November 24, 2017

S/2011/498 – Assessment report of the Secretary-General on the status of the negotiations in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2011/498

  Security Council Distr.: General

8 August 2011

Original: English

 


Assessment report of the Secretary-General on the status of the negotiations in Cyprus

 

      I.   Introduction

 

1.       This report provides an updated assessment of the state of the negotiations in Cyprus since my last report of 4 March 2011 (S/2011/112).

2.       This is my third assessment report to the Security Council since I met with the leaders of the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriot community in New York in November 2010, when they committed themselves to increase the tempo of negotiations and to focus their efforts on identifying and reaching convergence on the core issues. This report also comes after my latest meeting with the two leaders in Geneva on 7 July.

3.       I have been concerned that the talks were beginning to drift and that little tangible progress was being made. In April, it was decided to postpone our follow‑up meeting until more progress could be achieved. At the meeting on 7 July in Geneva, I reiterated my concern that progress was sluggish and discussed with the two leaders ways in which the situation could be addressed. The leaders agreed to intensify the pace of negotiations, improve the methodology of the talks, and push for a conclusion as soon as possible. They also agreed to meet me again in October in New York, by which time I expect that they will be able to report convergence on all core issues.

4.       These talks are taking longer than we had hoped. Almost three years have elapsed since the start of the full-fledged negotiations in September 2008. Since then, the leaders have met well over 100 times and, still, many of the core issues remain unresolved. After I met with the leaders in November 2010, the sides initially gave focused and productive attention to the core issues, which resulted in convergences on the economy and European Union-related chapters. Both sides have presented bridging proposals on various occasions on a number of issues under negotiation. They have also increased the frequency of their meetings in recent months, but unfortunately with limited results. Progress continues to be far too slow. At the current pace, it is not likely that an agreement can be reached for quite some time. It is clear that all the elements of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in Cyprus are known to the sides in this negotiation, yet a comprehensive solution has so far eluded the parties, as it has for decades.

5.       We have clearly reached a defining moment in the talks, when all efforts must be employed to keep the process viable and capable of delivering a mutually beneficial solution. I expect the two leaders to reach such a solution as soon as possible.

 

 

          II.   Background

 

6.       This assessment report follows my fourth meeting with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders. When I visited the island in January 2010, Dimitris Christofias, the Greek Cypriot leader, and the then Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, issued a joint statement expressing confidence that they could achieve a solution in the shortest possible time. Following the change of leadership on the Turkish Cypriot side and a several-week hiatus in negotiations, I was able to announce in May 2010 that the talks would continue on the same basis and from where they had left off. Mr. Christofias and the new Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, also made statements at that juncture, recognizing that time was not on the side of a settlement and committing themselves to the process of negotiating a mutually beneficial settlement. Six months later, in November 2010, I met with the two leaders in New York and asked them to concentrate their efforts on the core issues. Our next meeting was held on 26 January 2011 in Geneva, where we again focused on the goal of reaching convergence on the core issues, and the leaders agreed to intensify the negotiations. After the January meeting, I indicated that I would call another meeting soon to review developments. In April, I spoke with both the leaders and informed them of my decision that more progress should be made before we met again. I stressed the need to accelerate the process. In May, I invited the leaders to meet with me in Geneva in July to identify the difficulties standing in the way of reaching a comprehensive agreement and to discuss strategies for significantly picking up the pace of the negotiations.

7.       When I met Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroglu in Geneva on 7 July, I reiterated to them my continuing belief that, with enough political will, a deal should be possible. I pointed out that several decades had been spent by their predecessors and mine exploring ways of uniting the island, and that both sides knew where the compromises needed to be made.

8.       I have repeatedly pointed out to the leaders, as I did in my last report, that the United Nations expects the two sides to assume primary responsibility for driving the process forward. The Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned process has the full support of the United Nations, but it is the two leaders who must take the necessary actions to reconcile the differences between their two communities.

9.       In support of the process, I have used the period since my last report to keep the solution of the Cyprus question high on the agenda of the United Nations, as well as on the agenda of key regional and international leaders. This has become particularly important as a number of other pressing issues in the region have taken on greater immediacy. I continued to discuss the Cyprus question with various Heads of State and senior officials, including the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül; the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, David Cameron, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg; as well as the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. My Special Adviser continued to engage with senior officials who are pivotal to the process, particularly those of the three guarantor Powers, namely Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

 

 

  III.   Status of the process

 

10.     In the five months since my last report, the rate of progress in the talks has slowed, despite the regularity of the meetings between the leaders and their representatives. The leaders met 17 times and their representatives met 28 times during this period. Both sides continue to make efforts at putting forward bridging proposals, but the approach to achieving compromise has not always been productive or yielded results. A considerable amount of time has been spent in clarifying positions instead of moving towards convergences.

11.     Late in March, the sides began discussing the internal aspects of security. The discussions focused on policing and law enforcement arrangements in a united Cyprus at both the federal level and that of the federated units or constituent States. The sides have come close to agreement on the details of this issue, although several important outstanding aspects remain to be resolved.

12.     On property, I am pleased that both sides made use of the international technical experts whose services I offered when I met with the leaders in Geneva in January. This has enabled each side to explore a range of technical issues and to further develop proposals in this area. However, the return to formal negotiations on property is long overdue. There remains fundamental disagreement on the issue of conditions for restitution and the mode for exchange. Negotiations on the matter of territory should also be initiated as it remains one of the chapters least explored to date. This can be done without prejudice to the fact that both sides have agreed that the issue of maps and figures related to this chapter should be discussed only during the last phase of the process prior to a multilateral meeting.

13.     Since my last report, the discussions on governance have focused on the capacity to conclude international treaties and the procedure for doing so, and the federal-level decision-making procedure with regard to foreign affairs, and have led to convergence on the principle of representation abroad. Importantly, the sides reached agreement on international treaties binding on the united Cyprus. As a result, the Subcommittee on International Treaties has resumed its work and has met twice.

14.     The important agreements on the economy that were reached before the issuance of my last report remain in place. Nothing further was discussed in relation to the European Union in this period. The primary remaining divergence concerns how the settlement agreement will be incorporated into European Union law in order to ensure its legal certainty. The issue of citizenship has not been discussed substantively since I met with the leaders in January. In response to the Greek Cypriot call for a demographic census, I made available the expertise of the United Nations in this area. The census process is only a related matter, however. While the census process is being carried out, the sides must resolve the core issue of who should be considered citizens of the united Cyprus.

15.     The technical committees, established in 2008, continued to meet on the implementation of confidence-building measures intended to improve the daily lives of Cypriots. Three of the seven technical committees, which were dormant since July 2008, have now resumed their work.

16.     According to the latest polls, while both communities are losing confidence in the possibility of a united Cyprus, their desire for a solution has not faltered. United Nations agencies and programmes in Cyprus are working closely with local partners in support of the peace process. With the collaboration of Cyprus 2015 and ENGAGE, a group of Cypriot non-governmental organizations supported by the United Nations Development Programme, various events were organized to facilitate public dialogue on issues related to the talks. The opening in the buffer zone of the “Home for Cooperation” by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research was a landmark event; the facility will provide a space for inter-communal education, dialogue and research. Under the Economic Interdependence project, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce launched the first joint report on current levels of economic interdependence between the two communities. Their findings confirmed that a settlement would be economically beneficial to both communities. The Gender Advisory Team provided the leaders with recommendations on gender issues relating to property and citizenship, in addition to a previous submission on governance. The youth groups of the two leading political parties on either side sent me a joint letter, asking me to encourage the leaders to reach a solution now. I reiterate my call to Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroglu to engage civil society in the task of reaching a comprehensive settlement and to take into account these and other important civil society efforts to contribute to the peace process.

17.     Regarding the broader assessment of the United Nations presence in Cyprus, which I have announced in previous reports, internal discussions continue as to the potential scope and timing of such an exercise.

 

 

         IV.   Meeting of 7 July

 

18.     On 7 July, I met with both leaders at the United Nations Office at Geneva. I explained that I was disappointed in the lack of progress. I noted that although both sides had worked steadily since our meeting in January, they had not touched important areas in the negotiations despite the prior agreement to concentrate on resolving core issues. I pointed out that the pace of the negotiations had become far too slow. I stressed the importance of the two leaders focusing their energies on reaching broad agreements rather than dwelling on individual problems in minute detail, and said that the methodology of the negotiations needed to be improved. I asked the leaders to put aside all other matters in the negotiations and to concentrate on finding a way through the difficult core issues.

19.     Despite my sobering assessment, the meeting was held in a constructive and positive atmosphere. Both sides acknowledged the difficulties. They both canvassed their positions across all chapters in the negotiations and put forward bridging proposals in a range of areas. This exercise helped to further explain, and in some cases clarify, the positions of the sides across the various negotiating chapters. Most importantly, the meeting contributed significantly to tracing a way forward, and thus succeeded in becoming more than a “stock-taking exercise” of the process.

20.     With the two leaders, I was able to identify some of the stumbling blocks that have stood in the way of reaching a comprehensive settlement thus far. We agreed on the need to significantly accelerate the pace of the talks and move into intensive negotiations and to focus on the core issues. In that regard, the leaders accepted my recommendation to engage in negotiations for two full days each week. We also agreed that, without prejudice to the central principle of a Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led process, there would be enhanced United Nations involvement.

21.     The leaders also accepted my invitation to meet again in October in New York, by which time I expect they will be able to report convergence on all core issues. This would take the Cyprus negotiations closer to their conclusion and would allow me to give a positive report to the Security Council on the matter. It would also pave the way for me to work with the parties towards convening a final, international conference. Both leaders made it clear that they will strive to reach a comprehensive solution as soon as possible.

22.     The leaders also acknowledged the need to begin building support for a comprehensive agreement in order to renew hope and enthusiasm for a solution across the island. This includes the critical task of preparing their respective communities for the compromises required for a settlement and the prospect of living together in a united Cyprus.

 

 

     V.   Observations

 

23.     I am pleased that the two leaders have agreed to intensify the negotiations, improve the methodology of the talks and redouble their efforts to reach convergence on all core issues. This will increase the prospects of reaching an agreement. In order to increase the tempo and achieve significant results, the sides must engage in a more dynamic negotiating process and enter unequivocally into the next phase of the negotiations. This new phase would entail a comprehensive approach on all core issues and substantive trade-offs within and across chapters.

24.     In order for a reinvigorated process to fully take root and be successful, other elements must also be present. The sides must work clearly within the agreed parameters of a solution, and work to reach a common, shared objective within those parameters. The leaders must desist from playing the “blame game” and each focus on what more they can do to pave the way for a solution. As I have reiterated on various occasions, and as the Security Council recently stated in its resolution 1986 (2011), the sides should refrain from negative rhetoric about the process and about each other and work to build support for a settlement deal. Finally, the sides urgently need to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of the talks by stopping leaks on positions and other sensitive information.

 

 

   VI.   Conclusions

 

25. The key to solving the Cyprus issue is the two sides working with political will and determination towards the same clear and common objectives, with a united Cyprus as the end result. To reunite Cyprus, there must be a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with two equal constituent parts, with a single sovereignty and single international personality, as laid out in relevant Security Council resolutions.

26.     I was pleased with the demonstrated commitment of both sides in Geneva and that the leaders committed themselves to the endeavour of reaching convergence on all core issues by our next meeting in October. It is my hope that I can subsequently report their achievements to the Security Council and that, provided the necessary progress has been made by that time, we could then begin discussing the convening of a multilateral conference to conclude the international aspects of the agreement.

27.     By October 2011, the current negotiations will have been going on for more than three years. It is well understood that time is definitely not on the side of a solution, and successive polling on citizens’ views in Cyprus has confirmed this all too clearly. The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities deserve to be presented with a viable, mutually beneficial settlement proposal in the shortest time possible. The leaders must rise to the occasion.

 

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S/2011/112 – Assessment report of the Secretary-General on the status of the negotiations in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2011/112

  Security Council Distr.: General

4 March 2011

Original: English

 


Assessment report of the Secretary-General on the status
of the negotiations in Cyprus

 

    I.   Introduction

 

1.       The present document provides the Security Council with an updated assessment of the state of the negotiations in Cyprus since my previous report (S/2010/603), dated 24 November 2010.

2.       Following my meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Derviş Eroğlu, in New York on 18 November 2010, I was encouraged by reports from my Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, that the leaders had heeded my call to step up the tempo and increase the output of the negotiations. And, indeed, there has been some progress since my last assessment of the talks in November 2010.

3.       It is likely, however, that the political environment in the second quarter of this year will be less conducive to making substantial progress in the negotiations. As we approach elections scheduled for Cyprus and Turkey, there is a very real risk of the talks losing momentum. There is a need now for greater impetus to achieve substantive agreements on the core issues across all chapters before the electoral cycles become too advanced. I stressed this to both leaders when we met in New York on 18 November 2010 and again in Geneva on 26 January 2011.

 

 

          II.   Background

 

4.       Since the beginning of full-fledged negotiations in September 2008, the talks have proceeded on the basis of United Nations parameters, relevant Security Council resolutions and the joint leaders’ statements made on 23 May 2008 and 1 July 2008. I am satisfied that the two leaders are committed to the bases for the negotiations, as they have confirmed that the talks will continue on the agreed-upon United Nations basis.

5.       On 18 November 2010, I called the two leaders to New York for a frank discussion about the status and pace of the talks. The leaders recognized the need to move more quickly and decisively in order to reach a settlement. Both leaders expressed a commitment to work towards resolving the key outstanding divergences and agreed to intensify contacts with one another in order to establish a practical plan for overcoming those differences. To that end, they pledged to identify the core issues that still needed to be resolved across all chapters. They also agreed to identify further convergences and to meet with me again in late January 2011.

6.       In my November report, I made a number of recommendations for consideration by both leaders and their communities. The recommendations focused on the way forward in relation to the negotiations and to the public atmosphere in which those negotiations are proceeding. In that report, I also referred to a second meeting with the leaders to assess progress made; that meeting was held in Geneva on 26 January 2011.

7.       At the international level, and in keeping with my commitment to support the process, I have held meetings with a number of key leaders and senior officials interested in the Cyprus question, including the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, David Cameron, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu, and the Foreign Minister of Greece, Dimitrios Droutsas. My Special Adviser has remained in close contact with key members of the international community, particularly the three guarantor powers, including by meeting with the Foreign Minister of Turkey on 20 January 2011 and the Foreign Minister of Greece on 10 February 2011. Both foreign ministers remain highly supportive of the efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement. My Special Adviser visited Brussels on 23 and 24 January 2011 to meet with European Commission officials, representatives of the European Union Presidency and members of the European Parliament concerned with the Cyprus question. Officials from Greece and Turkey, European parliamentarians and European Commission officials all voiced strong support for a comprehensive settlement and continue to encourage both sides to engage constructively with a view to reaching this goal.

 

 

   III.   Status of the process

 

8.       Since I made my last assessment in November 2010, the pace of the talks has quickened. Despite the temporary absence of Mr. Eroğlu, who had to undergo surgery, the two leaders have met 11 times and their representatives have met 21 times since the November meeting, including at the meeting I had with them in Geneva in January 2011. Altogether, since the start of the full-fledged negotiations in 2008, there have been almost 100 meetings at the level of the leaders.

9.       At the Geneva meeting, the leaders informed me that they had identified the core issues still to be resolved in each of the chapters and that they had advanced the discussions by putting forward bridging proposals on governance and power-sharing, the economy and European Union matters. While there has been positive momentum on these chapters, the divergences between the parties on a number of issues remain unresolved. At that meeting, the Turkish Cypriots put forth ideas for a plan that entailed negotiating all chapters in parallel with the exception of security, on the condition of adhering to a specific timetable. While the Greek Cypriots are not in favour of a specific timetable for the negotiations, they in turn submitted ideas for a three-stage plan.

10.     I appreciated that, in Geneva, the sides agreed to intensify negotiations. It is a welcome development that, on their return to Cyprus, the leaders have been meeting on a weekly basis and their representatives twice a week. These meetings have included discussions on the way forward.

11.     Regarding the specific issues under negotiation, on European Union matters the sides have reached convergence on certain issues related to the representation of Cyprus in Brussels and decision-making in European Union bodies. The primary remaining divergence relates to the incorporation of the settlement, including any derogation from the European Union acquis, into European Union law. Both sides wish to ensure the legal certainty of the settlement but differences remain on how to do this.

12.     The sides have come close to convergence on the core issues in the economy chapter. There is now agreement on the use of both population and consumption as criteria for calculating how, for a certain transitional period, the north’s relative economic disadvantage should be addressed. On this question, the parties have yet to agree on the conditions for deciding when this transitional period would expire.

13.     Convergences on key issues in governance and power-sharing, including those related to the executive, are crucial to the success of the negotiations. Since November, in response to my request to move forward on the remaining areas of divergence in this chapter, both sides have presented a number of bridging proposals. I believe that the remaining divergences are not insurmountable. It is vital that the two sides continue to focus on achieving convergence on this chapter.

14.     With regard to the remaining three chapters, property, territory, and security and guarantees, there is less progress to report. On property, there is already a broad conceptual understanding on a mechanism by which this most difficult of issues might be resolved. Since my last report, however, outstanding core issues related to property have not been discussed. The stated positions of the sides on this complex topic remain far apart. In addition, while the sides touched on the subject of territory during the identification of core issues, the circumstances under which both sides would be ready to discuss this chapter have yet to be agreed. On security and guarantees, the respective core issues have been identified but not discussed.

15.     In the coming weeks, I strongly encourage the sides to deal expeditiously with outstanding core issues. To do so, they must recognize that some of the key considerations in the three chapters mentioned above are necessarily interrelated. Detailed negotiations are required not only within but also across these chapters.

 

 

         IV.   Observations

 

16.     I made it clear when I met with the leaders in New York in November and again in Geneva in January that the United Nations respects the talks as a Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned process and that it is precisely for this reason that we expect the two sides to assume responsibility for driving the process forward. The destiny of Cyprus is in the hands of its leaders. It is they who must act to reconcile their differences. Without their dedication and commitment to reunifying the island, the process cannot move forward.

17.     In my report to the Security Council in November, I made several observations related to the need for the two leaders to be mindful about creating an environment conducive to successful talks and to eventual support for a settlement by Cypriots on both sides. I noted the growing public scepticism that a settlement would be reached. The low expectations of the public are in contrast to the exciting possibilities being discussed by the sides. While I respect the need for confidentiality in the process of achieving compromise, I continue to believe that the official secrecy of the negotiations, broken only by the selective leaking of texts through the media, is not conducive to constructive negotiations. This trend has continued since November and public opinion continues to predict the failure of the negotiations. Both leaders need to make a convincing case to the public that good progress is being made, that the status quo cannot continue and that a united Cyprus can be achieved to the benefit of both communities.

18.     In the November report I also expressed my concern about the use of negative public rhetoric and its potential harm to the process. While public discourse initially showed signs of becoming gentler after my meeting with the leaders in November, the recent record has been more mixed. I reiterate my belief that negative messaging makes it more difficult to reach an agreement. I made it clear again when I met Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroğlu in January that they cannot project strong doubts about the process and still expect their respective communities to trust and support them in their endeavours. Nor can they hope to create an environment in which the public on both sides will embrace reunification if public statements demonize or ascribe ulterior motives to the other side.

19.     For the talks to proceed smoothly, a supportive regional and international environment is of key importance. I urge all regional and international actors to remain focused on finding a solution in Cyprus, to speak with one voice and to make every effort to support both sides in the ongoing talks. The three guarantor powers have provided important support for the process and I am grateful for their continued strong interest. During my contacts with the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey, both recognized the difficulties inherent in resolving the outstanding issues. They are ready to offer whatever assistance they can. I encourage and welcome their continued engagement. The European Commission has also continued to provide useful advice. The constant support of the Commission during the negotiations will be crucial in helping the sides to craft a settlement in line with European Union law.

20.     The commitment of the United Nations to Cyprus has been enduring and extensive. For almost half a century, Member States have committed enormous amounts of energy and resources to helping the two sides to bridge their divisions. Each side should weigh the risks of not reaching a solution against the likelihood of achieving everything they want. The leaders need to focus on the best way to lead the process to its completion. In doing so, they must be mindful of the wishes of all Cypriots.

 

 

V.   Conclusions

 

21.     I remain concerned about the rate of progress of the talks. In my November report, I warned that the upcoming election cycle could bring with it the risk of the negotiations foundering fatally. I believe that the leaders have made efforts over the past months but more must be done to prevent the negotiations from stalling or drifting endlessly. It is important that the parties reach convergence on the outstanding core issues as soon as possible.

22.     As I told both leaders when we met on 26 January in Geneva, the moment has come to confront the hard choices. The negotiations cannot be an open-ended process, nor can we afford interminable talks for the sake of talks. Now, more than ever, both sides must demonstrate courageous and dedicated leadership and take practical steps to bring the negotiations to a conclusion. This will require the two leaders to build a greater level of trust, both between themselves and between their two communities.

23.     After the meeting in January, I said that I would call another meeting soon to review progress made in the talks. In the coming weeks, therefore, I intend to closely follow the leaders’ efforts to reach further convergence. During the latter part of March, I will assess whether there has been enough progress for me to convene another meeting with the two sides. I expect that, on that occasion, the leaders will explain to me how they intend to resolve the remaining divergences.

24.     When I deem it appropriate and in consultation with both sides, I will determine if there has been sufficient progress on the core issues within and across chapters to warrant the convening of a multilateral meeting. The parameters of such a meeting are still being discussed by the two leaders.

25.     I understand that the two sides have agreed that the issue of international treaties in the security and guarantees chapter will be discussed at the multilateral meeting, although the Greek Cypriots would also like to discuss the issue in advance of such a meeting. On the issue of maps and figures relating to the territory chapter, both sides agree that this should be discussed during the last phase of the process. An agreement still has to be reached on the precise timing.

26.     I strongly encourage the sides to take the necessary steps to finalize the negotiation on property. The terms of a framework for resolving affected property issues have been established. In Geneva, I offered to make international experts available to both sides to look in depth at the technical aspects of the property issue. I have instructed the good offices team to ensure that such expertise is available and I encourage both sides to use such resources productively.

27.     In my previous report, I expressed my intention to conduct a broader assessment of the United Nations presence in Cyprus, with a view to recommending ways of adjusting to ongoing developments. This process has been initiated through preliminary internal discussions. I will update the Security Council on the course of this exercise in my next assessment of the state of the talks, which I intend to incorporate into my June report on my mission of good offices in Cyprus.

 

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S/2010/603 – Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2010/603

  Security Council Distr.: General

24 November 2010

Original: English

 


Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

I. Introduction

 

1.       The Cyprus problem has been on the agenda of the Security Council for close to 47 years. The Secretary-General was first asked to use his good offices to seek out a durable solution in Cyprus in March 1964 (Security Council resolution 186 (1964)). Since then successive Secretaries-General and their Special Advisers have undertaken efforts, including the intense yet unsuccessful efforts between 1999 and 2004, to assist the two sides in achieving a comprehensive settlement. As more than four decades of reports to the Security Council have documented, there have been many missed opportunities.

2.       Successive Secretaries-General have struggled to reconcile the goal of helping to find a solution for the people of Cyprus with the perpetual challenges of sustaining a useful process. Indeed, the international community has continued, over decades, to invest in the possibility that Cyprus could be the standard-bearer of peace in a troubled region. There is no doubt that the overall peace dividend would be huge for Cyprus, Turkey, Greece and the European Union. The enormous potential in trade, tourism, transport and financial services continues to be stifled by the protracted dispute. Apart from opening up vast economic opportunities for both communities, a comprehensive and durable settlement is the only way that the insecurity suffered by generations of Greek and Turkish Cypriots can be removed. Only through a peaceful settlement can the wounds suffered by both sides begin to heal.

