The Permanent Representatives of Cyprus and Armenia to the United Nations have sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, explaining the reasons why the two countries object to the election by silence procedure of Volkan Bozkir of Turkey as President of the UN General Assembly at its 75 session, and request that the election is held by secret ballot.
The letter, dated June 2, was circulated as an official document of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and is signed by the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations Andreas Mavroyiannis and the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations, Mher Margaryan.
“Over and above the qualities of any candidate, we consider that the leadership of the sole universal principal organ of the United Nations should be held by a national of a Member State that is exemplary in its compliance with the norms and values of the United Nations. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the State nominating Mr. Bozkir,” the two Permanent Representatives note in their letter.
They add that Turkey threatens peace and security in its entire region by consistently violating the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including United Nations sanctions regimes, in order to realize its aspirations for regional domination. “It does so by displaying a pattern of aggressive behaviour towards its neighbouring countries, encroaching on their territory, undermining their sovereignty and territorial integrity, questioning their sovereign rights and instrumentalizing the plight of refugees and migrants for political ends” they add.
Mavroyiannis and Margaryan also note that by imposing and sustaining an illegal land blockade on Armenia for almost three decades, Turkey effectively impedes the transit through and access to the sea of the neighbouring landlocked country. “Turkey’s persistent policies of denying and attacking the memory and the dignity of the victims of the genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire 105 years ago continue to pose a security threat for Armenia and the wider region” they add.
Moreover, they say that Turkey invaded Cyprus and has continued to occupy more than a third of its territory for almost 50 years and continues to deny its very existence by insisting on not recognizing it, having unilaterally proclaimed an illegal, secessionist entity in the area that it occupies, which it tries to oppose to the sole legitimate Government, despite the clear condemnation of its actions by the Security Council.
The two Permanent Representatives also note that Ankara is responsible for egregious violations of human rights in Cyprus, which it continues to deny despite being condemned by the European Court of Human Rights and continues to violate Cyprus’ sovereignty and sovereign rights on land, sea and air on a daily basis.
It is for these reasons that our delegations object to the election of Mr. Bozkir by silence procedure and request that the election of the President of the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session be held by secret ballot, Mavroyiannis and Margaryan conclude.
The election of the President of the UN General Assembly has been set for June 17, on the same day as the election of the five new members of the Security Council. Since there is no other candidate, the election of the Turkish member of parliament is considered to be certain. Greece and the United Arab Emirates also sent letters, asking for the silence procedure to be terminated.