charter", Ban Ki Moon stressed from the outset at EU Parliament, as a matter of General Principle. - "I urge the Europeans not to give in the Sirenes of Suspicion (who) ...will only draw you off course of the Values that we, UN, hold as dear", he also appealed earlier, speaking in front of a large number of interested MEPs. 
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-  "EuroFora" observed that UNO's "Secretary General", visited "here in Strasbourg two most Important Institutions" of Europe : - "EU Parliament, on Economy, Foreign Policy and other issues, but also the CoE, concerning Human Rights, and ...spoke about both".

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- "Among your first activities in the forthcoming period of time, will be, inter alia, to also Help resolve some Conflicts. One of them is Cyprus", "EuroFora" pointed out, considering in particular a forthcoming UN SG's Report on that issue, expected on November.

- "Do you think that you can succeed, during the Talks that are going on now and in the (foreseable) Future, to find a way to contribute for Human Rights and EU - UNO's Principles (such as Rule of Law, etc) to be Safeguarded, instead of being pushed away, so that (Cyprus') Future ReUnification could work efficiently ?", (i.e. in a Stable mannner, without more differends, tensions, divisions, conflicts and/or breakdowns, contrary to the Past), we asked Ban Ki Moon.

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This was also an indirect but obvious reference to what he had just stressed, earlier this same day in Strasbourg, from the beginning of his speech at the CoE, on the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, where he observed that, "as a matter of Principle", a "Cardinal Mission of the UN is to shine the Light of Human Rights everywhere, including the Darkest corners", because, "as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims : - "Recognition of the inherent Dignity .. and of the ... inalienable Rights of all ... Human(s) .. is the Foundation of Freedom, Justice and Peace".

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UNO's Secretary General was the Key Speaker of the exceptional PanEuropean Human Rights event at the CoE, which was also addressed by ECHR's President, professor Jean-Paul Costa, and CoE's SG, Thornbjorn Jagland, (President of the Oslo Committee for the Nobel Peavce Prize), in the presence of all EuroJudges, Ambassadors, etc. from more than 47 Countries, followed by a Song with Barbara Hendrix (a Gospel of former Slaves for Freedom) and a Debate on the Future of Human Rights in Europe animated by the Heads of all CoE's Monitoring bodies against Torture (CPT), Discrimination/Racism/Ethnic Cleansing (ECRI), etc.

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- "Thank you for your questions" :These "are very Important matters", reacted spontaneously UNO's Head,  choosing among two differend "EuroFora"s questions (See other Draft NewsReports, already sent to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors), to put "Cyprus, first of all" :

- "It has been now a little over 2 Years since" representatives of "both Communities have engaged in Direct Negotiations (Talks) at the Leaders' level", he reminded.

- The "UN ...have been working very hard to Facilitate this Process" 

- "This is done not only " through my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, (former Liberal Foreign Minister of Australia, recently criticized in a Book currently discussed at Cyprus' Parliament, and whose precedessor was obliged to leave after Turkey made complaints), but also "through my own direct (personal) engagement", UNO's SG Ban Ki Moon ensured.

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 - UNO's work is made "in close Consultation not only with the two Leaders,  but also (with) Leaders of (other) Concerned Parties", (apparently Turkey, Greece, the UK, EU and/or USA, Russia,  etc), he added.


- "It has been Encouraging that the (Cyprus' communities') Leaders have been meeting more than 80  times in Direct Talks", (after many Years of merely Indirect contacts), trying to solve what is, "I think, one of the Longest-standing issues in Europe, at this time", Ban Ki Moon obseved.

- However, it's only "Recently" that "they have ... begun to Discuss ....(Refugees'/Displaced Persons') Property", which is "one of the most Complex Issues", UNO's Head realistically acknowledged.

-  "Now, (i.e. on October 2010) they have Both presented Concrete Proposals" on the Refugees/Displaced Persons' Family Homes and personal belongings issue, Ban Ki Moon officially revealed.

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Indeed, after various partial Leakages, these days, the Governing Coalition Party DHKO, joining others, accused Cyprus' President Christofiias to have made Excessive Concessions to the Turkish Cypriot side, that they did not accept, while  the main Governing Party, AKEL, prefered to denounce as "Intransigeant" and "Unacceptable" the demands made by the new leader of Turkish Cypriot Community living at the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Army, Mr. Eroglu, as "Intransigeant", "Unacceptable", "pushing at the Margins the (Human Rights) Principles" in order to obtain "Ethnically Clean" separate areas, contrary to the official aim of the UNO-sponsored Talks to reUnify Cyprus, (by asking to impose Absolute "Ceilings", Mass "Exchanges of properties",  Priority of illegal Occupiers on Refugees' Homes, Loss of Refugees' Homes "Modified" by anyone who might have Occupied them illegaly, Permanent Derogations to EU Law, Exclusion of ECHR, etc).

