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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-05

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US - UN - Cyprus problem
  • [02] Rally Champion dies - Road Accident
  • [03] Children's Rights meeting - Opening
  • [04] Kasoulides - Cyprus problem - EU
  • [05] Prison Training Conference
  • [06] Children's Rights - New Slavery - UN Convention

  • 0830:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US - UN - Cyprus problem

    Washington, Nov 5 (CNA) -- The US has expressed its strong support to new UN efforts to promote a process towards a settlement in Cyprus and the reduction of tensions.

    "The US strongly supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus and we have worked closely with her and will continue to do so," State Department spokesman James Rubin said.

    Rubin said Dame Ann Hercus "is conducting an important series of discussions with the two sides on Cyprus on behalf of the Secretary- General."

    He underlined that "both sides stand to benefit from this process" and said "we have strongly encouraged both sides to work cooperatively with her to make progress".

    After meetings in New York with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in September, the UN announced they agreed that Hercus would "develop a process for on-island contacts with both parties, with the goal of reducing tensions and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement".

    The UN resident representative has began her meetings, under a blackout of statements to the press.

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1998

    [02] Rally Champion dies - Road Accident

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- In a tragic twist of fate, former Cyprus Rally champion Vahan Terzian died in a road accident yesterday when his car went off the road and fell off a 100-metre cliff into the sea.

    The 42-year-old Armenian Cypriot won the Cyprus Rally in 1981 and was one of the most popular drivers as he had participated in most rallies held here, won championships and was runner up to the Cyprus Rally in 1995 and in previous competitions.

    Terzian was driving his car to Paphos, in the western coast. His car fell off a cliff at a bend before the Rock of Aphrodite (Venus), mythological Goddess of Love, Beauty and Fertility.

    Doctors on call at Paphos Hospital said he was already dead when they took him there.

    The Friends of the Automobile Association (OFA) announced that the Tulip Rally, which was to take place on Saturday, has been postponed in memory of Terzian.

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [03] Children's Rights meeting - Opening

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- The UN Convention on the rights of the child is a powerful tool for the international community to ensure the protection of children but immediate action is needed to eradicate the dangers children face throughout the world.

    This message was the focus of speakers at today's opening of a two-day meeting on "Children's Rights and Wrongs", which aims to evaluate the implementation of the UN Convention, ratified by most states.

    "The UN Convention is a powerful instrument on behalf of the world's children. The international community needs to act now and on many fronts to honour concepts contained in the Convention of rights of the child," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the meeting said.

    The message, read by Annan's resident representative in Cyprus Dame Ann Hercus, congratulated the organisers, the Centre for World Dialogue and UNICEF, and noted that UN and UNICEF have been engaged for the past five decades in efforts to secure the rights of children worldwide.

    "I am sure this meeting will make a meaningful contribution" in efforts to improve the condition of children throughout the world.

    Pointing to the need for aid to children, Dame Ann said it is important to eradicate the dangers to children's lives, especially this year which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration for Human Rights.

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, who opened this "most important symposium" in his own words, said the adoption of the UN Convention on the rights of the child marked the "first step towards addressing one of the greatest tragedies of our time."

    "The most basic rights of any child are at this moment, in the closing pages of the second millennium, denied to millions of children all over the world," he said and expressed "rage, anger and desperation" with this situation.

    "The only qualification required for that is to be human," he told delegates from around the world, including children who themselves had suffered abuse of their rights and are now champions for the rights of other children.

    He called on participants to put forward proposals to alleviate the suffering of children and stressed that extreme poverty brings hunger resulting to child labour, exploitation, prostitution and slavery.

    The President extended a particularly warm welcome and deepest gratitude to the children attending the conference and said "their presence here today is the most awakening reminder of this horrific tragedy" of the suffering of millions of children.

    Eric Rouleau, Executive Director of the Centre for World Dialogue, pointed to the need for "special protection" of children but also noted the "extreme abuse on a callous scale" against children.

    "The suffering of children today cannot be ignored and the very future of the human society is at stake," he said, noting that although the problems are very serious they are not without hope.

    Director of the evaluation policy and planning of UNICEF, New York, Marta Santos Pais, described the UN Convention as "a breakthrough" in attempts to protect children and noted that neither the US nor Somalia have ratified the Convention.

    "It shows that children's rights are human rights, they are universal, it stresses the need to look at each child as a citizen and partner in society," she said.

    Noting the vulnerability of children, she said the Convention reaffirmed state accountability and underlined the need to ensure that children's rights must be "central to the national political agenda of states."

