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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-10-12

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    It is anticipated that the Cyprus leaders and their representatives will increase the frequency of their meetings held under the auspices of the United Nations, UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon said in his report on the proposed resource requirements for 2012 for six special political missions grouped under the thematic cluster of special and personal envoys and special advisers of the Secretary-General.

    Ban said that despite periods of intense activity, the talks have taken longer than was hoped. However, progress has been achieved on some of the issues, and a significant body of work has accumulated over more than two years of negotiations.

    Given the commitments made by the two leaders to the Secretary-General on 7 July 2011 in Geneva, it is anticipated that the talks between the leaders will continue, but will still require facilitation by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, and that the leaders and their representatives will increase the frequency of their meetings held under the auspices of the United Nations, he said.

    In addition, he added, it is anticipated that the Security Council will continue to support the process and the Office of the Special Adviser. The Office will increasingly be called upon to support the Special Adviser to substantively facilitate the negotiation process, and engage regional and international stakeholders in support of the process.

    Noting that in his latest meeting with the two leaders on 7 July 2011, the leaders agreed to increase the momentum of the negotiations and to accelerate their progress in order to achieve a mutually acceptable and lasting settlement on Cyprus as soon as possible, Ban said that as such, the activities of the Office of the Special Adviser are expected to also increase in order to facilitate the discussions between the two sides.

    He added that his Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer will increasingly engage regional and international stakeholders on substantive issues in support of the process. He will be required to travel to regional capitals, in particular to the guarantor Powers.

    Ban noted that his Special Adviser is employed on a when-actually-employed basis and is not permanently situated in Cyprus and that it is expected that the Special Adviser would spend the same amount of time in Cyprus as he did in 2011.

    The Secretary-General also made a commitment to the leaders, when he met with them in Geneva in January 2011, to make the expertise of other United Nations entities and programmes available where necessary. The leaders have welcomed this support, he noted.

    He said that following the meeting with the Secretary-General in November 2010, the pace of the talks increased and that in meetings held in Geneva on 26 January and 7 July 2011, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to finding a comprehensive solution as soon as possible and that in Geneva, on 26 January 2011, the sides agreed to intensify the negotiations.

    The Secretary General reiterated that there was a need in the following months for a heightened sense of urgency. Progress on all core issues would need to be accelerated in order to maintain the momentum needed to drive the process towards a successful outcome, the report noted.

    Ban also said that the technical committees have continued their work and that the technical committees on crime and criminal matters, cultural heritage, health, and environment continued to meet regularly with United Nations facilitation to develop and implement confidence-building measures that could ensure an atmosphere conducive for a settlement by improving the daily lives of Cypriots.

    He went on to say that on 21 January 2011, the two leaders agreed to reconvene the three technical committees on crisis management, humanitarian issues and economic and commercial matters, which had been dormant since July 2008. The leaders have established an additional joint committee on the opening of new crossings, he noted.

    Ban remarked that in line with the integrated approach of the United Nations presence in the country, UNFICYP will continue to provide logistical and administrative support to the Office of the Special Adviser with a view to ensuring the coherent and cost effective facilitation of the peace effort.

    According to the report, the estimated requirements for the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Cyprus for 2012 amount to $3,861,900 net ($4,341,500 gross). This amount would provide for the salaries and common staff costs for the continuation of 19 existing positions ($2,536,100), general temporary assistance ($44,400) and operational costs ($1,281,400) comprising consultants ($200,000), official travel ($407,500), facilities and infrastructure ($219,900), ground transportation ($93,200), air transportation ($10,200), communications ($112,400), information technology ($18,400), and other supplies, services and equipment($219,800).

    Cyprus has been divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974. UN led talks have been underway between the two leaders since 2008 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.


    The Turkish Cypriot leader submitted counter-proposals on the issue of governance which he should not have done, President Demetris Christofias said in statements after todays meeting with Eroglu, in the framework of direct negotiations aiming to solve the Cyprus problem.

    We continued the discussion today. I wish that on Friday, at my next meeting with Dervis Eroglu, we will conclude on the economy and internal security, but I say that I wish, I am not sure, he added.

    From there on discussion on the most important issues will continue - property, territory, governance. We believe that on these issues we have concluded the discussion on the most important issues but unfortunately the Turkish side reneged on its earlier positions, he added.

    Christrofias also said that they will have three more meeting until this round of talks ends and they go to New York for their meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon at the end of October.


    The need for social protection systems and in particular pension systems to be viewed as basic constituents of the objective to promote social cohesion and fight poverty was stressed by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias. In a speech, read by Labour and Social Insurance Minister Sotiroula Charalambous, during the 18th Muhanna Foundation Conference, organised with the support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, on the topic: ``Meeting Today`s Challenges in Social Protection and Retirement Systems``, President Christofias said we need sustainable and economically strong funds in order to safeguard pensions and benefits for beneficiaries.

    For the achievement of this objective, transparency and professionalism in the operation of the various schemes is of utmost importance and that is why the role of professionals in this sector is becoming increasingly more necessary, he said.

    In Cyprus, said President Christofias, we have managed to build a relatively healthy social security system, through social dialogue and tripartite cooperation. The universal nature of our Social Insurance Fund safeguards the right to pensions and short-term benefits for all insured persons. In addition, occupational pension schemes and provident funds play an important role.

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