3.       In June 2010, my Special Adviser briefed the Security Council on the developments in the negotiations. He recognized that the way ahead was politically difficult for both leaders. He identified the need for the leaders to employ courage in forging a solution and emphasized that both leaders would benefit from the continued support of regional and international actors. The Security Council subsequently adopted resolution 1930 (2010) on 15 June 2010, in which it strongly urged the leaders to increase the momentum in the negotiations to ensure the full exploitation of this opportunity to reach a comprehensive settlement. I proposed in my report of May 2010 (S/2010/238) that I would monitor closely the progress in the negotiations over the following six months. The present report provides my assessment of the state of the process and offers recommendations for the consideration of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership and their respective communities. I will submit an updated assessment to the Security Council in three months’ time.

 

 

        II.   Background

 

4.       The current round of negotiations was initiated following the agreement of 21 March 2008 between the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. On 23 May 2008, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions. This partnership will have a Federal Government with a single international personality, as well as a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State of equal status (see S/2008/353). On 1 July 2008, in a joint statement, the leaders stated that they had “discussed the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship which they agreed in principle”. A further joint statement was issued on 25 July 2008, which affirmed that: “The aim of the full-fledged negotiations is to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The agreed solution will be put to separate simultaneous referenda”.

5.       In a joint statement issued on 21 December 2009, the leaders expressed the strong hope that 2010 would be the year of solution of the Cyprus problem. On 1 February 2010, the leaders issued a joint statement renewing their strong commitment, recognizing that time was not on the side of a settlement and expressing confidence that with goodwill and determination they could achieve a solution in the shortest possible time. In a joint statement on 30 March 2010, just prior to the suspension of the talks to allow for the Turkish Cypriot leader to contest elections in the north, the leaders reiterated their conviction that their will for a solution would soon lead them to a mutually acceptable solution.

6.       On 18 April 2010, a new Turkish Cypriot leader was elected. The new Turkish Cypriot leader, Derviş Eroğlu, and Mr. Christofias both wrote to me affirming their commitment to continue with the talks. The negotiations resumed on 26 May 2010. As reflected in my message made the same day, the leaders agreed to continue the negotiations on the basis of the United Nations parameters, relevant Security Council resolutions and the joint statements made on 23 May 2008 and 1 July 2008.

7.       The full-fledged negotiations have now been under way for more than two years. The specific request of the leaders was that the negotiation process must be Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned. The leaders crafted a structure for the negotiations that involved six working groups, seven technical committees and the full-fledged negotiations, which included both meetings between the leaders and meetings between their chosen representatives. The parties requested that the United Nations host and facilitate the talks. The methodology adopted for the negotiations, as agreed by the leaders, was based on the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

8.       From the start of the full-fledged negotiations in early September 2008 until mid-November 2010, the leaders met 88 times. The meetings between the leaders included 29 meetings to discuss issues relating to the governance and power-sharing chapter, 5 meetings on the European Union matters chapter, 8 meetings on the economic matters chapter, 25 meetings on the property chapter, 4 meetings on the territory chapter and 2 meetings on the security and guarantees chapter. They also held six meetings to discuss the related issues of citizenship, immigration, aliens and asylum. At the leaders’ request, additional meetings between the respective representatives and technical meetings at the expert level also took place in order to prepare the groundwork for fuller discussions.

 

 

        III.   Status of the process

 

9.       In assessing the status of the process, I believe it is useful to break down the talks to date into three specific stages: the preparatory period; the initial stage of the negotiation process (up to the elections in the north); and the current stage, involving a new Turkish Cypriot leader. If we include the preparatory period as an integral part of the current negotiations, the talks have now been ongoing for just over two and a half years.

 

  Preparatory period

 

10.     The historic meeting between the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, on 21 March 2008 ended four years of standoff between the two sides. At that time, it was decided that a number of working groups and technical committees would be set up to prepare the groundwork for the resumption of full-fledged negotiations. The leaders further agreed to meet again three months later to review the work of the groups and committees and, using their results, to begin the negotiations under my auspices.

11.     Also during the meeting of 21 March 2008, the leaders decided to open a crossing at Ledra Street in the centre of old town Nicosia, which had for many years been a symbol of the division of Cyprus. This represented one of the first major confidence-building measures implemented by the two sides. On 3 April 2008, in the presence of citizens from both sides of the divide and members of the international community, Ledra Street was opened by the representatives of the two leaders and the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot mayors, 44 years after its closing.

12.     On 22 April 2008, six working groups and seven technical committees, with representatives from each community, were formally established. The working groups — addressing governance, European Union matters, security and guarantees, territory, property and economic matters — were mandated to seek as much convergence as possible on core areas, highlighting where the sides could not reach agreement and outlining possible options for resolution. The technical committees were tasked with dealing with issues directly affecting the daily lives of members of both communities, including crime/criminal matters, economic/commercial matters, cultural heritage, crisis management, humanitarian matters, health and the environment. The objective of the work of the technical committees was to develop confidence-building measures that could ensure a conducive atmosphere for a settlement by improving the daily lives of Cypriots.

13.     The outputs of the working groups represented a review by the two sides of all the chapters of the negotiations as a means of setting an initial “baseline” standard for the talks. Three of the working groups actually produced joint reports that were subsequently used by the leaders. The working groups also established the modus operandi concerning the procedures of the meetings and the role of the United Nations, which has largely been carried over until today.

14.     The meetings of the working groups during this period played an important role in re-establishing regular exchange between the sides and represented the beginnings of greater trust and a confidence-building process. As such, they set a useful foundation for the full-fledged negotiations.

15.     During the preparatory period, the leaders also gave instructions for the immediate and full implementation of the 23 confidence-building measures that had been formulated by the technical committees. Since September 2008, slow progress has been made on the implementation of these measures, as well as other initiatives of the technical committees. In April 2009, the leaders reiterated their commitment to four of these confidence-building measures. Overall, of the 23 measures formulated by the technical committees, six have been implemented to date, including the establishment of a joint communications room for the exchange of information on crime and criminal matters, the facilitation of ambulances through crossing points and the implementation of a project to establish an inventory of immovable cultural heritage in Cyprus. In addition, following the agreement reached between the leaders in June 2009, on 14 October 2010 the Limnitis/Yeşilirmak crossing was opened by both leaders. The crossing links the villages of Limnitis/Yeşilirmak, in the north, and Kato Pyrgos, in the south.

16.     The commitment to the 23 confidence-building measures made in the preparatory period represented an important building block in the negotiation process. While the subsequent implementation of the confidence-building measures has, on occasion, had the effect of distracting the parties and stalling the talks, in the main it has served to provide relief to both communities by removing daily frustrations in their efforts to interact. The implementation measures have also served as one of the few opportunities to transmit hopeful messages to the public concerning the possibilities and feasibility of a united future. The work of the technical committees remains an important aspect of the overall negotiation process to this day.

 

  Initial negotiating stage

 

17.     The initial negotiating stage began with the formal opening of the full-fledged talks on 3 September 2008. In a major step forward, the leaders completed a “first reading” of the issues that constitute a comprehensive solution — governance and power-sharing, economic affairs, European Union matters, property, territory and security — by August 2009.

18.     A “second reading” to increase convergences was initiated in September 2009. During this stage, a number of important convergences were achieved in the areas of governance and power-sharing, the economy and European Union matters. Negotiations on these chapters were carried out through joint papers and bridging proposals prepared by both sides over an extended period, culminating in intensive talks in the first quarter of 2010. This process, albeit a protracted one, enabled the parties to reach convergences and narrow the gap on remaining areas of divergence. Discussions on governance and power-sharing focused on the executive branch, the legislature, federal competences and external relations. Discussions on European Union matters focused mainly on how the positions of a united Cyprus in European Union bodies would be determined, the implementation of the acquis, derogations and how to accommodate the settlement within the European Union legal framework. Discussions on economic matters focused on federal competences and functions as well as the federal budget. In September 2009, the leaders established an expert group on treaties, which met to discuss which treaties would be applicable to a united Cyprus.

19.     Of note during this stage was the progress made during the two rounds of intensive negotiations which took place from 11 to 13 January and 25 to 27 January 2010, representing six full days that the leaders dedicated to the talks. The presentation of substantive papers during this intensive phase proved valuable in providing detailed opening positions and acted as a starting point for the negotiations around specific issues under consideration. From 31 January to 2 February 2010, I visited Cyprus with the aim of showing my personal support for the talks and stressing the need to expeditiously strive for a successful conclusion of the talks. On 30 March 2010, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat held their final meeting, by which time the two leaders had made steady progress and I was encouraged by the convergences that had been reached. In particular, I noted that both sides, at that time, were convinced that they could achieve a comprehensive settlement, having asserted in their 1 February statement that “with goodwill and determination, we can achieve a solution in the shortest possible time” and noting that “time is not on the side of settlement”.

20.     On 18 April, in elections held in the northern part of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots elected Derviş Eroğlu as their leader, replacing Mr. Talat. During this period of political contest in the north, the negotiation process was stalled for more than two months.

 

     Current stage

 

21.     Following the elections, both Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroğlu wrote to me, affirming their commitment to continuing the talks, resuming them from where they had been left off prior to the elections. This current stage, which started with the formal resumption of the talks on 26 May 2010, began with an agreement to focus discussions on the property chapter. Earlier negotiations on the property chapter had resulted in a joint paper on categories of affected property. In early September 2010, both sides offered comprehensive proposals on property; they have since been working towards “marrying” the two proposals. Discussions on the property issue have focused on the establishment of a property commission, mechanisms for exchange, the extent of restitution and types of compensation. New proposals were made that tackled the economic and financial dimensions of the property issue. The Turkish Cypriots have put forward fresh initiatives, and the Greek Cypriots have modified existing positions. Since May 2010 the leaders have met on the property issue 15 times, including two all-day meetings, one during the August break. In addition, the representatives and experts met 21 times to advance the property discussions at the more technical level.

22.     I acknowledge that the question of property is arguably the most complex of the issues under negotiation, and recognize the efforts made by both sides to date to tackle the issue in a serious manner. Nevertheless, despite close to six months of discussions on this crucial issue, my Special Adviser has reported a worrying lack of progress in efforts to agree on a conceptual framework on property. Basic differences exist between the two sides. The Greek Cypriots hold, as a matter of principle, that Greek Cypriots with property in the north should be able to choose among exchange, compensation or reinstatement. This is unacceptable to the Turkish Cypriots who say that between 70 and 80 per cent of the property in the north is owned by Greek Cypriots and that, if all Greek Cypriot property owners were to be allowed reinstatement, it would be impossible for the Turkish Cypriots to secure bizonality. The Turkish Cypriots request a ceiling on the number of Greek Cypriots who can have their properties reinstated. For the Greek Cypriots, this is unacceptable. For the time being, these two positions are irreconcilable.

23.     We must be clear that, in order to negotiate successfully a bizonal, bicommunal federation, the two leaders will have to reconcile these and other seemingly irreconcilable issues across all six chapters. These include the issue of territory, as the Greek Cypriots have made it clear that it will be impossible for them to move forward without linking property discussions to the territory chapter. The Turkish Cypriots recently have said that territory is an issue they will discuss only in a multilateral conference that includes the two parties to the talks and the guarantor powers. On the Treaty of Guarantee, the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey insist that the Treaty remain, while the Greek Cypriots want it terminated.

24.     I raised my concern about the progress during this current stage of the negotiations in phone calls with both leaders on 21 October 2010. I noted that the process had been slow in recent weeks and urged both leaders to achieve concrete advances in the current discussions on property in order to maintain momentum in the peace process. While the offering of substantive proposals on property represented important progress, such proposals could be useful only if used as a platform for seeking convergences, rather than as fixed positions.

25.     On 18 November, I met with the two leaders in New York. The meeting, which lasted for four hours, including a working lunch, reviewed progress on all the chapters of the negotiations. I identified several core issues and asked the leaders to work on these and report back to me on progress at the end of January.

26.     Throughout this process, the United Nations has assumed the role of facilitator for all aspects of the negotiation structure. No aspect of the elaborate negotiation structure, which includes the six working groups, seven technical committees and the full-fledged negotiations, has functioned without the constant support and presence of the United Nations. The good offices mission has enabled the process by assisting the parties to formulate ideas and overcome complex challenges while balancing the concerns of both sides and maintaining Cypriot ownership of the process. This support has been welcomed by both parties.

 

 

    IV.   Observations

 

27.     A guiding principle of these negotiations is that they are both “Cypriot-led” and “Cypriot-owned”, something that has been strongly supported by the United Nations in its words and actions. As such, both leaders must necessarily take responsibility for the course of the talks, for their success or their failure. No one else can do this. Cypriot leadership means that it is the leaders who must propel the process forward and defend it against those who would seek to derail it.

28.     As I have said many times, the talks cannot be an open-ended process; however, I fear a critical window of opportunity is rapidly closing. It is true that the leaders have met 88 times since the beginning of the full-fledged negotiations, and I commend them for this commitment. Nevertheless, the true measure of the success of the negotiations will not be in how many times the leaders have been able to meet, but in progress on finding mutually acceptable solutions to difficult issues. Talks for the sake of talks are ultimately not productive.

29.     The process so far has been characterized by periods of sluggish activity, together with some flashes of dynamism ahead of important events. It is my concern that the political environment in the second quarter of 2011 will likely not be conducive to constructive negotiations. Parliamentary elections in the south are scheduled for May, while elections will be held in Turkey in June. In any society, intense political moments such as elections are rarely a time for compromises or flexibility. If substantive agreement across all chapters cannot be concluded ahead of the election cycle, the talks may go into abeyance, and there is a serious risk that the negotiations could founder fatally.

30.     Recent opinion polls continue to show that, while there is an appetite for peace in both communities, public scepticism continues to grow regarding the potential success of the ongoing negotiations in reaching a lasting agreement. Polls indicate overwhelmingly low public expectations that a settlement will be reached, as well as distrust on both sides that, if a settlement were to be reached, the other side would have any serious intention of honouring it. A solution therefore needs more than a comprehensive plan. It needs strong and determined leadership that will make the public case for a united Cyprus, with all the benefits this would bring.

31.     Despite the collegial atmosphere in which the leaders engage in the talks, the leaders’ subsequent public rhetoric has not conveyed that the negotiations are moving forward. Throughout the process, political leaders, both in government and opposition, have accused the other side of undermining the talks. Occasional outbursts by the leaders about each other have not contributed to building public confidence in the leadership and the peace process. Both sides should not assume that, once a clear strategic commitment to present a settlement proposal has been made, public opinion will easily be pulled along. It is incumbent on the leaders to reverse the cycle of negative messaging.

32.     The near-total official secrecy of the negotiations, based on the principle of “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, while understandable from a practical standpoint, has also not been helpful on the public front. This tension between confidentiality and transparency has no easy solution in peace processes. Unfortunately, the only detailed information that the public has been given of the negotiations is as a result of the selective leaking of texts through the media. Not surprisingly, polls show the public in general would like to be better informed about what is happening in the talks and able to have more input into the process. Security Council resolutions have repeatedly urged the sides to prepare their respective publics “well in advance” of a referendum, and the March 2010 joint statement authorizes them, irrespective of the confidentiality of the talks, to inform their communities about the progress made so far and the differences that still need to be resolved. Leaving citizens largely in the dark until a comprehensive solution is more fully at hand is to potentially face an unprepared and unreceptive public at the time of the referendums.

33.     I have been very disappointed to see a steady stream of untruthful and highly negative remarks about the United Nations reflected in the media. This criticism and misinformation about the United Nations is most unfortunate. Efforts by opponents of a solution to undermine the credibility of the United Nations directly undermines the process itself.

 

 

V.   Conclusion

 

34.     On 21 October 2010, I spoke directly to each of the leaders. I reminded them of the high priority the international community attaches to ending divisions on the island. Peace negotiations are always difficult, and often arduous. In recognition of this, the United Nations has devoted significant humanitarian, peacemaking, financial and other resources to support reconciliation and socio-economic development in Cyprus over the past 47 years. Five Secretaries-General of the United Nations have dispatched good offices missions to the island to help facilitate peace negotiations. All of the Member States of the United Nations have extended their goodwill and support, in the expectation that the two communities would pursue a settlement aimed at reunifying the island in a positive and constructive spirit.

35.     The international community has remained engaged in the Cyprus peace process because of the critical importance of a resolution for the island, as well as the region, and there is a clear expectation that it will succeed. On 21 December 2009, both sides expressed the strong hope that a solution of the Cyprus problem could be achieved by the end of 2010. The United Nations and the international community accepted this commitment. While some progress has been made, it has been frustratingly slow. When I visited the island in February, I urged the leaders of the two communities not to waste such a historic opportunity. International expectations were high that the leaders of Cyprus would rise to the challenge, and that a solution was within reach. It is disappointing that, as the end of the year approaches, those expectations have not been met.

36.     Now is the moment to dedicate all efforts to bringing these negotiations to a successful conclusion. Having stated their commitment to the shared goal of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, the leaders of Cyprus are expected to make good on their commitment to that outcome. I also urge all regional actors to contribute positively, wherever they can, to help bring these negotiations to a rapid and successful conclusion. The United Nations stands ready to maintain its enabling role in a Cypriot-led, Cypriot-owned process.

37.     From the beginning, the United Nations has supported this process objectively and wholeheartedly, and it is committed to continuing to do so. My Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, and his team have been working hard to be as helpful to this process as possible, and they have my full support. The United Nations will remain intensively engaged during this upcoming phase in the process; however, the destiny of Cyprus is largely in the hands of the leaders of both communities. In the coming days and weeks, they will set the future course for the island and its citizens. It is their choice to make.

 

 

        VI.   Recommendations

 

38.     In the light of my assessment and observations, I propose below a number of recommendations for the consideration of both leaders and the communities.

39.     As agreed in the meeting on 18 November, I will meet again with the leaders in January. At that time, the leaders should be fully prepared with a practical plan for overcoming the major remaining points of disagreement. I ask them to dedicate significant efforts to meeting this goal.

40.     It is important, for the success of the peace talks, to improve the public atmosphere in which the negotiations are proceeding, particularly given that the success of the process will ultimately remain in the hands of the people, who will vote for an agreement in separate, simultaneous referendums which will take place in both communities. In view of the importance of ensuring a conducive environment for the negotiations, I would urge both leaders to carefully consider interactions with the press and to focus messages on convergences and the way ahead.

41.     While recognizing the confidential nature of the negotiations, I would encourage the leaders to step forward individually and jointly to deliver more constructive and harmonized messages. This is their responsibility just as much as managing the talks is. This would enhance public trust and support for the peace process and make the task of the leaders easier by making information available in a constructive manner to both sides.

42.     Recognizing the important role of political parties in both communities, as well as the mandate given to the two leaders by their respective communities to negotiate a settlement proposal, I believe that parliamentarians and political actors on both sides should more consistently demonstrate their support for the negotiation process by allowing the two leaders adequate space to negotiate a potential settlement in good faith.

43.     The active participation and engagement of civil society in the effort to reach a solution and in its implementation are also a crucial aspect of the negotiations. Now, more than ever, as public support is flagging, civil society can play an important role in supporting the leaders and the process. In addition, mindful of the important role of women in peace negotiations, as recognized by the Security Council in resolution 1325 (2000), I would encourage the sides to continue their engagement with the Gender Advisory Team, consisting of civil society activists and scholars from across the island, and to seriously consider its gender-focused recommendations on the main areas under discussion in the peace talks.

44.     The United Nations presence in Cyprus, comprising the office of my Special Adviser, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the United Nations Development Programme and other United Nations agencies and programmes, has been operating in a distinct, yet coordinated and coherent, manner to support the efforts of the two sides to find a comprehensive and durable settlement. I have continued to engage in contingency planning in respect of UNFICYP, as mandated by the Security Council, taking into account developments on the ground and the views of the parties. In the coming months, I plan to conduct a broader assessment of the United Nations presence in Cyprus, with a view to recommending ways to adjust to ongoing developments.

 

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S/2010/238 – Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2010/238

  Security Council Distr.: General

11 May 2010

Original: English

 


Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

I. Introduction

 

1.       The present report on my mission of good offices in Cyprus covers developments from 25 November 2009 to 30 April 2010, and brings up to date the record of activities carried out by my mission regarding the fully fledged negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders. The Security Council, in its most recent resolution 1898 (2009), adopted on 14 December 2009, welcomed the progress made in the negotiations and the prospect of further progress in the near future towards a comprehensive and durable settlement.

 

 

          II.   Background

 

2.       The current round of negotiations was initiated following the agreement of 21 March 2008 between the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. At their meeting on 23 May 2008, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions. According to the leaders’ statement, this partnership will have a Federal Government with a single international personality, as well as a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status (see S/2008/353, annex III). On 1 July 2008, they discussed the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship, on which they agreed in principle.

3.       During the four-month preparatory period, six working groups were established to initiate a review of the key substantive chapters to be negotiated, as well as seven technical committees to work on confidence-building measures aimed at not only improving the everyday lives of Cypriots, but also at encouraging and facilitating greater interaction among them. On 25 July 2008, having carried out their final review of the preparations made thus far, the leaders decided to launch fully fledged negotiations in September 2008, under my good offices. In a joint statement issued the same day, they stated: “The aim of the full-fledged negotiations is to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The agreed solution will be put to separate simultaneous referenda”.

4.       Since the fully fledged negotiations began on 3 September 2008, 31 joint papers have been produced by the leaders, their representatives and experts, setting out the positions of the two sides on the issues and indicating areas of convergence and divergence.

5.       On 30 March 2010, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat held their final meeting prior to a mutually agreed pause in the negotiations, in the light of the campaigning and holding of elections in the north of Cyprus on 18 April.

 

 

        III.   Work of the good offices

 

6.       Since my previous report (S/2009/610), my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, and/or my Special Representative, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, have continued to facilitate a series of meetings between the leaders and between their representatives. My Special Adviser has also met separately with the leaders or their representatives on a regular basis, as well as with political party leaders, representatives of civil society, members of the business community and other prominent personalities, including religious figures, and representatives of a broad cross section of the communities in the north and the south, to hear their views and concerns.

7.       My Special Adviser and his team have continued to benefit from the technical support of several international experts on governance and power-sharing and on property. The experts also met with their counterparts from the negotiating teams of both sides on their specific issues of focus.

8.       Following up on the initial assessment of the peace process made in the fall of 2009 under Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), a gender consultant was engaged by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to encourage more consistent reflections of gender perspective in the process, in close consultation with local stakeholders and the good offices team. In this respect, in early March 2010 the consultant met with a “gender core group” of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot women, supporting their efforts to contribute a gender perspective to the negotiating chapters under consideration by the leaders. The group made a first contribution in this regard to the two leaders, providing inputs on the issue of gender in the context of governance and power-sharing. UNDP is currently considering project proposals aimed at further enhancing the role of women in the peace process.

9.       During the reporting period, my Special Adviser travelled to Athens in February 2010 and Ankara in March 2010 to meet with Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs Droutsas and Minister for Foreign Affairs Davutoglu, respectively. Both underlined their full support to the negotiations and expressed their commitment to assisting the parties in finding a timely solution to this long-standing problem. My Special Adviser also kept in close contact with Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, directly and through the official appointed to act as the liaison between the Commission and my good offices mission in Cyprus.

