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Talks on the Cyprus problem have been ongoing for over five decades. The talks have always been top-down, non-transparent and competitive. With a lack of a safety net and deadlock breaking mechanisms, the formal process starts and stops and progress made is limited in terms of an outcome. Every time the process starts, issues are renegotiated again and the same deadlock points keep halting the process. It is thus not surprising that there is a lack of common understanding of even the fundamentals of a settlement across the two communities, leaving the process fragile. In such processes, jointly developed common understandings among political stakeholders could be important to act as safety nets to prevent the process from collapsing and to allow for a continuous process to reach a political settlement.
In this section, the original key documents, agreements and/or plans that have been proposed over the course of the Cyprus peace negotiations are made available. Each of the documents influenced and shaped the content of the negotiations to date.
NEGOTIATION PROCESS & STRUCTURES
Cyprus Peace Process Infographic
This infographic displays a six-decade timeline, covering the numerous peace processes in Cyprus on 3 different levels. The first level shows the leaders and negotiation cycles. The second depicts the creation and progress of multiple peace and negotiation structures. And the third highlights the key documents, agreements and events that transpired throughout that period. This infographic forms part of the Shared Knowledge Resources of the Cyprus Dialogue Forum.
KEY DOCUMENTS & PEACE PLANS
2017 UN Secretary General Report (S/2017/814) on the negotiations between 2015-2017
In September 2017, UN Secretary-General Guterres publishes the report of his Good Offices documenting the developments in negotiations between 15 May 2015 until the 11 August 2017 (including the process in Crans Montana). In the report, he outlines the areas of agreement or near convergence as well as the outstanding areas still remaining to be resolved.
2014 - Anastasiades – Eroglu Joint Statement
On 11 February 2014, negotiations between the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroğlu commence with the agreement on a joint statement reaffirming the negotiations framework based on “…a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the High Level Agreements”, and that a “united Cyprus, as a member of the United Nations and of the European Union, shall have a single international legal personality and a single sovereignty … [and] a single united Cyprus citizenship”.
2008-2012 Convergences Document
The document concerns convergences reached in the negotiation period of 2008-2012. The document was prepared by the UN as a confidential document. This became publicly available when it leaked to the press. Explanatory Note: This document is divided by topic. Under each topic, Section 1 covers convergences, including from joint convergence papers. Divergent positions are reflected in blue for Greek Cypriot and red for Turkish Cypriot, as was used during the period of negotiation. Section 2 covers positions contained in the separate position papers that demonstrated agreement in principle (a meeting of the minds), certain understandings confirmed during meetings, qualified or conditional convergences or matters on which there appears to be a bridgeable gap. The document is based on the sides' work product with references omitted. The topics are in all capital black letters, Sections 1 and 2 are noted in light blue and each topic is in green. Where there are differences over definitions, these have been noted by either italics or by listing of the divergences. Issues on which there is no convergence at all are not included in this document.
2006 - July Agreement - Set of Principles
The UN Secretary General report of 25 July 2006 (S/2006/572) highlights the Set of Principles agreed between Tassos Papadopoulos and Mehmet Ali Talat in July 2006. The first bicommunal technical committees were initiated following this agreement.
2006 - Council Regulation (EC) No. 389/2006
Citing the Council of the European Union's recommendation of 26 April 2004, and considering that the Turkish Cypriot community had expressed their clear desire for a future within the European Union, the Council passes Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 what is known as the Aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, recommending that the funds earmarked for the northern part of Cyprus in the event of a settlement should be used to put an end to the isolation of that community and to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island and on improving contact between the two communities and with the EU.
2004 - UNSG Report after the 2004 Referenda
The 28 May 2004 report of the UNSG on his mission of good offices in Cyprus recaps the process since his previous report on 16 April 2004 (S/2004/302), covering the final three-phase negotiations culminating in Bürgenstock, the final version of the Annan Plan (31 March 2004) and the result of the referenda on 24 April 2004.
2004 - A Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem (Annan Plan)
The first UN blueprint for a comprehensive settlement was tabled by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2002. The two community leaders on the island failed to reach a final agreement on the text of the draft plan, resulting in the UN playing the role of arbitrator and filling in the blanks. A fifth and final version of the plan – the most detailed to have been produced – was completed in March 2004. The following month, on April 24, separate referendums were held on the Annan plan in both communities. Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected the plan, with 75.8% voting against, while 64.9% of Turkish Cypriots voted in favour. Six days later, Cyprus joined the European Union as a whole, despite remaining divided, with the EU body of laws suspended in the northern part of the island.
