The Republic of Cyprus has a historical connection with the Non–Aligned Movement (NAM). In 1955, before the island became independent, Archbishop Makarios, who was later elected as the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, attended the historic Conference in Bandung. In 1961, the Republic of Cyprus, which had by then become an independent state, was one of the 25 participants in the Belgrade Conference, which formally established the Movement.
As an active member of the Movement, the Republic of Cyprus hosted the Foreign Ministers΄ Conference in Nicosia in September 1988 and was the venue for two Meetings of the Special Ministerial Committee set up by that Conference, in order to review the role, structure and methodology of the Non-Aligned Movement in the emerging post-Cold War international landscape.
The Republic of Cyprus, upon joining the European Union in May 2004, ceased to be a member of the Non–Aligned Movement but it continues to participate in its meeting as a Guest. As a member of the EU and as a founder and protagonist in the history of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Republic of Cyprus hopes to become a bridge of understanding and co-operation between the EU and the NAM.
The Movement has been a constant supporter of a just and viable solution of the Cyprus issue, and in that respect, it established a Contact Group to render support to the continuing efforts for a settlement. It considers the present status quo in Cyprus, established through the use of force and sustained by military strength, as unacceptable and is deeply concerned over the lack of progress in the search for a just and viable solution to this long lasting question, primarily due to Turkish intransigence. Efforts towards finding a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue, based on the implementation of all United Nations resolutions and NAM`s decisions on Cyprus, in accordance with the principles and positions of the United Nations Charter and the rule of international law must be intensified. The Movement considers any attempt for a change of the basis of the inter-communal dialogue held under the mandate of the Secretary General as unacceptable.
NAM΄s Declarations on the Cyprus issue contain all those elements that are important for a lasting and viable solution to the Cyprus issue. The Declaration by the NAM at the Heads of State or Government Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during 20-25 February 2003, stated that:
«The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed all previous positions and declarations of the NAM on the question of Cyprus. The Movement considered the present status quo in Cyprus, established through the use of force and sustained by military strength, as unacceptable and is deeply concerned over the lack of progress in the search for a just and viable solution to this long-lasting question, primarily due to Turkish intransigence. The Movement noted the recent ongoing efforts of the United Nations towards finding a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem through inter-communal dialogue and reaffirmed its position that the solution agreed must be based on the implementation of all United Nations resolutions and NAM’s decisions on Cyprus, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. In this regard, the Movement also considered the statement by the President of the Security Council of 19 December 2002, which expressed its regret that the Turkish Cypriot leadership had not responded in a timely way to the initiatives of the Secretary General. The Movement also took note that the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot leadership is in direct contrast with the will of the Turkish Cypriots themselves. To this effect, the Movement welcomed the recent mobilisation of the Turkish Cypriot civil society in favour of a solution. The Movement urged both sides to continue negotiating in the period ahead in a positive and constructive spirit so that full agreement can be reached the soonest».
The last Heads of State or Government Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement took place in Havana, Cuba during 11-16 September 2006. The Republic of Cyprus participated with the special envoy of President Papadopoulos Mr. George Iacovou, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs. The next Meeting will take place in Tehran, Iran, between 28-31.7.2008