10.     Throughout the period of this report, I maintained contact with the two leaders on the Cyprus issue and encouraged them to keep up the momentum and to work towards the solution of the problem in the shortest time possible. From 31 January to 2 February 2010, I visited Cyprus for the first time as United Nations Secretary-General. The objectives of my visit were to demonstrate my personal support to the Cypriot-led talks to reunify the island, to underline the continued commitment of the United Nations to the process, and to stress the need to expeditiously strive for a successful conclusion of the talks. I had constructive separate and joint meetings with the two leaders and witnessed the genuine desire of people for a solution when passing through the Ledra Street/Lokmaci crossing, where I was warmly welcomed by both sides. In their joint statement of 1 February, issued during my visit (see annex I), the leaders stated that a settlement “is in the interest of all and that it will finally bring peace, stability and prosperity to our common home, Cyprus”. I left Cyprus with renewed conviction that a solution is within reach.

11.     Between January and March 2010, as part of my ongoing efforts to build support for the Cyprus negotiations, I also held several constructive meetings with key leaders and senior officials such as Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece, Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, Greek Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs Dimitris Droutsas, and President Barroso of the European Commission.

 

 

   IV.   Progress of the talks

 

12.     On 21 December 2009, the leaders issued a joint statement in which they reconfirmed their earlier decision to bolster their efforts by holding intensive rounds of negotiations in January 2010, with the specific aim of reaching further convergence on governance and power-sharing, the economy and European Union matters, as well as continuing discussion on the property issue. They expressed the strong hope that 2010 would be the year of the resolution of the Cyprus problem.

13.     Since my previous report, the leaders have met 17 times within the framework of the fully fledged negotiation process, including two rounds of intensive negotiations from 11 to 13 January and 25 to 27 January 2010 and other full-day meetings in January, February and March 2010. From the start of the fully fledged negotiations in early September 2008, until the break at the end of March for the elections in the north, the leaders met 71 times. The meetings between the leaders included 29 meetings to discuss issues related to governance and power-sharing; 5 meetings on European Union matters; 8 meetings on economic matters; 10 meetings on property; 4 meetings on territory; and 2 meetings on security and guarantees. In addition, the meetings of the leaders included six meetings to discuss the issue of citizenship, immigration, aliens and asylum, and seven meetings on various other issues.

14.     During the reporting period the leaders continued the second phase of the discussions on three of the chapters: governance and power-sharing, European Union-related matters, and economic matters. The leaders made steady progress on these chapters, reaching further convergence on a number of issues, in addition to convergences previously reached and included in joint papers. They were also able to narrow the gap between their respective positions and explore possibilities for reaching convergence on remaining issues. At the leaders’ request, meetings between the respective representatives and technical meetings at the expert level also took place in order to gain a better understanding of each other’s position on some areas of divergence and to prepare the groundwork for fuller discussions.

15.     Discussions on governance and power-sharing focused on the executive branch, the legislature, federal competences and external relations. Discussions on European Union matters focused mainly on the basis for determining the positions of a united Cyprus in European Union bodies, the implementation of the acquis, derogations, and how to accommodate the settlement within the European Union legal framework. Discussions on economic matters focused on federal competences and functions as well as the federal budget. The expert group on treaties, which was established in September 2009 by the leaders, continued to meet to discuss which treaties will be applicable to a united Cyprus.

16.     During the reporting period, earlier negotiations on the property chapter resulted in a joint paper on categories of affected property. This was the first joint paper on this chapter. No meetings were specifically devoted to substantive discussions related to the remaining two chapters, namely, territory and security and guarantees. As for security and guarantees, proposals have been made by a number of interested countries, both formally and informally, to convene multi-party talks, but both sides indicated that it was too soon to discuss these issues.

17.     Before the break for the elections in the north, the two leaders issued a joint statement (see annex II) on 30 March 2010, in which they stressed that important progress had been made so far on governance, European Union matters and the economy; that, while the negotiations remained confidential, the leaders “may explain to their communities the progress made so far and the differences that still need to be resolved”; and that they would pursue an exhaustive discussion of “the remaining aspects of the Cyprus problem and the overcoming of the divergent positions soon”. The statement represented the commitment of the two leaders to the process and constituted a compromise between maintaining the confidential nature of the negotiations and providing some flexibility for each to address the concerns of their respective constituencies. Subsequently, at a press conference, Mr. Talat gave details on the areas of convergences and Mr. Christofias did the same at an informal meeting of the National Council.

18.     Regional and international stakeholders have stepped up their support for the peace talks. The Greek Prime Minister noted the important progress and reiterated his support for Mr. Christofias’ approach to the negations during his visit to Cyprus in April 2010. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan restated Turkey’s goal of achieving a lasting comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem during an interview with the Greek Cypriot media.

19.     On 18 April, in elections held in the northern part of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots elected Derviş Eroğlu as their leader, replacing Mr. Talat. Following the elections, Greek Cypriot leader Mr. Christofias and new Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Eroğlu wrote to me, affirming their commitment to continuing with the talks.

 

 

          V.   Confidence-building measures

 

20.     During the reporting period, three technical committees made progress in the implementation of some of the measures approved in June and July 2008. The technical committee on crime and criminal matters has launched the distribution of road safety leaflets at crossing points and conducted a seminar on children at risk. In addition, the joint contact room for the timely exchange and provision of information on crime and criminal matters has been functioning on a daily basis since its establishment in May 2009, and work is ongoing to provide it with longer-term premises. The technical committee on cultural heritage is implementing measures related to a pilot project on the restoration of two places of worship, the compilation of an inventory of immovable cultural heritage and the development of an educational computer programme, as well as other outreach activities. Moreover, the committee’s advisory board for the preservation, physical protection and restoration of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus has been carrying out on‑site assessment visits throughout the island. The technical committee on the environment has focused on cooperation for the elimination of illegal dumping sites and the rehabilitation of the affected areas within the buffer zone. The passage of ambulances through crossing points in cases of emergency, established by the technical committee on health matters, is still functioning. UNDP and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) continue to provide support to the implementation of some of the key confidence-building measures arising from the activities of the technical committees.

21.     On 29 March 2010, following the agreement reached between the leaders on 26 June 2009 (see S/2009/610), the work was launched by the leaders on the seventh crossing point linking the communities. The work, which is managed by UNDP and assisted by UNFICYP, will link the villages of Limnitis/Yeşilirmak, in the north, and Kato Pyrgos, in the south. UNDP will complete by the end of May the reinforcement work on one side of the façade along Ledra Street. The work was launched by me on 2 February 2010, during my visit.

 

 

VI.   Observations

 

22.     Considerable progress was made in the United Nations-sponsored peace talks in Cyprus during the reporting period. The peace talks, in particular the intensive rounds of early 2010, have generated increasing international focus on reaching a lasting solution in Cyprus. There is now a unique opportunity to make a decisive push forward on the talks.

23.     On 18 April 2010, Derviş Eroğlu replaced Mehmet Ali Talat as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community. Mr. Talat made an important contribution to advancing a solution between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, and I look forward to Mr. Eroğlu continuing on that constructive path.

24.     My Special Adviser will continue to work with both sides to ensure that the talks continue in a productive and expeditious way. The talks must resume within the established framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and the leaders’ joint statements of 23 May and 1 July 2008.

25.     The talks must build on the convergences achieved since the fully fledged negotiations began on 3 September 2008. This significant body of work should provide the basis for breaking new ground in the negotiations and bridging remaining divergences. The broad outline and established parameters of a solution are well known and will facilitate the task of reaching a comprehensive settlement.

26.     A solution is well within reach. As the leaders themselves said in their 1 February 2010 statement, however, time is not on the side of a settlement. On 21 December 2009, the two sides expressed their strong hope that they would conclude the negotiations by the end of 2010, and I share this objective. In pursuit of this objective, I will be monitoring closely over the coming months the progress made in the negotiations. I will submit a further report to the Security Council in November assessing the state of the process.

27.     The international community expects the peace process to succeed.  Following the change of leadership in the Turkish Cypriot community, the international community has encouraged the continuation of the negotiations in a positive spirit and the pursuit of a settlement based on United Nations parameters set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions.

28.     I welcome the constructive involvement of all regional actors in supporting the Cypriots to find a solution. Greece and Turkey continue to demonstrate their commitment and both their leaders have expressed a strong desire for a negotiated and lasting comprehensive settlement.

29.     In conclusion, I wish to thank my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, my Special Representative, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, and the men and women serving in my good offices mission in Cyprus for the dedication and commitment with which they have discharged the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Security Council.


Annex I

 

      Joint statement of the Cyprus leaders, read out on their behalf by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Protected Area, Nicosia, Cyprus

             1 February 2010

We, as the two leaders, express our gratitude for the visit of the United Nations Secretary-General to Cyprus, which demonstrates the continued interest of the United Nations and the international community in a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem under the Secretary-General’s good offices mission.

Taking this opportunity, we express our appreciation to the Secretary-General for his good offices mission as approved by the Security Council, and for the efforts aimed at finding a mutually agreed solution.

Working groups comprising Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have devoted time and effort to thoroughly discuss all aspects of the Cyprus problem.

We ourselves, together with our Advisers and our teams, have been working diligently for more than a year on all chapters of the Cyprus problem. We have worked on the basis of the integrated whole approach, which is “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. Good convergence has already been achieved in some chapters. For the rest, we are determined to work hard to achieve the desired progress.

Over the last three weeks we have worked hard during our intensified negotiations, mainly on the chapter of governance and power-sharing, and achieved important progress.

We express our strong commitment to continue to work on this and the rest of the chapters. We express our confidence that, with good will and determination, we can achieve a solution in the shortest possible time.

It is our common conviction that the Cyprus problem has remained unresolved for too long. We are also aware that time is not on the side of settlement. There is an important opportunity now to find a solution to the Cyprus problem that would take into full consideration the legitimate rights and concerns of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. We are aware that such a settlement is in the interest of all and that it will finally bring peace, stability and prosperity to our common home, Cyprus.

 


Annex II

 

Joint statement of the two leaders

                     30 March 2010

 

We have been engaged in a serious effort to find a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem in the shortest possible time. We express our appreciation to the United Nations Secretary-General for his mission of good offices entrusted to him by the Security Council and for his efforts aimed at finding a mutually agreed solution of the Cyprus problem.

After many meetings that have taken place to date, and our discussions on all aspects of the Cyprus problem, we are encouraged by the important progress we have made so far on the chapters of governance and power-sharing, European Union matters and the economy, and we are convinced that with perseverance we shall achieve a comprehensive settlement.

We underscore the fact that negotiations are being conducted under the overriding principle of the “integrated whole approach”, which means that “nothing is agreed unless everything is agreed”.

We are convinced that our mutual concern for the common good of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots and our will for a comprehensive solution will soon lead us to an exhaustive discussion of the remaining aspects of the Cyprus problem and the overcoming of the divergent positions soon, so as to achieve a mutually acceptable solution that will be put to separate simultaneous referendums.

While the negotiations remain confidential, it is recognized that the leaders may explain to their communities the progress made so far and the differences that still need to be resolved.

 

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S/2009/610 – Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2009/610

  Security Council Distr.: General

30 November 2009

Original: English

 


Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

I. Introduction

 

1. My previous report to the Security Council regarding the full-fledged negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders was contained in the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus (S/2009/248), submitted to the Security Council on 15 May 2009, pursuant to Security Council resolution 186 (1964) and subsequent Council resolutions. The Security Council, in its most recent resolution 1873 (2009), adopted on 29 May 2009, welcomed the progress made in the negotiations and the prospect of further progress in the near future towards a comprehensive and durable settlement. The present report covers developments related to my good offices mission in Cyprus during the period from 10 May 2009 to 25 November 2009.

 

 

II. Background

 

2. The agreement of 21 March 2008 between the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, initiated the current round of negotiations. At their meeting on 23 May 2008, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions. This partnership will have a Federal Government with a single international personality, as well as a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status (see S/2008/353, annex III). On 1 July 2008, they discussed the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship, on which they agreed in principle.

3. A four-month preparatory period saw the establishment and functioning of six working groups to initiate a review of the key substantive chapters to be negotiated and seven technical committees to work on confidence-building measures aimed not only at improving the everyday lives of Cypriots, but also at encouraging and facilitating greater interaction among them. On 25 July 2008, having carried out their final review of the preparations made thus far, the leaders decided to launch full-fledged negotiations in September 2008, under my good offices. In a joint statement issued the same day, they stated: “The aim of the full-fledged negotiations is to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The agreed solution will be put to separate simultaneous referenda”.

4. At the end of July 2008, the leaders initially announced 16 confidence-building measures agreed by the technical committees, relating mainly to the environment, health and cultural heritage. The number of agreed measures has since risen to 23, and four technical committees — namely, those on crime and criminal matters, cultural heritage, environment and health — have continued to meet.

5. Since the full-fledged negotiations began, on 3 September 2008, several papers have been produced by the leaders, their representatives and experts, setting out the positions of the two sides on the issues and indicating areas of convergence and divergence.

 

 

III. Work of the good offices

 

6. Since my previous report, my Special Adviser Mr. Alexander Downer has regularly visited the island to facilitate the negotiations between the parties. All of the meetings conducted either between the leaders or between their representatives during this period have taken place in the presence of my Special Adviser and/or my Special Representative Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun. During his visits to Cyprus, my Special Adviser has also met separately with the leaders or their representatives on a regular basis, as well as with political party leaders, representatives of civil society, members of the business community and other prominent personalities, including religious figures, and representatives of a broad cross section of the communities in the north and the south, to hear their views and concerns.

7. Beyond his immediate office, my Special Adviser has engaged several international experts to provide him with focused advice on some of the more complex issues being discussed in the negotiations. During the reporting period, experts on governance and power-sharing and property visited the island on several occasions to meet with my Special Adviser and his team. They also met with the experts from the negotiating teams of both sides on their specific issues of focus.

8. In October, as part of the commitment of the European Union to providing technical support to the settlement process, Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, appointed an official to act as a liaison between the Commission and my good offices mission in Cyprus.

9. Assessing the peace process under Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), a gender consultant engaged by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) interacted with a wide spectrum of civil society leaders, their representatives and members of the majority of the political parties in late October and early November. An initial assessment is pending, and project proposals aimed at enhancing the role of women in the peace process are anticipated for consideration by the parties.

10. During the reporting period, my Special Adviser also travelled to Beijing and Moscow to meet with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of China and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, respectively. In addition, he met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, as well as the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The interlocutors reaffirmed their support for the peace process and expressed their commitment to assisting the parties in achieving a solution to the Cyprus problem.

11. Subsequent to my previous report, I had the opportunity to have separate meetings with Mr. Christofias and, later, with Mr. Talat, in New York in September 2009. At the meetings, I welcomed the commitment of both leaders to a solution and urged them to show flexibility and make compromises in the coming weeks and months. I reiterated that the United Nations would continue to do what it could to assist the two sides at their request and encouraged them to make full use of my good offices mission. I also had contacts on the Cyprus issue with other key interlocutors, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, with whom I met in New York in September and in Rome in November, and the European Union Troika, with whom I met in New York in September 2009. In November, I had the opportunity to meet with the leadership of the newly elected Government of Greece, in particular, Prime Minister George Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, during my official visit to that country. All expressed to me their desire for an expeditious solution to the Cyprus problem that would be acceptable to both sides.

 

 

IV. Progress of the talks

 

12. Since my previous report, the leaders have met 27 times and their representatives 24 times within the framework of the full-fledged negotiation process. In early August 2009, the leaders completed the first phase of the discussion of all six chapters: governance and power-sharing, property, European Union-related matters, economic matters, territory, and security and guarantees. During that phase, the leaders made steady progress, reaching agreement on a number of issues and gaining a better understanding of each other’s positions on the remaining issues. This was important groundwork for the more intensive second phase, which began on 11 September 2009, a little more than a year after the launching of the full-fledged talks. The leaders have since increased the pace of the talks, deciding to aim to meet twice a week from October onwards and increasing the number of meetings between their representatives in the intervals between formal negotiating sessions.

13. In the first phase of the talks, considerable convergence was achieved in the areas of governance and power-sharing, the economy and EU matters, with more limited progress being made with regard to property, territory and security. As they had agreed, the leaders began the second phase by focusing on governance and, in particular, on the election of the executive, federal competencies and external relations. Notably, in the area of governance, progress has been achieved on several aspects. This chapter is considered to be among the most pivotal, because the question of how power will be shared between the communities is at the heart of the debate in all the chapters. Since the second phase began, five meetings between the leaders have been devoted to discussions related to governance and power-sharing issues. Both sides have introduced bridging proposals, but convergence has yet to be achieved. The sides have also established an expert group on treaties, which has begun to discuss the process whereby they will jointly decide which treaties will be applicable to a united Cyprus.

14. In late October, the leaders returned to the discussion of the property issue, and they have since held five meetings on that subject. They have also tasked their representatives with preparing the groundwork for fuller discussions on the issue. To date, the representatives have held five meetings to move forward on the issue of property.

 

 

V. Confidence-building measures

 

15. The four technical committees that are still functioning are meeting regularly and have made steady progress. The technical committee on crime and criminal matters has established a joint contact room for the exchange and provision of timely information on those topics. The technical committee on cultural heritage has established an advisory board for the preservation, physical protection and restoration of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus and is also implementing such measures as restoring two pilot projects, compiling a list of immovable cultural heritage and developing an educational computer programme. The technical committee on health matters has begun to implement the measure concerning the passage of ambulances through crossing points in cases of emergency. The technical committee on the environment has focused on the implementation of a joint awareness campaign aimed at saving water. UNDP has earmarked more than $600,000 to support such initiatives.

16. One of the concrete agreements on confidence-building measures reached by the leaders since my previous report has been the decision taken on 26 June 2009, following extended negotiations, to open a seventh crossing point between the communities and through the buffer zone to the north-west of the island, linking the villages of Limnitis/Yeşilırmak, in the north, and Kato Pyrgos, in the south.

 

 

VI. Observations

 

17. I am encouraged by the commitment, courage and determination shown by the two leaders despite the considerable challenges posed by the negotiations and the ongoing domestic criticism in the north and the south directed at the leaders and the process. It is important that both parties create a favourable environment and conditions conducive to the continued progress of the talks. In this regard, active participation and engagement on the part of civil society in the effort to achieve a solution and in its implementation will be crucial. Furthermore, the parties will have to be prepared to explain to the people in the clearest terms the benefits of a solution so that they can make an informed decision regarding the peace agreement.

18. In this context, it is noteworthy that, after the agreement was reached on nearly two dozen confidence-building measures during the preparatory phase of the talks, the parties made little progress in their implementation of some of those measures during the reporting period. The measures improve the daily lives of many Cypriots and also assist in facilitating increased interaction between the two communities. I urge the parties to make greater efforts to implement the confidence-building measures in order to strengthen intercommunal relations and to build greater public support within the communities for the process.

19. I commend the leaders for the progress achieved to date in the talks. There have been more than 50 meetings between the leaders since the current process began, and the meetings have been constructive. It is noteworthy that the gaps between the sides have narrowed on a number of important issues. However, differences remain, and it is clear that much work needs to be done in order to achieve full convergence. Implementing in practice the agreed objective of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality in a united Cyprus in which the concerns of both parties are taken into account and that is, at the same time, functional and stable, is a considerable challenge. It is ambitious, but it is achievable.

20. It is encouraging to note that the leaders are focusing on the areas of divergence in the current round in order to narrow the gaps between their positions, and that they are actively producing bridging proposals. Those proposals have focused on the more controversial issues and have helped to bring the two positions closer together. Ultimately, the two sides must continue to demonstrate flexibility so as to accommodate each other’s concerns, as no solution can be perfect for either side. At the same time, the process of negotiation should not be seen as a “zero-sum game”, since both sides will gain in a united Cyprus.

21. My overall assessment is that the parties are making solid progress, and I am cautiously optimistic that a solution can be achieved. On the basis of what has been accomplished so far, the international community expects the talks to continue to make substantial progress in a timely fashion. The broad outline and established parameters of a solution are well known and already articulated by the two sides. There is a significant body of work upon which to draw, as there are already a number of joint papers that reflect their positions and that have served as the basis for discussions in the second phase. There is also a clear desire on the part of both sides to reach a settlement, as they have both asserted that the status quo is unacceptable. In addition, there is a general acknowledgement that the benefits of a solution for both sides would be huge, whereas the cost of failure could be high.

22. The negotiations are Cypriot-led, and the two sides have assumed responsibility for and ownership of the process. The pace at which the negotiations proceed will be determined by the two sides alone. I reaffirm the Organization’s steadfast commitment to and support for the peace process under the leadership of my Special Adviser, and I stand ready to personally assist and facilitate the negotiations if requested to do so by the parties.

23. I urge both leaders to maintain their good personal and working relationship, which is vital for the success of the talks, and I urge other concerned parties to do their utmost to support them and the negotiation process. As the negotiations have moved into their second phase, the momentum needs to be maintained or even accelerated. The coming weeks and months will be decisive, as important decisions will have to be made. Given that the leaders of the two communities are committed to finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, this is a unique opportunity that must be seized by both sides. It is incumbent upon both leaders to meet the hopes and expectations of their people for a comprehensive and sustainable solution to the Cyprus problem within a reasonable time frame. And they should be accorded the political space to do so.

24. In conclusion, I wish to express my thanks to my Special Adviser, Mr. Alexander Downer, and to the men and women serving in my good offices mission in Cyprus for the efficiency and commitment with which they have discharged the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Security Council.

 

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Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus (S/2004/437)

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S/2004/302 – Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2004/302

  Security Council Distr.: General

16 April 2004

Original: English

 


Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

I. Political background

 

1. The Security Council will recall that I reported comprehensively on my mission of good offices in Cyprus in 1 April 2003 (S/2003/398). In that report, I stated that, despite the opportunity that had been missed to solve the Cyprus problem, the plan that I had submitted to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, namely, the “Basis for Agreement on a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem dated 26 March 2003”, remained on the table. I indicated my readiness to resume my efforts if there was a clear and realistic prospect of finalizing negotiations, which I would judge to be the case if certain conditions set forth in my report were met.

2. In resolution 1475 (2003) of 14 April 2003, the Security Council gave its full support to my “carefully balanced plan” as a “unique basis for further negotiations”, and called on all concerned to negotiate within the framework of my good offices, using the plan to reach a comprehensive settlement as set forth in my report.

3. Following communications and consultations that led me to believe that a new effort might be warranted, on 4 February 2004 , I wrote to Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, inviting them to New York on 10 February to resume negotiations. In that letter I reiterated the terms in my report for a resumption of negotiations and made a number of procedural suggestions to facilitate negotiation and finalization. Both leaders accepted this invitation.

4. After three and a half days of talks, the parties agreed, on 13 February, to resume negotiations on the basis of the plan to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem through separate and simultaneous referenda before 1 May 2004 . To that end, they committed themselves, in a first phase, to seek to agree on changes and to complete the plan in all respects by 22 March, within the framework of my mission of good offices, so as to produce a finalized text. They further agreed that, in the absence of such agreement, I would convene a meeting of the two sides, with the participation of Greece and Turkey , in order to lend their collaboration, in a concentrated effort to agree on a finalized text by 29 March. As a final resort, in the event of a continuing and persistent deadlock, the parties invited me to use my discretion to finalize the text to be submitted to separate and simultaneous referenda on the basis of the plan. The parties also agreed to other suggestions contained in my letter of 4 February.

5. On 2 April 2004 , my Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto , briefed the Council on the negotiations that followed this agreement and on the culmination of the effort in the last week of March in Bürgenstock , Switzerland . Negotiations in Cyprus produced enormous progress at the technical level but little at the political level. When the talks moved to Bürgenstock, on 24 March, the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey joined to lend their collaboration. However, due to differing views as to the appropriate format for direct meetings, it did not prove possible to have face-to-face meetings. The United Nations therefore sought, as it had in Cyprus in the week before Bürgenstock, to build bridges through consultations with all parties, in which it explored compromise suggestions and sought to ascertain the priorities of the parties and where they might be prepared to show flexibility to achieve them. Despite these efforts, there was little give and take. I joined the process on 28 March and submitted an overall bridging proposal on 29 March. On that day, the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey also joined the effort. Deadlock persisted, however, on key issues, as became apparent during consultations in the subsequent 48 hours. At that juncture, there was no reason to believe that further negotiations then or in the months to come would have produced a better result or different outcome.

