Peace at home, peace in the world

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Highlights of the UNSG´s report

 

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REPORT (S/2004/437)
ON HIS GOOD-OFFICES MISSION IN CYPRUS, DATED 28 MAY 2004

SOME HIGHLIGHTS

1. On the Situation of the Turkish Cypriots and the Need to End Their Isolation:

 “In the aftermath of the vote (referenda), the situation of the Turkish Cypriots calls for the attention of the international community as a whole, including the Security Council.” (para. 89)

 “Turkish Cypriot vote has undone any rationale for pressuring and isolating them.” (Summary and para. 90)

 “I would hope that the members of the (Security) Council can give a strong lead to all States to cooperate both bilaterally and in international bodies to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and barriers that have the effect of isolating the Turkish Cypriots and impeding their development, deeming such a move as consistent with security Council resolutions 541(1983) and 550(1984).” (Summary and para. 93)

2. On the Solution and the Questions on the Greek Cypriot Attitude:

 “My Plan has now run aground on the decision of the Greek Cypriot electorate” (para. 73)

 “The rejection of such a plan by the Greek Cypriot electorate is a major setback.” (para. 83)

 “This is the first time that the Greek Cypriot public has been asked to vote on a bicommunal, bi-zonal federal solution of the Cyprus problem.” “However, the sheer size of the “No” vote raises even more fundamental questions.” (para. 85)

 “Most of the dispossessed in the south, by hard work and enterprise, have carved out a prosperous livelihood. “ “While they strongly state their wish to reunify, many see in a settlement very little gain, and quite a lot of inconvenience and risk. “ (para. 85)

 “What was rejected was the solution itself rather than a mere blueprint.” (para. 83)

 “…a solution means not just two constituent states, but also political equality and the sharing of power.” (para. 85)

 “If the Greek Cypriots are ready to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots in a federal structure based on political equality, this needs to be demonstrated, not just by word, but by action.” (para. 86)

 “If they (Greek Cypriots) remain willing to resolve the Cyprus problem through a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, this needs to be demonstrated.” (Summary)

 “Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the watershed vote of 24 April, I believe that a fundamental reassessment of the full range of United Nations peace activities in Cyprus is timely. That reassessment should include the four-decade old search for peace in Cyprus, and consider how best to address the problem in the future.” (para. 92)

3. On the Greek Cypriot Behavior at the Negotiation Table:

 “The Greek Cypriot side, took each issue in turn, and produced dense and lengthy papers, one after another…” “..:it became apparent that the 10 February paper summary of Greek Cypriot demands was far from exhaustive…” “The Greek Cypriot side declined to provide a comprehensive paper of all the textual amendments it sought until mid-way through Phase 2 (in Burgenstock, Switzerland), and declined to prioritize its demands, despite my Special Adviser’s request of 15 March to both sides to do so.” (para. 20)

 “The Greek Cypriot side regularly insisted on full satisfaction of its demands.” (para. 22)

 “The Turkish Cypriot side was relatively open in such consultations, the Greek Cypriot side less so.” “An additional difficulty was that accounts of bilateral meetings between my Special Adviser and the Greek Cypriot leader, at least when teams were present, often turned up in the press presented in a negative light.” (para. 24)

 “The Greek Cypriot side was critical of the framework suggested while the Turkish Cypriot side responded more positively.” (para. 26)

 “…the Greek Cypriot side indicated that it did not wish to meet in this format.” (para. 33)

 “With the first days taken up with procedure, and no meetings with the Greek Cypriot leader on the following three days, full use was not made of four of the six days available for this critical negotiation.” (para. 35)

 “The Greek Cypriot side did not produce a consolidated list of demands until 25 March 2004--which ran to 44 pages. At no stage was there any indication of priorities among these demands.” (para. 37)

 “The Greek Cypriots did not discuss their own territorial ideas, even informally, with the United Nations” “Eventually, the Greek Cypriot side departed from this position on 30 March 2004…… but proposed as a trade-off something that had already been included as part of my bridging proposal.” (para. 59)

 “Mr.Papadopoulos, in a broadcast speech on 7 April 2004, called upon the people to reject the plan with a “resounding No”. Among other things, the speech challenged the wisdom of “doing away with our internationally recognized state exactly at the very moment it strengthens its political weight, with its accession to the European Union”. I was surprised at this assessment, in the light of what Mr.Papadopulos had said to me in Brussels in January, I was also surprised at his interpretation of the plan, since the plan is designed to allow each side to maintain its position on how the new state of affairs would come into being.” (para. 65)

