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The Cyprus Dispute and the United Nations: Peaceful Non-Settlement Between 1954 and 1996

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 April 2009

Suha Bölükbaşi
Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, Middle East Technical University, O.D.T.U., 06531 Ankara, Turkey.


In his landmark book on the problems and progress of international organization, Inis L. Claude wrote:

“Settlement,” lİke “pacific,” is a relative term. In some cases, the realistic ideal may be not to achieve the permanent settlement of a dispute, but to persuade the parties to settle down permanently with the dispute. The agenda of the Security Council and the General Assembly are liberally sprinkled with items that are beginning to seem like permanent fixtures, quarrels which the United Nations has managed to subject to peaceful perpetuation rather than peaceful settlement.

As in several other disputes, the United Nations has in the Cyprus dispute operated on the assumption that Claude described: that the enforced postponement of a showdown between the parties would make the dispute conducive to peaceful settlement. Actually, some disputes, if properly controlled over a period of time, ultimately wither into insignificance or become ripe for settlement. In some other disputes, however, a long cooling-off period may actually lead the parties to adopt more rigid and uncompromising positions, and the prospects for reasonable compromise gradually diminish.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1998

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