6. On 31 March 2004, in Bürgenstock, after consultations and as invited by the parties, I finalized the text of the “Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem”, the text of which has been made available to the members of the Security Council and may be accessed at the web site www.annanplan.org. It was submitted under letters from me dated 31 March 2004 to the leadership on each side and the guarantors. As noted in those letters, and in accordance with the agreement of 13 February 2004, appendices A and B of the Comprehensive Settlement, namely the Foundation Agreement and the Constituent State Constitutions, are to be submitted by each side to referenda on 24 April.

7. In accordance with the plan, the parties are required to take a number of steps during April 2004, as set forth in appendix F. But, by agreement of the parties as stated in the plan, action is also required of the Security Council on three matters contained in appendix E, entitled “Matters to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council for decision”.

 

II. Matters submitted to the United Nations Security Council for decision (pursuant to Appendix E of the Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem)

8. Appendix E provides that:

“By agreement of the parties, the Security Council is requested to take decisions to enter into force simultaneously with the Foundation Agreement, in which the Security Council would:

“1. Endorse the Foundation Agreement and, in particular:

“(a) Take formal note that any unilateral change to the state of affairs established by the Foundation Agreement, in particular union of Cyprus in whole or in part with any other country or any form of partition or secession, is prohibited; and

“(b) Acknowledge the political equality and distinct identity of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and the equal status of their constituent states in the United Cyprus Republic ; and

“2. Prohibit the supply of arms to Cyprus in a manner that is legally binding on both importers and exporters; and

“3. Decide to maintain a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Cyprus, which shall remain so long as the federal government, with the concurrence of the constituent states, does not decide otherwise, and shall be authorized to deploy and operate freely throughout Cyprus with the following mandate:

“‘To monitor the implementation of the Foundation Agreement and use its best efforts to promote compliance with it and contribute to the maintenance of a secure environment; and in particular:

“‘(a) To monitor political developments related to implementation and provide advice and good offices as required;

“‘(b) To monitor and verify compliance with the security provisions in the Foundation Agreement, including:

“‘(i) the dissolution of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces, including reserve units, and the removal of their arms from the island; and

“‘(ii) The adjustment of Greek and Turkish forces and armaments to agreed levels;

“‘(c) To monitor and verify compliance with the provisions in the Foundation Agreement pertaining to federal and constituent state police;a

“‘(d) To use its best efforts to ensure the fair and equal treatment under the law of persons from one constituent state by the authorities of the other;

“‘(e) To supervise the activities relating to the transfer of areas subject to territorial adjustment, including through assumption of territorial responsibility for agreed areas and time periods prior to transfer, without prejudice to local administration of the population;

“‘(f) To chair, and provide administrative support to, the Monitoring Committee to be established under the Treaty between Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom on matters related to the new state of affairs in Cyprus; and

“‘(g) To implement its mandate through, for example, conducting patrols and establishing positions and roadblocks, as well as receiving complaints, making inquiries, presenting facts, giving formal advice and making representations to the authorities.

____________________

“‘[1] Observation: the United Nations operation would not assume direct responsibility for the enforcement of law and order.’”

III. Importance and timing of Security Council decisions

9. The settlement is an attempt to resolve a dispute that has been on the agenda of the Security Council for 40 years, the oldest item continuously on the Secretary-General’s peacemaking agenda. While its adoption is a matter for the people of Cyprus to decide upon, its implementation would clearly be in the interest of international peace and security in the region, and would thus fall within the primary responsibility of the Security Council.

10. As envisaged in the Comprehensive Settlement, the Treaty on Matters Related to the New State of Affairs in Cyprus would be signed into force on 29 April 2004 by Greece , Turkey , the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United Cyprus Republic . Accordingly, the Treaties of Establishment, Alliance and Guarantee of 1960 remain in force and shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the new state of affairs, in the context of the commitment of the parties to international law and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. There are detailed timetables for the dissolution of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces, withdrawal and adjustment of Greek and Turkish forces, redeployment of forces from areas subject to territorial adjustment and de-mining. The settlement also contains detailed provisions relating to the timing of the handover of administration of adjusted territory.

11. The scrupulous observance by all parties of the provisions and timetables contained in the comprehensive settlement, in particular those relating to security, is of vital importance. In this context, the decisions requested of the Security Council are a crucial part of the overall framework of the settlement. They would provide additional assurance that the settlement will be implemented in the framework of the principles of the United Nations, as set out in Article 2 of the Charter, including the resolution of disputes by peaceful means and refraining from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.

12. It will be noted that, as part of the package enshrined in the plan, the parties request decisions to be taken by the Security Council to enter into force simultaneously with the Foundation Agreement. During the negotiations in 2002, the two sides indicated their preparedness to accept certain points related to the system of guarantees and the presence of moderate levels of Greek and Turkish troops, on the understanding that the two sides would be assured in advance of having to take the final decisions to accept the plan that a United Nations operation with an appropriate mandate would be authorized by the Security Council. The plan as first presented in November 2002 reflected this understanding as to timing of Security Council action and neither side requested any alteration to it during the subsequent negotiations. When he succeeded Glafcos Clerides as the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Papadopoulos indicated that he would not reopen issues already agreed upon. Accordingly, on 31 March, when the plan was finalized, I informed each party that I would be proceeding to refer these matters to the Security Council for decision.

13. In accordance with the plan, the Foundation Agreement would only enter into force after approval on both sides at referenda and the signature into force of the Treaty on Matters Related to the New State of Affairs in Cyprus contained in the plan by Greece , Turkey and the United Kingdom , after completion of their internal ratification procedures. The Treaty enters into force upon signature. Should the plan not be approved by both sides at referenda, or should any guarantor not have completed their procedures and thus not be able to sign the Treaty into force by 29 April, the Foundation Agreement would be null and void and of no legal effect. I have received from all guarantors a commitment that, should the referenda be approved on 24 April, they will, after completion of their internal ratification procedures, sign the Treaty into force by 29 April.

14. Bearing in mind the understanding of the parties as reflected in the plan, and the mode of entry into force, I would request the Security Council to consider this submission in advance of the referenda on 24 April, and I would hope that the Council could reassure Cypriots, as they proceed to referenda, that the United Nations is prepared to act to meet the responsibilities foreseen for it under the plan. In accordance with the plan, the decisions would need to enter into force simultaneously with the Foundation Agreement on 29 April. Such decisions would naturally be contingent on entry into force of the Foundation Agreement, and be moot, and therefore null and void, if it did not enter into force for any reason.

 

IV. Proposed endorsement of the Foundation Agreement

15. The “Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem”, which was drawn up taking full consideration of relevant United Nations resolutions and treaties, as stated in Security Council resolutions 1250 (1999) and 1475 (2003), provides for a new state of affairs that is in full accordance with the Council’s vision of a settlement.

16. Under the plan, the United Cyprus Republic is an independent State with a single international legal personality, sovereignty and citizenship, with union in whole or in part with any other country and any form of partition or secession expressly prohibited. Its federal government is designed to ensure that Cyprus speaks with one voice and can protect its integrity and borders.

17. The plan also refers to the distinct identity and integrity of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots and states that their relationship is not one of majority and minority but of political equality, where neither side may claim authority or jurisdiction over the other. Within the limits of the Constitution, the two constituent states, namely the Greek Cypriot State and the Turkish Cypriot State , sovereignly exercise all powers not vested by the Constitution in the federal government, organizing themselves freely under their own constitutions.

18. These carefully balanced provisions are designed to address the worst fears of each side described in my report to the Security Council of 1 April 2003 (S/2003/398, paras. 74-77). In accordance with the agreement, the Council is requested to endorse the Foundation Agreement and to take particular steps to reassure the two sides that the Council is cognizant of their key concerns and endorses the means by which they are addressed in the agreement. The Council is requested to take formal note that any unilateral change to the state of affairs established by the Foundation Agreement, in particular union in whole or part with any country or any form of partition or secession, is prohibited. The Council is also requested to acknowledge the political equality and distinct identity of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and the equal status of their constituent states in the United Cyprus Republic .

V. The proposed prohibition of the supply of arms to Cyprus

19. At key junctures in its history, the presence in, and flow to, Cyprus of arms and related materiel has served to fuel conflict. Conscious of this, at meetings held in mid-2002 the leaders agreed that, in the event of a comprehensive settlement, the Security Council should be requested to prohibit the supply of arms to Cyprus in a manner that is legally binding on both importers and exporters. The arms embargo is part of a broader understanding that Cyprus should be demilitarized and is seen as an important factor in ensuring the effective implementation of the Comprehensive Settlement and in eliminating further threats to international peace and security in the area. The embargo could be imposed until the Council were to decide otherwise, based, inter alia, on a request from the United Cyprus Republic and confirmation from the Secretary-General that the continued application of an arms embargo is no longer necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.

20. The demilitarization foreseen in the plan includes the dissolution of all Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces, including reserve units, and the removal of their arms from the island. The plan also provides for the withdrawal of all Greek and Turkish troops and armaments in excess of levels permitted under the 1960 Treaty of Alliance (950 Greek troops and 650 Turkish troops) in phases to be completed by 2018 or at the point of Turkey’s accession to the European Union, whichever is earlier, and stipulates that there will be regular reviews thereafter, with the objective of total withdrawal by mutual consent. The plan further envisages that police personnel in the federal and constituent state police and the Joint Investigation Agency may only carry weapons appropriate for normal civilian police duties. The federal constitution also prohibits all weapons, except licensed sporting guns, and makes the supply of weapons a criminal offence.

21. Consistent with the plan, there would need to be exemptions from the embargo to accommodate relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Settlement and its appendices relating to the federal and constituent state police and the Joint Investigation Agency, the Treaty on Matters Related to the New State of Affairs in Cyprus, the Treaties of Establishment, Guarantee and Alliance and the Additional Protocols thereto, and the mandate of the United Nations operation.

 

VI. The proposed United Nations operation

22. As stated, the parties envisage an indefinite mandate that would continue so long as the federal government of the United Cyprus Republic , with the concurrence of both constituent states, does not decide otherwise. The indefinite mandate is of crucial importance to the overall security package contained in the plan. The fact that the United Cyprus Republic would bear the bulk of the costs of the operation (as described in paragraph 45) is designed to facilitate the accession of the Security Council to this important request.

23. It must be stressed that it is up to the parties to shoulder their responsibilities and to translate the Foundation Agreement into the political life of the United Cyprus Republic . At the same time, the agreement represents a delicate balance between the key concerns of the two sides. It would be unrealistic not to expect stresses and strains, given the violent past and the decades-long disconnect between the institutions and officials on the two sides. In addition, it is likely that some groups will continue to oppose the new state of affairs for some time, until its benefits become fully apparent. In the circumstances, a United Nations peacekeeping operation is seen on both sides as an important confidence-building mechanism, which is expected to play an effective role in helping them overcome difficulties.

24. The operation must therefore have the capacity to play a substantive role and to stand firm in the face of challenges, including violent ones. It would thus be quite different from the current United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), whose main task is to maintain a de facto ceasefire. The new operation would have a more substantive political role and would work actively to promote the implementation of a complex agreement, inter alia, by seeking to identify issues at an early stage and taking the initiative to prevent them from turning into intractable problems. It would also need to be more intrusive than UNFICYP in order to carry out its task of verifying the dissolution or adjustment of forces. The United Nations role would not affect rights and obligations under the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance .

25. The United Nations peacekeeping operation must enjoy the privileges and immunities, freedom of movement, communication and access, as well as other facilities necessary for the performance of its tasks. As envisaged in the Foundation Agreement, it would be authorized to deploy and operate throughout the United Cyprus Republic , with particular focus on the areas subject to territorial adjustment, ports and airports, demobilization and disarmament sites and other areas of interest. The United Nations would conclude a status-of-mission agreement with the Government of the United Cyprus Republic as soon as possible.

 

VII. Tasks of the United Nations operation

26. The overall task of the operation would be to monitor the implementation of the Foundation Agreement in its entirety and use its best efforts to promote compliance with it. The operation would need to have the capacity to keep abreast of political, legal, judicial, administrative and security developments. It would maintain close coordination and cooperation with the relevant authorities of the federal government, the constituent states and other actors, and would require unhindered access to relevant information. In promoting compliance with the Agreement, the operation would advise, support and assist the authorities on the implementation of the Agreement, and would provide good offices, as necessary. It would also chair the Monitoring Committee, charged with monitoring the implementation of the Agreement and making recommendations on developments that may endanger its implementation. The Monitoring Committee brings together all the main actors in the Agreement, representatives from each guarantor power, the federal government, and each constituent state, to ensure that issues are addressed and resolved before they become intractable. It should be noted that, in accordance with the plan, the members of the Committee undertake to cooperate with the United Nations operation and to act in good faith on the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee. They shall also request the United Nations to bring to its attention any significant change the United Nations may wish to make in the future to the operation. The operation would also chair the Transitional Committee, which is to deal with issues relating to territorial adjustment and the presence in a constituent state of persons holding the internal constituent state citizenship status of the other constituent state, as well as the Relocation Board. It would also work closely with the Reconciliation Commission and the Committee on Missing Persons.

27. In order to contribute to the maintenance of a secure environment, including law and order, the operation would need to monitor developments related to security throughout the island and aim to pre-empt, prevent and deter the escalation of imminent security threats, mainly through conducting patrols, including joint patrols with the local police, and establishing checkpoints. It would also be equipped to provide security assistance to the local police, as required, as well as assistance in maintaining freedom of movement. The operation would seek to assist in building confidence through its presence on the island and the conduct of confidence-building activities, including monitoring of the local police, receiving complaints, making inquiries and ensuring prompt responses, giving formal advice and making representations to the authorities, as needed, as well as reporting. To accomplish this task, the operation would formally liaise through established channels with the relevant federal and constituent states authorities responsible for security and law and order on the island at all levels. The maintenance of law and order and public safety would remain the responsibility of those authorities but the operation would assist and support them, if necessary.

28. In accordance with the mandate, the operation would monitor and verify the withdrawal of forces from the ceasefire lines and related areas in accordance with the agreed schedules; the dissolution of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces, including reserve units, and the removal of their arms from the island, and the adjustment of Greek and Turkish forces and equipment to agreed equal levels. To carry out these activities, the operation would liaise closely with the federal state authorities, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot authorities in the constituent states, and the Greek and Turkish military authorities. The United Nations operation would: require unhindered freedom of movement and access to military locations in order to fulfil its mandate; visit compounds of Greek and Turkish troops; visit assembly areas and cantonment locations, for example for the storage of arms, ammunition and military equipment; and monitor the points of embarkation of personnel and material in ports and airports. It would also verify the collection, destruction or other disposal of military equipment, ammunition and explosives and provide technical assistance for such activities, if required.

29. The United Nations operations would cooperate with and provide advice to the relevant military forces, as they clear the areas that they have mined. The operation would also receive from them and maintain relevant records, technical information and maps concerning such areas.

30. Once the dissolution of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces and reserve units and the adjustment of the Greek and Turkish forces and equipment to the agreed levels have been accomplished, the operation would monitor and verify the level and activities of the Greek and Turkish forces remaining in Cyprus, as well as compliance with the principle of demilitarization of the island and the implementation of other security provisions by the parties, as contained in the Foundation Agreement. The operation would contribute to the control of the demilitarization of the island and the arms embargo through liaison with relevant entities, monitoring of the quartering of residual Greek and Turkish troops and cantonment locations for the storage of arms, ammunition and military equipment.

31. To carry out its task of monitoring and verifying compliance with the provisions of the Foundation Agreement pertaining to the police of the federal and constituent states, the operation would monitor and verify that police activities at both the federal and constituent state levels are carried out in accordance with the Foundation Agreement and the relevant constitutional and federal laws. The operation would thus verify that police of the constituent states are stationed and operate exclusively within their respective constituent states and that the respective police services do not exceed the strength permitted by the agreement and do not assume responsibilities beyond normal police activities. It would also monitor the number and types of weapons held by the police and their respective compositions, in accordance with the Agreement. The operation would also monitor the enforcement by the police services of the prohibition provided for in the Agreement on arms held by the public. This would require that the United Nations operation liaise closely with all police authorities and have free access to all police and detention facilities, police records and investigation files. The operation would also monitor and verify the provisions of the Agreement relating to the Joint Investigation Agency.

32. The operation would put forth its best efforts to ensure that the authorities of the federal and constituent states provide fair and equal treatment under the law of persons from one constituent state by the authorities of the other, with a particular focus on police, property, civil documents and status, returns, resettlement, special measures for people in areas subject to territorial adjustment, community affairs, freedom of movement, residency, representation in the public service and other bodies, cultural and educational rights and use of languages.

33. The operation would supervise activities relating to the transfer of areas subject to territorial adjustment, with particular focus on the handover of property, returns, resettlement of persons, freedom of movement, crossing points, restrictions on residence and effective redress of grievances, as well as security, demilitarization and the appropriate marking of the areas as transfer takes place. It would also ensure that special arrangements, as stipulated in the Foundation Agreement, are put in place to safeguard the rights and interests of current inhabitants of the areas subject to territorial adjustment and their orderly relocation. The operation would promote compliance with the provisions of the Agreement relating to the areas subject to territorial adjustment, through its presence on the ground, its supervisory responsibilities as well as its participation in the Transitional Committee and the Relocation Board. The operation would liaise closely with all relevant authorities and offer advice, support and good offices, as necessary. The operation would also undertake inquiries, upon complaints received, or of its own initiative, on alleged non-compliance with the provisions relating to civilian matters in the Agreement.

34. The transfer of the areas subject to territorial adjustment is to take place in six phases. While the areas would be legally part of the Greek Cypriot State upon entry into force of the Foundation Agreement, their administration would be entrusted to the authorities of the Turkish Cypriot State for specified periods until the date for transfer to the entitled Greek Cypriot State . During the last months of phases three to six , supervision by the United Nations would be enhanced and the Organization would assume territorial responsibilities in the area concerned. This arrangement is designed to provide additional assurance that the handover will take place on time and in good order. The United Nations would deploy additional personnel in these areas as it assumes more formal responsibilities, albeit without prejudice to the local administration of the daily lives of the local population. During those periods, the operation would have authority to give directives to local officials, precluding a local official from duty in the area if necessary; the operation’s civilian police would have full powers in the respective area and have the right to give operational instructions to the local police.

 

VIII. Structure of the United Nations operation

35. To accomplish the tasks set forth above, the operation would require a strong civilian component; civilian police, including formed police units operating in accordance with police rules of engagement; and a credible military force, including military observers. All components of the operation, in addition to implementing their specific tasks, would work together and support one another in carrying out the overall mandate. The United Nations personnel and troops would be deployed at common locations, wherever possible, with an emphasis on mobility and flexibility. The military would support and back up the civilian police in case of disturbances, subject to specific arrangements.

36. The operation would be unified and integrated. There would be a clear chain of command from the Security Council through the Secretary-General to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, who would have authority to manage all activities of the operation. The Special Representative would also have authority over other United Nations activities in Cyprus in support of this mandate and would provide coordination, political guidance and support to them. A Deputy would be appointed to assist the Special Representative, to act as head of mission in his absence and to perform other substantive activities, as assigned.

37. The office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General would be supported by Political, Legal and Public Information Offices, Mission Security, a Reporting Unit, a Best Practices Unit, as well as Special Advisers on Human Rights, Gender, HIV/AIDS and Mine Action, and the Resident Auditor. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General would supervise the work of some of these units, in particular the Joint Mission Analysis Cell, which would collect and analyse information from all sources in order to make informed assessments and provide advice to the senior mission leadership. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s chief of staff would be responsible for coordination within the operation, channelling communication to and from the Special Representative to all the components of the operation, and the day-to-day managing of the office.

38. The mission would have four main components:

(a) A civilian component with three units: monitoring and promotion of the implementation of the Agreement; supervision of territorial adjustments; and civil affairs. The component would maintain field offices, especially in the areas subject to territorial adjustment;

(b) A police component, which would be deployed in and patrol primarily the areas subject to territorial adjustment, prospective return and relocation areas and crossing points at the administrative boundary. It would also maintain a presence alongside the federal and constituent state police structures and local police headquarters at the district and lower administrative levels, as necessary. The United Nations civilian police officers would be unarmed, but would be supported by formed, armed United Nations civilian police units, which would also support the local police in case of civil disturbances. Those units would operate in accordance with police rules of engagement;

(c) A military component, comprising four mechanized battalions, helicopter and other support elements and unarmed military observers. All elements would operate under a single chain of command. The military component would provide security and support to the United Nations police, as necessary. Upon entry into force of the Foundation Agreement, the troops currently assigned to UNFICYP would shift to a mobile concept of operations island-wide;

(d) A support component with units for communications and other technical services, finance, procurement, civilian personnel, general services and other related services.

IX. Support component of the United Nations operation

39. The initial task of the support component would be to establish the essential infrastructure required to reach operational capacity within 90 days from the establishment of the operation and to maintain that capacity throughout its different phases. Activity is expected to reach its peak during the preparations for and transfer of areas subject to territorial adjustment, that is, in the second and third year of the operation.

40. While UNFICTP is being liquidated, full use will be made of its support structure in the establishment of the new operation. Support to military units operating out of Nicosia and the three sector headquarters would follow United Nations standards for self-sustainment. Civilian police, military observers and civilian staff would be stationed in regional offices and various other locations throughout Cyprus and would be supported accordingly, mainly with office accommodation, security, medical services, communications and transport.

41. Since the mobility of military and civilian police units would be essential to the success of the operation, substantial transport assets would be made available for this purpose. An airlift capability of up to 40 personnel would also be provided in order to address emergency situations that may arise, especially during the various phases of territorial adjustment.

42. A financial commitment authority would be required to cover anticipated expenditures until 30 June 2004 . Initial requirements for personnel and equipment would be met through the rapid deployment mechanisms that the United Nations has put in place as a result of the recommendations made in the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (S/2000/809), including the strategic deployment stocks, and would be moved into theatre by a combination of strategic airlift and sealift or through local procurement where time is of the essence. Supplies such as fuel and rations would be drawn from existing UNFICYP contracts modified for the new operation, as necessary, or by establishment of new contracts.

43. The support operations would fully integrate the operation’s military, civilian staff and United Nations civilian police and would be controlled and managed under the integrated support services concept, whereby all military, civilian and civilian police support requirements are pooled for optimal effectiveness and efficiency.

44. At full deployment, the operation would have 2,500 troops, including 170 military observers, 330 civilian police and two formed police units (120 police officers each), substantive international staff and local staff from both constituent states, as well as the required international and local support staff.

45. Should the Foundation Agreement enter into force, the United Cyprus Republic would be committed to bearing half the cost to the United Nations of the operations in the first three years, and two-thirds of the cost thereafter. This arrangement would be reviewed in 2010.

 

X. Security for the United Nations operation

46. The security for the operation and its personnel would be primarily the responsibility of the host country. In addition, the military component and the formed police units could be called upon to provide security for the operation. Currently, there is no security phase in effect in Cyprus . Accordingly, “No-Phase” Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS) requirements, as prescribed by the United Nations Security Coordinator, will be met.

