November 25, 2017

S/2003/1078 – Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus

United Nations

S/2003/1078

  Security Council Distr.: General

12 November 2003

Original: English

 


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

(for the period from 21 May to 10 November 2003 )

 

            I.    Introduction

 

1.       The present report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus covers developments from 21 May to 10 November 2003 and brings up to date the record of activities carried out by 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 1486 (2003) of 11 June 2003, as well as my mission of good offices carried out pursuant to Security Council resolution 1250 (1999) of 29 June 1999.

2.       During this period, my Special Adviser on Cyprus , Alvaro de Soto , was assigned new responsibilities as my Special Representative for Western Sahara . Zbigniew Wlosowicz continued as my acting Special Representative and Chief of Mission, and Lieutenant General Jin Ha Hwang continued as Force Commander. As at 7 November, the strength of UNFICYP stood at 1,230 military personnel and 42 civilian police officers (see annex).

  II.    Activities of the Force

             A.    Maintenance of the ceasefire and military status quo

3.       The military situation along the ceasefire lines was generally calm. However, there has been an increase in the number of moves forward by Turkish forces into the buffer zone. There have also been more incidents of verbal abuse, threats, stone-throwing and cocking and pointing of weapons by both National Guard and Turkish forces.

4.       The number of air violations increased from 9 during the last reporting period to 49: 19 by Turkish military aircraft, 8 by the National Guard, 6 by Greek Cypriot civilian aircraft, 6 by Cypriot police helicopters and 10 of unknown origin.

5.       Restrictions imposed on UNFICYP in July 2000 by the Turkish forces/Turkish Cypriot security forces continued to obstruct the operations and daily routine of UNFICYP, despite the limited easing of these restrictions in May 2003 (see S/2003/572, para. 5). The violation of the military status quo in Strovilia persisted. The Turkish Cypriots have undertaken further construction on the Greek Cypriot house that they use as a control post in the village.

6.       In July and August, UNFICYP observed an increase in the activity of Turkish forces/Turkish Cypriot security forces in the fenced-in area of Varosha, mainly maintenance of patrol tracks and cleaning of the area. At the same time, the Turkish forces delayed the routine maintenance tasks of UNFICYP and continued to restrict its patrols to a northern sector of the fence line, static observation posts and a short patrol route inside Varosha. The United Nations holds the Government of Turkey responsible for the maintenance of the status quo in Varosha.

7.       Crossings of the maritime security line — the seaward extension of the median line of the buffer zone, which vessels of either side are advised not to cross — continued. In the west, the number of crossings by Turkish forces resupplying the Kokkina pocket was higher than in the last reporting period. In the east, Greek Cypriot fishing boats and pleasure craft were responsible for an increased number of crossings.

8.       Following the ratification of the Ottawa Convention on landmines and the expression of the National Guard’s intention to clear the minefields it had laid in the buffer zone (see S/2002/1243, para. 7, and S/2003/572, para. 8), a technical adviser on demining joined UNFICYP in October to advise the mission on the clearing of minefields in the buffer zone. The National Guard has provided the technical adviser with relevant information to enable him to prepare the next steps. In July 2003, the Turkish Cypriot side indicated its willingness to discuss with UNFICYP the issue of demining in Nicosia and its environs. These discussions have begun.

         B.    Restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions

9.       As at 2 November, 2 million crossings, by Greek Cypriots to the north and Turkish Cypriots to the south, had taken place at the Ledra, Ayios Dometios/Metehan, Pergamos and Strovilia crossing points since they opened on 23 April. UNFICYP civilian police continued to assist in ensuring the safe and orderly crossing of people and vehicles through the buffer zone at the authorized crossing points. Incidents at the checkpoints and in the north and south necessitated civilian police monitoring and intervention. The arrival of additional officers helped to reinforce the civilian police presence on the ground and to improve the response time in cases of incidents requiring their assistance. During the reporting period, the UNFICYP civilian police and the civil affairs branch attended to and monitored 165 cases, including unauthorized crossings, thefts, traffic violations and accidents, unauthorized photography and charges of disrupting public order. The two sides brought criminal charges in 14 cases involving Greek Cypriots in the north and 48 cases involving Turkish Cypriots and other residents in the south. The UNFICYP civilian police visited Turkish Cypriots in detention in the south and Greek Cypriots detained in the north.

10.    UNFICYP provided facilities for 128 bicommunal events at the former Ledra Palace Hotel in the United Nations buffer zone, bringing together 11,000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots. About 3,000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots attended the annual United Nations Day celebrations. UNFICYP also assisted in facilitating other events within the United Nations Protected Area, including seminars for teachers, meetings for the disabled, music rehearsals, a theatre play, a light and sound presentation on the history of Nicosia, a study on the buffer zone survey, a workshop on the Nicosia Master Plan and various sporting events at the Nicosia airport.

