November 25, 2017

S/2001/1122- Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2001/1122

  Security Council Distr.: General

30 November 2001

Original: English

 


REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
OPERATION IN CYPRUS

(For the period from 30 May to 27 November 2001)


I. Introduction

 

1. The present report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus covers developments from 30 May to 27 November 2001 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 Council resolutions, most recently resolution 1354 (2001) of 15 June 2001.

II.Activities of the Force

A.Maintenance of the ceasefire and the military status quo

2. The situation along the ceasefire lines remained calm. There were fewer incidents, particularly in the area of Nicosia, a where the opposing forces are in close proximity. These incidents included cocking and pointing of weapons at UNFICYP soldiers, temporary moves forward into the unmanned positions, stone-throwing and verbal abuse. Restrictions imposed on UNFICYP in July and November 2000 by the Turkish Forces/Turkish Cypriot security forces continued, including the violation of the military status quo in the village of Strovilia.

3. There were 34 air violations: 11 by National Guard aircraft, 12 by Turkish military aircraft, 4 by Greek Cypriot civilian aircraft, 2 by civilian aircraft from the north, 1 Cyprus police helicopter and 4 of unknown origin.

4. Crossings of the maritime security lines — the seaward extensions of the median line of the buffer zone that vessels of either side are advised, for their own safety, not to cross — continued. There were around 250 crossings by Turkish forces of the western line, all associated with re-supply runs to the Kokkina pocket. In the east, near Famagusta, there were almost 3,000 crossings of the maritime security line from the south, including by fishing boats and pleasure craft. Incursions in the buffer zone, mainly by Greek Cypriot hunters, increased significantly in November at the beginning of the winter hunting season. This led to a number of incidents, with some hunters discharging their weapons in the proximity of UNFICYP personnel.

5. In connection with restrictions on UNFICYP by the Turkish Forces/Turkish Cypriot security forces, patrols by UNFICYP to the fenced-off areas of Varosha were prohibited. The patrols were resumed in September 2001 but are now escorted by the Turkish Cypriot security forces. The Turkish Forces persisted in hoisting flags on one of the buildings, in violation of the military status quo. The United Nations holds the Government of Turkey responsible for the maintenance of the status quo in Varosha.

6. The National Guard continued to develop and strengthen two defensive positions which were started in December 2000 just outside the United Nations buffer zone south of Pyla. The National Guard stated that this construction was linked to, and in compensation for, their de-mining programme, which was nearing completion in one of the minefields linking the two positions. The Turkish forces, in turn, reinforced their observation post adjacent to Pyla by adding some sandbags.

B. Restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions

7. The number of meetings between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots decreased during the reporting period. Numerous planned events could not go ahead because the Turkish Cypriot authorities did not allow Turkish Cypriots to participate. In July, a planned concert by a bicommunal choir in the buffer zone village of Pyla had to be moved to another location because the Turkish Cypriots raised security concerns. The concert went ahead in the buffer zone with the participation of Greek Cypriot choir members only. UNFICYP also assisted in facilitating monthly meetings of political party representatives from both sides, media gatherings, music rehearsals and a business dialogue forum at Ledra Palace. The largest bicommunal gathering was the commemoration of United Nations Day on 21 October, at Ledra Palace in the buffer zone. Around 7,300 Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots attended, turning this into the biggest bicommunal event recorded by UNFICYP.

8. UNFICYP continued to carry out its mandated humanitarian tasks in support of the 427 Greek Cypriots and 165 Maronites living in the northern part of the island, and those Turkish Cypriots in the southern part who have made themselves known to the Force. UNFICYP also facilitated the rotation of teachers at the Greek Cypriot elementary school in Rizokarpaso in the Karpas peninsula.

9.UNFICYP visited Mr. Omer Gazi Tekogul, a Turkish Cypriot sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for heroin possession, and facilitated visits by his family, friends and doctors. Mr. Tekogul was pardoned and released on 28 September.