 

XI. Phases of the United Nations operation

 

47. From the entry into force of the Foundation Agreement, to the deployment of core staff, including the senior management of the new operation, UNFICYP would become the advance party of the new United Nations peacekeeping operation. However, in contrast to UNFICYP, the new operation would need to be far more mobile and proactive. Key staff, in particular the senior leadership and its political and legal advisers, as well as from the civilian component and the administration, would be identified and deployed in key areas as early as possible. They would support the senior staff in the planning and conduct of the operation. The core group of United Nations civilian police officers, including the Police Commissioner, the Deputy Police Commissioner, the planning team, operations officers and support staff, should also be deployed within the first weeks of the operation’s deployment.

48. Within 90 days of its inception, the operation would aim to reach full deployment, in particular of the civilian personnel, which should be at full strength. The operation would upgrade the current United Nations military headquarters, deploy additional troops and establish military observer and civilian police teams throughout the island. They would immediately start implementation of the mandate with the available resources. This would include verification of the security provisions of the Agreement near the buffer zone, confidence-building patrols throughout the island and support to the United Nations civilian police, if required.

49. The first phase of territorial adjustment would be completed 104 days after inception and the second phase six months after inception. Both phases will mainly affect currently uninhabited areas. The following phases would affect increasingly large and more inhabited areas: the third phase to be completed 15 months; the fourth, 30 months; the fifth, 36 months; and the sixth, and last, 42 months after inception. During these phases, the operation would have to carry out the enhanced supervisory functions necessitating that the operation has deployed a strong presence at all levels during those periods.

50. The first 104 days would be fundamental to the establishment of the new mandate and operation. It is envisaged that the period from 104 days after inception until the end of the territorial transfers would be the most sensitive, given the wide range of mandated activities concerning the areas subject to territorial adjustment, the dissolution of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot forces and the adjustment of the Greek and Turkish forces to agreed levels. At the end of this period, the operation should be expected to focus more on the general terms of its mandate, including monitoring the implementation of the Agreement, to use its best efforts to promote compliance and to contribute to a secure environment. At that time, the operation would reassess its strength in light of the implementation of the Agreement, compliance by the parties, security and public safety environment and the process of territorial adjustment.

XII. Observations

51. In the 24 April 2004 referenda, to which the two sides committed themselves in the agreement of 13 February, the people of Cyprus would be pronouncing themselves on a plan that emerged from four years of intensive negotiations and consultations. The consequences of the decision they make, whatever that decision is, will be very significant. The outcome is far from certain. The plan is complex and delicately balanced. Inevitably, as in any negotiation, it is a compromise. The presentation of the contents of the plan to the public has not always been equally balanced. Even though finalized by me at the invitation of the parties, the plan’s core concepts and key trade-offs, as well as the bulk of the many texts included, are largely the work of Cypriots. The plan is the only available and foreseeable route to the reunification of Cyprus . It must be judged as a whole, bearing in mind the available alternatives and weighing the consequences of deciding for or against. The decision before the people is theirs alone to make.

52. Timely action by the Council would go a long way to reassuring the people, as they vote on the future of their country, that the settlement will have the strong support of the United Nations and that its security provisions will be fully implemented.

53. The Council is therefore requested to take decisions on the matters referred to in paragraph 8 above, to enter into force simultaneously with the Foundation Agreement on a contingency basis, subject to the outcome of the referenda.

 

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S/2003/398 – Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2003/398

  Security Council Distr.: General

1 April 2003

Original: English

 


Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

Summary

Under my auspices, an intensive effort was undertaken between 1999 and early
2003 to assist the two sides in Cyprus to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the
Cyprus problem. This effort was undertaken in the context of a unique opportunity
which, had it been seized, would have allowed a reunited Cyprus to sign the Treaty
of Accession to the European Union on 16 April 2003.
Proximity talks were held from December 1999 to November 2000, and direct
talks from January 2002 to February 2003. During the process the parties were not
able to reach agreement without third-party assistance. Accordingly, I submitted a
comprehensive settlement proposal on 11 November 2002, a first revision on 10
December 2002, and a second revision on 26 February 2003. The plan required a
referendum before 16 April 2003 to approve it and reunify Cyprus.
At The Hague on 10 and 11 March 2003, it became clear that it would not be
possible to achieve agreement to conduct such a referendum, and the process came to
an end. My plan remains on the table. I do not propose to take a new initiative
without a solid reason to believe that the political will exists necessary for a
successful outcome.

 

Introduction

1. My last report on my mission of good offices in Cyprus (S/1999/707) was submitted to the Security Council on 22 June 1999 . The present report covers the period since then, which has seen the most intensive negotiations ever held under United Nations auspices to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. These efforts began late in 1999 and concluded on 11 March 2003 .

 

2. During this period, I refrained from reporting in writing to the Council, other than by brief references in reports on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). Instead, my Special Adviser, and on occasion I myself, kept members of the Council informed through regular oral briefings. I have appreciated the forbearance of the Council on this matter, which was necessary given the delicate nature of the process.

 

3. In describing the main developments in the present report, I do not give a detailed linear narrative but take a more thematic and analytical approach. I believe that at this juncture I should assess clearly the process that has just ended, fully explain the concepts behind the proposals I submitted to the parties, and look to the future.

 

A unique opportunity

 

4. The Cyprus problem has been on the agenda of the Security Council for close to 40 years. It is the oldest item continuously on the Secretary-General’s peacemaking agenda. Given the intractability and the variable geometry of the issues it is not far-fetched to describe it as a diplomatic “Rubik’s cube”. It came as no surprise to the Council that I reflected for several months before acceding to the appeal contained in resolution 1250 (1999) to launch a new good offices effort at the end of 1999.

 

5. The history of United Nations efforts to solve the Cyprus problem is not encouraging. I was therefore mindful of Jean Monnet’s advice that in order to solve intractable problems it is sometimes necessary to change the context. I asked myself and several interlocutors whether there was any change that warranted a new push. I concluded, with some hesitation, that a unique set of circumstances was emerging and that the potential existed to make a true impact on the attitudes of the protagonists and bring about the required qualitative changes of position.

 

6. I was conscious that there had been many false dawns. However, the new circumstances included the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1250 (1999), the four guidelines of which provided a clear and realistic framework for negotiation, the evolving Greek-Turkish rapprochement, the European Council decision in December 1999 at Helsinki that opened the door to Turkey’s candidature for accession, as well as the prospect for the enlargement of the European Union by up to 10 new members, including Cyprus. The European Union factor in particular offered a framework of incentives to reach a settlement as well as deadlines within which to reach it.

 

7. Accordingly, late in 1999, I decided that the time had come to launch a new effort, and to lend to it my full support. I did so in the conviction that it was in the general interest of all parties concerned — Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Greece and Turkey — to reach a settlement that would allow the Treaty of Accession of the European Union to be signed by a reunited Cyprus . I appointed Alvaro de Soto as my Special Adviser on Cyprus , and issued an invitation to Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, to participate in proximity talks.

 

An overview of the process

 

8. The main events in the process are described in the calendar annexed to this report. From December 1999 to November 2000, the leaders, at my invitation, attended five sessions of proximity talks, alternately in Geneva and New York , to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement. I was present at every session of talks which were otherwise hosted by my Special Adviser. This process ended when Mr. Denktash did not accept my invitation to a sixth session of talks in January 2001.

 

9. Efforts to resume the process, including a meeting I held with Mr. Denktash in Salzburg late in August 2001, led to my invitation of 5 September 2001 to the two leaders to a new and reinvigorated phase of negotiations. Mr. Clerides accepted the invitation but Mr. Denktash declined it.

 

10. In November 2001, Mr. Denktash wrote to Mr. Clerides proposing a direct meeting. There followed an exchange of letters, as a result of which they met for the first time in more than four years on 4 December 2001 in the presence of my Special Adviser and agreed to begin direct talks in Cyprus the following month under my auspices. After the meeting, the two leaders dined at each other’s residences.

 

11. The direct talks began, in the presence of my Special Adviser, on 16 January 2002 , in a previously dilapidated building in the United Nations Protected Area in Nicosia refurbished into a conference and office facility within the space of a month. The talks ran until February 2003, the leaders usually meeting two or three times a week. The talks were punctuated only by short breaks. I visited the island from 14 to 16 May 2002 to encourage the leaders, and I met them again in Paris on 6 September and in New York on 3 and 4 October 2002 , after which Mr. Denktash underwent surgery in New York . In addition to his work on the island, my Special Adviser held regular consultations with Greece and Turkey .

 

12. My Special Adviser helped to guide the discussions and by mid-2002 he was making concrete suggestions to assist the parties to build bridges. I refrained however from making a written substantive input until 11 November 2002, when, no breakthrough having been achieved, and believing that no other course of action remained open if the opportunity was to be seized, I put forward a document which I believed constituted a sound basis for agreement on a comprehensive settlement. Following intensive consultations, I put forward a revised proposal on 10 December 2002 , hoping to assist the parties to reach agreement in time for the Copenhagen European Council on 12 and 13 December 2002 .

 

13. Regrettably, agreement was not reached at that time but negotiations resumed on the island in mid-January 2003. In parallel, technical committees, agreed to by the two leaders in my presence on 4 October 2002 in New York , began meeting, following a three-month delay on the part of Mr. Denktash in appointing the Turkish Cypriot representatives. Greece and Turkey met on 21 February to address security issues related to the plan.

 

14. In the last week of February 2003 I visited Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, formally presented a third version of my plan on 26 February, and invited the leaders to The Hague on 10 March to inform me whether they were prepared to sign a commitment to submit the plan for approval at separate simultaneous referenda on 30 March 2003. On 11 March, at 0530 hours and following negotiations with the two leaders and the guarantor Powers lasting more than 19 hours, I announced that there had been no such agreement, and at that point the process which had begun in December 1999 reached the end of the road. The office in Cyprus of my Special Adviser, which opened in advance of the direct talks, is to close during April

 

The scale of the effort

 

15. The scale of the effort to assist the parties to reach a comprehensive settlement can be appreciated by some simple statistics. In the course of the negotiation, I met the leaders on 11 occasions, including my visit to Cyprus in May 2002 and my trip to Turkey , Greece and Cyprus in February 2003. My Special Adviser hosted 54 separate meetings during the proximity phase, 72 meetings in direct format, and called on each leader on more than 100 occasions during the entire period. My Special Adviser made around 30 trips to Greece and Turkey . He made dozens of trips to the capitals of Security Council members, the European Commission in Brussels , and European Union member States (particularly the six-monthly Presidency). He also briefed the members of the Security Council on repeated occasions throughout the entire period.

 

16. The budget for my effort over the period ran to $3,148,500. My Special Adviser assembled a core team of two to four professionals and one or two general staff. This core team was assisted by input from throughout the United Nations system, involving the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (including UNFICYP), the Office of Legal Affairs, the Department of Public Information, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office for Project Services (including the UNDP/UNOPS office in Cyprus), and by a number of consultants who joined my Special Adviser’s team in the last two months to oversee the work of the technical committees, including a secondee from the European Commission. A number of countries, including Canada , Germany , Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, were on standby ready to send experts to assist in the technical finalization process leading up to a referendum on 30 March 2003 . Dozens of judges of the highest international calibre had agreed that their names could be considered for appointment to a transitional Supreme Court, should agreement be reached to submit the plan to a referendum.

 

17. My proposal runs to 192 core pages, plus 250 pages of finalized laws. By 11 March 2003 , draft laws running to 6,000 pages, necessary to finalize the plan, were before those committees for consideration, as were lists of 1,954 treaties and instruments. A total of 1,506 flag designs and 111 suggested anthems from entrants from almost 50 different countries were submitted to a flag and anthem competition agreed to by the two leaders and administered by the United Nations.

 

The preferred solutions of the parties

 

18. The starting positions or visions of the parties during the proximity talks and the direct talks were far apart on all main issues. Mr. Clerides, invoking Security Council resolutions, favoured a solution based on a State of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship, comprising two politically equal communities as described in the relevant Security Council resolutions, in a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation. Mr. Denktash favoured a solution in accordance with what he regarded were the realities, proposing a Confederation of Cyprus founded by two pre-existing sovereign states. The Confederation would have a single international legal personality but would be sovereign only to the extent that sovereignty was given to it by the founding states. By the time of the direct talks, Mr. Denktash had put the term “confederation” to one side, preferring to speak of a new Partnership State of Cyprus , the overall concept remaining the same. The dispute was clear — would a solution be one pre-existing state which would continue in existence and federalize itself under a new Constitution, or two pre-existing states which would found a new confederal or partnership structure? The dispute took the form of a Gordian knot of conceptual and terminological issues to which I will return.

 

19. The difference in overall vision was matched by major differences on all core issues. On governance, the Greek Cypriots, emphasizing the need for workability and unity, proposed a free-standing federal government with representation based primarily on population ratios but with effective participation of both communities in decision-making. The basis would be a federal constitution. The Turkish Cypriots, emphasizing the need to prevent domination and maintain their separate status and identity, opposed any free-standing central institutions, proposing instead channels of cooperation and coordination between the institutions of two separate but juxtaposed states, with numerical equality and consensus decision-making. The basis would be an international treaty with international arbitration in the case of disputes.

 

20. On security, the Greek Cypriot side, bitterly remembering the experience of 1974, ideally favoured a completely demilitarized island, with all foreign troops (and “settlers”) withdrawing and a United Nations-mandated international force to keep the peace. The Turkish Cypriot side, equally bitterly remembering the years from 1963 to 1974, had little faith in the United Nations and favoured the extension of the rights of the guarantor Powers and the stationing by them of large troop contingents in the respective constituent states. Each side felt vulnerable to a larger potential enemy — the Greek Cypriots feared the Turkish Goliath, the Turkish Cypriots feared the Greek Cypriot Goliath.

 

21. On territory, the Greek Cypriot side started from the position that a substantial territorial adjustment was necessary and justified given the disproportionate amount of territory and coastline currently controlled by the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey , and given the Greek Cypriot wish for displaced persons to be able to return to their homes under Greek Cypriot administration. The Turkish Cypriot side spoke of only the most minor adjustments along the buffer zone, citing in particular the passage of 30 years, during which people have settled down, and putting forward long lists of criteria effectively ruling out any substantial transfer of territory.

 

22. The Greek Cypriots, citing international human rights law, the principles of the (European Union) acquis communautaire, the realities of the modern world, and the need for the settlement to be perceived as just if it is to be durable, wished to see a settlement based on freedom of movement, freedom of settlement and the right of displaced persons to return to their homes. The Turkish Cypriots argued that the distrust between the two sides, the need for security, the realities on the island, the numerical and economic disparities between the two sides, and the principle of bi-zonality meant that property claims should be liquidated by a global exchange and compensation scheme and that freedom of movement and residence should be strictly controlled.

 

The proximity talks

 

23. During the three-year period from November 1999 to November 2002, the two leaders were not able to bridge their differences on any major issue, let alone on the package of issues. This was not, in my view, because solutions were not achievable. Rather, it was because negotiation, in the sense of give and take, almost never occurred. Instead, the process was one of procedural wrangling, verbal gymnastics, shadow boxing, and mini-crises, with only occasional promising glimmers on the substance which did not last. I and my Special Adviser sought to find ways to assist the parties to move beyond that level of dialogue and into an actual negotiation, but met with little success.

 

24. Perhaps the key obstacle to negotiation was the status issue. Mr. Denktash argued that the Turkish Cypriot side was disadvantaged by the recognition enjoyed by the Republic of Cyprus and the non-recognition of the “ Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ”. He blamed Security Council resolutions for this situation, and said that those resolutions inevitably tied me and my Special Adviser to an approach which, try as we might, could not be truly impartial, and which ignored the “realities”. The fact that the status of the two leaders in the talks under my auspices was scrupulously equal did not assuage Mr. Denktash’s concerns about their unequal status outside the negotiating room. Despite my best efforts, I was never able to convince Mr. Denktash that the “realities” of the Cyprus problem were not only the realities on the ground but the realities of international law and international politics; that each side had positions of strength and weakness on particular issues; and that the only road to a solution was a negotiated settlement that creatively addressed all issues, including the status issue, in a manner acceptable to both parties.

 

25. The proximity format itself was necessitated by Mr. Denktash’s position that he would not meet Mr. Clerides face to face until the latter recognized the existence of the “ Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ”. During the proximity talks, which were to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement, he argued that, to be adequately prepared, the ground had to be levelled, meaning that the existence of two sovereign states on the island needed to be recognized. This precondition to engaging in a discussion of the issues led me, on 12 September 2000 at the outset of the fourth session of proximity talks, to make the following statement to the two leaders:

 

“The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parties have been participating, since December 1999, in proximity talks to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement. I believe the time has now come to move ahead.

 

“In the course of these talks I have ascertained that the parties share a common desire to bring about, through negotiations in which each represents its side — and no one else — as the political equal of the other, a comprehensive settlement enshrining a new partnership on which to build a better future in peace, security and prosperity on a united island.

 

“In this spirit, and with the purpose of expediting negotiations in good faith and without preconditions on all issues before them, I have concluded that the equal status of the parties must and should be recognized explicitly in the comprehensive settlement, which will embody the results of the detailed negotiations required to translate this concept into clear and practical provisions.”

 

26. That statement, made public as a press release, had two purposes. The first was to make clear that the status question would have to be addressed under the terms and at the time of a comprehensive settlement, to be negotiated by equal parties at the negotiating table. The second was to make clear that the insistence on satisfaction on status as a precondition to meaningful negotiations was not justified, and that therefore the ground was prepared for negotiations to begin in earnest. Mr. Clerides took strong exception to this statement (a position subsequently backed by his legislature) but, following clarifications, remained in the process.

 

27. After the statement of 12 September, Mr. Denktash increased his level of engagement somewhat. Building on some preliminary thoughts which my Special Adviser had put forward to the parties on 12 July 2000, my Special Adviser suggested a number of ideas on the core issues for the consideration of the parties — ideas that were to germinate, reappear in the direct talks, and become important building blocks for my 2002 proposal. Mr. Clerides, while reluctant to engage in a hypothetical exercise, showed a willingness to depart to some degree from his starting positions. Mr. Denktash did not accept that the ground was now prepared for meaningful negotiations, citing, in particular, Mr. Clerides’s reaction to the 12 September statement, and while he was prepared to consider some ideas put forward by my Special Adviser on some issues, showed little flexibility and displayed increasing uneasiness about the substantive nature of the process.

 

28. On 8 November 2000, towards the end of the fifth session of proximity talks in Geneva, I met the two leaders and made some private oral remarks to them on procedure and substance — remarks which, among other things, reaffirmed my 12 September 2000 statement.[1] After those remarks, which were not a proposal, Mr. Denktash declared that the proximity talks were “dead” and did not accept my invitation to a further session of proximity talks in January 2001. Mr. Denktash’s position was supported by significant public misrepresentations of my oral remarks, but he maintained it despite the efforts of my Special Adviser to address his misconceptions. The failure to resume talks eventually saw the year 2001 pass without any substantive negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

 

29. Despite encouraging indications from the Government of Turkey in the summer of 2001, and my meeting with Mr. Denktash in Salzburg on 28 August, Mr. Denktash rejected my invitation of 5 September 2001 to a new and reinvigorated phase of negotiations, insisting that for talks to resume my oral remarks of 8 November had to be repudiated and that the statement of 12 September should be the sole basis for talks.

 

The European Union dimension

 

30. Throughout 2000 and 2001, an important element in Mr. Denktash’s position, supported by Turkey, was that the accession of Cyprus to the European Union was illegal, as long as Turkey was not a member and as long as the Turkish Cypriots had not consented to it. The legal basis of this position was disputed by the Greek Cypriot side and rejected by the European Union. Mr. Denktash remained hostile to the accession of Cyprus to the European Union and disputed the desirability of resolving the Cyprus problem in advance of decisions concerning the enlargement of the European Union.

 

31. During 2000 and 2001, my Special Adviser had numerous contacts with officials of the European Commission, primarily addressing the question of how Turkish Cypriot concerns could be accommodated in the context of the accession to the European Union of a reunited Cyprus . It was clear to me that, given economic and numerical disparities, the unrestricted application of the acquis communautaire in the north would be problematic for the Turkish Cypriots, and that special arrangements would be needed for Cyprus, unique among European Union candidate countries as a standing item on the Security Council agenda and emerging from a context of conflict. I personally made these points in May 2001 in an appeal to European Union Ministers for Foreign Affairs.

 

32. I welcomed the European Union’s response to that appeal, in particular its policy, encapsulated by the President of the European Commission in November 2001 during a visit to Cyprus, that the European Union, with its acquis, would never be an obstacle to finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, and that the European Union would accommodate whatever arrangements the parties themselves agreed to in the context of a political settlement.[2]

 

The direct talks

 

33. During the meeting held on 4 December 2001 , at which the two leaders agreed to begin direct talks, Mr. Denktash signaled an important shift in his position regarding the European Union. He said he had taken note of European Union statements regarding accommodation of the terms of a political settlement. He said that the Turkish Cypriot side would support the membership of the “Cyprus Partnership” in the European Union within the terms of a settlement, provided the “balance” between Turkey and Greece with regard to Cyprus established by the 1960 Treaties was maintained. Mr. Denktash also spoke publicly of trying to achieve agreement by June 2002.

 

34. The 4 December meeting, Mr. Denktash’s statements, the unprecedented crossing of the buffer zone by the two leaders, albeit only for social engagements, and the start of the direct talks in January 2002 led to a justifiable rise in expectations. The long-standing personal relationship between the two leaders was a positive element in the talks. The two leaders took entirely different approaches to the negotiations, however.

 

35. Mr. Clerides believed that the leaders, having ascertained each other’s positions on the issues, should refrain from restating their visions or debating their merits. Instead, he proposed that each leader should indicate where he could be flexible and where he could not be, and they should engage in a process of give and take on all the core issues and help each other to meet their most basic concerns. To this end, Mr. Clerides showed a preparedness to make openings on a range of issues, so that his position was considerably more flexible than the starting position I have earlier described.

 

36. Mr. Denktash took the position that the parties should first reach a common understanding on a vision of a settlement — they should converge on the essential end result — before engaging in the details of the core issues. While Mr. Clerides strongly disagreed with this approach, many of the meetings ended up being discussions about the visions of the two sides. These discussions usually ended up reverting to debates about the past, and little or no progress was made in bringing the visions closer together. Mr. Denktash was prepared to discuss the core issues, usually preferring to restate his position on them, often from prepared texts, rather than engage in an exercise of give and take, but he was not prepared to discuss the core issue of territory in any meaningful way until the issue of sovereignty had been addressed. For his part, Mr. Clerides, keen for negotiations to be held on territory and property, indicated that, if a substantial majority of Greek Cypriots were able to return to their homes under Greek Cypriot administration, he would be prepared to be flexible on the issue of property.

 

37. In the period until the initial target date of June, some headway was made on a small number of issues, including the powers of the central authority and security. On the latter issue, the leaders provisionally agreed on some key points late in May but, after consultations with Turkey, Mr. Denktash called major elements of that agreement into question, leading Mr. Clerides to insist that all the points that had been provisionally agreed be put in brackets as not agreed. There was an important discussion on the issue of citizenship, including that of people from Turkey who had settled in Cyprus since 1974, but it was not followed up by Mr. Denktash.

 

38. While third-party assistance was obviously desirable, indeed indispensable, to help the parties to move the process forward, Mr. Denktash, who had initially proposed direct talks without third-party presence, was strongly resistant to the United Nations playing a substantive role. In this he received the full support of Turkey . Regrettably, on the aim of reaching an agreement in time for the accession to the European Union of a reunited Cyprus , Mr. Denktash’s position during the direct talks would not be constant, and he often contradicted his statement of 4 December 2001 regarding European Union membership.

