Chronology of Events

revised on 2 August 2019

Cyprus

July 2019

On 19 July, Council members were briefed in consultations by Elizabeth Spehar, Special Representative and head of UNFICYP, on recent developments and the latest Secretary-General’s report. She also expressed hope that the Cypriot leaders will meet soon. During the meeting, members welcomed recent confidence-building measures, but some also expressed concern over the lack of political process on the island. On 25 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2483which extended the mandate of UNFICYP in its current configuration until 31 January 2020. The resolution expressed regret over the lack of progress on the political settlement and called for reduction of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. It further called on all sides to increase efforts to establish, with UNFICYP as facilitator, a mechanism for direct contact at military level in order to alleviate the tensions.

May 2019

On 2 May, the Security Council members held consultations on Cyprus to discuss the latest report of the Secretary-General on his good offices (S/2019/322). After the meeting they issued press elements in which they welcomed the Secretary-General’s decision to ask Jane Holl Lute to continue her consultations. They emphasised the urgent need to work toward the political settlement and urged both sides to agree on terms of reference for result-orientated negotiations. Council members furthermore stressed the need to avoid any actions that could jeopardise the chances of success and urged the implementation and further development of confidence building measures. 

February 2019

On 27 February, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the 26 February meeting between Cypriot leaders and progress on confidence-building measures. 

January 2019

On 23 January, Special Representative and head of UNFICYP briefed Council members in consultations on the latest developments and most recent Secretary-General’s report on Cyprus. On 30 January, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2453 which extended the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months.

July 2018

On 17 July, Special Representative and head of UNFICYP Elizabeth Spehar briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s reports on UNFICYP and on progress towards a political settlement in the country (S/2018/676 and S/2018/610). During the meeting the Council members reiterated their support for the mission and good offices. On 26 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2430 which extends the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months (S/PV.8317). The resolution noted the lack of progress towards a settlement during the past year and called on the two Cypriot leaders to actively engage and commit to a settlement process under UN auspices, use the UN consultations to restart negotiations, and avoid any actions that might damage the chances of success. The resolution did not alter the mandate and configuration of the mission.

July 2017

On 18 July, Council members met in consultations on the situation in Cyprus. Elizabeth Spehar, Special Representative and head of UNFICYP, briefed on the latest report of the Secretary-General and on developments related to the UN mission. Espen Barth Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, briefed on the latest developments in the unification talks. On 27 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2369 which extended the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months (S/PV.8014). The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of the mission and provide, within four months, recommendations on how the mission should be optimally configured to implement its mandate.

January 2017

On 20 January, the Council held a meeting with the troop- and police-contributors to UNFICYP. On 23 January, Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar and Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide briefed Council members in consultations. Spehar briefed on the latest UNFICYP report (S/2017/20) while Eide reported on the latest developments regarding the unification talks. On 26 January, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2338, renewing UNFICYP’s mandate for another six months.

July 2016

On 25 July, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar and Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. Spehar briefed on the latest UNFICYP report (S/2016/598) while Eide reported on the ongoing unification talks and presented the report of the Secretary-General’s good offices mission (S/2016/599). On 26 July, the Council adopted resolution 2300, extending UNFICYP’s mandate for six months.

January 2016

On 13 January, the Council held a meeting with the troop- and police-contributors to UNFICYP. On 15 January, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim and Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. Buttenheim briefed on the latest UNFICYP report (S/2016/11). Eide reported on the ongoing unification talks and presented the report of the Secretary-General’s good offices mission (S/2016/15). On 28 January, the Council adopted resolution 2263, extending UNFICYP’s mandate for six months.

July 2015

On 22 July, Council members were briefed by Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim on the latest Secretary-General’s UNFICYP report and by Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide on the status of unification talks. On 29 July, the Council adopted resolution 2234, extending the mission’s mandate for another six months.

May 2015

On 15 May, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the resumption of the settlement talks (SC/11894).

January 2015

On 26 January, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim and Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. Buttenheim briefed on the latest Cyprus report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/17) while Eide updated Council members on the status of unification talks. On 29 January, the Council adopted resolution 2197 extending the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months.

July 2014

On 24 July, Council members were briefed in consultations by Lisa Buttenheim, the Special Representative and head of UNFICYP and Acting Special Adviser, on the latest Secretary-General’s report. On 30 July the Council adopted resolution 2168 extending the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months.

