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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-10-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus urged to improve shipping services
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] IMO Secretary-General praises rescue operation
  • [04] Annan, Clerides discuss Cyprus problem
  • [05] President addresses UN Assembly
  • [06] President Clerides backs UN reforms
  • [07] EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee convenes

  • 1615:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus urged to improve shipping services

    Nicosia, Oct 6 (CNA) -- Cyprus has not only benefited but has also suffered from the unparalleled growth of the number of ships under its flag, Juergen Hahn, President of the Cyprus Shipping Council said today.

    Addressing the Maritime Cyprus Conference 1997, held in Nicosia, Hahn stressed that Cyprus has not been in a position to properly monitor the safety and operational conditions on board all ships carrying its flag.

    "What we need is a much more service and result orientated shipping administration structure, which will be in the position to meet the requirements of the Industry 365 days a year, 24 hours a day", he said.

    Referring to Cyprus' bid to join the European Union, Hahn said "a clear strategy for the future of the Shipping Industry in this country has to be developed, in close consultation with the Cyprus Shipping Industry".

    "It is time for Cyprus to vindicate again its leading position in international shipping, by adapting the necessary innovative shipping policies that modern times require", he said.

    In his address, Chairman of the Maritime Cyprus Conference and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, Vassos Pyrgos, stated that this year's theme "a new era in shipping" is particularly significant for the island.

    He pointed out it emphasises the pursuit of higher standards of safety at sea and for pollution prevention and signifies the beginning of a new era for Cyprus Shipping.

    Pyrgos said the two main instruments which will bring drastic changes to the present regulatory regime, address "the way that a company cares for the safety of the ships it operates, the degree of competence of the seafarers it employs, their knowledge of their ship and the conditions of living and work on board."

    "Those involved, should become aware of the benefits and the economic incentives inherent in the new approach which focuses on people", he said.

    Pyrgos pointed out that according to a report of the Institute of London Underwriters, in 1995, 95 ships were lost, the insured value of which, came to 520 million dollars. He added that in 1996, 1190 lives were lost at sea.

    CNA RM/MA/1997

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Oct 6 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.42 (-0.38)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  86.74 (-0.48)
    Approved Investment Companies          63.14 (+0.35)
    Insurance Companies                    56.73 (+0.34)
    Industrial Companies                   75.22 (-0.15)
    Tourist Industries                     64.78 (-1.64)
    Commercial Companies                   45.15 (-0.07)
    Other Companies                        60.09 (+0.02)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 466836.370
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1997

    [03] IMO Secretary-General praises rescue operation

    Nicosia, Oct 6 (CNA) -- The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today stressed the need for the international shipping community to focus on the human factor and establish higher standards of safety.

    Addressing the "Maritime Cyprus 1997" Conference, in Nicosia, William O' Neil said the rescue operation of the 487 passengers and the 186-man crew of the cruise liner "Romantica", in the southern coastal town of Limassol last Saturday, was carried out in a superb manner.

    Referring to the human factor in merchant shipping, he said: "We have now reached the watershed and have in place the proper framework to overcome the lack of attention to the human element of earlier years.

    "We are convinced that the ISM Code and the revised STCW Convention are the right tools to be employed to achieve our objectives, and they are now in the hands of the industry to use them."

    Stressing the importance of human error in ship accidents, O'Neil referred to a study carried out in the USA according to which 12 out of 14 common causes of accident were related to management or the government or both.

    The theme of the Conference is "A new era in shipping", and according to its organising committee it is expected to focus not on the ship itself, but on the human factor.

    CNA GG/MA/1997

    [04] Annan, Clerides discuss Cyprus problem

    Nicosia, Oct 6 (CNA) -- Cyprus President and the UN Secretary-General today discussed the Cyprus problem and possible developments in the coming months.

    President Glafcos Clerides and Kofi Annan met in New York before the President addresses the 52nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

    In statements to the press, President Clerides said "we examined where we stand today (in the Cyprus question) and possible developments until (February's) presidential elections," in Cyprus.

    "There was convergence of views on all issues," he added.

    The Cypriot President said they discussed a visit to Nicosia by the Secretary-General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, but added it is up to Cordovez to decide the timing of his visit.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, who accompanies President Clerides, said Cordovez was likely to visit the island in November.

    Cordovez chaired two rounds of Cyprus peace talks in July in the US and in August in Switzerland.

    President Clerides said the UN chief agreed to appoint a new third member to the UN Investigatory Committee for Missing Persons in Cyprus.

    Both President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash called on Annan to appoint a new third member in an agreement to exchange information on the missing reached in Nicosia in July.

    The UN has not had a representative in the Committee since the retirement of Paul Wurth, a Swiss Red Cross official, about two years ago.

    CNA RG/MA/GP/1997

    [05] President addresses UN Assembly

    Nicosia Oct 6 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today urged the international community to be more actively involved in efforts for a Cyprus settlement, noting that despite recent developments "no progress has been made" towards this goal.

