December 17, 2018

Archives for June 1999

S/RES/1250 (1999)

United Nations

S/RES/1250 (1999)

Security Council Distr.: General

29 June 1999



RESOLUTION 1250 (1999)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 4018th meeting,
on 29 June 1999

The Security Council,

Reaffirming all its earlier resolutions on Cyprus, particularly resolution 1218 (1998) of 22 December 1998,

Reiterating its grave concern at the lack of progress towards an overall political settlement on Cyprus,

Appreciating the statement of the Heads of State and Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America on 20 June 1999 (S/1999/711, annex) calling for comprehensive negotiations in the autumn of 1999 under the auspices of the Secretary-General,

1. Expresses its appreciation for the report of the Secretary-General of 22 June 1999 (S/1999/707) on his mission of Good Offices in Cyprus;

2. Stresses its full support for the Secretary-General’s mission of Good Offices as decided by the Security Council and, in this context, for the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative;

3. Reiterates its endorsement of the initiative of the Secretary- General announced on 30 September 1998, within the framework of his mission of Good Offices, with the goal of reducing tensions and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus;

4. Notes that the discussions between the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and the two sides are continuing, and urges both sides to participate constructively;

5. Expresses the view that both sides have legitimate concerns that should be addressed through comprehensive negotiations covering all relevant issues;

6. Requests the Secretary-General, in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, to invite the leaders of the two sides to negotiations in the autumn of 1999;

7. Calls upon the two leaders, in this context, to give their full support to such a comprehensive negotiation, under the auspices of the Secretary-General, and to commit themselves to the following principles:

  • no preconditions;
  • all issues on the table;
  • commitment in good faith to continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached;
  • full consideration of relevant United Nations resolutions and treaties;

8. Requests the two sides on Cyprus, including military authorities on both sides, to work constructively with the Secretary-General and his Special Representative to create a positive climate on the island that will pave the way for negotiations in the autumn of 1999;

9. Also requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council informed of progress towards the implementation of this resolution and to submit a report to the Council by 1 December 1999;

10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

S/RES/1251 (1999)

United Nations

S/RES/1251 (1999)

Security Council Distr.: General

29 June 1999



RESOLUTION 1251 (1999)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 4018th meeting,

on 29 June 1999

The Security Council,

      Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 8 June 1999 (S/1999/657 and Add.1) on the United Nations operation in Cyprus,

Noting that the Government of Cyprus has agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions in the island it is necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 30 June 1999,

Reaffirming all its earlier resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolutions 1217 (1998) of 22 December 1998 and 1218 (1998) of 22 December 1998,

Calling once more upon all States to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, and requesting them, along with the parties concerned, to refrain from any action which might prejudice that sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, as well as from any attempt at partition of the island or its unification with any other country,

Noting that the situation along the ceasefire lines is essentially stable, but expressing its grave concern at the increasing practice by both sides of engaging in provocative behaviour along the ceasefire lines, which heightens the risk of more serious incidents,

Reminding the parties that the UNFICYP package of measures aimed at reducing tensions along the ceasefire lines was designed to reduce incidents and tensions, without affecting the security of either side,

Reiterating the need to make progress on a comprehensive political solution,

1.   Decides to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period ending 15 December 1999;

2.   Reminds both sides of their obligations to prevent any violence directed against UNFICYP personnel, to cooperate fully with UNFICYP and to ensure its complete freedom of movement;

3.   Calls upon the military authorities on both sides to refrain from any action, including acts of provocation in the vicinity of the buffer zone, which would exacerbate tensions;

4.   Requests the Secretary-General and his Special Representative to continue to work intensively with the two sides with a view to early agreement on further specific tension-reducing steps, with full consideration of its resolution 1218 (1998) of 22 December 1998;

5.   Calls upon both sides to take measures that will build trust and cooperation and reduce tensions between the two sides, including demining along the buffer zone;

