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What the World Said Before the Referanda

EXCERPTS FROM STATEMENTS AND DECISIONS/RESOLUTIONS
 BEFORE THE
 REFERENDA HELD IN CYPRUS ON 24 APRIL 2004

BEFORE THE REFERENDA

EXCERPTS FROM STATEMENTS AND DECISIONS/RESOLUTIONS
 BEFORE THE
 REFERENDA HELD IN CYPRUS ON 24 APRIL 2004

UNSG Annan’s letter of 31 March 2004, addressed to the parties:

“Today, on the invitation of the parties in Cyprus in accordance with the agreement of 13 February 2004, I have used my discretion to finalize the text to be submitted to referenda on the basis of my plan, in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem before 1 May 2004.”

In finalizing this document, I have been in close consultation with the two parties in Cyprus, and with Greece and Turkey who have lent their collaboration to the concentrated effort that has just been completed. The outcome of these efforts is the fruit of negotiations under my auspices in which each side represented itself, and no-one else, as the political equal of the other.

The text finalized today represents the best chance ever for Cyprus to be reunited.”

UNSG Annan’s speech delivered in Burgenstock on 31 March 2004:

“The revised plan has a property scheme that is simpler, fairer and more certain. It has a more workable system of government. It has better safeguards for the constituent states. It has transitional arrangements that I am confident can and will work. And it has been improved from the financial and economic point of view.

The process of negotiation is not a football match. It is not question of keeping score, of goals and own goals, of winners and losers. Rather, we have tried to accommodate the expressed concerns of both sides, so as to create a win-win situation. I believe that we have succeeded.

This plan is inevitably a compromise. It does not satisfy everyone’s demands. But I believe it meets the core interests, and addresses the key concerns, of people on both sides.

Let us be clear. The choice is not between this settlement plan and some other magical, mythical solution. In reality, the choice is between this settlement and no settlement. 

If the settlement is approved in the referenda next month, Cyprus would reunify, in time to accede to the European Union. After only a short interval, freedom of movement would prevail, without border-like checkpoints. A new state of affairs would emerge, far better designed than the one of 1960 to manage relations between the two communities. A substantial number of Greek Cypriots would be able to return to the homes they left behind thirty years ago, and to do so under Greek Cypriot administration. Others would receive full and effective compensation. Cypriots from both sides could return to their homes in the area administered by the other Constituent State.

This plan is fair. It is designed to work. And I believe it provides Cypriots with a secure framework for a common future. There have been too many missed opportunities in the past. For the sake of all of you, I urge you not to make the same mistake again.”

UNSG’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Mr. de Soto’s briefing to the UN Security Council on 2 April 2004:

 
“The parties committed themselves, in a first phase, to seek to agree on changes and to complete the plan in all respects by 22 March 2004, within the framework of the Secretary-General’s Mission of Good-Offices, so as to produce a finalized text.

The parties further agreed that, in the absence of such agreement, the Secretary-General would convene a meeting of the two sides --with the participation of Greece and Turkey in order to lend their collaboration-- in a concentrated effort to agree on a finalized text by 29 March.

As a final resort, in the event of a continuing and persistent deadlock, the parties invited the Secretary-General to use his discretion to finalize the text to be submitted to referenda on the basis of his plan.

The process agreed on 13 February was based on the conditions laid down by the Secretary-General in this report to this Council on 1 April 2003 to resume his good offices effort. That approach received the support of the Council in resolution 1475. And that process has now resulted in a final text to go to referendum on 24 April 2004, the text presented by the Secretary-General in Bürgenstock on 31 March 2004.

On 29 March, the Secretary-General presented a fully revised text for consideration by the parties. In this revised text, the Secretary-General sought to address the key concerns that had been expressed by the two sides in the negotiations, while maintaining the overall balance of the plan.

While not precluding the possibility that the parties might yet reach agreement, the process, from this point onwards, moved to the third phase of the effort envisaged in the 13 February agreement, in which the text would be finalized by the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General wished to do so in the closest collaboration with al concerned --hence the consultations with the parties over the next 48 hours in the run-up to the presentation of a final text on 31 March.

As is obvious, achieving a Cyprus settlement is a complex task-legally and politically. But there are certain points that should not be lost sight of.

First, the process has been conducted in full conformity with the mandate provided to the Secretary-General by this Council. The product of the work is a bi-communal, bi-zonal, federal system, a state of Cyprus with a single international legal personality, sovereignty, and citizenship. It it based on the principle of political equality between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Second, the plan is based on respect for international law and individual human rights… Third, the long-term objective of the plan is the demilitarization of Cyprus.

The plan is inevitably a compromise. It does not meet all the demands of each side. But the Secretary-General believes it is a fair and balanced plan.”