February 2014

On 11 February, the Council issued a press statement welcoming the joint communiqué agreed between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots leaders.     

January 2014

On 22 January, Council members were briefed in consultations by Lisa Buttenheim, the Special Representative and head of UNFICYP, on the latest Secretary-General’s report. In addition, Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, also briefed Council members on the status of negotiations. On 30 January, the Council adopted resolution 2135 extending the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months. 

July 2013

On 15 July the Council received a briefing in consultations from Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNFICYP Lisa Buttenheim on the most recent report of the Secretary General on UNFICYP. Speaking at the media stakeout following the meeting, Security Council President Rosemary DiCarlo related that Buttenheim had discussed UNFICYP’s efforts to maintain stability, to address humanitarian issues, and to encourage bi-communal contacts. According to DiCarlo, Buttenheim also emphasized the need for opposing sides to desist from challenging UNFICYP’s authority inside the buffer zone. On 30 July the Council adopted resolution 2114, extending the mandate of UNFICYP for six months. Azerbaijan and Pakistan abstained from voting on the resolution.

May 2013

Council members were briefed in consultations on 30 May by Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, in advance of a dinner he hosted  that included President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

January 2013

On 17 January, Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, completed a visit to Cyprus. On 24 January, the Council adopted resolution 2089 renewing UNFICYP for a period of six months. The adoption followed a briefing in consultations on the latest UNFICYP report by Special Representative and head of mission, Lisa Buttenheim.

November 2012

Special Adviser Andrew Downer visited Cyprus and met with both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders regarding Cyprus’s next presidential election slated for February 2013.

July 2012

On 19 July, the Council adopted resolution 2058 extending the mandate of UNFICYP until 31 January 2013. The resolution passed with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions (Azerbaijan and Pakistan).

March 2012

On 29 March, Council members met in consultations to discuss Cyprus and received an update from the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser via videoconference on negotiations between the two sides.

January 2012

On 25 January, Council members held consultations on Cyprus and were briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser. The consultations took place the day after the conclusion of the “Greentree II” talks.

December 2011

The Council adopted resolution 2026 on 14 December, extending the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, UNFICYP, to 19 July 2012.

November 2011

On 4 November the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor briefed the Council in consultations on the “Greentree I” talks.

October 2011

From 30 to 31 October, the Secretary-General held a meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader, Dimitris Christofias, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu at the Greentree Estate in Manhasset outside New York (the “Greentree I” talks). There were substantive discussions on four core issues: governance and power-sharing, in particular focusing on the issue of the executive (i.e. the presidency); property; territory; and citizenship.

September 2011

On 7 September Council members heard a briefing on Cyprus by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative via video-conference on the status of negotiations in Cyprus.

June 2011

On 13 June, in resolution 1986 the Council reiterated its call for the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to “intensify the momentum of negotiations” and “improve the public atmosphere in which the negotiations are proceeding.” This resolution also renewed UNFICYP until 15 December.

March 2011

Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer briefed Council members in consultations on the status of the negotiations in Cyprus on 15 March.

February 2011

On 8 February, the Secretary-General briefed Council members on his recent meeting with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in Geneva on 26 January. He said that little progress had been made with respect to the substantive differences between the opposing sides, in particular on the property issue. In his remarks to the press following the briefing, the Secretary-General mentioned the positive atmosphere between the two leaders and his intention to meet with both in the near future.

December 2010

On 14 December the Council adopted resolution 1953 extending UNFICYP’s mandate for six months. Turkey voted against the resolution. On 8 December, the Secretary-General’s special representative and head of UNFICYP, briefed Council members in informal consultations on the 24 November good-offices report.

November 2010

On 30 November, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus briefed Council members in informal consultations on the 24 November good-offices report.

14 October 2010

The Limnitis/Yesilirmak crossing point was officially opened.

15 June 2010

The Council adopted resolution 1930, extending UNFICYP’s mandate for six months.

2 June 2010

The Secretary-General appointed Lisa Buttenheim (US) as his new Special Representative for Cyprus and head of UNFICYP.

26 May 2010

Reunification talks resumed following the election of Eroglu as the new Turkish Cypriot leader.