6.   Urges the Greek Cypriot side to agree to the implementation of the UNFICYP package of measures, and encourages UNFICYP to continue its efforts towards the rapid implementation of the package by both sides;

7.   Reiterates its grave concern at the continuing excessive levels of military forces and armaments in the Republic of Cyprus and the rate at which they are being expanded, upgraded and modernized, including by the introduction of advanced weapon systems by either side, and at the lack of progress towards any significant reduction in the number of foreign troops in the Republic of Cyprus, which threaten to raise tensions both on the island and in the region and complicate efforts to negotiate an overall political settlement;

8.   Calls upon all concerned to commit themselves to a reduction in defence spending, a reduction in the number of foreign troops in the Republic of Cyprus, and a staged process aimed at limiting and then substantially reducing the level of all troops and armaments in the Republic of Cyprus as a first step towards the withdrawal of non-Cypriot forces as described in the set of ideas (S/24472, annex), to help restore confidence between the sides, stresses the importance of eventual demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus as an objective in the context of an overall comprehensive settlement, welcomes in this context any steps either side may take to reduce armaments and troops, and encourages the Secretary-General to continue to promote efforts in this direction;

9.   Calls upon both sides to refrain from the threat or use of force or violence as a means to resolve the Cyprus problem;

10.  Reaffirms that the status quo is unacceptable and that negotiations on a final political solution to the Cyprus problem have been at an impasse for too long;

11.  Reaffirms its position that a Cyprus settlement must be based on a State of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship, with its independence and territorial integrity safeguarded, and comprising two politically equal communities as described in the relevant Security Council resolutions, in a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, and that such a settlement must exclude union in whole or in part with any other country or any form of partition or secession;

      12.  Welcomes the ongoing efforts by UNFICYP to implement its humanitarian mandate in respect of Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern part of the island and Turkish Cypriots living in the southern part, as mentioned in the report of the Secretary-General;

      13.  Reiterates its support for the efforts of the United Nations and others concerned to promote the holding of bi-communal events so as to build cooperation, trust and mutual respect between the two communities, and calls upon the Turkish-Cypriot leadership to resume such activities;

      14.  Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 December 1999 on the implementation of this resolution;

15.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


Statement by the G8 on Cyprus

The Cyprus problem has gone unresolved for too long. Resolution of this problem would not only benefit the people of Cyprus, but it would also have a positive impact on peace and stability in the region. [Read more…]

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

United Nations


  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.



S/1999/657 – Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus

United Nations


  Security Council Distr.: General

8 June 1999

Original: English



(for the period from 9 December 1998 to 9 June 1999)



1. The present report covers developments from 9 December 1998 to 9 June 1999 and brings up to date the record of activities of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) pursuant to Security Council resolution 186 (1964) of 4 March 1964 and subsequent Security Council resolutions, most recently resolution 1217 (1998) of 22 December 1998. With regard to my mission of good offices, diplomatic efforts are currently under way on which I expect to be able to report before the end of the month.



A. Maintenance of the ceasefire and the military status quo

2. During the period under review, the situation along the ceasefire lines remained essentially stable. As in the past, there were numerous small incidents, most of which were dealt with at the local level. There was an increasing number of acts of provocation, such as pointing and cocking of weapons, shouting of insults, throwing of objects, obscene gestures and shining of searchlights at the other side’s positions, particularly in Nicosia where the lines are in close proximity. This has become a matter of serious concern, since such acts could trigger a serious incident. The incidents also included some overflights over the United Nations buffer zone from each side, as well as military construction on or close to the ceasefire lines, in some cases involving the National Guard, forward of the lines inside the United Nations buffer zone. UNFICYP continued to resist firmly any challenge to the delineation of the ceasefire lines.

