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

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Children's Rights - Child Labour
  • [03] Exercise - Cyprus - Israel - Egypt - Ends
  • [04] Clerides - Spokesman - Commission paper - Cyprus
  • [05] Children's Rights - Armed Conflict
  • [06] SOCCER: Apollon 0 - Panionios 1
  • [07] Children's Rights - Commercial Sexual Exploitation
  • [08] Kasoulides - Cook - Statements
  • [09] Foreign Office - Statement - Meeting

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                          90.30 (-1.30)
          Traded Value            CYP 2,331,585
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP   503,639     103.53 (-0.91)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   197,036      61.43 (-0.65)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   875,664      67.99 (-2.44)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   137,229      88.72 (-1.21)
          Tourism Companies       CYP    76,761      70.51 (-0.90)
          Trading Companies       CYP   170,343      44.16 (-5.05)
          Other Companies         CYP   100,701      83.31 (-2.41)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MCH/1998

    [02] Children's Rights - Child Labour

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Pledging to be an activist in efforts to stop child labour in Zambia, 12 year old Gwen Briget Mugenda, boldly stood before hundreds of delegates at the "Children's Rights and Wrongs" seminar which opened earlier today.

    "The role I have taken is to be an activist to stop child labour in my country," said Mugenda, pledging to continue his "campaign, on behalf of many children in Africa, who suffer today, to tell about the evils of child labour."

    As he stood without any sign of shyness, Mugenda recalled how when his mother died when he was younger, he was forced by his stepmother to leave school and sell bananas and other items, beginning his day from six in the morning and finishing 13 hours later.

    Only when he came to the attention of the International Labour Office's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, (IPEC) his life changed.

    "Global March (Against Child Labour, which the programme is called) has transformed my life", Mugenda says, and his face brightens when he talks of his return to school.

    Presenting the IPEC, its Geneva programme manager, Werner K. Blenk said "child labour is a complex, multifaceted problem that defies simple solution."

    According to the ILO's latest estimates, the number of working children worldwide aged between five and 14 is 250 million, with half of them working full time doing hazardous and exploitative work.

    Blenk said "Africa has the highest incidence of child workers, at 40 per cent while the figure for Asia and Latin America is about 20 per cent."

    In absolute figures, he said, Asia has the largest number of child workers. About 61 per cent of the child labourers in the world are in Asia, while 32 per cent in Africa and seven per cent in Latin America.

    Blenk said 14-17 per cent of children who do not attend school are working 49 hours or more per week, and 11-13 per cent are working 56 hours of more per week.

    "In spite of this, there is reason for optimism", Blenk said, because over the last few years there has been a radical shift in attitudes towards the problem.

    "The recent Global March Against Child Labour, which culminated at the June 1998 ILO Conference, was a vivid demonstration of the growing worldwide movement against child labour", he said.

    Blenk said discussions and recommendations were made at the Geneva conference 1998 and a second discussion will be held in June 1999 on the proposals, placing a basic obligation on states to prohibit and immediately eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

    Defining these forms of child labour' Blenk said it comprises "all forms of slavery and practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, forced or compulsory labour, debt bondage and serfdom."

    It also includes the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, or for illegal activities for the production and trafficking of drugs.

    The worst forms of child labour, he added, includes any other type of work or activity which, by its nature, is likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morals of children.

    Blenk called on all international organisations and NGOs to work together to bring "different perspectives on this issue."

    Magnus Bergmar, Chief Editor of "Children's World and the Globe" and an independent Film producer, through video, showed the plight of children working in Pakistan, noting that children there "belong to whoever pays most".

    He said through the programme, there are now 200 schools in Pakistan which have "freed" children from child labour.

    CNA EC/../1998


    [03] Exercise - Cyprus - Israel - Egypt - Ends

    Larnaca, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus, Egypt and Israel said their abilities in fighting sea pollution have been greatly upgraded.

    Their position was conveyed during a seminar which evaluated the results of a joint exercise in fighting sea pollution carried out by Cyprus, Israel and Egypt earlier this week.

    Addressing the seminar, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Costas Themistocleous, said the three day exercise has already helped in upgrading the capabilities of Cyprus, Israel and Egypt in preventing sea pollution.

    He added that the government "will spare no money or effort to effectively protect the environment and especially the sea" and expressed appreciation to the European Union for the funds it has provided towards this end.

    CNA MAN/EC/MCH/1998

    [04] Clerides - Spokesman - Commission paper - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government expressed its satisfaction over the composite paper drawn up by the European Commission on Cyprus.

    President Glafcos Clerides described the paper as "excellent", while his Spokesman, Christos Stylianides said "it is an important step and a success towards the goal of accession."

    He said the island's "accession course is greatly helped by the decision of the European Commission and it is a very important step."

    The paper to EU governments concerned progress of candidate countries towards accession.

