September 30, 1997
Beginning of September Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku held an official visit to Cyprus where he had meetings with high-level government officials to discuss the agenda of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in October in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
While in Cyprus, Chief Anyaoku met with the President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and the President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou and discussed with them the current developments on the Cyprus problem.
Speaking to the press after a meeting with President Clerides, Mr. Anyaoku said that he had with the President extremely useful discussions on the Cyprus problem as well as on the agenda for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). "We talked," he said, "the various items of the agenda, the special economic theme which would be the special theme of the meeting" and added that "the Cyprus problem will be discussed during the meeting."
Chief Anyaoku said that he expected the Commonwealth will appoint a special representative on Cyprus who will attend the next round of UN-sponsored direct talks on the Cyprus problem. "There is an expectation on my part that the next UN-sponsored meeting on Cyprus will have, as one of those present, a special representative of the Commonwealth," he said.
Asked how the Commonwealth can help efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, Chief Anyaoku said that the Commonwealth has a mechanism which is set up as a means of supporting the UN efforts to resolve the issue. "The Commonwealth has had a very clear position on the Cyprus situation and I hope that the collective influence of the Commonwealth can be useful to those who are actively engaged in searching for the solution to the problem," he concluded.
On September 1, Greek and Turkish trade unions reaffirmed their adherence to the principles of peace and their determination to work for consolidating peace in Cyprus and conditions to the cooperation of the people for progress and prosperity.
This was stated in a joint declaration 15 Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unions handed today to Peter Schmitz, UN peace-keeping force senior political advisor, during a meeting at the Ledra Palace hotel, in the UN controlled buffer zone, in Nicosia.
Receiving the joint declaration, Schmitz expressed the belief that it is a very encouraging sign for the future which makes the UN feel very much encouraged to continue with its work to bring about a peaceful settlement in Cyprus.
The UN official said he will convey the declaration to UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan in New York.
Speaking on behalf of the Trade Union Coordinating Committee, Secretary-General of the Cyprus Workers' Confederation, Michalakis Ioannou, said that it is the result of hard work, and that Trade Union movement's determination to work towards peace on our island." He stressed that on the occasion of International Day of Peace Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unions join forces in demanding from the UN, the international community and the island's leadership to "hear the voice of the majority of the people and work towards a fair solution which will bring peace the island."
In their declaration, the trade unions stress that "fully aware of their duties towards their members and the whole of the people of Cyprus, loyal to their declarations and commitments, repeat their firm adherence to the course of peace and their will to step up their efforts in this respect."
They express "disappointment at the failure of the initiatives undertaken by the UN in the search for a lasting solution of the Cyprus problem and call on all the parties involved, the UN, other organizations and countries showing an interest, to expedite their efforts and initiatives towards all directions so that the course of peace is safeguarded."
The 15 trade unions reiterate "their firm belief that a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem will serve the cause of peace in Cyprus and the region." They note the solution should be based on UN resolutions and with "full guarantee on the human and trade union rights and a unitary economy, without any form of discrimination." Noting that the status quo is "dangerously open to all forms of war and tensions the trade unions stress they consider it their "historical responsibility to raise their voice above those who wish to obstruct the Cyprus peace process."
The Government of Cyprus contributed a sum of 70,000 US dollars to efforts for resettling tens of thousands of Poles made homeless by the devastating floods which hit their country last July.
"On behalf of his excellency the President of the Republic and the people of Cyprus, I would like to express our deepest sympathy for the tragedy which occurred in your country," Acting Foreign Minister, Finance Christodoulos Christodoulou told Poland's Charge d'affaires to Cyprus Najusz Jesionek at the Finance Ministry.
Thanking Christodoulou for the contribution, Jesionek said the Government's gesture was an expression of goodwill, solidarity and friendly cooperation shared between Cyprus and Poland.
The Polish diplomat said 53 people died as a result of the flooding, which put 12 out of Poland's 49 provinces, some 547,000 hectares, under water.
Delegates from 10 countries in the region and officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) gathered in Cyprus to attend a three-day WHO regional meeting which got underway in Nicosia, September 9.
Opening the first three-day meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Region Collaborating Centers, held in the capital, Nicosia, WHO regional director Dr. Hussein Gezairy emphasized the great concern WHO has shown the past five years for its relationship with the network of collaborating centers.
He said since the 1949 2nd World Health Assembly, WHO's policy is not to establish under its won auspices international research institutions, but assist and make use of the activities of existing national institutions which are then designated as collaborating centers.
Dr. Gezairy pointed out the problems in the relations between WHO headquarters and these centers resulting in the termination of their designation, noting that WHO "is currently reviewing the various aspects of collaborating centers" in response to the 50th World Health Assembly, of May 1997.
An Assembly resolution had set out directives of efforts to made to create the broadest possible network of "partners for health," in order to make full use of all the skills available at country and regional levels, if global health leadership could be exerted in the 21st century. The WHO regional director said the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office had taken the initiative of calling this meeting to listen to "the directors of active collaborating members."
Dr. Gezairy told the participants that in the agenda they will find "that some important and pressing issues have been put forward for discussion in order to reach a consensus on the role of collaborating centers in health policy reform" and their role in the global research agenda. "The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and come up with policies and strategies for strengthening future cooperation between WHO and its collaborating centers," he concluded.
Addressing the meeting, Cyprus health Ministry Permanent Secretary Achilleas Padjinakos, described the achievements of local collaborating centers gaining international recognition. "It is an indication that a major problem in the area of health has been faced in an organized way, with good planning and correct strategies that lead to the control of an important public health sector," Padjinakos said.
Apart from WHO officials and Cypriot delegates, participants come from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Tunisia.