3. The routine replacement by the Turkish forces of marker buoys off the shore south of Famagusta led to several days of tension in May, in part because one buoy was placed in the wrong position for a short while. A National Guard vessel crossed the maritime security line and came very close to the buoys. The maritime security line marks the eastern seaward extension of the median of the buffer zone, which vessels from both sides are advised, for their own safety, not to cross. UNFICYP posted new, more visible signs on the shore to warn fishing and tourist boats from the south, which tend to cross the line in increased numbers during the summer months. Turkish forces supply boats travelling to and from Kokkina regularly cross the line at the western extension of the buffer zone closer to the shore than the minimum distance of 3,000 metres required by UNFICYP.

4. UNFICYP continued to monitor the fenced area of Varosha. Suggestions by the Turkish Cypriot side that they might open Varosha for settlement provoked a strong public reaction on the Greek Cypriot side. UNFICYP did not observe any significant change in the status quo in that area, for which the United Nations holds the Government of Turkey responsible.


B. Restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions

(civil affairs and civilian police)

5. The suspension of bi-communal contacts imposed by the Turkish Cypriot authorities remained in effect and continued to limit on-island contacts between the two communities. For example, an event organized by UNFICYP at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone on 6 March to mark International Women’s Day had to go ahead without the presence of Turkish Cypriots. It should be noted that the trade unions on both sides have continued to maintain regular contact. On 28 and 29 May, they held a forum, which was attended by 300 Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade union representatives.

6. UNFICYP continued to facilitate civilian use of the buffer zone for manufacturing and agriculture and for the maintenance of public utilities. This activity includes the establishment of written agreements in order to regularize access to the buffer zone. UNFICYP also continued to act as intermediary between the two sides to facilitate cooperation on such matters as the distribution of water and electricity and the disposal of sewage.

7. During the period under review, seven Turkish citizens and five Turkish Cypriots crossed the buffer zone to the southern part of the island and were detained by the police. Some were released after a few days, while others were charged and later fined in court or sentenced to prison terms. Similarly, three Greek Cypriots and three Greek citizens were detained after crossing northward. UNFICYP visited the prisoners and facilitated their subsequent release, as well as that of their vehicles. Both sides returned impounded items more expeditiously than in the past. In accordance with long-standing procedure, UNFICYP is to be involved without delay whenever the police on either side detain a member of the other community.

8. On 21 January 1999 and 30 March 1999, 1,280 and 1,350 Turkish Cypriots, respectively, made a pilgrimage to the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque in Larnaca. On 12 April 1999, 1,452 Greek Cypriots undertook a pilgrimage to the Apostolos Andreas Monastery in the Karpas Peninsula. UNFICYP assisted in arranging those events.

9. UNFICYP continued to carry out humanitarian tasks in respect of Greek Cypriots and Maronites residing in the northern part of the island and Turkish Cypriots in the southern part. There are now 452 Greek Cypriots in the Karpas area and one in Kyrenia, as well as 159 Maronites in the Kormakiti area. On 2 October 1998, the Turkish Cypriot authorities informed UNFICYP of the lifting of certain controls affecting Maronites and Greek Cypriots in the northern part of the island (except in restricted military areas). Following initial delays in implementation, Greek Cypriots on the Karpas Peninsula are now allowed to travel in the northern part of the island without first reporting to the local police. First-degree relatives residing in the southern part of the island benefit from more flexible crossing regulations and may stay with their relatives in the north beyond the previously imposed time limit.

10. According to the Turkish Cypriot authorities, the review of legislation that prohibits Greek Cypriots and Maronites residing in the northern part of the island from bequeathing their movable and immovable property to heirs that do not reside there has not yet been completed (see S/1998/1149, para. 16).

11. Some 310 Turkish Cypriots in the southern part of the island have made themselves known to UNFICYP. They had made very little use of the UNFICYP liaison office in Limassol, which was opened in December 1996; the office was therefore closed on 1 March 1999. UNFICYP has increased visits to the areas of residence of those Turkish Cypriots. Meetings between family members residing on different sides of the buffer zone still occur at the UNFICYP exchange point (at the crossing in Nicosia) at the rate of two or three per week.


