Donors: The U.S. Department of State, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Implementing Parties: SeeD, Berghof Foundation and Interpeace
Dates: 01/10/2016 – ongoing
Aiming to support the Cyprus peace process, the Security Dialogue Project is a research and dialogue initiative that seeks to contribute to the identification of informed, innovative, and viable security arrangements that could enable all communities in Cyprus to simultaneously feel secure. The goal of the initiative is to offer an informed and vetted array of insights and concrete options, based on a methodology that blends international security expertise with SeeD’s extensive research and dialogue efforts, to map the unique perceptions, needs, and interests of the two Cypriot communities. During its 10-month implementation period, this initiative will involve both local and international stakeholders in a participatory dialogue process, aiming to build local ownership while creating an open environment where different options and scenarios can be freely discussed. The project will additionally embrace a broader perspective of regional developments in the volatile Eastern Mediterranean, newly emerging global security threats, and the potential role of unified Cyprus in addressing such challenges.
Activities & Achievements up-to-date:
By utilizing mixed-method research, the project has initially captured the current perspectives and security concerns of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. This research data has been analysed in conjunction with input from international security experts, drawing upon their know-how and lessons learned from negotiated security arrangements and transitional experiences in comparative contexts. The research team has also produced a comparative analysis of alternative security arrangements and a brief report on various security alternative packages– which were then tested through an island-wide public opinion poll. The opinion poll was conducted among 3,000 people - 1,500 in each community. The analytical results and forthcoming generation of security arrangement options have been offered to the two respective leaderships and the UN.
In late December 2016, SeeD Research Directors and the Greek Cypriot Senior Researcher had a two-day mission to Athens where the project findings have been presented to the key policy actors who are actively involved in the Cyprus peace process. Furthermore, the Project team went to Geneva between 8 – 15 January as to constructively engage the relevant stakeholders with the quantitative survey findings and the emerging alternative security architecture that included different elements of possible security packages and their evaluation. While in Geneva, the Project team presented the project findings to the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties, Track 1 delegations as well as to the media representatives. In addition, the Project had several high-level contacts with the delegations of 3 guarantors (namely Greece, Turkey and United Kingdom) as well as UN officials. Overall, the Project has successfully networked and engaged with various stakeholders from all sides and political backgrounds, gathered very constructive feedback and suggestions for further research and received significant media coverage both internationally and locally. Furthermore, the two Research Directors held two separate one-to-one meetings with both Espen Eide and Michael Moeller the DG of the UN in Geneva in the Palais des Nations and briefed him regarding the key findings of the Security Dialogue Project. In addition, a high-level closed-event took place on 11th January to present the findings of the Security Dialogue Project to the diplomatic community in Geneva. The event was organized by Interpeace in collaboration with the Dutch Permanent Mission, who had agreed to co-host. Lastly, several follow-up meetings have been agreed to take place with various policy actors during the post-Geneva period in order to discuss how to utilize the research findings in an efficient way to enrich the quality of public dialogue and credibly address the security needs of all communities by focusing on building a comprehensive security architecture that fosters “endogenous resilience” and by ensuring that transitional security arrangements effectively support that end goal for a Federal Cyprus.
All research and analysis activities carried out by the project partners within the Security Dialogue Initiative are designed to proactively engage and draw from diverse perspectives that reflect the wider Cypriot public. For this purpose, the team includes people of different communities and with diverse political backgrounds, but who share a common belief in the values of tolerance, dialogue and inclusivity.
The presentation on preliminary findings can be downloaded here.
The presentation on interim research findings and the new security architecture proposed by the Security Dialogue initiative can be downloaded here.