 

39. In an effort to move the process forward and instil a sense of urgency, my Special Adviser sought to assist the parties in a manner which did not hamper the two leaders’ capacity to negotiate freely. He held a number of meetings where the two leaders were not accompanied by aides, in which format there was less rhetoric and more candour. Those meetings produced some glimmers of progress — regrettably, the glimmers seldom lasted beyond the meeting, subsequent meetings often reverting to debates about history or visions.

 

40. My Special Adviser also conducted seminars with each leader and his team, during which the United Nations discussed with the parties creative ways in which the particularly difficult issues might be addressed in a manner different from the one they had in mind.

 

41. After the June target passed with no breakthrough, my Special Adviser began suggesting compromise formulations during the meetings, compiled a list of work outstanding, and suggested a work programme to the two leaders to be taken up when the talks resumed after the August break. Though the leaders did not reach any agreements after the talks resumed, there was some exploration of issues that until that time had been largely ignored — how a new state of affairs might come into being, what methods might be used to provide elements of continuity for both sides in that new state of affairs, what the transitional governmental structures should be, and an approach to addressing the issues of territory and property as a package.

 

42. It was abundantly clear by this time that, left to their own devices, the two leaders would not be able to reach agreement. The process had, however, given the United Nations a detailed understanding of their positions, and the time to generate ways of bridging them in a manner which sought to meet the legitimate underlying concerns, needs, interests and aspirations of each side in a manner consistent with those of the other. I therefore gave careful consideration to the question of submitting a written proposal. In addition to the principle, the timing of this was extremely delicate because of conflicting calendars: Mr. Denktash’s convalescence following open-heart surgery early in October, the Turkish elections early in November, the Copenhagen European Council on 12 and 13 December, and the looming prospect of campaigning to succeed Mr. Clerides.

 

The presentation of my plan

 

43. On 11 November 2002 , I presented to the parties and the guarantors a “Basis for Agreement on a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem”. This proposal was constructed in such a manner that the two leaders could sign a two-page “Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem”, the essence of which was that they would commit themselves to finalizing negotiations, with United Nations assistance, on the basis of the substantive parts of the plan by 28 February 2003, and submit the plan to separate simultaneous referenda for approval on 30 March 2003. This would have allowed a new state of affairs to come into being and a reunited Cyprus to sign the Treaty of Accession to the European Union on 16 April 2003 .

 

44. I asked the parties to convey their initial reactions within a week. On 18 November 2002 , Mr. Clerides informed me by letter that he was prepared to negotiate on my proposal but sought a number of clarifications. Mr. Denktash requested more time to consult and on 27 November 2002 informed me by letter that he was prepared to negotiate my proposal but noted there were serious elements of concern on his side. Mr. Denktash’s delayed reaction left little time for negotiation prior to the Copenhagen summit. Nevertheless, the two leaders, at my request, gave me written reactions to the substance of the document, in particular on the essential issues I had asked them to focus on, and Mr. Denktash eventually returned to Cyprus on 7 December 2002 .

 

45. During the time remaining before the Copenhagen summit, my Special Adviser engaged in round-the-clock consultations with both leaders, as well as with Greece and Turkey ; members of the United Nations team also held extended discussions of details with advisers of the two leaders. It was a key principle of my approach that, if the United Nations were to present a revision (as opposed to the leaders agreeing with each other on specific changes), the overall balance of the plan would have to be maintained. Regrettably, the substantive input from the Turkish Cypriot side was extremely general and largely conceptual — leaving the United Nations to seek inspiration for concrete improvements from concerns publicly voiced by a broad cross section of Turkish Cypriot civil society.

 

46. On 10 December 2002 , I put forward a second version of my plan to bridge remaining gaps between the parties. I invited the two leaders to Copenhagen on 12 and 13 December in the hope of achieving agreement before the European Council took decisions regarding enlargement. I also asked the guarantors to be represented at Copenhagen .

 

47. Mr. Denktash did not attend the Copenhagen summit, and only sent a representative following my personal intervention. The representative, Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, informed my Special Adviser that he had authority to sign an agreement should Mr. Denktash make such a decision. Mr. Ertuğruloğlu was unyielding on the substance, however — a position supported by public statements Mr. Denktash made at the time in Ankara . For its part, Turkey had come to the summit with a policy which sought to link a settlement of the Cyprus issue with Turkey ’s European Union perspective. Consultations between my Special Adviser and Turkish officials focused solely on the territorial issue but were not pursued. Mr. Clerides took a non-committal position; in view of the negative attitude of Mr. Denktash the question whether the Greek Cypriot side would sign became theoretical. In the event, though agreement did seem very close, once it became clear that no agreement would be reached at Copenhagen , I decided not to attend myself. I did, however, have the opportunity to press the urgency of the matter with the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when he called on me in New York on 10 December.

 

48. The missed chance at Copenhagen did not, however, spell the end of the effort. On the contrary, both the Security Council and the European Union called on the parties to try to reach agreement by 28 February — the date envisaged in my plan for the finalization of all aspects of the plan. I proposed a three-track negotiation: the leaders should focus on achieving agreement on the substantive issues, which I hoped would be confined to one or two major questions; Greece and Turkey should focus on reaching agreement and finalizing the security aspects of the plan; and the technical committees, agreed to on 4 October 2002, should be appointed and begin meeting without delay to finalize laws and the list of treaties on the basis of my plan of 10 December.

 

49. Track 1 of the negotiations resumed in mid-January, the leaders meeting three times a week. During the negotiations, Mr. Denktash sought changes to the plan, some of which radically altered key concepts, others relating to details. Among the demands were certain basic requirements which Turkish interlocutors, in lengthy and detailed consultations with my Special Adviser, also underlined as important. Mr. Clerides also sought changes, which were by and large within the parameters of the plan. Little substantive progress was made in the talks; but Mr. Clerides indicated to Mr. Denktash that, should they not be able to agree on changes by the end of February, he would be prepared to sign the plan as it stood.

 

50. Track 2 was no more successful. The Government of Greece approached the Government of Turkey twice to begin talks on security without success; eventually, representatives met in Ankara on 21 February, but those discussions did not produce agreement or progress. As had been agreed, my Special Adviser flew from Cyprus to receive a joint briefing from the delegations on the talks; in the event the Turkish representative did not consent to a joint briefing and the delegations briefed my Special Adviser separately.

 

51. Track 3 produced reasonable progress, the technical committees reaching agreement on some important issues and, particularly on the Greek Cypriot side, producing a huge number of draft laws for consideration and finalization. The treaties committee made some headway, including the production of lists of treaties and instruments for consideration, but issues of principle made real progress difficult.

 

52. During this period, the leaders agreed to authorize the United Nations to conduct a flag and anthem competition for a unified Cyprus , to be included in the plan which would be put to a referendum. The leaders also agreed to the United Nations contacting potential transitional Supreme Court judges and preparing a list for their consideration. The leaders did not respond to my Special Adviser’s repeated requests to react to the list of judges transmitted or appoint committee members to select a flag and anthem (despite a massive public response to the competitions).

 

53. The negotiations were briefly interrupted by the Presidential elections, in which Tassos Papadopoulos was elected to succeed Mr. Clerides. After the election, my Special Adviser engaged in intensive consultations with Mr. Papadopoulos — as he had done during January and February with Mr. Denktash and Turkey . Mr. Papadopoulos underlined the continuity of his policy with that of Mr. Clerides, indicating that he did not wish to reopen key concepts in the plan or matters already essentially agreed. He raised a number of concerns regarding workability and implementation of the plan. Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Denktash did not meet until my arrival in Cyprus .

 

54. During the last week in February, I visited Turkey , Greece and Cyprus , and on 26 February I formally presented a third, and what I believed should be final, version of my plan, entitled “Basis for a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem”. Prior to my visit my Special Adviser had contributed to writing the important changes I had in mind. This version contained further refinements, particularly addressing the basic requirements of the Turkish side at the same time as meeting a number of Greek Cypriot concerns in order to maintain the overall balance. I also filled in all remaining gaps in the core parts of the plan, particularly those relating to security on which Greece and Turkey had not been able to agree.

 

55. I met jointly with Mr. Clerides, Mr. Denktash and Mr. Papadopolous on 27 February. Given that no further time remained if a referendum was to be held on 30 March 2003, and given the minute prospects of the leaders being able in further negotiations to agree to changes to the plan, I proposed that the leaders should agree to put the plan to separate simultaneous referenda on 30 March 2003 in the terms foreseen in the plan. They would do this by signing a two-page “Commitment to submit the Foundation Agreement to separate simultaneous referenda in order to achieve a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem”. Such agreement would not, however, preclude the leaders from negotiating further substantive changes by mutual agreement in advance of a referendum. I also proposed that the work of the technical committees should continue until the week before the referendum, in order to finalize the outstanding technical aspects, with my assistance on technical matters on which they might not be able to agree. I invited the two leaders to The Hague on 10 March to inform me whether or not they were prepared to sign a commitment to put the plan to referenda. On 28 February, the two leaders accepted my invitation.

 

56. In The Hague , Mr. Papadopoulos informed me that he was prepared to commit himself to putting the plan to referendum, as long as the people knew what they were being asked to vote on. To that end, he wished to be sure that the gaps regarding federal legislation, as well as constituent state constitutions, would be filled. He underlined the importance of Greece and Turkey agreeing and committing themselves to the security provisions in the plan. Furthermore, he claimed that considerably more time was needed than was available for a proper public campaign on the referendum to be carried out. He said that those conditions needed to be fulfilled before a referendum could be held. He said he was prepared not to reopen the substantive provisions of the plan if the other side was prepared to do likewise.

 

57. Mr. Denktash informed me that he was not prepared to agree to put the plan to referendum. He said he had fundamental objections to the plan on basic points. He believed that further negotiations were likely to be successful only if they began from a new starting point and if the parties agreed on basic principles. He added that Turkey was in any case not in a position to sign the statement requested of the guarantors.

 

58. Turkey confirmed its inability to make the commitment that my plan required of the guarantors, citing previously unmentioned constitutional reasons. For his part, Mr. Papadopoulos insisted that this commitment was necessary before referenda could be held.

 

59. In spite of this, I tried to salvage the process — an effort in which I involved the guarantors — by proposing an extension of the deadline for finalizing negotiations until 28 March, and taking a decision at that time on the holding of separate simultaneous referenda on 6 April. To be at all realistic, such a scenario would have required a stringent work programme, including an immediate restarting of the work of the technical committees, and contingent preparations for referenda. Mr. Denktash refused all of these requirements. This meant that it would clearly not be possible to achieve a comprehensive settlement before the signature of the accession treaty to the European Union by Cyprus on 16 April 2003 .

 

60. Accordingly, I drew the only possible conclusion and announced that the process had reached the end of the road. I made clear, however, that my plan remained on the table, ready for the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots to pick it up and carry it forward if they could summon the will to do so.

 

An explanation of my plan

 

61. My plan has been widely circulated and is available to members of the Security Council on request.[3] The plan is not a framework but a truly comprehensive proposal, including all legal instruments necessary, and leaving nothing to be negotiated subsequently. It is in the form of a covering document, to be signed by the leaders and accompanied by signatures of representatives of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, to which is appended a Foundation Agreement comprising main articles and series of detailed annexes (including a Constitution).

 

62. I referred earlier to the Gordian knot of conceptual issues, as much psychological as practical in nature, which divide the parties. It relates to the legal and political interpretation of the past and present as well as visions of the future, is born of bitter historical experiences and recurring nightmares, and is reflected in disputes over labels. It was therefore necessary to cut this Gordian knot by addressing issues relating to terminology, the coming into being of the new state of affairs, and sovereignty.

 

Terminology

 

63. As far back as the proximity talks, I asked each leader to put labels to one side and focus on them at the end. The Greek Cypriot preference was for terminology based on a federal government with federated states, provinces or cantons. The Turkish Cypriot side spoke of a confederation during the proximity talks, a position which was refined by the time of the direct talks into a partnership state composed of partner or constituent states. It was also vital for the Turkish Cypriot side that the name of the state not be “ Republic of Cyprus ” — something the Greek Cypriot side was prepared to concede.

 

64. To assist the leaders in leaving labels to the end, during the proximity talks my Special Adviser proposed the use of the terms <common state> and <component states> — the chevrons being used to indicate that at some time these terms should be replaced with final terminology.

 

65. Eventually, the leaders discussed terminology in January 2003, but did not reach agreement — Mr. Denktash withdrew a proposal he had made after Mr. Clerides accepted it. In the plan, I suggested a compromise reflected in article 1 of the Constitution: the name of the state would be “United Cyprus Republic” (with “Cyprus” as a short form); it would have a “federal government” (a Greek Cypriot preference); and it would have “two constituent states, namely the Greek Cypriot State and the Turkish Cypriot State” (a Turkish Cypriot preference).

 

Coming into being of the new state of affairs

 

66. It became clear during the talks that neither side would accept the starting point of the other regarding how a new state of affairs would come into being. Mr. Denktash would not accept that the exercise was the writing of a new constitution for the existing, internationally recognized, and continuing Republic of Cyprus , to transform it into a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, the Turkish Cypriot community essentially being reintegrated into that state. Mr. Clerides would not accept that the exercise was the founding of a new state by two pre-existing sovereign states or entities, which devolved some of their sovereignty to that new state but otherwise retained sovereignty in their hands.

 

67. These differing approaches were as much a debate about the past as they were about the future. It was clear that the only practical way out was one that allowed both sides essentially to keep their views of the situation prior to the entry into force of the agreement and their views of the way in which the new state of affairs would come into being, while leaving no doubt regarding the legal situation for the future. To achieve this, the settlement needed to provide elements of continuity for both sides into the new state of affairs. The settlement also needed to be the source of legitimacy for all matters in the future.

 

68. The United Cyprus Republic would have a flag and anthem not previously used. Upon the coming into being of the new state of affairs, there would be immediate and elaborate procedures relating to the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of Europe.

 

69. Building upon work done by my Special Adviser, I sought to establish this concept with the leaders when we met in Paris on 6 September 2002 . Upon the resumption of talks after that meeting, important groundwork was laid by technical understandings reached between the United Nations legal adviser and the legal advisers of the two leaders relating to the validity of past acts, treaties to be binding on Cyprus , and the laws to be in force. When I next met the leaders in New York on 3 and 4 October, I further developed this concept, and I explained that an enormous amount of technical work would need to be done to prepare the laws and the list of treaties to be incorporated into a settlement.

 

70. I was heartened by the fact that the two leaders agreed in New York to create two technical committees to work on these issues — an important step towards achieving a meeting of the minds regarding how the new state of affairs would come into being. The work of those committees would be monumental in scope — negotiating a list of treaties (in the end, over 1,900 were on the table for consideration) and federal laws (in the end, roughly 6,000 pages of draft laws were on the table for consideration). It was of the utmost importance, therefore, that the technical committees should begin to work without delay, as the leaders had agreed in my presence. However, despite my pleas, Mr. Denktash failed to take action on this agreement before undergoing surgery, and did not do so during his recovery despite repeated appeals. The matter was left until early 2003, meaning a three-month delay in starting this important technical work, cutting the time available by 60 per cent.

 

71. When the committees finally convened and began work early in January 2003, they worked hard and in good faith. They based their work with few exceptions on my proposal of 10 December, although on the Turkish Cypriot side this happened with some reluctance and reservations, owing apparently to restrictive instructions. One consequence was the inability to hold parallel meetings of the committees, which therefore did not make sufficient progress in the short time available. In my revised proposal of 26 February I was therefore compelled to suggest ways of dividing the committee work into elements that needed to be completed before the referenda and elements that could be addressed afterwards. However, Mr. Denktash stopped the work of the committees immediately after my departure from the island at the end of February. When the effort came to an end on 11 March, drafts had been produced by the parties (mostly by the Greek Cypriot side) on which to base the work of the technical committees.[4] The completion of that work would have been possible in the time remaining, with greatly enhanced input from the United Nations in order to meet the requirements.

 

Separate simultaneous referenda as a constitutive act

 

72. A concept underlying the holding of referenda was that the act of reunification of Cyprus should be an act not of the leaders but of the people on each side. Cyprus would be reunited, but not by the signature of a comprehensive settlement by the two leaders; rather, the two leaders would agree to put the Foundation Agreement to approval by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots in separate simultaneous referenda. The Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots would exercise their inherent constitutive power, renewing their partnership. The new partnership would be based on a relationship not of majority and minority but of political equality.

 

Sovereignty

 

73. Perhaps the most contentious conceptual issue was sovereignty. The Turkish Cypriot side repeatedly raised this issue and often blocked discussion of others — particularly territory — pending satisfaction on it.

 

74. The Greek Cypriot side, basing itself on Security Council resolutions, insisted that the state should explicitly have a single sovereignty, but Mr. Clerides showed a preparedness to go along with a compromise whereby sovereignty would not be mentioned. What he would not accept was that sovereignty be split or layered. His concern was that if sovereignty was in any form vested in the constituent states, the component parts would be able to dissolve the state, secede and partition the island. A breakdown of the new state of affairs followed by secession of a sovereign Turkish Cypriot state and the consequent partition of Cyprus could be described as the Greek Cypriot nightmare.

 

75. The Turkish Cypriot side, in line with its thesis that two sovereign states would found a new state, wanted the component parts to “retain” whatever sovereignty they had not “ceded” to the new state. In time Mr. Denktash’s position on the issue showed tentative but non-committal signs of evolution — for example, that the constituent states should enjoy residual powers as “sovereign powers”, and that secession could be excluded. He remained adamant, however, that a solution which did not attribute some form of “sovereignty” to the component parts was unacceptable. He invoked the Constitution of Switzerland, article 3 of which stipulates that the Cantons are sovereign insofar as their sovereignty is not limited by the Federal Constitution. A breakdown of the new state of affairs followed by the larger Greek Cypriot population alone exercising the sovereignty of the state could be described as the Turkish Cypriot nightmare.

 

76. After initially leaning towards not mentioning sovereignty at all in my proposal, I came to the view that this would leave unanswered questions and not put the nightmares to rest. My plan therefore proposes that “the status and relationship between the United Cyprus Republic , its federal government and its constituent states is modelled on the status and relationship of Switzerland , its federal government, and its cantons”. Accordingly, the plan specifies that the United Cyprus Republic has a single international legal personality and sovereignty, and partition or secession are expressly prohibited. At the same time, the plan provides that the constituent states sovereignly exercise all powers not vested in the federal government, organizing themselves freely under their own constitutions consistent with the overall agreement, as well as providing (as in Belgium) for no hierarchy between federal and constituent state laws.

 

77. The reference to the existing and well-established model of Switzerland for this aspect of my proposal appeared to be appropriate for meeting concerns of both sides. The Greek Cypriot side could take comfort in the fact that Switzerland was clearly a sovereign State and its cantons did not enjoy a right to secede. The Turkish Cypriots could take comfort in the fact that the Swiss model, which they had regularly cited as their inspiration, was the model to be applied.[5]

 

International underwriting of the principles of the agreement

 

78. The plan also included devices by which the key international actors would underwrite, in different ways, the principles of the agreement. This would occur, through acknowledgement, endorsement and/or guarantee, by the Security Council, the European Union, the Council of Europe and the guarantor Powers. The various devices form a coherent structure of international underpinning of the agreement; each one for what is relevant. They were designed to address the concern, frequently expressed by Mr. Denktash, that the agreement not be a “paper agreement” that could be undone at a later date.

 

79. It is my view that this carefully balanced and original approach to the conceptual issues would allow each side to move ahead into a new state of affairs in Cyprus with dignity and confidence.

 

Substantive issues

 

Presidential Council

 

80. On the issue of governance, perhaps the most difficult issue between the parties was the form of executive government at the centre. The Constitution of 1960, as well as previous United Nations proposals, were based on a Greek Cypriot President and a Turkish Cypriot Vice-President, each elected only by his or her respective community, the Turkish Cypriot Vice-President exercising veto rights on specified issues.

 

81. The Greek Cypriot side, concerned with the workability of the government, wished to eliminate the veto (which it considered to be a major ingredient in the deadlocks and conflict that arose in the early years of the Republic’s existence) and separate electorates (which it thought tended to affect workability and promoted division). For its part, the Turkish Cypriot side, to underline political equality and prevent any domination, wished to replace the President/Vice-President model with a co-Presidency with 50-50 rotation as head of State, and consensus decision-making (meaning that the veto would be extended to all decisions). The Greek Cypriot side believed such a system would be undemocratic given the substantially different size of the two populations.[6] Instead, they wanted their numerical majority reflected and asked for the election of the President and Vice-President by all Cypriots, with weighted voting in favour of the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriot side was resolutely opposed to any cross-voting, however, even if weighting of votes led to Turkish Cypriot votes counting for 50 per cent, believing this would prevent the election of “true” Turkish Cypriot representatives.

 

82. My proposal to find a way through this cluster of issues was inspired by the need to find a form of government which (a) reflected and guaranteed the political equality of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots but also reflected in a democratic manner the significantly larger numbers of Greek Cypriot citizens; and (b) carried cast-iron guarantees against domination while ensuring that the government would function effectively.

 

83. The Turkish Cypriot opposition to cross-voting had the effect of limiting United Nations options. The United Nations gave consideration to a range of power-sharing models with some form of rotation at the head of the state. Eventually, I proposed a collective Presidential Council with rotating chair, inspired by but not identical to the Swiss model.[7] The basic concept of a Presidential Council initially drew perplexed reactions from the two sides, but in time it became broadly accepted. It was one of the least contentious issues in the discussions which followed the presentation of the plan.

 

84. My proposal states that the office of head of State is to be vested collectively in a Presidential Council of six equal members — four Greek Cypriots, two Turkish Cypriots. The chair of the Council would rotate among the six members. This would mean that a Turkish Cypriot would represent the Presidential Council as head of State one third of the time — underlining political equality while also reflecting in a democratic manner the larger number of Greek Cypriot citizens. The members of the Council would be elected from a single list (unlike in Switzerland ), requiring the support of at least two fifths of the Senators from each constituent state. This would ensure that those elected would have clear support from their own constituent state (a Turkish Cypriot concern) and from both constituent states (a Greek Cypriot concern).

 

85. The plan proposes that the decisions of the Presidential Council would be taken by consensus if possible, and otherwise by simple majority provided such a majority included at least one Greek Cypriot and one Turkish Cypriot. The companion concepts that no decision could be taken by persons from one constituent state alone and that no single person could veto decisions or block the running of the state run like a golden thread throughout the plan.

 

Bicameral parliament

 

86. As to the federal Parliament, the plan proposes a Senate with a 50-50 composition, reflecting the political equality of the constituent states, and a Chamber of Deputies reflecting the population of the island with a slight weighting of seats towards the smaller Turkish Cypriot population (minimum of 25 per cent of seats per constituent state). The decision-making procedures of the Senate are designed to ensure that decisions enjoy substantial support from both constituent states. Ordinary decisions would require a majority of Senators which included at least one quarter of Senators from each constituent state. On a range of subjects that could be said to touch on vital interests of the constituent states, a special majority of two fifths of Senators of each constituent state would be required.

 

Distribution of competences

 

87. Although they began far apart, the parties made progress on the issue of distribution of competences, leaving only a small gap to be bridged. The plan equips the federal government with specified powers, comprising those necessary to ensure that Cyprus can speak and act with one voice internationally and in the European Union, fulfil its obligations as a European Union member State , and protect its integrity, borders, resources[8] and ancient heritage.

 

88. All remaining powers — which are the bulk of the powers and include most matters affecting the day-to-day life of citizens or requiring major budgetary expenditure — would fall within the sphere of competence of the constituent states, which would thus enjoy residual powers. The plan also provides for the implementation of federal legislation by the constituent states where this is appropriate. This principle was translated into practical provisions by the technical committees.