10.UNFICYP continued to support civilian activities in the buffer zone. These included farming, liaising with local representatives to solve water supply problems, coordinating maintenance work on utilities, the extension of the Klimos river wall in Sector 2 to prevent flooding, and construction of a 73-bed hospital facility in Paralimni in Sector 4, part of which will be in the buffer zone. UNFICYP also designated a piece of land in the buffer zone west of Nicosia for civilian use, mainly for housing. In Pyla, UNFICYP brokered an agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot village leaders on road safety measures.

C.Missing persons

11.The First Assistant to the Third Member of the Committee on Missing Persons continued to work with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot members to overcome existing obstacles and enable the Committee to resume its activities. The Government of Cyprus continued to implement its unilateral programme of exhumation and identification of the remains of persons. During the period under review, both leaders addressed letters to me concerning specific proposals for the work of the Committee.

III. Mission of good offices

12. In June, I reported to the Council that it had not proved possible to resume the talks that had been interrupted since November 2000 (see S/2001/534). Efforts to this end continued in the second half of 2001. I met Mr. Rauf Denktash at Salzburg, Austria, on 28 August. My Special Adviser on Cyprus,Mr. Alvaro de Soto, was in Cyprus during the period from 29 August to 5 September. On 4 September, he conveyed to Mr. Glafcos Clerides and to Mr. Denktash my invitation to resume the search for a comprehensive settlement by engaging in a new and reinvigorated phase of my good offices, beginning with separate meetings with the two leaders in New York on 12 September. This was accepted by Mr. Clerides but declined by Mr. Denktash. On 26 September, members of the Security Council encouraged me to continue my efforts using the guidelines set forth in Council resolution 1250 (1999) of June 1999. Mr. de Soto travelled to Cyprus, Turkey and Greece in early November. Mr. Denktash wrote directly to Mr. Clerides on 8 November, proposing a face-to-face meeting on the island, without preconditions. I met Mr. Clerides in New York on 9 November. After an exchange of letters, the leaders have agreed to meet in the United Nations Protected Area on 4 December. Mr. de Soto will be present.

IV.Organizational matters

13. As at November 2001, UNFICYP comprised 1,227 troops, 35 civilian police and 139 civilian personnel. The military personnel were from Argentina (404), Austria (8), Canada (2), Finland (3), Hungary (121), Slovakia (273), Ireland (5) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (411). The Argentinean contingent included soldiers from Bolivia (2), Brazil (2), Chile (1), Paraguay (1) and Uruguay (3). The civilian police are provided by Australia (15) and Ireland (20). Of the 139 civilian staff, 39 were recruited internationally and 100 locally.

14. Mr. de Soto continued as my Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Zbigniew Wlosowicz as Acting Special Representative and Chief of Mission, and Major General Victory Rana as Force Commander.

V.Financial aspects

15.The General Assembly, by its resolution 55/266 of 14 June 2001, appropriated the amount of $42,389,220 gross for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the 12-month period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002. This amount includes the pledged voluntary contribution of one third of the cost of the Force, equivalent to $13,565,715, from the Government of Cyprus and the annual pledge of $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.

16.Therefore,should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period of six months as recommended in paragraph 19 below, the costs of maintaining the Force would be limited to the amount indicated above.

17.As at 31 October 2001, unpaid assessments to the Special Account for UNFICYP for the period from 16 June 1993 to 15 December 2001 amounted to $21.9 million. Total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations amounted to $2.6 billion.

VI.Observations

18.During the past six months, the situation along the ceasefire lines has been calm. Regrettably, no progress was made in removing the restrictions imposed by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and Turkish forces on UNFICYP or in restoring the status quo ante at Strovilia.

19.Under the present circumstances, I consider the peacekeeping operation in Cyprus essential for the maintenance of the ceasefire on the island. I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period of six months, until 15 June 2002.

20.In conclusion, I wish to pay tribute to Mr. Alvaro de Soto, my Special Adviser, to Mr. Zbigniew Wlosowicz, the Acting Special Representative and Chief of Mission, to Major General Victory Rana, the Force Commander, and to the men and women serving with UNFICYP for the professionalism and dedication with which they have carried out their duties.

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