    The President made it abundantly clear that Cyprus cannot and will not relinquish its inalienable right to defend itself but also pledged to continue to be constructive in efforts for a peaceful settlement.

    Addressing the UN General Assembly, the President said the peace process is the "only means of solving" the Cyprus question and denounced Turkish threats to annex the part of Cyprus it occupied for the past 23 years.

    "It is with great regret that once again I have to report that no progress has been made towards the solution of the Cyprus problem due to the inflexibility of the Turkish side," the President said.

    The Turkish side, he explained, refused to discuss the substance of the problem during the latest round of UN talks unless the European Union freezes plans for accession negotiations with the government of the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with its decision in March 1995.

    "The clear conclusion to be drawn is that more active involvement of the international community is needed, if talks are to produce results," the President said.

    Pledging his commitment to do all he can to help the UN Secretary- General, the President added "I believe we have honoured our pledge to the full and I wish to reiterate our commitment to continue our constructive attitude, despite our disappointment."

    The President expressed his firm resolve to secure the country's defence and take decisions on its arms programmes.

    "I wish to make it abundantly clear that we cannot and will not relinquish our inalienable right to defend our country and decide about our armaments," he stressed.

    As long as the Turkish threat emanating from the continued aggression and occupation of 37 per cent of the territory of the Republic exists, "we have not only the right but also the duty to provide for the security of the people of Cyprus," he said.

    Referring to a government decision to deploy surface-to-air missiles, Clerides told the Assembly that he would never again send armed forces to the battle field without "adequate protection from air attacks by the Turkish air force".

    He reiterated his proposal for a joint declaration with the Turkish Cypriot leader denouncing the use of force as a means of solving the Cyprus problem and invited the international community to turn its attention to the Turkish side "to persuade it to abandon its intransigent position."

    The President expressed the hope that an agreement by the two sides to investigate the fate of persons listed as missing and inform relatives in a convincing and conclusive manner is fully respected by all concerned.

    CNA MM/MA/1997

    [06] President Clerides backs UN reforms

    Nicosia Oct 6 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today gave his full backing to the urgent need to enlarge the UN Security Council, set up an international criminal court and push for the implementation of Agenda for Development.

    The President also reiterated his firm adherence to the UN Charter and principles and stressed that the UN is the only global forum capable of securing a safe and peaceful future, bridging the gap between rich and poor and achieving respect of human rights.

    In his address to the 52nd UN General Assembly, the President welcomed the package of reforms put forward earlier this year by UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan.

    "We subscribe to the need to reform the Security Council so that it represents the increase in the membership of the UN and reflects the changes in the post cold war world," he said.

    Reforming the Council, President Clerides added, is "a top priority" because it affects directly its ability to meet its primary responsibility, namely maintain international peace and security.

    The President said the "Agenda for Development" was a big step forward which must be given urgent priority as it stresses the mutually supportive relationship among development, peace, democracy, good governance and human rights.

    Clerides expressed full support for the establishment of an international criminal court and praised the UN contribution towards education, the fight against hunger and illiteracy and the restoration of human dignity.

    "UN principles and ideals form the cornerstone of our foreign policy and we are fully committed to strengthening the UN by helping it tackle its precarious financial position, streamline and rationalise its operations and exploit to the full its uniqueness and its unrivalled expertise," he said.

    The President welcomed the UN role in efforts to settle the problems in East Timor, Western Sahara, the situation in the Middle East and Cyprus.

    He described the agreement reached on Western Sahara as "positive" and expressed the hope that it would promote a peaceful resolution of this long- standing problem.

    Referring to the Middle East, Clerides expressed serious concern about the worsening situation in the area and added "as a neighbouring country, we wish to reiterate our support to the efforts for peace in the area on the basis of the agreements reached and the relevant UN resolutions."

    CNA MM/MA/1997

    [07] EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee convenes

    Nicosia Oct 6 (CNA) -- The European Union (EU) must meet its obligations towards Cyprus for the start of membership talks, the co-chairman of the EU- Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee told a committee meeting in Brussels today.

    Philipe Monfils pointed out this might also persuade Turkey change its position on the Republic's accession prospects.

    According to the Cyprus Radio, Monfils was critical of Turkey's stance in efforts for a settlement and called on the EU to remain calm in the face of Turkish provocations concerning Cyprus' and its own membership.

    In his remarks to Euro MPs and Cypriot parliamentarians, Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides outlined the government's views on recent developments towards a solution in Cyprus and the EU course.

    He called for collective effort to help Turkey understand that a settlement in Cyprus prior to EU enlargement would benefit Turkey itself.

    Kasoulides warned that any deviation from previous agreements relating to Cyprus would furnish Turkey with an incentive to continue its blackmailing tactics and persist with its inflexible stance.

    Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side have warned they would not negotiate for a settlement in Cyprus if the EU starts accession talks, as scheduled, next year.

    The Minister said it was important to find ways to continue funding of Union programmes and activities.

    CNA MM/MA/1997
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