|Security Council||Distr.: General
30 May 2002
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE UNITED NATIONS
OPERATION IN CYPRUS
(for the period from 28 November 2001 to 29 May 2002)
1. The present report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus covers developments from 28 November 2001 to 29 May 2002 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 1384 (2001) of 14 December 2001.
II. Activities of the Force
A. Maintenance of the ceasefire and the military status quo
2. The military situation along the ceasefire lines remained calm. There were a few incidents, mainly in Nicosia, where the opposing forces are in close proximity. They included the cocking and pointing of weapons at UNFICYP soldiers, stone-throwing, temporary moves forward into the unmanned positions and verbal abuse.
3. Air violations of the United Nations buffer zone decreased from 34 recorded in the last reporting period to 17. Seven were by National Guard aircraft, four by Turkish military aircraft, one by a civilian light aircraft from the south and five by civilian aircraft from the north.
4. Restrictions imposed on UNFICYP by the Turkish forces/Turkish Cypriot security forces in July 2000 continued to hamper UNFICYP operations. Similarly, there has been no change in the violation of the military status quo in the village of Strovilia.
5. The restriction of movement along the Famagusta/Dherinia road, imposed in November 2000, prevented UNFICYP from monitoring the whole of the fenced-off area of Varosha. Observation by UNFICYP is limited to those areas within Varosha visible from static observation posts and a short patrol route, which is well away from the perimeter fence. The United Nations holds the Government of Turkey responsible for the maintenance of the status quo in Varosha.
6. Crossing of the maritime security lines — the seaward extension of the median line of the buffer zone that vessels of either side are advised, for their own safety, not to cross — continued. The overall number of crossings of the western line by the Turkish forces, all associated with resupply runs to the Kokkina pocket, remained in line with the figures of the comparable reporting period of 2001. The same applied to the eastern maritime security line, near Famagusta, where fishing boats and pleasure craft from the south were mainly responsible for the crossings. On 17 April, a Turkish forces guard fired two warning shots close to a pleasure craft that had crossed the maritime security line from the south.
7. The National Guard continued to strengthen the two defensive positions it had constructed in December 2000 just outside the buffer zone, south of Pyla, to compensate for the landmines it was in the process of clearing. The mine-clearing activity was nearing completion in the minefield connecting the two positions.
8. In April, UNFICYP destroyed some 4,500 assorted weapons purchased by the Government of Cyprus in 1972 and later placed under lock and key in the United Nations Protected Area under UNFICYP guard. The decommissioning ended on 21 May.
B. Restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions
9. UNFICYP facilitated 39 events in the buffer zone between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. An estimated 6,600 people participated in those events. The largest event was a youth festival in April organized by two political parties, Akel from the south and CTP (Turkish Republican Party) from the north, with an attendance of 4,300. Other activities were monthly meetings of political party representatives organized by the Slovak Embassy, four press conferences, a workshop for paramedics, a series of seminars on information technology, a seminar for architects associated with the Nicosia Master Plan, a British High Commission reception, meetings of the business sector and non-governmental organizations and the International Women’s Day celebration, attended by women from both communities. UNFICYP also arranged a meeting between a 10-year-old Greek Cypriot girl and her 30-year-old Turkish Cypriot bone marrow donor. Turkish Cypriot authorities denied permission for Turkish Cypriots to attend some events.
10. UNFICYP carried out its mandated humanitarian tasks in support of the 428 Greek Cypriots and 162 Maronites living in the northern part of the island and of those Turkish Cypriots in the southern part who had made themselves known to the Force. UNFICYP also assisted a Greek Cypriot from Rizokarpaso in obtaining permission from the Turkish Cypriot authorities to bring his Greek Cypriot wife with him to the north.
11. UNFICYP support for civilian activities in the buffer zone continued. The Force arranged for both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to repair the facade of the Roccas Bastion wall, which had collapsed during torrential rains in December 2001. UNFICYP facilitated the clearing of vegetation in an Orthodox cemetery, a Latin (Catholic) cemetery and a Maronite cemetery, as well as the relaying of some 600 metres of water pipes in the buffer zone leading from the Lefka Kafizes dam to Lefka along the Xeros River, to ensure an even flow of water from the south to the north. UNFICYP assisted the Greek Cypriots in attending the Green Monday celebrations and in going on pilgrimages to churches in the buffer zone near Varisha, northwest of Lefka, for St. George’s Day and to Ayia Marina near Paralimni for St. Memnon’s Day celebrations.