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Cyprus, 8 April 2004:

“The Secretary-General is disappointed to learn that Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos has now called for rejection of the plan.”

Report of the UN Secretary-General to the UN Security Council, 16 April 2004:

“In resolution 1475 (2003) of  14 April 2003, the Security Council gave its full support to my “carefully balanced plan” as a “unique basis for further negotiations”, and called on all concerned to negotiate within the framework of my good offices, using the plan to reach a comprehensive as set forth in my report.
 
Following communications ad consultations that led me to believe that a new effort might be warranted, on 4 February 2004, I wrote to Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, inviting them to New York on 10 February to resume negotiations. In that letter I reiterated the terms in my report for a resumption of negotiations and made a number of procedural suggestions to facilitate negotiation and finalization. Both leaders accepted this invitation.

As a final resort, in the event of a continuing and persistent deadlock, the parties invited me to use my discretion to finalize the text to be submitted to separate and simultaneous referenda on the basis of the plan.

…due to differing views as to the appropriate format for direct meetings, it did not prove possible to have face-to-face meetings. The United Nations therefore sought, as it had in Cyprus in the week before Bürgenstock, to build bridges though consultations with all parties, in which it explored compromise suggestions and sought to ascertain the priorities of the parties and where they might be prepared to show flexibility to achieve them. Despite these effort, there was little give and take. I joined the process on 28 March and submitted an overall bridging proposal on 29 March. On that day, the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey also joined the effort. Deadlock persisted, however, on key issues, as became apparent during consultations in the subsequent 48 hours. At that juncture, there was no reason to believe that further negotiations then or in the months to come would have produced a better result or different outcome.

When he succeeded Glafcos Clerides as the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Papadopoulos indicated that he would not reopen issues already agreed upon.

The “Comprehensive Settlement of  the Cyprus Problem”, which was drawn up taking full consideration of relevant United Nations resolutions and treaties, as stated in Security Council resolutions 1250 (1999) and 1475 (2003), provides for a new state of affairs that is in full accordance with the Council’s vision of a settlement.”

These carefully balanced provisions are designed to address the worst fears of each side described in my report to the Security Council of 1 April 2003 (S/2003/398, paras. 74-77).”

The plan is complex and delicately balanced. Inevitably, as in any negotiation, it is a compromise.

Even though finalized by me at the invitation of the parties, the Plan’s core concepts and key trade-offs, as well as the bulk of the many texts included, are largely the work of Cypriots. The plan is the only available and foreseeable route to the reunification of Cyprus.”

Statement by Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly President Peter Schieder,  16 April 2004:

“A victory for the “Noes” in either part of Cyprus, or a postponement of the referendum, will mean that only the Greek Cypriots join the EU on 1 May.

During the visit of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Rapporteur Matyas Eörsi (Hungary, LDR) to Cyprus from 11 to 15 January, all major Greek Cypriot political parties expressed their support for the Annan Plan. They are now campaigning either against it or for postponement of the referenda. This is extremely disappointing.

The Annan Plan is now the only opportunity the Cypriots have to see their island reunited within the European Union, and the referenda on 24 April are the best moment for it.

A “No” vote, or postponement of the referenda, would only deepen and perpetuate the division of Cyprus. This would also be a major blow to the authority of the UN and a bad omen for its involvement in settling international crises.

Those seeking to obstruct the settlement will bear grave political responsibility for this failure and should not be allowed to take advantage of it.

The international community and the European Union in particular, should not betray the hopes of those Cypriots who are in favour of the settlement, nor make them pay the price of failure.”

European Parliament resolution on Cyprus 21 April 2004:

“The European Parliament,

Points out that the final settlement plan has been negotiated  between the two sides on the island of Cyprus with the involvement of Greece and Turkey and has been finalized under the authority of the UN Security Council by the UNSG Kofi Annan;

Expresses its support, and welcomes the initiative of the United Nations Secretary General, who on 31 March handed over to the two parties the final version of his plan on the reunification of Cyprus, which will be put to two separate referenda on the island on 24 April, as agreed by all parties in New York on 13 February 2004, so that the reunited island can join the European Union on 1 May.

Shares the Commission’s view that it is not a question of making a choice between the Annan Plan and another plan, but of choosing between this plan and no alternative for a long period of time;

Calls on the citizens of Cyprus to be fully responsible, consistent and committed to their status as EU citizens, and to seize this historic opportunity to reunify their country in a peaceful way.”

Secretary-General’s video message, 21 April 2004:

“Parts of the plan were put together by the United Nations. But all of its key concepts emerged out of four years of negotiation among your leaders. And most of its 9,000 pages were drafted by hundreds of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Their extraordinary efforts produced one of the most comprehensive peace plans in the history of the United Nations.