    Referring to threats by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash that he will take measures on November 10, when the substantive negotiations between Cyprus and the EU begin, Stylianides said, "any threats (by Denktash) will not affect whatsoever the accession talks."

    He said the government is closely monitoring statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Denktash and "is ready for anything."

    Stylianides said at the same time the government expresses its determination that the accession course will continue for the benefit of the all the people of Cyprus and the invitation to the Turkish Cypriot community to participate in the talks remains open."

    The paper said it believes that progress towards Cyprus' accession to the EU and progress towards a viable solution of the Cyprus problem will reinforce each other.

    It also notes that Cyprus has made significant progress in adopting the acquis communautaire and it should not face major problems in adopting it.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA AA/EC/MCH/1998

    [05] Children's Rights - Armed Conflict

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- There must be political commitment on the part of states to ensure compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Children and any attempt to deviate from such a commitment would be morally wrong and unjustified, delegates at a two-day meeting on the rights and wrongs of children heard here today.

    "Tell the world that I too want to play like other children," was the message to the world from a six-year old Marsh Arab child in Iraq, conveyed to the meeting by one of the speakers.

    A 15-year old child speaker from Cambodia appealed for more medical care and education and help to eradicate poverty in his country.

    The meeting, which gathered in Cyprus an array of distinguished personalities involved with children around the world, is organised by the Centre for World Dialogue, headed by Hossein Alikhani, in cooperation with UNICEF.

    Speakers in the afternoon session discussed the plight of children in and after armed conflict and stressed that war against children is morally reprehensible and never justified.

    "Protection of children in armed conflict cannot be left to political expediency or to conflicting parties to decide how feasible it is for them to meet their obligations towards children," Nigel Fisher, of the Canadian Centre for foreign policy development said.

    Calling for political commitment to child rights, he said today up to 300.000 children under the age of eighteen serve as combatants in regular and irregular armed forces.

    He was critical of international bodies which, as he said, "hide their inaction behind the excuse of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of nation states and in due course provide child abusers with a cloak of international respectability."

    He said the UN Convention has made a difference to the suffering of children but not enough.

    Speaking of her experience in Sudan, Claire Brisset, Director of Information at UNICEF, Paris, said now the international community recognises the scale of the problem and assistance has improved.

    She said Sudan has been in conflict since 1963 and stressed that in such cases of long-drawn conflicts the UN Convention "has to be applied into reality."

    "Two million people live through aid, are hanging on a thread," she said.

    Sayeed Yousif Al-Khoei, of the Al-Khoei Foundation in London, said that "political and strategic considerations" must not hamper efforts to protect children.

    On the plight of children in Iraq, he said they miss out on education and are often used as "political pawns", many tortured to extract confessions from their parents.

    Economic sanctions, poor sanitation, contaminated water and landmines all contribute to undermining the social structure.

    He conveyed a message from a six-year old Marsh Arab child who asked him to tell the world that he wants to play like any other child.

    Pilar Aquilar, former staff member of UNICEF in Rwanda, described the country as "one of the worst killing grounds" in the world, noting that two million people were displaced abroad and one million in the country itself.

    "There were 800.000 victims in 100 days in the armed conflict," she said.

    CNA MM/MCH/1998

    [06] SOCCER: Apollon 0 - Panionios 1 Limassol, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Panionios of Greece qualified for the

    quarter-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup, beating here tonight

    Apollon of Limassol (Cyprus) 1 - 0. In the first leg played in Nea Smyrni, Panionios defeated

    Apollon 3 - 2. The only goal of tonight's match at Tsirion Stadium was scored

    in the 18th minute by Antonis Sapountzis.

    CNA GP/1998

    [07] Children's Rights - Commercial Sexual Exploitation

    Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- The catastrophic effects resulting from commercial and sexual child-exploitation were underlined at a seminar on "Children's rights and Wrongs", organised by the Centre for World Dialogue in cooperation with UNICEF.

    In her remarks, Helena Karlen who heads ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes), said the exploitation and abuse of children in the sex market "strikes at the very heart of humanity" as children are used "as mere commodities, for buying and selling."

    She said this results in a "catastrophic effect on children" providing them with no right of education, self respect and human upbringing, making them many times turn into perpetrators in what is a "vicious circle".

    Karlen said all over the world, hundreds of children fall victims of child sex tourism, child pornography and trafficking within or across national borders for sexual purposes.

    In 1988 alone, 1 million children all over the world were forced into commercial sexual exploitation and "now we see the industrial world more involved." In 1990, there were 250 million child pornography films available.

    Karlen turned her attention to the Internet, which is proving a new media for commercial sexual exploitation of children.

    Trafficking of children, Karlen said, is now an increasing form of exploitation of minors and is more prominent in Eastern Europe. Only in Berlin, she said, there are 2.000 boys who are sexually exploited after arriving from other countries in an effort to find a better future.