 “Likewise, given what he had said to me in The Hague in March 2003, I was concerned that the Greek Cypriot leader’s speech appeared to call into question many fundamental aspects of the plan, even while acknowledging that the final version contained improvements. I do not believe the speech accurately reflected the contents of the plan on a range of issues.” (para. 66)

4. On the Greek Cypriot Claims :

 “On 13 February 2004, the parties in Cyprus committed to negotiating in good faith on the basis of the settlement plan dated 26 February 2003.” “To this end, they agreed to a three-phase negotiation and finalization procedure.” “In Phase 3 of the effort, after consultations with the parties, I finalized on 31 March 2004 the text to be submitted to referenda on the basis of the plan, maintaining its overall balance while addressing to the extent possible the key concerns of each side.”  (Summary)

 “Procedures were fully consistent with the position taken by the Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, at The Hague.” (para. 4)

 “He (the Greek Cypriot leader) reassured me that he did not seek “forty or fifty” changes to the plan, and that all the changes he would seek would be within the parameters of the plan.” (para. 8)

 “….the Turkish Cypriot side was generally prepared to engage on Greek Cypriot proposals and to discuss matters on a realistic basis, and sought to make counter-offers and compromise proposals” (para. 21)

 “I was also determined to ensure that, if the burden fell to me to finalize the text by 31 March 2004, I should do so in close consultation with all concerned.” (para. 30)

 “Only after all opportunities for dialogue had been exhausted, and every effort made to sound the parties out on possible changes, did I make a series of bridging proposals…” (para. 38)

 “The changes made in the finalization process were designed to address to the extent possible the key outstanding concerns conveyed by the leaders to the United Nations…” (para. 43)

 “For the Greek Cypriot side, the plan was significantly improved to address its concerns…” (para. 44)

 “Another area of concern for the Greek Cypriot side related to the rights of displaced and dispossessed persons – a subject on which Mr.Papadopoulos did not initially propose changes.” (para. 48)

 “The Greek Cypriots did not discuss their own territorial ideas, even informally, with the United Nations” Eventually, the Greek Cypriot side departed from this position on 30 March 2004, when it expressed for the first time interest in specific pieces of territory, but proposed as a trade-off something that had already been included as part of my bridging proposal.” (para. 59)

 “The provisions of the plan related to the Treaty of Guarantee did not change. The Greek Cypriot side did not propose any changes to the Treaty when discussing security issues in Cyprus…” (para. 61)

 “Nor do I accept the argument in the speech, repeated thereafter, that when the plan was finalized, Turkey’s concerns were satisfied and Greek Cypriot concerns largely ignored… It might have been possible to accommodate other Greek Cypriot concerns had the Greek Cypriot side been more willing to engage in give and take at Burgenstock and before, and to prioritize its objectives.” (para. 66)

 “…the Greek Cypriot leader did not wish the Council to take decisions –even on security issues – before the referendum.” (para. 69)

 “The plan was a clear improvement, for both sides. It conforms to the Council’s long-held vision of a settlement. It was deemed a workable plan by the European Commission. It was deemed functional and financially sound, not only by the European Commission but also by the international Monetary Fund.”

5. Acknowledgement and Appreciation of the Positions Taken by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side:

 “The change of policy engineered by the Turkish Government which enabled this new effort to take off reflects well on the political maturity of that country and her leaders. By the commitments made to me by Prime Minister Erdoğan on 24 January 2004 when we met at Davos, and by Turkey’s determination throughout the February meetings in New York, the talks process in Cyprus, and the culmination in Bürgenstock, the effort to reach a settlement received an immeasurable boost. “ “I appreciated the strong support of the Turkish government, from the top down, for my efforts.” (para. 78)

 “Mess. Erdoğan, Gül and Talat also sought to convey to the Greek Cypriot public, by statements and interviews, and, in the case of Mr.Talat, by visiting the south, the determination of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to abide by their commitments under the plan and fully implement a settlement.” (para. 64)

 “Mr.Denktash on 11 February proposed a three-stage procedure which he informed me had the support of Turkey and which conformed broadly with the parameters I had proposed. “ (para. 12)

 “I wish to record …my appreciation of the efforts of Mr.Talat both in the process and in the run-up to the referendum.” (para. 76)

 “…the Turkish Cypriot side was generally prepared to engage on Greek Cypriot proposals and to discuss matters on a realistic basis, and sought to make counter-offers and compromise proposals.” (para. 21)

 “The Turkish Cypriot side was relatively open in such consultations, the Greek Cypriot side less” (para. 24)

 “The Greek Cypriot side was critical of the framework suggested while the Turkish Cypriot side responded more positively.” (para. 26)