 

Cooperation and coordination

 

89. The plan contains mechanisms to promote cooperation and coordination between the constituent states, and between them and the federal government. These include Constitutional Laws, Cooperation Agreements, and facilities for cooperation and coordination funded by the federal government.

 

90. The concept of Constitutional Laws was developed to regulate in a uniform manner the exercise of powers by the constituent states (and the federal government) at a level of detail not appropriate for the Constitution. This could not be done through federal law given the principle of no hierarchy. Such laws are vehicles of cooperation as they must be passed by the federal parliament and both constituent state legislatures.

 

91. Cooperation Agreements between the federal government and the constituent states, inspired by the Belgian model (which was repeatedly invoked by the Turkish Cypriot side during the talks), were the mechanism to ensure cooperation on foreign and European Union relations, as well as on police matters.

 

The key role of the Supreme Court

 

92. In a system without legal hierarchy between the federal and the constituent state level of government, the Supreme Court is the only institution which can ultimately guarantee the harmonious functioning of the state. The proper functioning of that institution is all the more critical.[9]

 

93. The parties agreed early on that there should be an equal number of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot judges on the Supreme Court. However, the only way to prevent the Court from being deadlocked on issues contentious between the two communities or the two constituent states was to provide for non-Cypriot judges. Learning from the failed experience of 1960 and to allow for the sharing of the burden of possible regular exercise of the casting vote, my plan suggests that there be three such judges. Since the Supreme Court would be the only federal institution not exposed to the danger of deadlocks in decision-making, it would also break any grave deadlocks in other federal institutions ad interim, exercising this power in a circumscribed manner.

 

94. Cyprus would not be the only country with foreign judges in its Supreme Court and this would in no way diminish its sovereignty, as those judges would be appointed by the Cypriot authorities.[10] In January 2003, Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash reluctantly agreed that the inclusion of foreign judges, and the deadlock-resolving role of the Supreme Court, would be necessary.

 

Cyprus as a member of the European Union

 

95. The plan includes a protocol, proposed for inclusion in the Treaty of Accession to the European Union of Cyprus, which would have provided for extensive derogations and long transitional periods relating to the application of the acquis communautaire, mostly in favour of the Turkish Cypriots. These far-reaching provisions arose from careful consultation between the European Commission and the United Nations, building on the policy of accommodation adopted by the European Union in view of the unique situation in Cyprus .

 

96. To preserve the balance between Greece and Turkey ,[11] the protocol expressly provides that Greek and Turkish nationals would enjoy equal entry and residency rights (residency rights being subject to the same restrictions in proportion to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot populations respectively). In addition, the plan provides for Cyprus to accord most-favoured-nation treatment to Greece and Turkey to the extent compatible with European Union membership.

 

97. As for the functioning of Cyprus as a European Union member state, the plan foresees, among other things, extensive cooperation between the federal government and the constituent states based on cooperation agreements inspired by the Belgian model. Cyprus could thus be represented in the European Council by members of constituent state institutions if the issue under discussion fell into the sphere of competence of the constituent states.

 

Residency rights

 

98. The issue of freedom of establishment of residence was extremely contentious. In their wish to avoid the intermingling of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriot side wanted the constituent states to have the unfettered right to decide who could establish residency therein — this was their concept of “bi-zonality”. The Greek Cypriots argued that the Turkish Cypriot position amounted to ethnic purity and that basic human rights and the principles of the acquis communautaire should allow any Cypriot citizen to settle anywhere on the island, any limitations being acceptable only in the first few years — for them “bi-zonality” meant only two distinct zones administered by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots respectively.

 

99. The plan suggests a very gradual approach to the establishment of residency by former inhabitants and other Greek Cypriots in the Turkish Cypriot State (and vice versa). Initially there would be a total moratorium, though people over 65 and their spouses (or one sibling), as well as former inhabitants (and their descendants) of four villages at the tip of the Karpas peninsula where some Greek Cypriots have remained since 1974, would be exempted from limitations after two years.[12] After six years the moratorium would be lifted, but the constituent states would be authorized to impose limitations if the number of residents from the other constituent state in any given village (including any persons over 65) reached 7 per cent, and 14 per cent after 11 years. After the fifteenth year and until Turkey ’s accession to the European Union, limitations could be imposed if 21 per cent of the population (including any persons over 65 or in the Karpas villages) hailed from the other constituent state. The power to impose these restrictions would have been specifically authorized by the European Union in the protocol to the Treaty of Accession.

 

100. It is my conviction that the dispute over this issue may have been based on unrealistic assumptions on both sides. I believe that fewer Greek Cypriots than the percentages indicated above would, in the end, wish to establish residence in the Turkish Cypriot State, meaning that these limitations would have little practical effect on Greek Cypriots, and also that the Turkish Cypriots should not look at these figures as “targets” of returns but as ultimate safeguards unlikely ever to be required. However, these figures became major sources of controversy and contention on both sides, and in each version of my plan I revised them to try to improve the plan for both. The initial approach had been an even more gradual one but with a shorter moratorium and a limit of 33 per cent after 20 years. My second plan extended the moratorium but slightly accelerated the pace to end with a limitation of 28 per cent after 15 years. My third plan introduced the concept of lifting these limitations after Turkey joins the European Union in exchange for lower limits before, and the exemption for the elderly in exchange for a longer overall moratorium. The Karpas villages are a special case — I shall refer to these in the section on territory.

 

101. It should be emphasized that my plan largely unlinks residency rights and the issue of reinstatement of property — two aspects which have often been confused in public discussion.

 

Citizenship and the exercise of political rights

 

102. The Greek Cypriot side was of the view that there should be a single Cypriot citizenship and that it should be held only by people who were citizens of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 and their descendants (and by persons who have since acquired such citizenship in accordance with the law of the Republic). In particular, the Greek Cypriot side considered that Turks who had migrated to northern Cyprus since 1974 should not be given citizenship but at best some form of residency rights for humanitarian reasons, while most of them should return to their places of origin. The Greek Cypriot side argued that such people had been brought to Cyprus in contravention of international law, in particular the Geneva Conventions.

 

103. The Turkish Cypriot position, based on the approach of two pre-existing states coming together, demanded blanket recognition of existing citizenship rolls and dual citizenship for the future, that is, the allocation of constituent state citizenship by constituent state authorities, which would automatically entail citizenship of the United Cyprus Republic .

 

104. In the course of the direct talks, some progress was made on the issue. The parties agreed that future allocation of citizenship should be decided by a 50-50 board. When Mr. Denktash assured Mr. Clerides in a private meeting that the number of Turks who had been given “citizenship” by the Turkish Cypriot authorities was “only about 30,000-35,000”, Mr. Clerides proposed that, if that was accurate and a list was provided, all these people should be considered Cypriot citizens and he would not insist on his starting position. Mr. Denktash agreed to provide a list to my Special Adviser but never did so, instead little by little revising his estimate to increase the number of people to 60,000, while objecting to the notion that the Turkish Cypriot side should have to provide any certainty on the issue since giving citizenship was “part of the exercise of its sovereignty”.

 

105. I proposed, as a basic approach, a single Cypriot citizenship combined with an internal constituent state citizenship status which would be relevant notably for the exercise of voting rights at the federal level. My plan gradually evolved through the two revisions with regard to the question whether a Cypriot citizen could change his internal status. I moved from a very open proposal, allowing for dual status, to a proposal requiring a person to give up the citizenship of one constituent state in order to acquire the other, to one which does not provide for any change of status and leaves the matter to the discretion of the constituent states. This was done to address widespread Turkish Cypriot concerns that the possibility of changing status would undermine the representation of the Turkish Cypriots in the federal institutions and could eventually lead to a Greek Cypriot majority in the Turkish Cypriot State . As a corollary to this more static approach on internal constituent state citizenship status, the third version of my plan provides for the exercise of voting rights at the constituent state and local levels on the basis of permanent residency rather than internal citizenship status, in order to satisfy international and European human rights requirements. This balanced approach has not been significantly criticized by either side — and has also gone some way to reducing Turkish Cypriot apprehensions about Greek Cypriots settling in the Turkish Cypriot State.

 

106. With regard to the question who would be considered a citizen of the United Cyprus Republic upon the entry into force of the agreement, my plan initially suggested that, in addition to those who had citizenship in 1963 and their descendants, certain categories of people be covered, namely, those who grew up in Cyprus and those married to Cypriots, in addition to people figuring on a limited list based on length of stay. The second version of the plan suggested that such a list should contain no more than 33,000 names. Both sides were uneasy about the openness of this approach and demanded that the number of people be fixed, including all categories, so as to provide certainty. The third version of my plan therefore provides for a list of 45,000 people from each side, priority to be given to people who grew up in Cyprus and to others on the basis of length of stay, while people married to Cypriots would automatically be considered citizens.[13]

 

Properties affected by events since 1963

 

107. Almost half the population of Cyprus lost properties as a result of intercommunal strife or military action between 1963 and 1974 and the unresolved division of the island since that time. The Greek Cypriot side advocated a solution based on full respect for property rights so that all displaced persons, from either community, would have the right to have their properties reinstated. The Turkish Cypriot side argued that property claims should be settled through liquidation by means of a global exchange and compensation scheme, meaning that no displaced persons, from either side, would have the right to have their properties reinstated.

 

108. International developments since the Second World War, both Cyprus-related and others, favour a settlement based on respect for individual property rights. In recent years the European Court of Human Rights has taken decisions recognizing the property rights of Greek Cypriots in the northern part of the island and allocating damages at the expense of Turkey . Thousands of similar cases are pending before the Court. In making any suggestions I took into account these developments and the positions adopted recently by the United Nations and the international community in the former Yugoslavia, but also the fact that the events in Cyprus happened 30 to 40 years ago and that the displaced people (roughly half of the Turkish Cypriots and a third of the Greek Cypriots) have had to rebuild their lives and their economies during this time.

 

109. The way out of this conundrum of conflicting legitimate claims of owners and current users had to be a compromise. My scheme, to be administered by a property board, gives priority to the claims of current users who have themselves been displaced and dispossessed of properties and allows them to obtain title in exchange for their property in the other part of the island (this would apply also to their successors in title). Similarly, anyone who has significantly improved a property would be able to obtain title provided he/she pays for the value of the property in its original state. Other properties would be reinstated to their owners — although a range of incentives would encourage dispossessed owners to sell, lease or exchange their properties or seek compensation. In addition, reinstatement would not be possible for more than 20 per cent of the residences and land in any village or town (with the exception of a few specific cases) and for more than 10 per cent of the residences and land in either constituent state. According to United Nations estimates, the absolute maximum number of current users in the Turkish Cypriot State who might have to move from where they currently live under the property arrangements would be 15,000 to 18,000 persons.

 

110. Owners whose properties were not reinstated would be compensated with bonds guaranteed by the federal government and redeemable after 10 or 15 years from a compensation fund, to be funded by the sale of properties by the property board (the concept being that no one should obtain title to a property without paying for it through exchange or in cash). The property proposals also include detailed provisions for adequate alternative accommodation and a preferential loans scheme for current users.

 

111. While it is possible to differ on details, this approach, particularly when married to the territorial adjustment described below, strikes a fair balance between competing legitimate interests and individual human rights and respects the principle of bi-zonality and international law (including international human rights law and the fourth Geneva Convention).

 

Territory

 

112. The area currently under Turkish Cypriot control is slightly more than 36 per cent of the territory of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus , including 57 per cent of the coastline. During at least the century that preceded the division of the island, the share of the Turkish Cypriot population had consistently been in the vicinity of 18 per cent, and that of the Greek Cypriot population over 80 per cent. The property ownership was of roughly similar proportions but fluctuated slightly more. The number of Greek Cypriots who were living in the area north of the current dividing line was over three times the number of Turkish Cypriots living in the area south of that line, both according to the 1960 British census and the 1973 census.

 

113. These statistics indicate that a fair solution which would be acceptable to both sides would require a substantial territorial adjustment. Moreover, since I decided that a restrictive approach would be required on the property issue, I concluded that a territorial adjustment should allow a majority of displaced Greek Cypriots to return to their homes under Greek Cypriot administration. At the same time, I wanted this adjustment to avoid villages which historically had a substantial Turkish Cypriot population (particularly in view of the fact that almost half of the Turkish Cypriots had already been displaced in the past) and to affect the lowest possible number of current inhabitants. The human impact of the map on both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots was my overarching concern.[14]

 

114. Regrettably, the United Nations was not able to discuss in a concrete fashion particular territorial options with the Turkish Cypriot side, despite repeated United Nations efforts and pleas to encourage them to engage on this issue. In the entire course of the process, Mr. Denktash declined to put forward a concrete territorial proposal, insisting on satisfaction on sovereignty or that the issue be discussed on the basis of criteria rather than in a concrete fashion. Mr. Denktash also justified his position by referring to the destabilizing effect of public knowledge that territory was being discussed.

 

115. I initially proposed two alternative maps and then, in my second proposal, I chose the one that best respected the parameters set out above. I did so having received no indication from the Turkish Cypriot leader of any preference for either map; his position, and that of Turkey, was that neither map was acceptable for a range of reasons. After my second proposal was put forward, Mr. Denktash and Turkey objected most strongly to the tip of the Karpas peninsula coming under Greek Cypriot administration.

 

116. In my third proposal, I put forward a new map, in which the whole of the Karpas peninsula would remain under Turkish Cypriot administration (though with important rights and protections for Greek Cypriots from those villages, as had been envisaged in my first proposal had the Karpas not been transferred to Greek Cypriot administration). To compensate for this, additional villages in other areas were to be returned to the Greek Cypriots, giving them slightly more returns but slightly less territory and coastline than in the previous map. Compared to the previous map, the map in my third proposal affects more current inhabitants and a few small villages which had historically been Turkish Cypriot,[15] but it would not otherwise have been possible to preserve the overall balance of the territorial proposal. My task in drawing a balanced alternative map was assisted by a welcome gesture of the United Kingdom, which offered to give up slightly less than half the Sovereign Base Areas (mostly in favour of the future Greek Cypriot State) in case of settlement.

 

117. The map in my third proposal would allocate slightly more than 29 per cent[16] of the territory and more than half the coastline of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus to the Turkish Cypriot State. These proportions would drop by about 1 per cent each after the handover of part of the Sovereign Base Areas by the United Kingdom.

 

118. The area of territorial adjustment, which represents about 7 per cent of the territory of Cyprus, was home to 54 per cent of the Greek Cypriots displaced in 1974.[17] The number of current inhabitants according to the 1996 Turkish Cypriot census who would have to be relocated would be less than a quarter of the current population north of the dividing line.[18] Half of the people affected are in Famagusta and Morphou. The former would likely be able to move within Famagusta. The latter would have the opportunity to move as a community to a new site close to their current location where they would still be able to farm the orange groves they currently farm, a majority of which would be in the Turkish Cypriot State.[19] This would leave about 24,000 persons who would actually need to be relocated to totally different places. According to United Nations estimates, roughly half of the people to be relocated would be Turkish Cypriots who had been displaced in or after 1974 (and their descendants), while the balance would be persons who have migrated to Cyprus from Turkey since that date.

 

119. I proposed that the area of territorial adjustment be legally part of the Greek Cypriot State upon the entry into force of the Foundation Agreement but that its administration be delegated to the Turkish Cypriot State until no later than the date of the agreed handover. In addition, the plan foresees the creation of a relocation board, with United Nations participation, in charge of assisting the relocation process, and provides the United Nations with a supervisory role with respect to territorial adjustment. Furthermore, efforts for an international donor conference to provide for the financing of the relocation process were well under way when I had to suspend the current effort on 11 March.

 

Security

 

120. The issue of security was one of the few where points of agreement were reached, however ephemerally, in direct negotiations between the leaders — before Mr. Denktash retracted his provisional agreement. These points were, however, still in embryonic form. The provisions of my proposal built on these and added other crucial aspects. On some issues — the need for an arms embargo, the creation of a Monitoring Committee — there was little dispute. Also, following an opening from Mr. Clerides, it became possible to propose that the Treaty of Guarantee would not only remain in force, but in applying mutatis mutandis to the new state of affairs established in the Foundation Agreement and the Constitution of the United Cyprus Republic, it would cover, in addition to the independence, territorial integrity, security and constitutional order of the United Cyprus Republic, the territorial integrity, security and constitutional order of its constituent states.

 

121. As to the stationing of troops under the Treaty of Alliance, the first version of my plan proposed that Greek and Turkish troops, up to an equal maximum number to be agreed, would be permitted to be stationed in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot constituent states respectively. Agreement on this number was crucial to the plan as a whole. I suggested in the first version of my plan that this should be a four-digit figure — somewhere between 1,000 and 9,999. No progress having been made on this issue, in the second version of the plan I proposed a figure between 2,500 and 7,500. Prior to the presentation of the third version, Greece and Turkey met to discuss this and other security issues but reached no agreement. Eventually, I proposed a figure of 6,000, which was at the higher end of the bracket I had proposed, while also proposing a review of troop levels in 2010 and withdrawal of all troops stationed under the Treaty of Alliance upon Turkish accession to the European Union.

 

122. The other crucial ingredient of the security proposal was a United Nations peacekeeping operation with a mandate which may be summarized as one of monitoring the implementation of the agreement, using its best efforts to promote compliance with it, and contributing to the maintenance of a secure environment, to remain as long as the federal government, with the concurrence of both constituent states, did not decide otherwise.

 

Economic aspects

 

123. A Cyprus settlement after 40 years of conflict would be costly and would need the support of the international community. However, my plan provides for a largely self-funding solution of the property issue (contrary to a global exchange scheme proposed by the Turkish Cypriot side). Reinstatement and compensation honouring individual property rights would also give funds to many of the people who would need to relocate because of the territorial adjustment to let them provide for themselves. Nonetheless, that aspect of the settlement would need to rely on substantial international funding. The European Commission was in the process of organizing an international donor conference for this purpose when the process came to a regrettable end at The Hague.

 

124. The plan foresees that the Cyprus pound would be the currency of the United Cyprus Republic but allows Turkish Cypriots to keep bank accounts in other currencies and to do their bookkeeping in euros. The system of allocation of indirect taxes to the constituent states would result in a net transfer of resources from the Greek Cypriot State to the Turkish Cypriot State until the economic disparities between the two states have disappeared.[20] European Union structural funds and programmes as well as a special fund of €200 million for the Turkish Cypriot State would further assist the economic harmonization process. The Constitution makes this harmonization a priority of the federal economic policy and the European Union protocol contains an economic safeguard clause in favour of the Turkish Cypriot State.

 

Reconciliation

 

125. In order to address what I believe to be a crying need, the plan proposes the establishment of an independent, impartial Reconciliation Commission to promote understanding, tolerance and mutual respect among Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. A particular focus of the commission would be the promotion of dialogue and the preparation of a report regarding the history of the Cyprus problem as experienced and interpreted by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

 

 

 

Implementation

 

126. After decades of conflict and separation of the two communities, there are both psychological and substantive hurdles (de facto, two administrative structures; economic disparities; patterns of resettlement and property allocation) to swift implementation of any settlement. On the other hand, in line with my principle that a settlement should be comprehensive, it was necessary to provide binding timetables of implementation over the course of the transition.

 

127. The plan foresees that upon the entry into force of the Foundation Agreement, the leaders of the two sides would become co-Presidents of the United Cyprus Republic and that, within 40 days, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would elect the assemblies of their constituent states. Those assemblies would in turn delegate 24 members each to a transitional, unicameral federal Parliament. The ordinary institutions described above would then gradually be put in place over a period of two and a half years.

 

128. The solution of the territorial and property issues which would affect a substantial number of people currently living in areas of territorial adjustment or in houses to be reinstated to their owners would be implemented very gradually. The administration of the bulk of inhabited towns and villages would be handed over after two and a half or three years only, and inhabited houses outside the area of territorial adjustment reinstated to successful claimants only after five years.

 

Observations

 

 

 

Opportunity missed

 

129. In the present report I have described my efforts to persuade the parties directly concerned to seize the opportunity that opened in 1999, and the baleful arc that led to their ultimate failure to do so last month at The Hague. In the following paragraphs I will discuss how and why that came about as well as prospects for the future.

 

130. There have been many missed opportunities over the years in the United Nations good offices efforts on Cyprus. Both sides bear a share of the blame for those failures. In the case of the failure of this latest effort, I believe that Mr. Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, bears prime responsibility. When he addressed the substance, Mr. Denktash put the emphasis on overall conceptual issues and his own legal interpretation of the past and the present of the Cyprus problem — on which the positions of the two sides are almost irreconcilable — whereas the search for a settlement required the parties to try to work around them and find solutions for the future in a practical way. Except for a very few instances, Mr. Denktash by and large declined to engage in negotiation on the basis of give and take. This greatly complicated my efforts to accommodate not only the legitimate concerns of principle but also the concrete and practical interests of the Turkish Cypriots.

 

131. When I met Mr. Denktash in Cyprus in May 2002 and again when I saw him in Paris in September, I attempted to instil in him a sense of urgency in view of the impending signature by a divided Cyprus of the Treaty of Accession to the European Union. I put to him my assessment of what the Turkish Cypriot side could aspire to achieve in respect of his main points of concern in a negotiation, if he was willing to compromise on issues of concern to the Greek Cypriot side. However, Mr. Denktash did not see the advantages in the proposals I put to the parties, and publicly presented the letter and import of the plan in a way that was at considerable variance from its actual content. He seemed to perceive the approaching date of European Union accession and the European Union’s strong preference for welcoming a united Cyprus not as an opportunity to achieve a settlement on a favourable basis and, in the process, pave the way for Turkey’s aspirations regarding the European Union, but as a trap and a threat.

 

132. I have already referred to the loss of more than a year following Mr. Denktash’s departure from the proximity talks on 8 November 2000. I regret his more recent failure expeditiously to appoint the Turkish Cypriot members of the technical committees to recommend the laws and treaties which would be attached to the overall settlement, as agreed on 4 October 2002, so that they could begin their work immediately. This led to a debilitating delay in the work of the committees, which began only in mid-January 2003: more than three of the five months available were lost. Mr. Denktash’s decision to stop Turkish Cypriot participation in the work of the committees immediately after my departure from the island at the end of February was a further blow to the efforts under way.

 

133. During January and February 2003, Mr. Denktash spoke of putting the plan to the Turkish Cypriot people in a referendum and said that if the people decided that it should be signed, he would himself resign so that someone else could carry out their wish. Mr. Denktash’s apparent willingness to let his people decide — which I was told had the support of Turkey — inspired me to propose to him and to Mr. Papadopoulos, on 27 February 2003, with time fast running out, that they should commit themselves to putting the plan to the separate simultaneous referenda for which it provides.

 

134. Notwithstanding the considerable efforts, described in the report, to accommodate the interests of the Turkish Cypriots, Mr. Denktash, at The Hague, rejected my appeal to send the plan to a referendum so that his people could decide on it. He asked that the negotiation should revert to square one for an open-ended discussion of principles, and refused to contemplate a work programme — as well as the resumption of the work of the technical committees — that alone would have made it possible to achieve a settlement before the signature on 16 April of the Treaty of Accession to the European Union. Faced with Mr. Denktash’s adamant opposition to considering credible ways to meet that deadline, I was left with no alternative but to terminate the process.

 

135. Mr. Denktash has been very consistent over the decades in his views on the substance of the Cyprus problem. It is clear that his views are strongly and genuinely held. He does not accept that there has been a sea change from the confrontational atmosphere of the 1960s to the Europe that Cyprus is joining at the outset of the new millennium. He also seems to expect that his “realities on the ground” will one day be legitimized. Unfortunately, a Cyprus settlement can be reached only if both sides are prepared to accept that this requires compromise and that the world has changed in the last 40 years.