Since the start of ECHR's case-law on Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons (1996), the Turkish Government has, indeed, claimed that it would be materially "Impossible" for Ankara to pay "more than 22 Billions €" for Financial Compensation of Refugees, (reportedly based on the famous "Loizidou" ECHR judgements' calculation for 1 person), obviously implying that Turkey would Never accept (despite ECHR's case-law, and Contrary to what is going on even in the Western Balkans, where Croatia a.o. claim to be Open to Serbian a.o. Refugees' return) that many Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons ever find anew their Homes... This seems due to Ankara's eagerness to continue Military Occupation and/or other ways to keep a Total Control over Cyprus' Northern Coasts, perhaps because Turkey either has excessive fears for its own "Security" ..in front of Tiny Cyprus, or because some Lobbies might seek to secretly usurpate Cyprus' hidden Natural Resources, (such as rare Minerals, Oil/Gas, etc).

This has notoriously been a major Stumpling Block also in previous attempts to reUnify Cyprus. Not only because it affects a Large Number of People, (more than 20% of Greek Cypriots being Refugees/IDPs, something that inevitably counts in any Democratic Election and/or Vote). But also because an Excessive, Mass-Obstruction of Refugees/IDPs' Human Rights to return and/or find Restoration of their Family Homes and/or personal belongings, would inevitably provoke an "AppartHeid"-like Separation between 2 "Ethnically Cleaned" Areas, artificially composed and keeping most Greek Cypriots away from Turkish Cypriots, contrary to the aim of Cyprus' ReUnification : Obviously, by imposing for ever such an Ethnic Separation, even to the detriment of Refugees/IDP's Human Rights, a Risk is provoked to keep constantly Cyprus de facto Divided, Hindering the creation of Common Interests, so that Differends, Tensions and Conflicts may anew arise between the 2 Separated Parts, giving to some Foreign Powers a too "Easy" Prey for eventual cynical Destablization, so that Peace could be Undermined almost at any moment, and the island Condemned to chronic Instability,  against Europe's interests and UNO's official aims.

What complicates things is that the Leadership of Greek Cypriots had, nevertheless, been obliged, shortly after the Turkish Miiltary Invasion and Occupation, to formally accept to seek only a "Bi-Communal and Bi-Zonal Federal State" as a Political Solution, and this is, sometimes, abused by some Turkish argumentators as a Pretext for Excessive Restrictions of Refugees' Human Rights. But, in fact, the differend question of the Constitutional Structure and the Power-sharing in a New ReUnified State between Political Leadership, do not necessarily impose so Disproportional and too "Heavy" Derogations from Human Rights of Individual Citizens, while, also, other New,  Creative Solutions seem Intellectually possible to Imagine and propose at an Honest Negotiation Table, if all are really consciously animated by a sincere wish to reUnify and pacify the island in a Stable manner.

Normally, Cyprus should be an .. Easier problem to solve on Refugees' return, since Greek and Turkish Cypriots, fortunately, had Never engaged in quasi-generalized Bloody Conflicts spreading even among Civil Population, as it occurred in the ex-Yugoslavia's area at the Western Balkans, where, nevertheless, despite that, unlike Turkey's 35 Years long Refusal, on the contrary, Croatia and other involved Countries now clearly affirm their Willingness to help Refugees' Return, (including many ethnic Serbians) with Restitution of their Homes whenever possible, etc, which, indeed, advances, even if slowly, reportedly because of Economic hardships to overcome (See relevant earlier statements by Croatian Leaders to "EuroFora").