28 April 2010

Tayé-Brook Zerihoun was appointed Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs thus leaving vacant the position of Special Representative for Cyprus.

18 April 2010

Dervis Eroglu, a nationalist leader, was elected president by Turkish Cypriots voting in Northern Cyprus, defeating Talat.

30 March 2010

Reunification talks between Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat were suspended in anticipation of election in Northern Cyprus on 18 April. In a joint statement the two leaders said they were encouraged by progress made in the talks.

14 December 2009

The Council, in resolution 1898, renewed UNFICYP’s mandate for a further six months, welcomed progress in the negotiations, urged the parties to intensify their efforts and requested a report from the Secretary-General by 1 June.

9 December 2009

In informal consultations Council members were briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus and the Head of UNFICYP.

10 November 2009

The UK government renewed an offer, first made in 2003 to the UN, to cede just under half of its sovereign territory in Cyprus on the condition that the two sides agree to reunify the island.

24 September 2009

Christofias said in his statement in the General Assembly’s general debate that there had been some progress in the negotiations, but not enough to express confidence about a positive outcome. In his statement on the same day Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the Secretary-General should play a role in “bridging the differences which the parties themselves cannot resolve” and that a solution should be submitted to a referendum in the spring of 2010 at the latest. He stressed that if agreement was not reached, normalisation of the status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would become a “necessity”.

10 September 2009

The second round of fully-fledged negotiations commenced.

6 August 2009

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders Dimitris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat concluded the first reading of all major issues under discussion in the UN facilitated negotiations.

21 April 2009

Special Representative Zerihoun said he did not anticipate any problems in the talks as a result of the elections.

21 April 2009

Turkish President Abdullah Gül emphasised that Mehmet Ali Talat was representing the Turkish Cypriots in negotiations with Greek Cypriots.

21 April 2009

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech to members of his ruling party that it would be “very wrong” for the new Turkish Cypriot government to end the negotiations or continue the negotiations on a different basis than the one that had been followed so far.

19 April 2009

Parliamentary elections were held in Northern Cyprus. The opposition National Unity Party led by Dervis Eroglu gained 44 percent of the votes and 26 seats in parliament, while Talat’s Republican Party gained only 29 percent of the votes.

19 April 2009

The opposition National Unity Party leader, Dervis Eroglu, commented that there were other alternatives to reunification. Eroglu, however, also said that reunification talks would continue, and that his party would support Talat’s role as chief negotiator.

10 April 2009

The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer stated that the two sides were making good progress on confidence-building measures.

3 September 2008

“Fully-fledged” negotiations were launched between Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

25 July 2008

Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed to resume full-fledged negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, and to put the agreed solution to separate simultaneous referendums.

11 July 2008

The Secretary-General appointed former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer as his new Special Adviser on Cyprus.

23 May 2008

Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders met at the residence of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Taye-Brook Zerihoun, to review the results achieved so far and to address difficulties within the working groups and technical committees.

18 April 2008

Technical committees and working groups for the negotiations were established.

3 April 2008

Nicosia’s Ledra Street crossing was opened after being closed for 44 years.

31 March to 2 April 2008

Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe visited Cyprus to determine prospects for the Secretary-General’s good offices.

21 March 2008

Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias met with the head of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat to revive reunification efforts in Nicosia, under the auspices of the UN. They agreed to start full-fledged negotiations and established a number of working groups and technical committees. Significantly, they also decided to reopen Ledra Street as a confidence building measure.

24 February 2008

Communist party leader Dimitris Christofias won the Presidential elections. Incumbent President Tassos Papadopoulos was defeated in the first round.

24 October 2007

Cyprus stated that the strategic agreement that the UK signed with Turkey on cooperation on terrorism, cultural and economic support and EU accession, promoted separate relations of the Turkish Cypriot “secessionist entity” with the rest of the world and could undermine implementation of the 2006 agreement.

17 October 2007

Greek Cypriot President Papadopoulos indicated that confidence-building measures should only be addressed in parallel to discussions on “basic aspects of the Cyprus problem.”

16 October 2007

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met the Secretary-General and urged him to actively restart the talks. Talat proposed a package of confidence-building measures.

5 September 2007

Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot leader met and agreed on the need to start implementing the 2006 agreement soon and to continue contacts through the UN.

Late September 2007

President Papadopoulos met the Secretary-General.