11.     UNFICYP continued to carry out its mandated humanitarian tasks in support of the 423 Greek Cypriots and 152 Maronites living in the northern part of the island. A request for adding a seventh grade at the Greek Cypriot school in Rizokarpaso was turned down by the Turkish Cypriot authorities. Consequently, 15 of the 23 pupils who had completed primary school had to move to the south to pursue their education. UNFICYP assisted 120 Turkish Cypriots in the south to obtain identity documents, housing, welfare services, medical care, employment and education through its liaison office in Limassol.

12.    UNFICYP continued to support civilian activities in the buffer zone. In particular, it facilitated a range of agricultural activities, including the maintenance of farming tracks and the cleaning of irrigation channels.

         III.    Committee on Missing Persons

13.    During the period under review, the First Assistant to the Third Member continued to work with the two sides, as acting Third Member, to overcome obstacles and to enable the Committee on Missing Persons to resume its activities. The Greek Cypriot side proceeded with its programme of exhumation and identification.

         IV.    Mission of good offices of the Secretary-General

14.    In my report to the Security Council on the good offices efforts between late 1999 and 11 March 2003 (S/2003/398), I outlined my views on the way ahead and what is required for any resumption of active United Nations efforts to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem. It remains my position that no purpose would be served by renewing my mission of good offices unless there were a readiness on the part of both Cypriot parties, as well as Greece and Turkey, to finalize negotiations, with United Nations assistance, on the basis of the revised proposal that I presented to the parties and the guarantor Powers on 26 February 2003, and to put the resulting agreement to separate, simultaneous referendums within a short time thereafter. In its resolution 1475 (2003) of 14 April 2003, the Security Council gave its full support to this plan as a unique basis for further negotiations and called upon all concerned to negotiate within the framework of my good offices, using the plan to reach a comprehensive settlement as outlined in my report. I regret to say that the requirements set out in the report have not yet been fulfilled. However, I am continuing to monitor developments in Cyprus closely, and I wish to assure the Council that, should the appropriate opportunity to finalize the plan present itself, I stand ready to re-engage.

           V.    Financial aspects

15.    By its resolution 57/332 of 18 June 2003 , the General Assembly appropriated an amount of $43.8 million for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the period from
1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004 . This amount includes the voluntary contribution of one third of the cost of the Force, equivalent to $14.6 million, from the Government of Cyprus and the voluntary contribution of $6.5 million from the Government of Greece.

16.    Should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of UNFICYP for a further period of six months, the resources available for maintaining the Force would be limited to the amount approved by the General Assembly. Additional resource requirements arising from the increase of the UNFICYP civilian police component authorized by the Council in its resolution 1486 (2003) would be reported to the Assembly in the context of the UNFICYP budget performance report for the 2003/04 financial period.

17.    As at 30 September 2003 , unpaid assessments to the Special Account for UNFICYP for the period from 16 June 1993 to 15 December 2003 amounted to $19.9 million. As at the same date, total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping missions amounted to $1,559.5 million.

         VI.    Observations

18.    The situation along the ceasefire lines has remained stable. The partial lifting of restrictions on movement between the north and the south has resulted in a steady number of Cypriots regularly crossing the buffer zone with a remarkable low number of incidents. Regrettably, the Turkish Cypriot authorities have failed to provide unhindered access and full freedom of movement to UNFICYP. I urge them to do so to allow UNFICYP to carry out its mandate throughout its entire area of responsibility. It is also regrettable that no progress has been achieved in restoring the status quo ante in the village of Strovilia .

19.    I believe, nonetheless, that only the achievement of a comprehensive settlement will bring an end to the Cyprus problem. In the absence of such a comprehensive settlement, the presence of UNFICYP on the island continues to be necessary for the maintenance of the ceasefire. I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of the Force for a further period of six months, until 15 June 2004 .

20.    In conclusion, I wish to express my appreciation to Mr. de Soto , Mr. Wlosowicz, Lieutenant General Hwang and 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.

Annex

                  Countries providing military and civilian police personnel

(as at 10 November 2003 )

 

Country

Military personnel

Argentinaa

403

Austria

7

Canada

1

Finland

3

Hungary

120

Ireland

6

Slovakia

276

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

414

      Total

1 230

 

 

Country

Civilian police

Australia

15

Ireland

20

Nepal

5

Netherlands

2

      Total

42

 

a  The Argentine contingent includes soldiers from Bolivia (2), Brazil (2), Chile (32), Paraguay (32), Peru (2) and Uruguay (3).

—————————————————————-