INFORMATION REGARDING THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSIONER
The Office of the Presidential Commissioner forms an inalienable part of the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus. Among its responsibilities are management, coordination, support and resolution of matters that touch upon the missing persons, the enclaved persons in the occupied areas and humanitarian issues, expatriate Cypriots, religious groups and the destruction of the religious and cultural heritage in the occupied areas.
In order to implement all the above responsibilities, part of the Oﬀice of the Presidential Commissioner are the Missing Persons’ Department, the Department of Enclaved Persons and Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Affairs.
Missing Persons’ Department
The Missing Persons’ Department and its head, Mr.Chrysanthos Chrysanthis, is under the immediate political supervision of the Presidential Commissioner of the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Photis Photiou. The main objective of the Missing Persons’ Department is to ascertain the fate of each and every one of the missing persons the trail of which was lost during the Turkish Invasion in 1974 and the intracommunal conﬂict of the 1963-1964 period. In the Department catalogs 1619 missing persons are listed as a consequence of the 1974 Turkish Invasion and 42 due to the intercommunal conﬂict of the 1963-1964 period. It is not necessary to point out that in case any remains are identiﬁed because of the exhumation and identiﬁcation projects, are listed thereafter in the fallen persons catalogs.
Department of Enclaved Persons (Humanitarian Affairs)
The Department stresses the problems that the enclaved persons and their dependents in the free areas are facing and spares no eﬀort to resolve them in cooperation with the state departments and other entities.
This is the reason why it is in constant contact with the enclaved persons through the humanitarian oﬀicers of UNFICYP or the enclaved persons themselves, as well as other family members of the same.
In practice, due to the prevalent conditions, the department is obliged to develop a broad spectrum of activities in order to be able to respond to its mission that changes daily to conform to everyday contact with the problems that the enclaved persons are faced with.
The Department, in cooperation with UNFICYP, the Social Services Department, the Police and other departments, deals with a series of other humanitarian problems that arise due to the anomalous situation that the continuous Turkish occupation causes.
Service for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots
The Service for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots based on a decision by the Council of Ministers (decision no. 81.431, dated the 18th of October 2016) has been relegated from the Ministry of the Exterior to the Presidency under the supervision of the Presidential Commissioner.
The Service for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots, as of October 2016, forms part of the Presidential Commissioner’s Oﬀice.
The Service for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots ensures the continuous and close contact with the expatriate Cypriots contributing to the preservation of our identity, traditions and culture in the countries where they live and work. The Department is also helping expatriate Cypriots maintain their connection to Cyprus and oﬀers to help in problems and/or needs that arise from time to time.
The decision of the President of the Republic to include religious groups’ aﬀairs among the responsibilities of the Presidential Commissioner, is a testament not only to the equal treatment with the rest of the population on all levels, but also the creation of a useful and always beneﬁcial conduit of communication with the Presidency of the Republic.
Speciﬁc actions and activities are promoted based on a particular strategy and in cooperation with the Representatives of the Religious Groups at the House of Representatives, the Religious Leaders, the competent authorities and all Ministries and Departments, so as to accomplish to promote and give prominence to the religion, history and culture of each religious group.