    She also noted that parliaments have to approve the necessary measures, including budgets and enactment of legislation, to promote children's rights.

    "The process of national implementation of the UN Convention is as important as the Convention itself," she concluded.

    She also referred to some grim statistics relating to children and said 12 million children die each year of malnutrition, 100 m. are working in exploitative and hazardous conditions, 130 m. are denied an education and 100 m. live in the streets.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [04] Kasoulides - Cyprus problem - EU

    London, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has pointed out that the Cyprus problem is a European problem, given that two EU member-states (Greece, Britain) are involved as guarantors of Cyprus' independence, and one aspiring member-state (Turkey), also a guarantor, is involved through illegal military occupation.

    Kasoulides pointed out that Cyprus itself is a candidate and is currently negotiating the terms of its accession to the EU.

    Speaking last night at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, Kasoulides said that the theory saying that the EU should not allow a divided country to join so as not to inherit the Cyprus problem, is utopia.

    Europe, he stressed, is deeply involved in the problems created by Turkey at its southeastern border.

    Kasoulides said that it is the accession of Cyprus to the EU and the solution of the Cyprus problem that will shore up security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    He added that the Turkish Cypriot community is not opposed to the idea of accession, unlike Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who refused to agree to the very launching of the application for membership.

    Kasoulides referred to a poll among Turkish Cypriots, which indicated an overwhelming support of 94.5 per cent to EU membership.

    Kasoulides said that the Cyprus government agrees with the Turkish Cypriots' desire for a political solution before accession, stressing that this is what efforts are aimed at.

    The challenge before us, he said, is to start talking and proceeding in a spirit of constructive cooperation.

    Earlier yesterday, Kasoulides met with a group from the Parliamentary Committee for International Relations, had a working lunch with British journalists, and attended a dinner hosted by British envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay.

    The Cypriot minister is scheduled to meet British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook this afternoon.

    CNA KT/RG/GP/1998

    [05] Prison Training Conference

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Representatives from 22 European countries will gather here next week for the third European Conference of Directors and Coordinators of training in prison.

    The meeting, to take place from 10-13 November, will examine the rules and regulations of the Council of Europe relating to prison training with a view to identifying ways for their more effective implementation.

    It will also work towards further training of prisoners while serving their sentences for their own benefit and the benefit of society.

    Justice and Public Order Minister Nicos Koshis and Education and Culture Minister Lykourgos Kapas will address the meeting.

    Cypriot delegates will have the chance to outline Cyprus' effort to align current legislation with European rules and regulations and share Cyprus' experience in successful programmes it has implemented.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [06] Children's Rights - New Slavery - UN Convention

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- A 14-year-old Pilipino girl today shared her daily hardships as a child who has to work in order to help her family and pay for her schooling with participants at a two-day meeting on "Children's Rights and Wrongs".

    "My government says children shouldn't work, they should be in school. How can we get schooling when our parents can't work and support us?" Mary Benjamin Olarita asked, while wiping away her tears and suppressing her sobs.

    Mary was the child speaker at the morning session of the meeting, organised by the Centre for World Dialogue, that dealt with "The realities of the rights of the child: Ten years after the Convention".

    She said she works at a factory packing fertiliser from seven at night to seven in the morning, sleeps from eight to eleven and goes to school from midday to five in the afternoon.

    Speaking on "Rights, realities and the globalisation of child slavery", professor Kevin Bales said there are eight to 10 million child slaves in the world today and referred to the growth of new slavery.

    People think slavery was abolished in the 19th century, he said, and attributed new slavery to the population explosion, economic factors and government corruption.

    Bales explained that new slaves, especially children, are cheap to buy and easily replaced and underlined the need for influencing the agenda on international trade, the proper monitoring of a new convention on child labour, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is now discussing a more forceful stance by the UN.

    Sandra Mason, chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, said the relevant UN Convention signed by 191 states has already had an impact and has a leading role in bringing attention to the rights of children in the international community's agenda.

    She said the Convention is a guide for the work of other international organisations, such as the ILO and UNICEF, and has attracted an "unusual combination" of non-governmental organisations.

    Mason described its "unexpected success" as one of the problems in monitoring its implementation and also said that enormous problems remain such as child labour and child abuse.

    Speaking at the meeting, Professor Elwyn Thomas outlined the importance of culture and education and said the Convention provides important social indicators.

    He pointed out that school curriculums may not take culture into consideration, that provisions of the Convention should be added in curriculums and schools must teach human rights and develop peace education.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
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