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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4714 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

community; they understand and acknowledge that their well-being into the future depends on or is tied inextricably to the future of Cyprus as a whole.

I have no doubt that, were the people of Cyprus perhaps allowed that opportunity to develop or to determine their future and their sovereignty for themselves, even those Turkish Cypriots that are part and parcel of Cyprus would choose reunification, would choose a sovereign Cyprus, to move forward in the world as a sovereign, independent nation making its place.

That is my hope for Cyprus. It is reflected in this motion. I believe we will be and are inexorably moving to the circumstance that is described in this particular motion. It is just a pity that it has taken so long. I think this recognition by this Assembly is another welcome step along the path to the reunification of Cyprus.

MS DUNDAS (5.41): Mr Speaker, the ACT Democrats support the United Nations' efforts to bring about unification in Cyprus. As long as Cyprus remains two countries, the island as a whole suffers. It is also clear that the people in the Republic of Cyprus are almost three times better off than their counterparts in the north. As ascension to the EU in May next year of the republic moves closer, unification brings only hope that the economic disparity between the north and the Republic of Cyprus will not widen.

Unfortunately, the unification process is at a standstill until after elections are held in the north. I understand the present government has stated it has no more interest in continuing negotiations, but the leading opposition party has pledged it will reopen negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations if it wins power. The elections are effectively a referendum on not only the Cyprus problem and its ascension to the European Union but also on the future chances of Turkey joining the EU.

I believe a unified Cyprus will greatly enhance Turkey's chances, and Turkey joining the EU, or at least continuing down the path of joining, is of particular importance to Australia, especially in light of the fact that 14 Kurdish refugees have been denied asylum by the federal government recently.

The European Union has required Turkey to become more democratic and to stop its persecution and human rights abuses of the Kurdish people. Turkish accord of the Cypriot unification process will send a signal to the world that it is prepared to take its democratic responsibility seriously and it will give hope to its Kurdish people. Likewise, it is important the rest of the world demonstrates that unification for Cyprus is essential.

So I will be supporting this motion. I have no problem with the amendment. I think that other members have gone into great detail about the complexity of this issue and what is actually going on on the island. I think it clearly highlights why we need the United Nations and the role the United Nations has in our international community. The United Nations has moved many resolutions, as has been discussed, trying to work for a peaceful solution to what is happening on the island of Cyprus.

If the UN is to continue with the role that its predecessor was tasked with at the end of World War I, it needs to be supported by all nations around the world; it needs to be respected by all nations around the world. How could countries like the United States

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