Skip to comments.On Incompetence:An International Relations Debacle:The UN Secretary-General's..(Must read alert)
Posted on 06/14/2006 11:16:20 AM PDT by longtermmemmory
Gregory R. Copley, President, International Strategic Studies Association
An International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretary-General's Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004, by Claire Palley. Oxford. UK. and Portland. Oregon, USA, 2005: Hart Publishing. ISBN: 1-84113-578-X. 395pp, illust., hardcover. $45.
Rarely, in lives filled with books, is a vol- ume found which has the power to pro- foundly influence minds with the com- pelling weight and wisdom of its facts and arguments, and with the movingly restrained passion of its compilation. Claire Pal ley's work, An International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretary- General's Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004 is such a book. No reader of this work could emerge from it un con vinced of the case it makes that the rush to force a "settlement" on the Greek and Turkish Cypriots in 2004 was motivated and executed with deceit, stupidity, and flagrant disre gard for the sovereignty and freedom of peoples.
It is ironic that someone as committed as Claire Palley to international law and to the values enshrined by the United Nations' founding documents should have felt forced to write such a damning indict- ment of the UN's and the major powers' roles in shaping the so-called "Annan Plan" for the reunification of Cyprus. Although the author served as an advisor to the Cyprus Government for many years, she resigned on April 30, 2004, six days after the April 24, 2004, referenda on the "Annan V" Plan in Cyprus, to write the book and to be off the Government payroll. It is understood that, although giving up her career to write this book, she has not taken any payment for it: a testimony to the strength of feeling behind it.
The book makes it clear, through an exhaustive documentation of events and statements from various officials -most of which witnessed, or understood through the author's involvement -that from the UK and US perspectives and eventually through the UN, the big prize was never a sensible or viable agreement for the Cypriot peoples, but was aimed to achieve virtually any kind of a deal be fore the May 1, 2004, Cypriot accession to the EU to help decriminalize Turkey's policy on Cyprus and to ease Turkey's entry into the EU. The primary goal was to give the Turkish side an agreement it could endorse. If the UN, US, and UK could persuade the Cyprus Government to accept the plan - which was unlikely, because of its neces- sary bias to ensure Turkish acceptance - that would have been a bonus. The tight deadlines set by the UN were of interest and significance only to Turkey and its sup- porters promoting the Turkish candidacy to the EU. The deadline had no specific mean- ing for the Cypriots. In fact, the deadline was coun terproductive in that, along with the progressively pro-Turkish nature of the pro posal, the pressures being generated per suaded the Cypriot Government -cor- rectly as the final text of the Annan V Plan showed -that all along there was an effort to impose on them a solution on Turkey's terms. Moreover, the terms of the Plan relegated Cypriot state sovereignty into the garbage bin of history.
Claire Palley's outstanding book will serve as the reference work for future studies of the Cyprus UN initiative but also as a case study of how not to conduct UN Good Offices Missions. It excels in compar- ing the various versions of the Annan Plan and how it progressively be came even more pro-Turkish [the recalcitrant party throughout the 1999-2004 pe riod of the initiative], reflecting the major bias of the UK and US, both of which had exerted strong influence on the UN (ie: how to accommodate Turkey's concerns even by inserting, arbitrarily, a long list of last- minute demands by Ankara which were to serve Turkey's interest with out negotiation or consultation with the Greek or Cypriot Government sides). In retrospect, the insis- tence to commit the parties to allow United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to finalize the Plan proved to be a deceptive tool to accommodate Turkey's concerns in order to have Ankara support the "final" plan. Little wonder that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was ecstatic when he announced -at his press conference in Switzerland right after the presentation of the "final" plan, just before the referenda -that the Plan reflected almost all of Turkey's positions. The book reveals how var i ous agen das (both political and personal) of third par- ties were promoted at the expense of the two Cypriot communities who were the primary parties to the conflict and whose concerns should have been addressed as a matter of priority.
The first printing of Dr. Palley's book was immediately sold out, and it is understood that it will be reprinted soon.
Her book will emerge as the definitive ! reference work on the Annan process 'with regard to Cyprus. The book is exhaustively footnoted, indexed, and appendixed. Researchers such as this reviewer will in the future constantly refer to this work for definitive material on the subject.
But what is significant is that the book highlights the intellectual vacuums in which the British, US, UN, and Turkish officials were working in attempting to impose a solution on the Cypriots. They may have been for given in thinking thatthe Cypriots would have blindly accepted the 10,000 or so pages of the Annan V Plan which were thrust upon voters on March 31, 2004, just weeks before the referenda. After all, because Cyprus has been treated as a non-sovereign state for so long by Britain and the US (and, indeed, by Turkey), it was not expected that Cypriots would actually use their power at the ballot box to reject what they had been told in no uncertain terms to accept.
The voters' overwhelming rejection of the Annan V Plan changed everything. It broke the spell about Turkey's supposedly inevitable path into the European Union. It is now clear that this will not happen. It ended the period of trust under which Cyprus would in the future accept shackles which Britain has imposed on it; now it is likely that the Cypriots will start to force a new relationship, particularly (and initially) over the Troodos Mountain UK signals intelligence facility which offers unique capabilities to the UK and US. At the least, in the future, Britain will have to pay Cyprus for access to that facility.
No one should underestimate the significance of the failure of the nominally UN plan to transform Cyprus into a non- state through the Annan V Plan. If the "food-for-oil" program in Iraq showed how corrupt the UN was, the UN Secretary- General's so-called good offices mission on Cyprus showed how UN officials, and par- ticularly Secretary-General Annan, had for- gotten the tenets of the UN itself. Moreover, it showed that Annan himself was more concerned in having an agree- ment with his name on it than in achieving reunification and sovereignty for the Cypriot peoples.
Moreover, Dr. Palley's book showed clearly the superficiality and arrogance of a number of US officials, and the overbearing incompetence -almost comic. but for the malice -of Britain's anachronistic archi- tect of the Annan V text, Lord Hannay. Only by blaming the Cypriot voters for exercis- ing their sovereign and democratic rights have officials such as Hannay escaped their share of criticism and dismissal from pub- lic service.
Apart from being the textbook on the failure of the Annan V Plan and on how incompetent international diplomacy can be, Dr. Palley's invaluable work serves as the starting point for considering the new phase of European development and the new, totally transformed, Eastern Mediterranean strategic framework.
This book just NAILS the diplomatic incompetence of the UN and shows how the UN is more interested in their own egos rather than the good of the world. It also idicts powell.
I remember watching the Republic of Cyprus's president speech regarding the plan and the fact the man was publicly humiliating Annan. (something the MSM did glossed over for those who did not speak the language.)
You can look at this issue, add it to the employee scandal released today.
The UN has done some cultural good and some humanitarian good. It seems the UN has "issues" with political good.
I appologize for having to scan this. There is no online version of this available.
Hello all, I though this might be of interest to some of your lists.