But, Experience shows, that, sometimes, even for some hidden reasons, Refugees' return issues might become, in fact, too nasty : F.ex. the unprecedented brutal Murder of UNO's Permanent Envoy at Iraq, the famous former UNO High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio de Mehlo, who had worked for Decades at the UNHC for Refugees, at nearby Geneva, helping numerous People to voluntarily return back Home after various conflicts all over the World, from Africa up to Latin America, the Balkans, Caucasus and Asia, etc., before being suddenly killed, together with his close collaborators, by a non-revendicated Bomb which exploded shortly after he reportedly anounced that he was preparing to help also many Kurdish Refugees to return at the Northern Area of Iraq, close to Kirkuk, where Turkey and others notoriously try to revendicate some rights or pretexts to intervene in the Oil/Gas-rich area, (2003).....  
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- Thus, despite aknowledging the obvious Difficulties of the Task, Ban Ki Moon energetically expressed in Strasbourg, in his long reply to "EuroFora"'s first Question on Cyprus, his "Hope that they (i.e. the political Leaders) will be able to  resolve this long-standing issue, .... towards a Mutually Satisfying Agreement".


-  "The recent Opening, of a Crossing between the two Communities, at Limnites, (a long-awaited, Positive development aimed to locally facilitate Civil and Religious Movements, Meetings and Exchanges of People accross the "Green Line" which practically Divides the Island in two parts since the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and continuing Occupation), ... is also a co-sign of their Commitment. to move Ahead", UNO's Head optimistically observed.

- In this regard, "I have been Urging,  in my Meetings with the two Leaders, President Christophias of Cyprus, and also Mr Eroglu of (the) Turkish Cypriot Community,  that it is Now Time to make Decisions, to make an Agreement", Ban Ki Moon revealed.

Apparently trying to Stimulate Serious Progres, while, at the same time, avoiding to set Time Deadlines, which have been explicitly excluded when this New Round of Talks started, in order to avoid any risk for eventually hastily imposed "recipes" which might fail : A well known Risk, against which,  all those who really want Cyprus' Reunification have understood that they must protect the Talks, in order to keep their flame alive and have a chance to succeed).

- Because, "during the last 2 Years (2009-2010), they have opened all their Positions, all their Cards", as he noted, speaking, however, shortly after the recent, April 2010 Political Change of the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community living in the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Army, replacing Mr. Talat (allegedly more open to compromises) by Mr. Eroglu (traditionally presented as, comparatively, more "Hardliner").

However, even Eroglu had taken part, together with other leaders of Cyprus' Political Parties, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, at a landmark meeting organized by the CoE in Strasbourg back on 2003, and participated in a Symbolic event where they all jointly transplanted a unique young Tree, symbolizing Cyprus' Future ReUnification, at Orangerie's Parc in Strasbourg, (Comp. Eroglu's statements to "EuroFora"'s co-founder then)...

- "And now it's Time to Fold together whatever Cards can be Met Together", as UNO's SG characteristically put it, "and make Decisions", he suggested.

- This should be done, naturally, "on the Basis of Compromise and Flexibility", he advised.

- But, "most of all, a Long Vision, a Long Vision for their Future", UNO's Head stressed, apparently inciting all those directly involved to overcome any Short-Term, Short-sighted Expediences, but to search, instead, to build a real and succesful Common Future on Solid Basis, able to safeguard Essential Values and provide Stability.

 - At any case, "I'm' going to continue working together" with Europe for "this" purpose, Ban Ki Moon promissed.

 - "On this (Cyprus') case, "EU's role will be Crucially Important", UNO's SG admitted, (contrary to Turkey's traditional reluctance for a transparent, democratic and strong EU's involvement).

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 - That's why, "I have been Discussing this matter with the European Leaders", Ban Ki Moon revealed during his 3 Days-long stay in Strasbourg, ( where he came from New York via Morocco and Paris, from Monday Evening up to Wednesday :  18-20 October , as "EuroFora" learned from other UNO's sources).

 - Indeed, "EU, which is the biggest Donor in the Word, (while also spending a lot of Taxpayers' Money for Turkey each year since the 1999-2000 controversial attribution of a "Candidate" status),  we (EU) don't want only to be a Payer, we want also to be a Player", stressed earlier EU Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek, underlying a general trend, which obviously includes also EU Member States as Cyprus, where EU traditionally had a permanent EU Council's Representative, as early as since the 1997 Irish EU Chairmanship, (See f.ex. published Statements to "EuroFora"'s Co-Founder by EU Council's 1st Representative to Cyprus' Top level Talks under UN Secretary General's auspices, already on 1997 at Montreux/Glyon - Switzerland)

