Cyprus joined the Commonwealth in 1961, soon after attaining its independence. It has been actively participating in all Commonwealth activities, which include co-operation in numerous fields such as economic development, agriculture and food production, industry, legal issues, education, health, youth issues, women’s issues, scientific issues, public administration, parliamentary issues and professions.
Cyprus firmly adheres to the principles and values of the Commonwealth and continues to co-operate closely with other member states towards the common interest of all peoples, social justice, and the economic development among member states as well as of the world at large.
Indicative of Cyprus’ adherence to the values and principles of the institution as well as of the esteem it enjoys within the Commonwealth is the fact that it hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Lemesos in 1993. Cyprus also hosted the Annual Meeting of the Commonwealth Ministers of Finance during 30 September – 2 October 2009. The same event had been organized again in Cyprus back in 1988.
The Commonwealth has consistently supported Cyprus in its struggle for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem. The Heads of Government of Commonwealth countries, at their Meetings held every two years have repeatedly expressed their collective support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus. Further, they have been firmly supporting the efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN Charter and the UN Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus for one State with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship, in a bicommunal, bizonal federation, with political equality as described in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.
In the final communiqué of the GHOGM Meeting held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, during 15-17 November 2013, the Heads of Government reaffirmed their full support for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus. They further expressed their support for the efforts towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, under the auspices of the UN Secretary General based on the UN Charter and the UN Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus for one State with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship, in a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as described in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. The Heads of Government also called for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus, in particular Security Council Resolutions 365 (1974), 541 (1983), 550 (1984), and 1251 (1999). They reiterated their support for the full respect of the human rights of all Cypriots, including their right to property, and for the implementation of the relevant decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and for the ascertainment of the fate of all missing persons.
As in the final communiqué of the 2011 Meeting, the Commonwealth also extended its full support and solidarity to the Republic of Cyprus regarding the exercise of its sovereign rights to explore and exploit the natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, under international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Commonwealth also called for the avoidance of actions and statements that threaten the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean. Beyond its support for finding a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, the Commonwealth has provided technical and other assistance to Cyprus in the form of expert advice as well as scholarships granted by educational institutions of Commonwealth countries. On its part, Cyprus offers scholarships to students from Commonwealth countries, either directly or through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation.
The Republic of Cyprus is grateful for the unwavering support that the Commonwealth has been demonstrating all these years for the efforts to end the division of the island and to achieve a just, viable and functional solution that will reunite Cyprus under conditions of peace, stability and prosperity.