15 June 2007

In resolution 1758, the Council said that the responsibility for finding a solution lied foremost with the Cypriots and called on the parties to engage constructively with  the UN to allow full-fledged negotiations.

24 April 2007

According to an intercommunal survey conducted by UNFICYP, a federal settlement is the only proposal that would have majority support in both communities, and they both accept the 2006 agreement.

27 March 2007

A Council press statement welcomed the dismantling of the fence and urged the immediate implementation of the 2006 agreement on the bi-communal working groups and technical committees. This had no impact on the ground. Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos made it clear that the Ledra Street crossing would not open unless Turkish troops stationed on the other side withdrew.

8 March 2007

Greek Cypriots dismantled a part of the wall on the “green line” at the southern end of Ledra Street in the capital Nicosia.

December 2006

Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed the appointment of a high-level mediator

15 November 2006

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari recommended a timetable to implement the 8 July agreement, including that both parties meet with a senior representative of the Secretary-General during the first quarter of 2007 to assess progress and the prospect of full resumption of his good offices.

8 July 2006

Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met for the first time since April 2002 and agreed to meet occasionally to direct working groups and review the work of technical committees.

23 May 2006

Aerial incident involving Greek and Turkish jet fighters.

January 2006

Turkey presented a proposal in January for the lifting of restrictions on Cyprus. The proposal was rejected by the Greek Cypriot side, saying that the concessions offered were already obligations Turkey had undertaken towards the European Union.

May 2006

Parliamentary elections were held in Cyprus.

3 October 2005

Turkey’s accession negotiations to the EU began.

30 May 2005

With the aim of examining the possibilities for the resumption of a new dialogue on the Cyprus issue, Kieran Prendergast went to Cyprus. He briefed the Council on his conclusions on 22 June.

September 2004

UNFICYP’s political and civil affairs branch was expanded. The military force was reduced and the military concept of operations was recast as “concentration with mobility.”

1 May 2004

The Republic of Cyprus, without its Turkish northern part, joined the EU.

24 April 2004

The Annan Settlement Plan on uniting the island was subject to a twin-referendum. The Turkish north accepted the plan by 64.9 percent while the Greek south rejected it by 75.8 percent.

April 2003

Resolution 1475 gave full support to “the Secretary-General’s carefully balanced plan of 26 February 2003 as a unique basis for further negotiations” and called on “all concerned to negotiate within the framework of the Secretary-General’s Good Offices, using the plan to reach a comprehensive settlement…”

April 2003

The cross-island dividing “green line” opened.

November 2002

Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented a comprehensive peace plan for Cyprus that envisaged a federation with two constituent parts, presided over by a rotating presidency.

January 2002

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, began UN-sponsored negotiations on reunification.

26 August 1992

In resolution 774  the Council endorsed the “Set of Ideas.”

1992

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali introduced a new “Set of Ideas” for a draft settlement, further expanding the previous concepts and proposing a secular, bi-zonal, bi-communal federal republic composed of two politically equal states, to be submitted to both communities for referendum (S/23780). The Council endorsed the plan in resolution 750. However, the 1992 talks were not successful.

8 March 1990

The Secretary-General provided a more elaborate definition of the concept of bi-zonality in his 8 March 1990 report to the Council. In it he also raised the concept of political equality. (The report was subsequently endorsed by the Council in resolution 716 of 11 October 1991.)

13 June 1986

The Council indirectly recognised bi-zonality by taking note of Secretary-General Pérez de Cuéllar’s Draft Framework Agreement in resolution 585.

1986

Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar proposed a Draft Framework Agreement which envisaged the creation of an independent, non-aligned, bi-communal state in Cyprus, going beyond the 1977 agreement by beginning to define the federal government’s powers. Also novel was the concept of a “bi-zonal” state, acknowledging the geographical separation of the communities. Greek Cypriots were unhappy as it did not address the withdrawal of the Turkish forces or the repatriation of Turkish settlers, and contained no guarantees that freedom of movement, settlement and right to property would be respected.

11 May 1984

Resolution 550 condemned all secessionist actions and called upon all states not to facilitate or in any way assist the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

November 1983

Foundation of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” was self-proclaimed and immediately declared illegal by the Council in resolution 541.