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But, curiously, Ban Ki Moon, (who had faced an exceptionally Intensive Day of astonishingly Numerous Meetings at many and various places in Strasbourg : from his CoE's Speech and Press point, to his EU Parliament's Plenary Speech and Press Conference, followed by a special event with the European Movement against Poverty, a visit to Strasbourg's Mayor, long debates at EUP's Foreign Affairs Committee, etc., including several Bilateral contacts, etc), apparently missed or implicitly put aside (without denying, but keeping, perhaps, for another moment), unless simply evoked only implicitly and indirectly (Comp. Supra), a concrete and explicit Reply to "EuroFora"'s main point about the need to sufficiently "Safeguard Human Rights and other EU/CoE Principes" (f.ex. Rule of Law, etc), so that Cyprus could experience a successful future ReUnification (See supra)

+ Earlier at the CoE, he had, nevertheless, stressed, as a matter of General Principle, the crucial importance of Human Rights for UNO's main Missions (See supra), and references to "Common Values" were omni-present also in Ban Ki Moon's statements to EU Parliament on EU - UNO cooperation....

-  However, meanwhile, EU Parliament's Legal affairs Committee, decided, by a coincidence, shortly after UNO's SG arrived to Strasbourg : on Monday Evening, by a Large Majority Vote of 18 MEPs against only 5, that there is No real Legal Basis in a highly Controversial, old Draft Regulation claiming to open "Direct Trade" to the Territories of Cyprus still under Military Occupation by Ankara's Army, which surprisingly treated the Northern Part of an Internationaly Recognized EU Member's Land as if it was ... a Foreign, "3rd Country", despite UNO Security Council's own Resolutions clearly asking to abstain from doing anything which might be exploited by an illegal, Separatist breakaway regime set up in those Occupied Territories, where almost all Greek Cypriots a.o. were obliged to flee, becoming Refugees/Displaced persons, and are still hindered to return to their Family Homes and Anvcestral Land, despite ECHR's case-law,  which repeatedly condemned Turkey for obstructing Refugees/IDP's return and usurpating their Homes and private properties, (from 1996 up to 2010, one of the recent ECHR's judgements having been published just on September).  

Confirming the findings of Experts of EU Council's and EU Parliament's Legal Services on this point, MEPs' Large Majority at the competent Legal affairs Committee, voted, on the contrary, in favor of a comparatively Lesss controversial possible Legal Basis, (that of EU - Cyprus' Treaty of Accession), which clearly recognizes Cyprus in its entirety, but observes the fact that, because of the persisting Foreign Military Occupation, EU Acquis' normal application is forcibly suspended in the Occupied Territories, until a solution is found. Something which, naturally, cannot nullify the existing Legal Obligation of all to respect and apply Judgements condeming anyone who might usurpate Refugees' Family Homes and/or private properties, (as EU's Court of Justice notoriously found recently at the "Orams" case), nor affect Refugees/DP's Human Rights to return to their Family Homes and/or to restoration of (and in case of impossibility : just indemnisation for)  their personal belongings, (according to ECHR's 1995-2010 well established case law).    

A main Differnce is that, in this case, obviously the Decision-making process requires the Agreement of the concerned Government at EU Council, (while, with the 3 times rejected, other version, vainly pushed by a Turkish lobby, an eventually opposed, even thin majority of other States could oblige an EU Member State to swallow anything that might be decided by others in a part of its own Country, without any possibility to have a Say, even on Crucial Issues, thereby threatening its Sovereignity (and, in Cyprus' case, even its existence, given the persisting Foreign Military Occupation by Ankara's Army), as a MEP from another EU Country critically observed before Monday's Vote.

The controversial Draft had been initially presented, a long time ago, by a former "Green" EU Commissioner, and kept on the Table by former EU Enlrgement Commissioner Verheugen, a Socialist from Germany, famous not only by his incredible Public Statement that : - "Torture in Turkey is not systematic" (sic !), and  by the fact that, immediately after quitting his job at EU Commission, he was... hired and paid by Turkey's Foreign Trade Board (!) as a "consultant" for Ankara's Commercial Interests, provoking MEP's Criticism and an 2010 EU Enquiry on possible Incompatibilities and Conflicts with his former EU Responsibilities...

Calls to definitively drop such a controversial measure as a "Direct Trade" claim vis a vis a Country's Territory Occupied by a Foreign Army, started now to multiply, but EU Parliament has yet to decide whether it would send the file right back to EU Council immediately, or not yet.

In fact, Turkish lobby has been curiously insisting on controversial "Direct Trade" claims for the Occupied Territories as early as since tha beginning of 2000, (as "EuroFora"'s co-founder observed for the 1st time while returning from a UNO-sponsored round of Cyprus' Top Talks at nearby Geneva).