2004 - UNSG Report covering negotiation progress leading to final version of Annan Plan
The 16 April 2004 report of the UNSG on Cyprus recaps the events since his previous report on 1 April 2003 (S/2003/398), starting with the developments after The Hague, covering Bürgenstock, the final version of the Annan Plan (31 March 2004) and the period leading up to the referenda on 24 April 2004.
2003 - UNSG Report on the Hague and following efforts to reach agreement
The 1 April 2003 report of the UNSG on his Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus summarizes the efforts to reach an agreement beginning in 1999 until the developments at the Hague on 10 and 11 March 2003.
1993-1994 - Proposal of Package of Confidence Building Measures & Modalities for their Implementation
In 1993, UN Secretary General proposed a list of confidence building measures to the two sides. See Annexes of the 1993 UNSG report S/26026 for the list of CBMs. The arrangements for working out the modalities of implementation of CBMs are recorded in 1994 by the UNSG (see relevant 1994 UNSG report on the matter page 10
1992 - Ghali Set of Ideas - Set of Ideas on an Overall Framework Agreement on Cyprus
In 1992, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali built on the 1977 and 1979 high-level agreements and relevant UN resolutions to develop a framework agreement on a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution, called a ‘Set of Ideas’ (see p9 and onwards). The initial Set of Ideas were endorsed by the UN Security Council.
1986 - Perez de Cuellar Proposal - A Consolidated Draft Agreement
UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar proposed a Draft Framework Agreement which envisaged the creation of an independent, non-aligned, federal state in Cyprus that would be in nature bicommunal (in relation to the federal constitution) and bizonal (in relation to territory). The draft agreement goes beyond the high-level agreements by defining the federal government’s powers.
1979 - High-Level Agreement (Kyprianou-Denktash)
In 1979, a ten-point agreement was reached between the leaders in Cyprus. Together with the 1977 agreement it is considered among the most important agreements reached by the leaders in relation to the Cyprus problem. See page 13 of UNSG report submitted to the UN Security Council in May 1979.
1978 - The Anglo-American-Canadian Plan - Framework for a Cyprus Settlement
In 1978, US special envoy for Cyprus, Clark Clifford, submitted the attached plan to leaders Makarios and Denktas as the first comprehensive plan for a settlement to the Cyprus problem on behalf of the US, Canada and Britain (Nicos Rolandis' archives)
1977 - High-Level Agreement (Makarios-Denktash)
In 1977, the parties adopted a four-point agreement that would act as a basis for future negotiations, providing for an independent, non-aligned, bicommunal federal republic. See page 2 (point 5) of the UNSG's Report.
1964 - The Acheson Plan; published in 'The Cyprus Issue' by
In 1964, the US proposed what came to be known as the 'Acheson Plan'. Contrary to following settlement frameworks (1977 onwards), the plan envisaged the union of Cyprus and Greece, with an on-island military base reserved for Turkey and up to three cantons established for Turkish Cypriots, over which they would have full administrative control.
1963 - Proposal of 13 points for Constitutional Amendments
In November 1963, President Makarios proposes major amendments to the power-sharing constitution. He argues that these are necessary to make the state more functional after repeated deadlock in government. Turkey rejects the proposed changes, as do the Turkish Cypriots who see them as an attempt to undermine their political power in the Republic. This document is Makarios' letter to Vice-President Kucuk proposing the 13 amendments (extract from PIO document)
1960 - Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus
The Constitution of Cyprus was drafted after the country's independence in 1959 and was ratified on 16 August 1960.
1959 - London and Zürich Agreements
The London and Zürich Agreements between Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom and Cypriot community leaders (Archbishop Makarios III for Greek Cypriots and Dr. Fazıl Küçük for Turkish Cypriots) drafted and agreed the basic structure of the Republic of Cyprus together with the Treaty of Guarantee
and the Treaty of Alliance
. These treaties were subsequently signed along with the Treaty of Establishment
in August 1960 in Nicosia.
2021 Cyprus Dialogue Forum.
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