    Not even the AIDS alarm has stopped the commercial sexual exploitation of children, Karlen said, noting that the risk for sexually transmitted diseases is greater for children.

    Referring to ECPAT, Karlen said it is a non-political and non- religious organisation with active participation in 45 countries. It enjoys close collaboration with Interpol, the World Tourism Organisation, UNICEF, the European Union and other inter-governmental organisations aiming to raise awareness in community and lobbying governments and decision makers to take action against this modern form of slavery.

    ECPAT took the initiative to hold the First World Congress Against Commercially Sexual Exploitation of Children.

    Mark Connolly, adviser of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS at Geneva, "there are millions of children and young people who are infected by HIV and who need care, as well as protection from discrimination."

    This also means that even more young people are affected by HIV because one or both parents or a sibling have AIDS, he added.

    Children involved in prostitution, Connolly said, "face extremely high risks of becoming infected" and their power to negotiate condom use is reduced.

    Connolly said what is now important is to "create links between the current children's rights initiatives and the HIV epidemic".

    Furthermore, the rights in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in other human rights treaties can be promoted as the basis for developing policy, programmes and enacting legislation.

    Connolly said "the bottom line for today is very clear: We need to apply what we know that works to stop this epidemic -even if this means tough and unpopular political choices."

    On his part, Laurentiu Ciobanica, Co-ordinator for Mass Information Campaigns of the International Organisation for Migration in Geneva, referred to the use of information in combatting commercial sexual exploitation.

    Using the case of a Ukranian 15 year old girl, Ciobanica presented the IOM's information campaign against trafficking in women from Ukraine.

    Explaining why information is a potent tool for addressing irregular migration issues, especially in relation to younger audiences, Ciobanica said it can be used to conquer mass media stereotypes, misinformation, rumours and wishful thinking and over optimistic perceptions about migration.

    In a quick, low cost and flexible way, an information campaign can reach young people to quell pull factors such as higher wages, misinformation, misconception and optimism, that drives youngsters in leaving their countries, only to be caught in a web of trafficking and prostitution.

    CNA EC/MCH/1998

    [08] Kasoulides - Cook - Statements

    London, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Britain stressed that Cyprus' European Union accession course should not be linked with the solution of its protracted political problem.

    The position was conveyed today by Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides after meeting his British counterpart, Robin Cook.

    Kasoulides told reporters they talked about the new UN shuttle diplomacy, undertaken by the Secretary-General's resident Representative, Dame Ann Hercus.

    The Minister told Cook that the Cyprus government intents to work constructively "to make these new efforts succeed."

    They also discussed the issue of reducing tension on the island as well as Cyprus' EU course "and the obstacles raised at times," Kasoulides said.

    The Minister added that such obstacles do not help in a solution to the "Cyprus problem because they encourage Turks to hope that by being negative they will freeze the accession course, something which is not in the interest of either the EU, or Cyprus."

    Asked if Cyprus should expect that Britain will maintain the same stance regarding the island's accession course, despite the problems faced, Kasoulides replied:

    "I must say that it was repeated to me today by the British government that it does not believe the Cyprus problem should be directly linked with the accession course."

    Kasoulides pointed out that certainly both Britain and Cyprus wish for a solution before accession, but added that this course should not be linked and that the island's EU course should continue unimpeded.

    Kasoulides was accompanied by Cyprus' High Commissioner in London, Michalis Attalides while British Minister for European Affairs, Joyce Quin, and Special Envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, were also present.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Substantive accession talks are scheduled to begin on November 10.

    CNA KT/EC/MCH/1998

    [09] Foreign Office - Statement - Meeting

    London, Nov 5 (CNA) -- British concerns over the deployment of the S300 Russian anti-aircraft missile system on the island were conveyed today by Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook to his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides.

    Cook, however, "welcomed the commitment of the Cyprus government to cooperate closely" with UN resident Representative, Dame Ann Hercus, in taking a new initiative by the international organisation forward.

    A statement by a Foreign Office Spokesman issued after this afternoon's meeting between Cook and Kasoulides said "the discussion covered a wide range of Cyprus related issues."

    The Spokesman said the Foreign Secretary welcomed progress on the Cyprus-EU accession negotiations.

    He also "confirmed the UK's strong support to the UN process for reducing building tension on the island and promoting progress towards a just and lasting solution of the Cyprus question" and welcomed Cook the commitment of the Cyprus government towards this end.

    The Foreign Secretary also "recalled widespread international concern at the increasing military build up in the region and the UK's long standing wish for the Cyprus government not to take delivery of the Russian S300 missiles."

    Cyprus ordered the S300 surface to air missiles last year in a bid to boost the Republic's defence system in case of a new Turkish offensive.

    The US, Britain and other countries object to the planned deployment of the missiles.

    The Cyprus government has said the missiles will be deployed unless there is substantial progress in the peace effort for a comprehensive solution or steps are taken towards the demilitarisation of Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA KT/EC/MCH/1998
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