However, during recent years, until now, it had started to claim that this should be a kind of Gift to give to the Turkish side because it would have started to keep a better attitude on Cyprus than in the Past...         

                                                                                                                                                                                This claim was indeed, vainly evoked before Monday's vote by a MEP of the Turkish lobby, who apparently ignored the fact that Turkey, and its representative as "T/C Leader" in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, (then Rauf Denktash, who had already rejected in the Past several UNO moves over Cyprus), had even openly ....Refused to accept a UN Secretary General (then Koffi Annan)'s Official Invitation to come at New York, to UNO's Headquarters, on 2001, to start a New round of Talks aimed to solve Cyprus" issue !


The only cause for such a Bluntly Negative behavior and Unprecedented Contempt vis a vis UNO and the International Community in general, was merely the fact that UNO's Secretary General, (Koffi Annan then), had simply added in his Invitation Letter that the forthcoming Talks should be held "on the Basis" of UNO Security Council's Resolutions on Cyprus' issue, (i.e. something elementary, as various Letters and Public Anouncements usually reminded)...

> By a strange Coincidence,Turkey was practically "Saved", then, from otherwise unavoidable EU - Sanctions" for its bluntly stubborn stance, only by ...9/11's Deadly Terrorist Attacks, which killed some 3.000 Innocent People at New York's World Trade Center !

Indeed, the UNO-sponsored official Meetings on Cyprus' Talks  had been scheduled for the Date of September 12, 2001, but were suddenly and brutally hindered by the September 11 tragic Events.... :  Cyprus' President (then  Clerides) had just arrived elsewhere in Northern America, where he was suddenly Blocked by Orders to Stop all AirFlights, and obliged, later-on, to return back in Europe after even UNO's Headquarters were exceptionally closed down for more than a week. It's in the unprecedented context of so exceptional events as 9/11's Barbary that Turkey succeeded then to "Hide" its blatant Contempt vis a vis UNO on Cyprus on 2001 (See Supra).

When, later-on, Turkey obtained, in completely differend circumstances, an exceptional EU call to "end the (so-called) Isolation" of Turkish Cypriots living in the areas Occupied by Anikra's Armly, despite Turkish Lobby's erroneous attempts to  link that 2004 event with their "Direct Trade" older controversial claim (See Supra), as a MEP asked even now, on 2010 (!), in fact, this was already done with the 2005 EU Decision (in Agreement with Cyprus' Government) to earmark EU Funds for the Turkish Cypriots living the Occupied Territories, which should aim to advance the "Economic Integration" of Cyprus' as  reUnified Country, (and not stir Sepratism), as the EU Regulation clearly stresses, endorsing statement that EU Chairman in office, Dutch Foreign Minister, had then given to "EuroFora'"s co-Founder when this Measure was prepared.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Moreover, in addition to the already existing possibility for Turkish Cypriots to use the Seaports of the Free Areas of the Republic for their Foreign Trade, as well as the "Green Line" Regulation for inter-Communal Trade, Cyprus has repeatedly proposed also  to legally open Famagusta's Seaport for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots' Foreign Trade, in exchange of Refugees' return to their Homes and Properties located in the Deserted area of the fenced "Ghost" Town, according to UNO's relevant Resolutions, other MEPs reminded EU Parliament's Legal affairs Committee before Monday evening's Vote (See supra).

But the most important Political reason for EU Parliament's decision to reject the controversial Draft that a controversial previous EU Commissioner had tabled (See supra), seems to be the fact that any eventual "Direct Trade" with Foreign Countries by an illegal entity of a Breakaway regime explicitly condemned by UNO's SC Resolutions, in Territories Occupied by a Foreign Army and deserted by their Lawful and ancestral Inhabitants, obliged to be transformed into Refugees/Displaced persons and still hindered by Turkey to return to their Family Homes and properties, in a  persisting Massive Violation to ECHR's case-law, would obviously risk to put in serious Danger the efforts to reUnify Cyprus : By provoking Separatist Interests, such a highly controversial measure would, in fact, threaten to  provoke an "immediate Collapse of (interCommunal) Peace Talks in 10 minutes !", as the current Head of Cyprus' Delegation to EU Parliament, MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou, from the Governing AKEL Party, characteristically warned.during Monday evenings' debates...