C. Missing persons

12. Because of continuing disagreement between the two sides, the Committee on Missing Persons was once again unable to proceed to its substantive work, despite the vigorous efforts of its third member. It is to be hoped that the two sides will assess the implications of this situation with due urgency and seriousness, with a view to overcoming the stalemate on this humanitarian issue.



13. The United Nations Development Programme, through the United Nations Office for Project Services, continued to implement its programme aimed at promoting confidence-building by encouraging the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to work together in the preparation and implementation of projects in areas of mutual concern, notably public health, environment, sanitation, water, urban renovation, preservation of cultural heritage, natural resources and education.



14. As of May 1999, UNFICYP comprised 1,223 troops and 34 civilian police. The military personnel are from Argentina (412), Austria (239), Canada (2), Finland (9), Hungary (109), Ireland (20), Slovenia (27), the Netherlands (101) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (304). The Argentinian contingent includes eight officers from Bolivia (2), Brazil (2) Paraguay (1) and Uruguay (3). The civilian police are provided by Australia (19) and Ireland (15). UNFICYP currently has 41 international civilian staff and 215 local civilian staff.

15. In April 1999, I accepted the resignation of my Special Adviser for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, who will continue as my Special Adviser on other matters, especially relating to Latin American affairs. His advice has been invaluable and I am grateful for his contribution, particularly in connection with the meetings in Troutbeck and Glion in 1997. Ann Hercus continues as my Deputy Special Representative and Chief of Mission of the United Nations Operation in Cyprus and Major-General Evergisto A. de Vergara continues as Force Commander.



16. The General Assembly, in its resolution 53/231 of 8 June 1999, decided to appropriate an amount of $45,630,927 gross for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the 12-month period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000. That amount includes the pledged voluntary contributions of one third of the cost of the Force, equivalent to $14,630,810, from the Government of Cyprus and the annual pledge of $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.

17. Therefore, should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period of six months as recommended in paragraph 21 below, the cost of maintaining the Force would be approximately $22.8 million. Of that amount, approximately $12.2 million will be assessed on Member States.

18. As at 31 May 1999, unpaid assessments to the Special Account for UNFICYP from 16 June 1993 to 30 June 1999 amounted to $17.4 million. Total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations at the same date amounted to $1,568 million.



19. During the past six months, the situation along the ceasefire lines remained stable. UNFICYP continued to use its best efforts to maintain the ceasefire by maintaining the United Nations buffer zone between the ceasefire lines and responding quickly to incidents. These were mostly minor, but the increasing practice by members of the opposing forces of engaging in provocative behaviour along the lines heightens the risk of more serious incidents and thus gives cause for concern.

20. The United Nations acts on the premise that both sides wish to prevent incidents. This is best achieved by enforcing strict discipline along the ceasefire lines and cooperating effectively with UNFICYP on the basis of long-standing principles and practices. The adoption of the UNFICYP package of measures to reduce tension along the ceasefire lines, which has been mentioned in past reports, would further contribute to stabilizing the situation. More direct contract between Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the island would also influence the atmosphere positively.

21. In the existing circumstances, the presence of UNFICYP on the island remains indispensable for the maintenance of the ceasefire between the two sides. I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of the Force for a further period of six months, until 31 December 1999. I am consulting the parties concerned on the matter and shall report to the Council as soon as the consultations have been completed.

22. In conclusion, I wish to express appreciation to my Deputy Special Representative and Chief of Mission in Cyprus, Ann Hercus, and to pay tribute to the Force Commander, Major-General Evergisto A. de Vergara, and the men and women serving with UNFICYP for the efficiency and dedication with which they have discharged the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Security Council.



Government Spokesman replies to Turkish Foreign Minister

It is regrettable that the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mr Cem, either for internal consumption or because he is seeking to annoy the Greek Cypriot side, has claimed that the idea of confederation is gaining ground on account of Turkey’s stand. [Read more…]