 

136. Mr. Clerides, in November 1999, had accepted my invitation to start proximity talks with considerable hesitation because he felt constrained by the terms in which it was couched at the insistence of Mr. Denktash. Mr. Clerides was uncomfortable with the proximity format, which placed him in the position of seemingly negotiating with the United Nations rather than with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, who was not at that time prepared to meet him face to face. Mr. Clerides was reluctant to engage in the somewhat hypothetical exercises that the proximity format entailed.

 

137. In the direct talks, however, Mr. Clerides sought to find ways to address the interests and concerns of the Turkish Cypriot side if, in exchange, the Turkish Cypriot side would satisfy the basic aims of the Greek Cypriots. While there were points on which he was not prepared to compromise, Mr. Clerides showed a willingness to seek out ways to circumvent ideological barriers and solve problems in a practical way. He did not feel wedded to tried and true formulas; he was quite prepared to explore approaches different from his own. This was particularly the case with regard to the knotty issues of property which changed hands as a result of the events of the 1960s and 1974, the problem of people hailing from Turkey who had settled in Cyprus since 1974, and the fundamental question of how the new state of affairs in Cyprus would come about. Throughout the process, Mr. Clerides showed a capacity to accept that his side bore its share of responsibility for the bitter experiences of the past.

 

138. Both the Turkish Cypriot leadership and many Turkish interlocutors were and remain convinced, however, that having been accepted by the international community as the government of Cyprus, and with accession to the European Union seemingly guaranteed, the Greek Cypriots had no serious interest in reaching a settlement with the Turkish Cypriots. They pointed to the low support for a settlement in opinion polls in the south, and to the popular belief among Greek Cypriots at large that reaching a settlement simply meant a return to the status quo ante. Many Turkish Cypriots are convinced that Greek Cypriots continue to see Cyprus as a Greek island and are not ready to accept the Turkish Cypriots as equal partners, not having been prepared by their leaders for the far-reaching compromises which a settlement would entail. I regret that more has not been done to allay these fears and to convince the Turkish Cypriots that the Greek Cypriots are genuinely ready for a compromise solution. Both sides have done little over the years to prepare their respective publics for the compromises that a settlement would involve. While there are people on both sides who admirably promote reconciliation and compromise, there remains, among Greek Cypriots in particular, a general reluctance to accept that the ultimate choice is not between a compromise along the lines of the plan that I put forward and a better one, but between that and no settlement at all. I saw little effort by the Greek Cypriot leadership to explain to the public that this was the case (the fact that a Presidential election intervened in the last few months in the south was clearly an inhibiting factor).

 

139. Mr. Papadopoulos, although thrown into the leadership of the Greek Cypriot side at a very late stage, accepted that continuity existed with his predecessor. While expressing misgivings concerning the plan I had proposed, he vowed to refrain from requesting substantive alterations; his concern was to seek improvements that would ensure that it would be workable in practice. He did not attach great importance to coming to a settlement in time for a united Cyprus to sign the Treaty of Accession to the European Union on 16 April 2003, since, in his view, the door to a settlement would remain open without any change after that date; he doubted whether it would be possible, as a practical matter, to reach a settlement in the time remaining. He nevertheless agreed to work apace and in good faith within the time frame provided in the plan.

 

140. As I have reported above, on 10 March 2003 at The Hague, Mr. Papadopoulos agreed conditionally to my request that the plan be submitted to referendum, and he expressed the willingness not to reopen negotiations on the plan itself if Mr. Denktash reciprocated in kind. The conditions which Mr. Papadopoulos laid down to submitting the plan to referendum were stringent. As reported above, I believe that it would have been possible, albeit extremely difficult, to complete the laws and treaties to be attached to the settlement. Turkey raised difficulties of a constitutional nature concerning the insistence of Mr. Papadopoulos that the guarantors should sign the commitment foreseen in the plan before it was submitted to referendum. It would have been necessary to find a way around that. Mr. Papadopoulos also argued that one or two months were required between the completion of the negotiations and the referendum; this would have exceeded the time frame and prevented the signature of the Treaty of Accession by a reunited Cyprus. In the event, Mr. Denktash’s rejection of my request to submit the plan to referendum made it pointless to press Mr. Papadopoulos on these issues. Had the effort not fallen through, it would have been necessary for Mr. Papadopoulos to agree that it is not feasible to script every element in the implementation of the plan, any more than it is possible to do so in any enterprise of state, and that it would have been necessary to hold the referenda no later than 6 April 2003.

 

141. The role of Greece and Turkey both as guarantors and as motherlands is crucial to reaching a settlement, for both legal and political reasons. I am pleased to have counted on the strong support of Greece throughout my effort.

 

142. The government that was voted out of power in Turkey on 3 November 2002 supported Mr. Denktash unconditionally. A new perspective opened after the elections, with the advent to power of leaders who expressed their conviction that non-solution of the Cyprus problem was not a solution, who voiced their strong desire to encourage a settlement on the basis of my plan and within the time frame provided in it, and who seemed prepared to tackle remaining issues pragmatically and constructively. It was therefore only in the last frantic months of a three-and-a-half-year effort that the Turkish side, through Turkish officials, seriously engaged in the substance of the issue. I very much hope that this new government, which has had to face extremely difficult circumstances immediately upon assuming office, will soon be in a position to throw its support unequivocally behind the search for a settlement, for without that support it is difficult to foresee one being reached.

 

143. One of the obstacles to solving the Cyprus problem has been the perception on both sides that this was a zero-sum game: one side’s gain was the other side’s loss. I am strongly convinced that, had it been accepted, my proposal would have created a win-win situation. I am equally, and sadly, convinced that while the current outcome in the short term may be a greater setback for some than for others, ultimately all are losers in the failure of the recent effort. It is in the interests of all — Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Greece and Turkey — that there should be a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

 

The way ahead

 

144. As I made clear following the failure at The Hague, I believe that the end has been reached in the effort that began late in 1999. The window of opportunity that opened then was closed at the meeting of 10 and 11 March 2003. It is a matter of profound regret that the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots have been denied the opportunity to decide for themselves on a plan that would have permitted the reunification of Cyprus through an honourable, balanced and durable settlement, protecting and guaranteeing the basic interests and aspirations of both sides.

 

145. The level, intensity and duration of the effort of the United Nations in this period are without precedent. The result of that effort, the plan that I presented as finally revised on 26 February 2003, remains on the table.

 

146. When I met the two leaders on 27 February in Cyprus, I asked them to accept that further political discussions could not produce a better result. It was on the basis of this that I asked them to draw the necessary conclusion and let the people decide their own future. The parties would do well to adhere to what is now before them as the finely wrought balance that it is. In this context, I am pleased that Mr. Papadopoulos has reiterated his continued desire to seek a settlement on the basis of my plan even after accession to the European Union.

 

147. I do not propose to take a new initiative, unless and until such time as I am given solid reason to believe that the political will exists necessary for a successful outcome. I have already indicated publicly that I do not believe that such an opportunity will occur any time soon. I do believe, however, that it would be a great step backward if the plan as such were to simply wither away.

 

148. In my view, a solution on the basis of the plan could be achieved only if there is an unequivocally stated preparedness on the part of the leaders of both sides, fully and determinedly backed at the highest political level in both motherlands, to commit themselves (a) to finalize the plan (without reopening its basic principles or essential trade-offs) by a specific date with United Nations assistance, and (b) to put it to separate simultaneous referenda as provided for in the plan on a date certain soon thereafter.

 

149. I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the many persons who have collaborated in this effort. The question of Cyprus was frequently raised in my consultations with the leaders of many supportive Governments. Several have acted, in effect, as Friends of the Secretary-General, providing advice as well as diplomatic and practical support, and avoiding the temptation to duplicate or supplant my efforts — the bane of any enterprise of good offices. Members of the Security Council gave me unflagging support. Several Governments had designated special envoys who were in periodic contact with my Special Adviser. I would like to single out in particular the support and advice received from the special envoy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Lord Hannay, and the special envoy of the United States of America, Thomas Weston. Excellent cooperation with the European Commission and successive Presidencies of the European Union also assisted my efforts. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland provided funding for a special aircraft without which the travels of my Special Adviser in the region — as well as my own mission late in February — would have been extremely complicated and time-consuming.

 

150. I wish also to express my warm thanks to my Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto, and my sincere congratulations to him for putting together, with creativity and ingenuity, a settlement plan that is a model of its kind. His diplomacy, too, was impeccable. Responsibility for the failure to achieve a settlement lies elsewhere.

 

151. My Special Adviser assembled an extremely talented and high-powered team to support my efforts. Without them it would not have been possible to offer this chance to the people of Cyprus, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The opportunity has been missed; but I pray that the effort that went into it will not have been in vain.

 

Annex

 

Secretary-General’s mission of good offices in Cyprus

Calendar of main events, June 1999-April 2003

1999

22 June Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on his mission of good offices in Cyprus (S/1999/707)

26 June Security Council resolution 1250 (1999)

1 November Appointment of Alvaro de Soto as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus

3-13 December First session of proximity talks, New York, with Glafcos Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader

10 December Helsinki European Council 2000

31 January- Second session of proximity talks, Geneva 8 February

5-12 July Third session of proximity talks, Geneva

24 July- Continuation of third session of proximity talks, Geneva 4 August

9-26 September Fourth session of proximity talks, New York

12 September Statement by the Secretary-General to the parties

1-8 November Fifth session of proximity talks, Geneva

8 November Secretary-General’s oral remarks to the parties; Mr. Denktash declines invitation to participate in further proximity talks 2001

14 May Secretary-General addresses a gathering of European Union Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Brussels

28 August Secretary-General meets Mr. Denktash in Salzburg

5 September Secretary-General invites leaders to new and reinvigorated phase of talks; Mr. Clerides accepts; Mr. Denktash declines November Exchange of letters between Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash leads to agreement to meet face to face in the presence of a United Nations representative

4 December Meeting between Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash, United Nations Protected Area, Nicosia, in the presence of the Special Adviser results in agreement to begin direct talks

5 December Mr. Clerides dines at the residence of Mr. Denktash, north Nicosia

29 December Mr. Denktash dines at the residence of Mr. Clerides, south Nicosia 2002

14 January Office of the Special Adviser opens in Cyprus

16 January Direct talks begin, United Nations Protected Area, Nicosia

14-16 May Secretary-General visits Cyprus

6 September Secretary-General meets the leaders in Paris

3-4 October Secretary-General meets the leaders in New York; leaders agree to create technical committees

7 October Mr. Denktash undergoes surgery in New York; direct talks do not resume until January 2003

11 November Secretary-General tables his proposed Basis for Agreement on a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem

18 November Mr. Clerides agrees to negotiate on the Secretary-General’s plan

27 November Mr. Denktash agrees to negotiate on the Secretary-General’s plan

7 December Mr. Denktash returns from New York to Cyprus

10 December Secretary-General tables a revised Basis for Agreement on a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem

12-13 Dec. Copenhagen European Council 2003

7 January Technical committees begin meeting

15 January Direct talks resume

16 February Tassos Papadopoulos is elected to succeed Mr. Clerides

23-25 February Secretary-General visits Turkey and Greece

26 February Secretary-General arrives in Cyprus and formally tables his further revised Basis for a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem

28 February Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Denktash accept the Secretary-General’s invitation to meet in The Hague

10 March Secretary-General meets with Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Denktash in The Hague , along with representatives of the guarantors

11 March Secretary-General announces in The Hague that the process has concluded but that his plan remains on the table April Office in Cyprus of the Special Adviser closes

[1] The text of those remarks is available upon request from the Secretariat.

[2] The European Union’s policy was stated on 22 June 2002 in the Seville European Council Presidency conclusions:

“The European Union would accommodate the terms of … a comprehensive settlement in the Treaty of Accession in line with the principles on which the European Union is founded: as a member State, Cyprus will have to speak with a single voice and ensure the proper application of European Union law. The European Union would make a substantial financial contribution in support of the development of the northern part of a reunited island.”

[3] The full text of the plan may be consulted in room S-3380 (please contact extension 4514 for an appointment); and on www.cyprus-un-plan.org.

[4] These drafts, running to 6,000 pages, may also be consulted in room S-3380.

[5] The reference to the Swiss model in regard to issues of status, and the Presidential Council, has led to the mistaken belief in some quarters that my plan proposed the Swiss model in general as the solution for Cyprus. This is not the case. Cyprus requires a solution sui generis. While specific aspects of various models provided inspiration, none were simply transplanted wholesale.

[6] The system envisaged by the Turkish Cypriot side would mean that a person elected only by a majority of the Turkish Cypriots (i.e. by roughly 10 per cent of the Cypriot voters) would be head of State for half of the time.

[7] This form of government has ancient origins (e.g., the Roman triumvirates) and was revived by both the French and the Russian revolutions. In all these historical instances its primary purpose was to prevent the tyranny of a single ruler. Transposed to Switzerland by Napoleon, it developed another purpose, namely to solve the delicate question who should be at the helm of a multi-ethnic and multicultural country.

[8] Natural resources were initially proposed as a matter within the competence of the constituent states. In view of Turkish Cypriot concerns that a disproportionate share of water resources would be within the Greek Cypriot State (since any realistic territorial adjustment would affect aquifers in the Famagusta and Morphou areas), this was included as a federal matter in the second version of the plan, with the specific matter of water resources to be regulated by special majority law and equitably attributed between the constituent states.

[9] Given how the new state of affairs would come into being, it was necessary to have the judges selected prior to the referendum, so that they would be in office from the very first moment. This was why the two leaders authorized the United Nations to search for and suggest candidates to fill these posts for their consideration.

[10] It should be noted that the plan provided flexibility on this issue, enabling the federal Parliament to dispense with foreign judges once trust and confidence built up between the two sides. It should also be noted that a refinement was added in the third version of my plan whereby the foreign judges would not participate in decisions if the Cypriot judges were able to reach decisions without their participation.

[11] The Turkish Cypriot side attached great importance to maintaining the balance between Greece and Turkey, but despite many requests did not elaborate what would be required to achieve this result.

[12] The population of these villages had also been granted special rights under the third Vienna Agreement reached by Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash in 1975.

[13] In addition, each constituent state would be entitled to give permanent residency rights to citizens of Greece or Turkey, as the case may be, up to a level of 10 per cent of the number of persons holding its internal constituent state citizenship status. Such persons would, in time, be entitled to acquire Cypriot citizenship.

[14] This approach embraces a number of criteria, including the number of Greek Cypriots able to return, the number of affected Turkish Cypriots living in their historic homes, the number of current users affected, property ownership and economic viability or productivity. Given the human geography, a map with straight lines, preferred by the Turkish side, would not have been able to respect these criteria. Nor did straight lines seem necessary since the boundary is to be an administrative boundary within a European Union member State, and Turkish strategic concerns were addressed since no troops would be stationed in areas subject to territorial adjustment.

[15] These villages would enjoy the same special status in the Greek Cypriot State as would the four Karpas villages in the Turkish Cypriot State.

[16] In earlier negotiations under United Nations auspices, Mr. Denktash, in the context of an overall package had accepted that the Turkish Cypriot State would be within this range.

[17] More than 86,000 then; with offspring, about 120,000 today (since population growth among Greek Cypriots since 1974 has been about 40 per cent).

[18] The census figure amounts to 47,000, though the United Nations believes the actual figure is probably lower. It should be noted that this figure, combined with the maximum of 15,000 to 18,000 persons who would be affected by reinstatement of properties in the Turkish Cypriot State, amounts to a maximum of 62,000 to 67,000 persons being dislocated under the plan.

[19] The United Nations had developed and conveyed to the parties ideas on a new site.

[20] According to Turkish Cypriot calculations roughly 25 million Cyprus pounds (at current rates nearly US$ 50 million) in the first year after a settlement.

 

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S/1999/707 – Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

United Nations

S/1999/707

  Security Council Distr.: General

22 June 1999

Original: English

 


Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

 

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the Security Council’s request in paragraph 7 of its resolution 1218 (1998) of 22 December 1998. My report on those aspects of the resolution that relate to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was submitted to the Council on 8 June (S/1999/657). Meanwhile, I have informed the Council of my intention to appoint Ann Hercus as my Special Representative as of 1 July 1999.

2. As reported in my letter dated 14 December 1998 (S/1998/1166) addressed to the President of the Security Council, on 30 September 1998, following meetings with Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash, I asked my Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus, Ann Hercus, to begin a process of on-island talks with both parties with a view to reducing tension and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement. In its resolution 1218 (1998), the Council expressed appreciation for the spirit of cooperation and constructive approach the two sides demonstrated in working with my Deputy Special Representative.

3. In accordance with Security Council resolution 1218 (1998) and in continuation of my initiative of 30 September 1998, my Deputy Special Representative has held numerous meetings with both leaders during the past six months. The substance of these “shuttle talks”, as they have come to be known, has remained confidential, and both Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash continued to engage in them in a constructive manner.

4. Apart from their confidentiality, the specific agreed methodology of the shuttle talks is that, at this point, neither side is aware of the views expressed to my Deputy Special Representative by the other side. While this format allows me to assess to what extent there is convergence of views on the various aspects, it also has its limitations, as a formal agreement can only be achieved in comprehensive negotiations directly involving both leaders.

5. The discussions involving my Deputy Special Representative have reconfirmed the importance of the issue of political equality. In pursuing the Secretary-General’s mission of good offices, my predecessors and I have dealt with the two sides on an equal footing and, together with our representatives, have conducted our work on an equal and even-handed basis. However, the Turkish Cypriot contention is that other aspects of their situation place them at a disadvantage and undermine the commitment to political equality. A major challenge for the negotiations is how to translate this commitment into clear, practical provisions to be agreed upon by both sides. I hope that both sides will approach any resumption of negotiations in that spirit. I am confident that the international community would support any solution upon which both sides can mutually agree.

6. Cyprus is fortunate that, despite the long-running dispute and continuing tension, there has been no resumption of fighting between the two sides for the past 25 years. However, the absence of a settlement, comfortable as the status quo may appear to some, remains a source of instability and tension. Neither side has anything to gain from waiting any longer. The young generations on both sides deserve to be given the opportunity to live peacefully and in prosperity. It should be understood by all concerned that a lasting settlement can only be reached in negotiations.

7. In the decades during which it has resisted efforts at settlement, the Cyprus problem has become overlain with legalistic abstractions and artificial labels, which are more and more difficult to disentangle and which would appear increasingly removed from the actual needs of both communities. It is now time to focus on the core issues.

8. Over the years, many elements that would make up a solution have been identified. Based on past and current discussions and negotiations with and between the two leaders, the remaining core issues, in my view, put simply, are: (a) security, (b) distribution of powers, (c) property and (d) territory. A compromise on these issues would remove the remaining obstacles towards a peaceful settlement. It is essential, however, that these core issues be addressed without preconditions in a practical, realistic and straightforward manner in comprehensive negotiations.

9. I appreciate the support expressed by the Heads of State of the “G-8” countries, five of whom are members of the Security Council, at their summit held in Cologne, Germany, from 18 to 20 June for holding “a comprehensive negotiation covering all relevant issues”. Their statement highlights the continuing interest of the international community in a solution of the Cyprus problem, a solution which would have a positive effect on peace and stability in the entire region. In particular, the members of the G-8 have urged me “in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions to invite the leaders of the two parties to negotiations in the fall of 1999”.

10. In light of the above, and subject to the Security Council’s guidance, I am ready to invite both leaders to enter into a process of comprehensive negotiations without preconditions and in a spirit of compromise and cooperation. While each leader faces the responsibility of representing the views and aspirations of his side, they have the joint responsibility for achieving a concrete, mutually acceptable and forward-looking solution. I will ask my Special Representative designate to continue the process of dialogue with the parties to that end.

 

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S/1998/518 – Reports of the Secretary-General on his good offices mission

United Nations

S/1998/518

  Security Council Distr.: General

16 June 1998

Original: English

 


Report of the Secretary-General on his mission of good offices in Cyprus

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 1146 (1997) of 23 December 1997. The report on those aspects of the resolution that relate to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was submitted to the Council on 10 June (S/1998/488). The present report refers to my mission of good offices.

2. In the last report on my mission of good offices, dated 12 December 1997 (S/1997/973), I stated my commitment to continue the process of good offices following the elections in Cyprus in February 1998. Accompanied by Mr. Diego Cordovez, my Special Adviser on Cyprus, I met on 12 March with the permanent members of the Security Council. While expressing strong support for the Secretary-General’s mission of good offices, the permanent members called for urgent action by the United Nations with a view to bringing about the earliest possible resumption of face-to-face talks between the parties.

3. The following day, on the eve of his trip to the region, my Special Adviser briefed the Security Council. He reported that both leaders had agreed to receive him, albeit separately, and stated that the main purpose of the visit was to explore the possibility of resuming face-to-face talks between the two leaders. Following the briefing, the President of the Council made an oral statement reiterating the Council’s full support for the Secretary-General’s mission of good offices and commending the efforts undertaken by Mr. Cordovez to that end. The Council expressed concern about the high levels of tension on the island and in the region and called upon both sides to take the practical steps necessary to move the negotiation process forward in an effective manner.

4. In letters addressed to the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, dated 26 February, I expressed my strong hope that both sides would spare no effort to reach an agreement with my Special Adviser on the necessary arrangements for a continuing and sustained process of direct negotiations. In two additional letters, delivered to the two leaders personally by Mr. Cordovez, I reiterated the importance I attached to revitalizing negotiations between the two Cypriot communities and called upon the leaders to work wholeheartedly with my Special Adviser to overcome the obstacles which for so long have impeded progress towards a principled and sustainable solution acceptable to the people of Cyprus and to the international community.

5. My Special Adviser visited the island a second time from 18 to 22 March. He met twice with Mr. Clerides, on 20 and 21 March, and three times with Mr. Denktash, on 19, 20 and 21 March. Mr. Clerides reiterated his readiness to resume direct talks under my auspices on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions. Mr. Denktash elaborated on his view that it was necessary to adopt a new approach based on the “acknowledgment of the existence of two fully functioning democratic States on the island”. Mr. Denktash also requested my Special Adviser to convey his views to the Security Council, and expressed the wish that my Special Adviser arrange a meeting for him to convey this position to me directly. Mr. Cordovez undertook to arrange the meeting. On 28 March, I met with Mr. Denktash at Geneva at his request.

6. Following his visit to Cyprus, my Special Adviser was received in Ankara, by the Prime Minister of Turkey, who expressed his full support for my mission of good offices. A similar statement of support had been conveyed to Mr. Cordovez by the Prime Minister of Greece on an earlier occasion. On his return from Athens and Ankara, my Special Adviser briefed the special envoys and representatives at Geneva on 26 March.

7. On 20 April, in a letter addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/1998/410), I reported on my meeting of 28 March with Mr. Denktash and sought any guidance the Council might wish to provide in support of my mission of good offices. On 19 May, in a short reply to my letter, the Council reiterated its strong support for my mission, on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions (S/1998/411).

8. In the course of the last six months, as in the past, my Special Adviser and I myself have kept in close touch with the various envoys and representatives involved, particularly those from the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Presidency of the European Union, as well as others with whom my Special Adviser meets regularly for purposes of consultation and cooperation. I should like once again to reiterate my appreciation to all the Governments that have appointed special envoys to assist my good offices mission. They have provided invaluable advice and support to my Special Adviser.

9. It is regrettable that, so far, all these efforts have not proved sufficient to lead to a resumption of the process. I strongly hope that all parties involved will abstain from any action which could further exacerbate tension and I count on their fullest support in the United Nations continuing efforts. In this context, in order to continue to explore possibilities that may lead to a new momentum, my Special Adviser on Cyprus intends to visit the island in the coming weeks.

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