December 18, 2017

Cyprus participated in the Tenth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names and the Twenty-Seventh Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names held in New York

The Tenth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names was held at the UN headquarters in New York from 31 July until 9 August, and the Twenty-Seventh Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names was held in New York on 30 July and 10 August 2012. At the Conference and the Session, 110 countries with 280 delegates, special agencies, intergovernmental organizations, international organizations and relevant scientific observers participated.During the Conference more than 200 official documents were submitted, which were published and commented upon.

Participating on behalf of Cyprus was Mr Prodromos Vasiliou, President of the Cyprus Permanent Committee for the Standardization of Geographical Names and Head of the Delegation and Mr Stelios Makriyiannis and Mrs Maria Zoupaniotis, members of the diplomatic mission of Cyprus to the UN.

Mr Prodromos Vasiliou presented on 7 August to the delegates the booklet issued in 2012 by the Cyprus Permanent Committee for the Standardization of Geographical Names, “List of names of countries and of Capitals”.

As Mr Vasiliou stressed in his presentation, Cyprus attaches great importance to the implementation of the resolutions of the Sessions on the standardization and protection of geographical names as part of the cultural heritage of each country, which should be protected from any premeditated and brutal attempt to change them.

The Turkish delegation, which was participating at the Conference, in a provocative statement on 6 August just before the Representative of the Republic of Cyprus presented his report, said that the Turkish government does not recognise the name of the Republic of Cyprus.

Replying to the Turkish delegate Mr Vasiliou expressed regret that the Turkish delegation has opted to politicize the discussion in the framework of the conference in its effort to undermine the status of the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the United Nations and a member of the European Union.

“Any reservation on the part of Turkey regarding the international personality of the Republic of Cyprus has no legal effect whatsoever and does not in any way affect its status”, he said. In addition, he reminded the delegate of Turkey that the Republic of Cyprus since the 1st of July is presiding over the Council of the European Union, while Turkey tries to become yet a member.

Mr Vasiliou also referred to the illegal nature of the so-called “TRNC”, noting that pertinent United Nations Security Council Resolutions 541/83 and 550/84 have declared the so-called ‘TRNC’ as legally invalid and have called upon all states not to recognize the purported state of ‘TRNC’ set up by secessionist acts and not to facilitate or in any way assist the foresaid secessionist entity.

Turkey, he stressed, did not comply with the above resolutions nor with the UN Resolution regarding the standardization of geographical names, since in the Turkish occupied areas it has changed more than 35,000 geographical names.

Consequently, the Republic of Cyprus, is consistently recognized as such and its naming and standing is quite legal and correct.