Indeed, already the Historic American Constitutionalist, Alexander Hamilton, in his famous "Federalist Papers", had clearly warned that, in order to prevent Tensions, Conflicts and repetitions of bloody Civil Wars in the USA and/or elsewhere, it's necessary to avoid measures risking to provoke Diverging Interests and/or to be abused and manipulated by Foreign Countries in order to stir Differends, such as, f.ex. Separate Foreign Trade policies between Federated States : Instead, in order to create a Coherent and Solid Federation, its entities must have a Unified Foreign Trade Policy, among a long series of similar Measures needed in order to create Converging Interests able to ciment an Harmonious, Peaceful and Stable, integrated Federation in the Future. Obviously, all this goes even more, a fortiori, in the case of a Country still semi-Occupied by a Foreign Army, as Cyprus' northern territories which are still illegally controlled by Ankara's Army... Here, a special attention naturally needs to be placed into searching to find key domains of activity where Greek and Turkish Cypriots could have vital Joint Interests to work together.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Ban Ki Moon : Strasbourg symbol ?


Speaking later on Tuesday about Strasbourg city itself, Ban Ki Moon, who was visiting "for the 1st time" the area together with his Wife (present even at EU Parliament's Press Conference, right in front of "EuroFora"), didn't only observe that "UNESCO designated the entire City Centre a World Heritage Site", and expressed the "hope" to "taste some of the famous Traditional Food of the region" "Alsace", on which he "had a preview .. just recently at New York", when "Mrs Ban and I were very privileged", by meeting "a Chef from Alsace" (Gerichten), who "cooked for us in our kitchen when I invited President Sarkozy last year" (2009), as he reminded.


Going well beyond that, UNO's SG started by pointing at the Republic's Square famous Statute picturing a special Pieta : "A Mother grieving for her two fallen Sons – killed fighting on opposite sides", as he said, denouncing "a poignant reminder of the price we pay when we allow Division to undermine concord" : Something which fits, at least partly with Cyprus and other cases where an infamous "Divide and Rule" policy provokes and exploits Tragic Dramas of bloody Divisions, Apartheid and other Separatist Partitions.

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UNO itself "was born from the ashes of the Second World War, a war that destroyed Europe", he reminded. But, "Europe should be proud of what it has built since those Dark days : A society built on mutual acceptance. A community that is still reaching out and expanding", "at the Heart" of which "lies Strasbourg".


 - That's one more reason for which "Strasbourg"'s, CoE and EU Parliament's HQ, is "better" placed in order "to conduct" an "Orchestra" playing "Symphonies of sense", with "tunes of Tolerance", and "Swetter Sounds" than "the Ugly cries of Prejudice", in a "City" which "stands for Harmony, for Human Rights, Countries and Cultures working Together for a Common Goal", after having "always known strife" in a remote Past", before it "was chosen as CoE's seat, as a Symbol of reconciliation", and became "Europe's Legislative and Democratic Capital" .


Reminding also that, "more than half a Century ago Strasbourg was Home to Johannes Gutenberg", whose invention, the "printing Press helped spread Knowledge, Ideas, Values to a public far and Wide", so that "It changed History". But, also "Today Strasbourg – Home of the CoE and EU Parliament – still has a Power to Transform our World, for the Better", he optimistically (and/or with voluntarism)...

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If Strasbourg might have a  chance to efficiently contribute into convincing Turkey to really respect elementary Human Rights, as well as all or most of those parties, directly or indirectly but seriously involved on Cyprus' issue, (an Historic, Institutional and Values' Testbed of Europe's credibility, creativity, consciousness and political will, as well as of Global Community's capacity to regenerate its values), in succesfully starting to overcome the island's Tragic Divisions by developing a New Atmosphere made out of sincere rejection of Crimes or Errors of the Past,  replaced by fresh aspirations to build a much Better Future, with Converging Interests and common desire for a really Unified, stable, peaceful and properous Island, (the last point being rather easy for the Strategically located Cyprus, (in front of Suez Channel, at the Crossroads of 3 Continents), with active People, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, as well as Maronites, Armenians, Latinos, etc), then, UN SG Ban Ki Moon's symbolic litterature may become fertile in real fields opening new Horizons with larger scope.

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(UNO's SG Ban Ki Moon with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland and Cyprus' Ambassador/Permanent Representative at the CoE, Euripides Evriviades : - "We studied together at the "Kennedy" School, in Harvard", he explained smiling to a surprised "EuroFora")...

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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

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    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

busekcoe_400

    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

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