UN candlelight vigil in Cyprus for peace

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A special candle light vigil was held in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Cyprus on Tuesday night to mark the International Day of Peace, with the attendance of some World War II veterans from both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.As we gather at this crossroad linking the island’s two communities, we join millions of people, echoing their calls for cease, to end conflicts and to build bridges between peoples. Peace equals hope. Lisa M. Buttenheim, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative in Cyprus, said she felt personally touched on this occasion as a daughter of a World War II veteran herself. “Although the word ‘peace’ is part of our everyday language, the reality of peace is sadly absent from the lives of far too many,” she said. “As we gather at this crossroad linking the island’s two communities, we join millions of people, echoing their calls for cease, to end conflicts and to build bridges between peoples. Peace equals hope,” the UN envoy added. Buttenheim especially welcomed representatives of Cypriot youth who attended the ceremony, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged young people around the world to take a stand for peace. “We all have a part to play in waging peace, the elderly and the young alike,” she said. “We must join forces in activities that contribute to resolution of conflicts, bridging cultural divides and fostering tolerance.” The leaders of Cyprus’ two rival communities restarted direct peace talks in 2008 under the UN auspices, trying to reunited the island divided since 1974 under a federal structure. But the two sides have so far failed to make any breakthrough. Nevertheless, Buttenheim told the gathering that UN remains committed to a comprehensive settlement for decades-old Cyprus problem. “We continue to believe that a solution is within reach, ” she noted. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session every September. Sources: Xinhua and the UNFICYP websitelast_img read more

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