Mavroyiannis UN General Assembly Defeat: Who are Cyprus’ True Allies?

Last Monday 13 of June, as the hot Mediterranean summer working day was here in Lefkosia drawing to a close, we received another unexpected blow (?) to our international standing if not reputation: our top diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis was defeated in his bid to be elected President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. There is no doubt that the election of a Cypriot diplomat to the international organization’s General Assembly top post would have meant a great boost for the battered semi-occupied Republic of Cyprus.

Above all, Mavroyiannis’ election would have passed the message to the neo-Ottoman government of Ankara that the Republic of Cyprus is not only not ‘defunct’ – the Turkish government misses no opportunity to claim that it is – but that the RoC is instead alive and kicking, widely respected and powerful enough to lead international fora despite the neo-Sultan’s wish and steadfast policy of denying us access to such fora. Alas, this golden opportunity to slap Ankara on the face was missed! But why was it so? Who defeated us and why?

Let us look into the facts. Mavroyiannis candidature was fielded at an early day. Already two years ago, he started his campaign with the full support of the Cypriot Foreign Ministry. Human resources were mobilized and particular funds from the MFA budget were allocated to make sure his campaign is successful. At the time of the submission of the candidatures, not so long ago, more than 120 UN member-states signed up supporting him. President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has sent letters to all heads of state, members of the UNO. Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides rushed to Washington-New York to ensure full backing of Mavroyiannis. Hours before the vote the Cypriot delegation at the UN expressed optimism expecting Mavroyiannis to clinch over 100 votes in the ballot – while in Lefkosia presidential aides at the Palace even expected 120 – out of 193 eligible to vote. Yet he was defeated by a narrow margin of four votes: 90 against 94 for Peter Thomson of Fiji Islands – once known as Cannibal Isles – of South Pacific Ocean. Why was Mavroyiannis’ victory overturned and … ‘cannibalised’ by Cannibal Isles?

Nicos Emiliou, Cyprus’ UN Permanent Representative, publicly charged after the vote that the US, the UK and the Scandinavian countries, including Norway – home country of UN SG Special Adviser Espen Bath Eida – but excluding Denmark voted against. Clearly, the key policy notion of solidarity did not enter the minds of the diplomats of our rich EU partners of the European North. Where is the Common Foreign Policy of our club? Is the EU a single bloc on the international plane or an assortment of countries of all sorts of orientations and policies? What does Norway, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland have in common with … Fiji – Φύκι (Greek word literally meaning ‘seaweed’, metaphorically used to denote ‘triviality’ and ‘insignificance’). As the commonality of interests of our European partners with Fiji is absolutely insignificant (φύκια!) we are naturally led to the conclusion that they together with permanent Security Council members UK and US wanted to … cannibalise, i.e. is to launch a ferocious attack aiming at defeating Mavroyiannis, employing for this purpose the long neglected existence of the … Cannibal Isles!

The US-UK antiques can only be described as farcical: on the declaratory level they pretend that they uphold the sovereignty and international standing of the RoC; on the practical level they think of the … Cannibal Isles – of which only 100 out of 322 are inhabited – as of superior international standing and diplomatic capacity to that of the Republic of Cyprus!

By the way is Rick Todd’s, the – now erstwhile – British High Commissioner in Lefkosia, sudden departure related to the above debacle and souring of Anglo-Cypriot relations? We wonder …

As to US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s argument that Mavroyiannis better performs as Chief Negotiator in the Cyprus Talks, we have no comment: is there anybody out there who believes that the negotiations are getting anywhere? For the past forty years the negotiations have established themselves, under various names and guises, as our favourite pastime while the results of Turkish aggression are consolidated year in year out.

Fellow Cypriot citizens: please check on the list of the countries who voted for our candidate: it may get us some way ahead in identifying who are our true allies …