The Republic of Cyprus became an independent sovereign state on 16 August 1960. Soon after independence the Republic became a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Council of Europe. Cyprus subsequently became a member of other international organisations, including the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe, formally the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
In 1974, Turkey, in violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, invaded Cyprus and since then continues to illegally occupy by the use of military force about 37% of the Republic’s territory. The international community has stated categorically its support for the internationally recognised sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole of its territory, including the occupied part. United Nations resolutions reaffirm, inter alia, the right of the Republic of Cyprus and its people to full and effective control over the entire territory of Cyprus and natural and other resources and call upon all states to support and help the Government of the Republic to exercise these rights (United Nations General Assembly resolution 37/253, of 13 May 1983).
In 1983 the occupation regime arbitrarily and unilaterally declared the independence of the occupied part of Cyprus. The Security Council of the United Nations by its resolution 541(1983) deplored this declaration, considered it as legally invalid and called for its withdrawal. Furthermore, by its resolution 550(1984), the Security Council condemned all secessionist actions and called upon all states not to recognise the purported entity, the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and not to facilitate or in any way assist the secessionist entity.
By the same resolutions as well as by a number of other resolutions the United Nations called upon the international community not to recognise any Cypriot state other than that of the Republic of Cyprus and to respect its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity.
On 1 May 2004, Cyprus officially became a member of the European Union.
Cyprus is a member of the United Nations since 20 September 1960. Cyprus firmly believes in the primacy of the United Nations and its Charter and contributes to the promotion of the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Cyprus has been an active member of the United Nations and has been elected periodically to numerous committees and bodies of the United Nations. Cyprus is also a member of the United Nations specialised agencies and other autonomous bodies including the:
Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO),
International Labour Organisation (ILO),
International Maritime Organisation (IMO),
International Monetary Fund (IMF),
UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO),
World Health Union (WHO) and
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
It is furthermore a member of the:
International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD),
International Development Association (IDA),
International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Council of Europe
Cyprus is a member of the Council of Europe since May 1961 and participates in all its bodies and organs, including the Parliamentary Assembly.
Cyprus has always contributed actively to the implementation of the Council’s principles and values, particularly in the field of safeguarding and promoting of human and social rights. Cypriot experts participate in most of the Council’s specialised Committees and their contribution has been widely acknowledged.
Cyprus has assumed the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the top executive body of the Council, four times since its accession to the organisation.
Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Cyprus is one of the 35 signatory states of the Final Act concluded in Helsinki in 1975, and an active participant in the process of then Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), which on 1 January 1995 became an international organisation under the name Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Cyprus and the Commonwealth
Cyprus became a member of the Commonwealth in 1961, soon after attaining its independence and has been actively participating in all Commonwealth activities, which cover cooperation in various fields. Cyprus hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting CHOGM in 1993 in Limassol.
Apart from the support given to Cyprus in its efforts to find a just and viable solution, Cyprus also receives technical and other assistance from the Commonwealth. This assistance is in the form of expert advice or scholarships for educational institutions of Commonwealth countries. On its part Cyprus offers scholarships to students from Commonwealth countries either directly or through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (C.F.T.C.).