..it is a compromise, as is inevitable in any negotiation. It is also the only foreseeable route to the reunification of Cyprus. There is no other plan out there. There is no magic way of accommodating the maximum demands of one side while at the same time accommodating the maximum demands of the other. This is it.

…The plan envisages one independent and sovereign state, the United Cyprus Republic. That State is based on the parameters agreed between the parties since the 1970s --a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal structure, based on the political equality of the two communities. The plan prohibits partition or secession, domination by one side, or union with any other country. The plan ends the status quo. It ends the division of the country. It would allow a reunited Cyprus to speak with one voice internationally, particularly in the European Union. The plan fully respects individual human rights including the rights of those of you who were forced to leave your homes.

We have worked closely with the European Union, the World Bank and the IMF to make a number of changes, to ensure that the plan is economically and financially sound.

We are determined that neither the events of 1963, nor those of 1974, will ever be repeated.

The vision of the plan is simple: reunification and reconciliation, in safety and security, in the European Union.”

 

 

EU Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen’s statement to the European Parliament, 21 April 2004:

“…Tassos Papadopoulos’ Government of the Republic of Cyprus has surprised everybody by pursuing a rejectionist strategy, I believe for two reasons that this is extremely regrettable:

First; in 1999, at the request of the Greek Cypriot Government, we had said that the resolution of the Cypriot conflict was not a prerequisite for Cyprus’ accession to the EU. We did this on the understanding that the Greek Cypriot leadership would do nothing to bring down a proposed agreement and that they would do all that was possible to bring about a solution. I call on Mr. Papadopoulos to live up to his commitments.

Second; the Government of the Republic of Cyprus repeatedly asserted that it was in agreement with the general lines of the Annan Plan. They said that they were willing to act within the lines of the Plan. In Switzerlad, they suddenly rejected that notion. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus now proposes the rejection of the international settlement. I am going to be undiplomatic, I feel cheated by the Greek Cypriot government. For months on end, I have done everything I could in good faith to make it possible for Greek Cypriots to accept this plan. This is a country that will be joining the EU soon. The least we could expect is a fair and balanced information campaign. Never before in the history of the Commission has a member of the European Commission been accused of interference in the internal affairs of a Member State. I call on Papadopoulos to guarantee the freedom of the media.

I regret that the many Greek Cypriot statements have lacked the words, peace, understanding and co-existence. All these terms have been absent.

There would never be a solution which satisfies either side 100 %. No better plan can ever be made.”

Open letter from Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council of Europe 21 April 2004:

“The Annan Plan offers all Cypriots --for the first time-- a concrete, balanced and comprehensive proposal for the settlement of the Cyprus issue. It received the support of the whole international community at the Donors’ Conference in Brussels on 15 April.

The Plan, which will be put to…referendum this coming Saturday, has been prepared over years throughout the patient efforts of the UN and both Cypriot communities.

A rejection of the proposed plan of the Secretary General of the United Nations would deepen the division between the two Communities. Confidence that has been rebuilt --with much difficulty-- over the last decades will be lost, and will be hard to regain.

Furthermore, Europe and the wider international community would not understand the waste of this unique chance. Their good will to support further attempts to find a solution will not return for a number of years”

Statement of White House Spokesman Mr. Mcclellan, 21 April 2004:

“The Annan plan offers a hopeful vision of a peaceful and prosperous future for all Cypriots as citizens of a unified state in the form of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that honors the traditions of its diverse citizens while forging a common future with the European Union. The settlement that the secretary-general finalized on March 31st outlined an equitable compromise in which no party receives everything it seeks, but which satisfies the fundamental requirements of all parties.”

UNSG Annan’s statement on arrival at UN Headquarters, 21 April 2004:

“I hope that the people of Cyprus realize that on such a day they have an historic decision before them, a decision that will allow a reunited Cyprus to find its place in Europe...

If they say ‘no’ then the Greek Cypriot part of Cyprus enters the EU with the Turkish part remaining outside and the plan will be dead and my role will have ended”

Statement by the President of the European Council Mr. Bertie Ahern, 24 April 2004:

“Through their patient and determined efforts, in cooperation with the parties, the Secretary General and his team have created a unique and historic opportunity for a settlement of the Cyprus problem. In his report to the UN Security Council which was released yesterday, Kofi Annan stated clearly that the plan is the only available and foreseeable route to the reunification of Cyprus.

Let me just say that, as President of the European Council over the past few months, I have had discussion on Cyprus with political leaders across Europe. I think it is only right to say that the view of the overwhelming majority is that the proposed settlement would be good for both communities in Cyprus and good for the European Union.”