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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Clerides - UN Representative
  • [02] Children - Victims of social realities
  • [03] Brill - Rolandis

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides - UN Representative

    Nicosia, Nov 6 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides had a 45-minute meeting today with UN Resident Representative Ann Hercus.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Hercus said she will have a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Wednesday and another one with President Clerides "early in the following week".

    The UN official declined to answer any questions. Her talks with President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader are surrounded by confidentiality.

    Today's meeting was part of her shuttle diplomacy to prepare the ground for direct talks in the future aimed to solve the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [02] Children - Victims of social realities

    Nicosia, Nov 6 (CNA) -- The UN Convention for the Rights of Children is not working for the poorest of the poor, one of the speakers at a seminar on "Children's Rights and Wrongs", remarked today.

    Bringing forward the plight of the Central American Street Children, Bruce Harris, Executive Director for Latin American Programmes, Casa Aliannza, dealing with the problem of street children, also pointed to the "social cleansing" carried out against young people living in the streets of Central America.

    "Some 80 per cent of the people in Latin America live in poverty or extreme poverty and 54 per cent of that population are children under 18," Harris said.

    Making special reference to the tragedy of street children, he described them as "the surplus children... the throw-aways" and said that in Latin America their number is estimated at 40 million.

    Harris said street-boys resolve to petty thievery and glue sniffing, pointing out that the latter "causes irreversible brain damage and paralysis", while street-girls turn to prostitution.

    Highlighting the work done by Casa Alianza, Harris said it provides Street Educators who "go onto the city streets to look for the street children - on their own terms and on their turf", Crisis Centres, which are open 24 hours a day and provide for the immediate needs of such children and Group Homes.

    One of the main aims is, however, reconciliation with the family and "there is an average 94 per cent success rate in the family reintegration," Harris pointed out.

    He remarked that even though the Convention on Children's Rights is undeniably of great importance "it is not working for the poorest of the poor."

    Rigoberto Morale, a 16-year old boy from Guatemala, expressed his appreciation for the help offered to him by Casa Alianza.

    Also speaking at today's session of the two-day seminar organised by the Centre for World Dialogue in association with UNICEF, internationally acclaimed Iranian photojournalist Reza, stressed, showing the picture of a child dying of malnutrition:

    "This is not a food problem. This is a political problem. The solution is not food. It is a political solution."

    Professors Shirin Ebadi and Riffat Hassan pointed in their speeches to greater discriminations against girls.

    Ebadi, of the National Association in Support of Children's Rights in Iran, referred to the fact that in her country puberty ends for boys at the age of 15 and for girls at the age of 9.

    As a result, she said after this age young boys and girls can get married, while the law also punishes them as if they were adults.

    Ebadi pointed to the fact that young women in Iran cannot get married without the consent of their father or grandfather no matter what age they are.

    Hassan of the University of Louisville, Kentucky said that in the Muslim world, religion is deliberately translated by men in such a way so as to discriminate against women.

    She said there is a "discrepancy between what the Quran says and what is actually done in regards to rights of women and girls".

    "The Quran strongly affirms fundamental human rights," Hassan stressed, pointing out that these rights "belong equally to girls and boys, women and men."

    The drama of Cypriot enclaved children was also brought forward at the seminar. A teenage girl called Christina related her personal story of having been separated from her parents at the age of 12 in order to continue with her education.

    The Turkish occupation regime does not allow for secondary schools to function in the northern occupied part of the island so as result children have to leave their homes and come to the government-controlled areas to pursue their education.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998

    [03] Brill - Rolandis

    Nicosia, Nov 6 (CNA) -- The US is taking very seriously its task to search for and identify US weapons in Cyprus and will present its findings of the inquiry to Congress, US Ambassador in Nicosia, Kenneth Brill, said here today.

    He repeated his administration's strong support of the new UN effort to try and resume dialogue between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    Brill also said the US is not likely to change its opposition to the deployment of Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus, which is "an impediment to progress" according to the US.

    Furthermore, he praised Cyprus' efforts in safeguarding intellectual property rights and said this deserves "applause."

    "We have received some information (from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey) and we are following that up and give a report to Congress when we complete the process," Brill said after a meeting with Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis.

    The US is conducting a survey to establish what US-made weapons are in Cyprus, in contravention of US law. Turkey, a NATO ally, whose arms supplies include US weapons, maintains a strong military presence in Cyprus' northern areas, which it occupies since its troops invaded in 1974.

    Brill said there is no "precise timetable" for the report but he would like to see it through "sooner than later."

    He declined to comment on reports that the Russian-made surface-to-air missiles may be deployed in the Greek island of Crete but said the issue of the missiles "is an impediment to making progress in Cyprus."

    "We have not changed that position and I do not expect that we ever will," he said.

    Replying to questions, the Ambassador said the US "strongly supports the UN effort and we encourage all the people who are involved in the Cyprus issue to give the same kind of support to her efforts that we are."

    He said the US will continue to support the UN process as this is part of the effort and "reflects our desire to promote a political settlement to this problem."

    "We will do everything we can in coordination and cooperation with the UN to make their effort a success," he added.

    The US Ambassador said the government "deserves applause" for the "positive work" they have done in the areas of intellectual property rights for the local business as well as the American industry.

    He said he hoped to see Cyprus participating in a tourism show in April in Greece which the US Department of Commerce is organising.

    "We would like to see more tourists from the US and think that Cyprus participation in the show is one way to encourage people to come," Brill added.

    Referring to relations between the European Union and Turkey, the Ambassador said the future of Europe should be "inclusive than exclusive" and backed closer links between Turkey and the EU as a "constructive development."

    The US, he noted, also backs Cyprus' EU membership. On his part, Commerce Minister said he is working out projects to attract US investment in Cyprus and promote tourism to the island from the US.

    "We had an initial discussion on these issues but the aim is to make progress next year, when Cyprus will be ready from the legal point of view, " Rolandis said.

    On intellectual property rights, the Minister said ways must be found to deal with any violations of current legislation.

    Rolandis said Cyprus lacks incentives for investment from the US or Europe, compared to other countries but said there are plans to tackle this.

    CNA GG/MM/GP/1998
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