Building Peace in Cyprus through Linkages
While efforts to improve the situation in Cyprus remain almost exclusively focused on reaching a ‘comprehensive settlement,’ attempts to form structures of genuine cooperation and interdependence continue to be trivialized and neglected. Yet, whether there is a political agreement or not, the two communities are destined to live together on the island.
Consequently, it is imperative that avenues for cooperation are efficiently pursued. This will not only help to enable the two communities to enjoy a more peaceful and prosperous inevitable coexistence; it will also increase positive interaction between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, thus helping gradually to build mutual confidence and to bridge the gap separating them, and in case of an eventual settlement, it will greatly facilitate the implementation process.
In view of the above, it is clear that new paths where progress can be possible, even independently of the negotiations, can be enabled and nurtured for purposes of intercommunal trust-building and cooperation at the civil society and grassroots levels. One way in which this can be done is by creating frameworks within which the two sides would be able to interact in mutually beneficial ways or work together to deal with problems that affect the life of the people everywhere on the island.
This event will see the launching of a series of new PRIO Cyprus Centre reports exploring effective platforms of practical cooperation and linkages between various groups and communities (professional, economic, academic, civil society, and grassroots) across the divide in Cyprus. Each report explores the potential benefits of cooperation, as well as the potential risks of the absence of cooperation, for the island as a whole, suggesting ways for overcoming existing difficulties and, where possible, making recommendations regarding new potential paths of cooperation.
The event will take place on December 18, from 2:45 to 5 pm, at the Fulbright Centre in Nicosia. It is sponsored by the PRIO Cyprus Centre.