Address on the Commemoration of the
28th Anniversary of the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus,
21 July 2002
The Minister of Justice and Public Order of the Republic
The Premier of the North West;
His Eminence, The Archbishop of the Hellenic Orthodox
Church of Zimbabwe;
Member of the Diplomatic Corps;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for affording me the opportunity of interacting
with you today, on this solemn occasion of remembering
and honouring the victims, both Greek Cypriot and Turkish
Cypriot, who died tragically in 1974.
This memorial service is important for all of us, as
it is a reminder of the importance of observing basic
human rights and basic principles of democracy throughout
We should also pay tribute to the organisers of this
event for their vigorous effort in support of a free
and united Cyprus. Your support and advocacy for human
rights and civil liberties needs to be applauded. having
fought our own struggle for liberation and against oppression,
we as South Africans full understand the passionate
advocacy for human rights and civil liberties for all
Distinguished guests, since her re-admission into the
international community, South Africa has been a consistent
and persuasive voice for the proposition that democracy,
respect for human rights and freedom, as well as the
rule of law should be the bedrock of a principled global
In this regard, we have propagated this message through
various fora, such as the United Nations, the Non-Aligned
Movement and the Commonwealth.
Master of Ceremonies, The United Nations Charter and
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provide us
with the vision towards which we should strive. We believe
that the time has come for all of us, as a global village,
to contribute towards the resolution of the Cyprus issue,
consistently with what is contained in the United Nations
Declaration of Human Rights and the various UN Security
Distinguished guests, I must emphasise that South Africa
support efforts to secure full implementation of all
United Nations resolutions on Cyprus. To this end, we
wish to stress the important role of the United Nations
Secretary General, in securing a just and workable solution
for the island and its people.
We have also expressed support for the initiative of
key international organisations such as the European
Union, the Commonwealth and Non-Aligned Movement, which
are also engaged in finding a solution to this longstanding
South Africa has repeatedly encouraged the Greek-Cypriot
and Turkish-Cypriot communities to again take up the
dialogue, and to allow and encourage bi-communal meetings
and not to take any actions that would impede or jeopardise
talks in any way.
In this regard, South Africa welcomes and supports
the decision by the respective parties to continue bilateral
engagements. We believe that with sufficient goodwill
and political commitment, a peaceful and mutually acceptable
solution based on the relevant United Nations resolutions
can indeed be found to the Cyprus questions.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate the determination
of the South African Government, to continue as it has
in the past in supporting the search for a joint solution
to the Cyprus problem, within the parameters set by
the United Nations and based on its relevant resolutions.
A solution, which will guarantee good governance in
Cyprus and the respect for fundamental freedom and basic
human rights for all it's citizens irrespective of their
ethnic origin, race and creed, is one which is unequivocally
supported by the South African Government.
Distinguished guests, I must also add that I have joined
you here today, because we truly value the contribution
of the Cypriot community to the strengthening of our
vibrant rainbow nation.
It is through the presence of a community such as this
one, that South Africa has been able to turn the diversity
of its people into a strength.
Our coat of arms clearly proves our commitment to ensuring
that we continue to work towards unity and progress.
It inspires us to use our diversity to build an even
stronger South African nation, united in its common
pursuit for a better life for all.
Let me also add also that through the support of this
community, we have been able to strengthen our political
and economic links with the Republic of Cyprus, and
we value the relationships we have with that country.
In this spirit, we urge our brothers and sisters in
this community, to join us in the quest for solutions
to the various problems in our continent. You will recall
that the African union was launched in Durban recently,
with South Africa as the first chair, and it faces several
economic, political and social challenges.
The resolution of conflicts in the continent, good
governance and respect for human rights, are some of
the issues that the AU will be tackling. Added to this,
is the quest for sustainable development in the continent,
which we hope to achieve through the AU's New Partnership
for Africa's Development, (NEPAD).
The Cypriot community no doubt shares these dreams
and goals, and we invite you to participate in whatever
way, in the rebirth of our continent.
We believe Africa has a bright future, and that if
we work together, we can achieve our objectives.
Let me once again, assure you of our support to the
quest for solutions to the Cypriot matter, and wish
you all the best in the road that lies ahead.
I thank you.