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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4715 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

and Australia turn to Turkey, Greece and the island of Cyprus and say, "You must follow UN resolutions,"if we ourselves cannot?

All resolutions of the United Nations need to be considered seriously, taken into account and supported because that is what the UN is for. It is an international organisation that this country was a lead player in establishing. If we are to work for peace around the globe, then we need to support the UN in its activities around the globe.

I hope that it does have a positive impact in Cyprus and that the people of Cyprus can move to living on an island in peace, not an island constantly under the threat of violence. I think that the UN does have a very important role to play there, and they should be supported and respected in their continuing work to bring about a peaceful resolution in the Cypriot nation.

MS TUCKER (5.44): The ACT Greens also support this call for a unification of Cyprus. I think members have already spoken in detail about the situation there and the history there; so I won't repeat that information. I would just want to make a general comment that I think the ongoing animosity on Cyprus is to be regretted.

I know it is a subject that is often raised in conferences of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. In fact, in a recent issue of the Parliamentarian, Issue 2 of 2003, there was an article by Mr Marcos Kyrianou who is a member of the Cypriot parliament, and in a quote from that article he says:

Cyprus has had to face major consequences from this act of aggression with almost a third of its population having been turned into refugees, brutally evicted from their homes.

The United Nations has concerns about human rights in Cyprus. I quote again:

Cyprus's continuing division has consequences on the enjoyment, on the whole of the island, of a number of human rights including freedom of movement; property rights; freedom from discrimination; freedom of religion; freedom of expression; voting rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and the human rights issues pertaining to the question of missing persons.

So there are obviously some very real concerns about the division of Cyprus. Members here today have illustrated those violations of human rights with individual stories as well. As everybody here understands, this uneasy standoff between the Turks and the Greeks has resulted in a UN force keeping the sides apart.

But as other members have also said here, with the admission of Cyprus into the European Union, there is renewed hope and pressure on the Turks to agree to unification. I have also heard that both Greek and Turkish Cypriots are eager for unification.

All the signs are there that they, the mainland Turks, too have begun to switch their traditional alliance from Mr Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, to the opposition parties in the realisation that a settlement will also benefit them. I read that in the Guardian Unlimited of 16 September 2003. Cypriot communities around the world have been calling for commitment to unity in Cyprus. This motion is in solidarity with that call, and we support it.

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