April 1981

The Committee on Missing Persons was established by agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, under the auspices of the UN with the mandate to investigate the fate of the disappeared, exhume, identify and return the remains. The Committee however was unable to function until 2004 because of a lack of cooperation between the two communities.

May 1979

A ten-point initiative was agreed reaffirming the 1977 agreement and adding provisions for the demilitarisation of the island, the recognition of the necessity to settle the status of Varosha as well as all territorial and constitutional aspects, the promotion of confidence-building measures, the respect for human rights, and a commitment to refrain from destabilising activities and actions. The parties later disagreed on the status of Varosha and on the concept of bi-communality and the agreements were never implemented.

12 February 1977

The parties adopted a four-point agreement providing for an independent, non-aligned, bi-communal federal republic. Respective territorial jurisdiction would be determined by economic viability and land ownership. The central government would be given powers to ensure the unity of the state, and the issues of freedom of movement and settlement, property issues and other matters would be settled at a later stage.

12 March 1975

In resolution 367  the Council expressed regret at the unilateral decision that part of Cyprus might become a “Federated Turkish State.”

13 February 1975

The Commission on Human Rights in resolution 4 (XXXI) called for the intensification of efforts aimed at tracing and accounting for missing persons.

13 December 1974

Resolution 365 was adopted following the Cyprus debate in the General Assembly. In it the Council endorsed General Assembly resolution 3212 (XXIX).

1 November 1974

The Assembly, in its resolution 3212 (XXIX)  called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign armed forces and the cessation of all foreign interference in its affairs; called upon the parties to take urgent measures for the return of refugees; and requested the Secretary-General to continue his good offices.

30 August 1974

In resolution 361, the Council expressed grave concern at the plight of refugees and urged the parties concerned to search for peaceful solutions. It also requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on the situation of the refugees and decided to keep that situation under constant review.

16 August 1974

Turkish forces declared a ceasefire.

23 July 1974

The military regime in Greece fell and was replaced by a civilian administration.

July 1974

A coup d’état by the Greek army officers stationed on the island overthrew the president of Cyprus. A subsequent Turkish military intervention led to a division of Cyprus into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south.

November 1967

Inter-communal fighting resumed, sparked by the events in Greece in April 1967.

April 1967

A military junta in Greece overthrew the civilian government.

18 December 1965

The General Assembly adopted resolution 2077 (XX) calling upon states to respect the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus and to refrain from any foreign intervention or interference (a provision directed at Turkey).

1965

The Secretary-General’s good offices mission was launched.

27 March 1964

UNFICYP became operational.

4 March 1964

Resolution 186 established the UN Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) with a mandate to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

25 December 1963

Turkey intervened militarily (sending aircraft and troops to Cyprus) in support of the Turkish Cypriots, resulting in a confrontation between units of Greek and Turkish armies on Cypriot soil.

November 1963

Constitutional rule in Cyprus collapsed in the wake of intercommunal strife.

20 September 1960

Cyrpus became a UN members state.

16 August 1960

The Republic of Cyprus was founded by the Turkish and Greek communities who shared power as an independent state.

19 February 1959

An agreement on independence for Cyprus was reached in Zürich and London between Turkey, Greece, the UK and the Cypriot communities (under the leadership of Makarios for the Greek Cypriots and Fazyl Küçük for the Turkish Cypriots).

1958

The Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT) was established by Turkish Cypriots as a counterweight to the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters. It called for partition, or taksim.

1955

The National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) was founded, seeking an armed struggle for independence and union.

1950

The Archbishop of Cyprus, Makarios III, arranged for a plebiscite among Greek Cypriots which revealed that 92 percent favoured enosis–or union of Cyprus with Greece. He then pledged to work toward the achievement of this goal.

1925

Turkey relinquished its residual sovereignty with respect to Cyprus and the island formally became a British colony.

1914

Formal British annexation of Cyprus took place when the UK felt no longer bound by the 1878 agreement.

1878

The UK reached an agreement with the Ottomans to lease Cyprus and became effectively the administering authority on the island.

1832

Greece won its independence from the Ottoman Empire after an extremely bloody conflict with Ottoman troops that lasted from 1821 to 1829, which was only resolved by British, Russian and French military intervention in 1827 and 1828.

1571

Cyprus, at that time under the rule of the Republic of Venice, was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. It remained under Turkish rule for three centuries.