12. In Pyla, following the joint construction of road safety measures, the two sides indicated to UNFICYP their willingness to cooperate in relocating Turkish Cypriot sheep farms from residential areas to outside the village and for renovating the Venetian tower and the village square. UNFICYP is working closely with the village leadership to formulate mutually acceptable arrangements.
C. Missing persons
13. Towards the end of December, the two leaders decided to give particular attention to the problem of missing persons. To this end, they met at the residence and in the presence of the Chief of Mission, Zbigniew Wlosowicz, on 11 January 2002. The two leaders committed themselves to each submitting a paper on how to solve this humanitarian problem, taking into consideration the terms of reference of the Committee on Missing Persons and the 31 July 1997 Agreement (see S/1997/962, para. 21). Accordingly, at the end of January, both leaders had presented a paper. During the period under review, the First Assistant to the Third Member continued to work with both sides to enable the Committee to resume its activities.
III. Mission of good offices
14. As agreed on 4 December 2001, Glafkos Clerides and Rauf Denktash began direct talks at my invitation in the United Nations Protected Area in the presence of my Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, on 16 January 2002. As at 29 May, in the course of four rounds of talks, a total of 35 direct meetings had been held. Mr. de Soto has travelled on a regular basis to New York to brief members of the Security Council. He also paid a working visit to Athens and Ankara.
15. On 14 May 2002, I travelled to the island to discuss with the two leaders ways in which they could move forward more effectively and to express my willingness to help them reach the goal they had set out to achieve at the end of last year.
IV. Organizational matters
16. As at May 2002, UNFICYP comprised 1,195 troops and 35 civilian police. The military personnel are from Argentina (381), Austria (7), Canada (1), Finland (3), Hungary (121), Ireland (6), Slovakia (272), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (404). The Argentine contingent includes soldiers from Bolivia (2), Brazil (2), Chile (1), Paraguay (1) and Uruguay (3). The civilian police are provided by Australia (15) and Ireland (20). UNFICYP currently has 146 civilian staff, of whom 43 were recruited internationally and 103 locally.
17. Mr. de Soto continued as my Special Adviser on Cyprus, Zbigniew Wlosowicz as Acting Special Representative and Chief of Mission. Lieutenant General Jin Ha Hwang was appointed Force Commander in December.
V. Financial aspects
18. As indicated in my previous report (S/2001/1122, para. 15), the General Assembly, by its resolution 55/266 of 14 June 2001, appropriated the amount of $42.4 million for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002. This amount includes the voluntary contribution of one third of the cost of the Force, equivalent to $13.6 million, from the Government of Cyprus and the voluntary contribution of $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.
19. My proposed budget for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 (A/56/838), which amounts to $43.7 million, is currently under consideration by the General Assembly. Should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period of six months (see para. 22 below), the cost of maintaining the Force would be limited to the amount approved by the Assembly.
20. As at 22 May 2002, unpaid assessments to the Special Account for UNFICYP for the period from 16 June 1993 to 15 June 2002 amounted to $15 million. Total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations amounted to $1,356.1 million at the same date.
21. During the past six months, the situation along the ceasefire lines has remained calm. However, UNFICYP operations continued to be impeded by the restrictions imposed on it by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the Turkish forces. Similarly, no progress was achieved in restoring the status quo ante in Strovilia. On the civilian side, I am encouraged that there were increased contacts between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
22. Under the present circumstances, I consider the presence of UNFICYP on the island essential to 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 15 December 2002.
23. In conclusion, I wish to express my appreciation to Mr. Wlosowicz, the Acting Special Representative and Chief of Mission in Cyprus. I also wish to pay tribute to the former Force Commander, Major General Victory Rana, and his successor, Lieutenant General Hwang, and to the men and women serving in UNFICYP for the efficiency and dedication with which they have discharged the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Security Council.