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James Ker-Lindsay

Abstract

For most of the last forty years, the UN Secretary-General has been regarded by the Greek Cypriots as a fair and impartial intermediary in the efforts to solve the Cyprus Problem. However, a poll taken in the middle of 2005 showed that the standing of the UN Secretary-General has fallen to extremely low levels. This was a direct result of the failed effort to reunite the island in 2004 when the Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected a reunification plan drawn up by the Secretary-General. This article shows that at the time of the referendum campaign a deliberate effort was mounted to discredit the UN Secretary-General as a part of a larger effort to ensure that the plan was rejected by the electorate. While this policy was successful in its aim, it also led to an unprecedented climate of mistrust between the Greek Cypriots and the UN Secretary-General. This soured efforts to pursue a settlement for the rest of Kofi Annan’s term of office, which came to an end in December 2006.

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Keywords

United Nations, Kofi Annan, Annan Plan, referendum, peacemaking, negotiation

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