Gender participation in the Peace talks - 8 March 2014

8th March is the International Women's Day, celebrating women’s achievements regardless of national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divisions. The “Cyprus 2015” initiative, which is being implemented by “The Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development” (SeeD), highlights 8th March as an important opportunity to remind all the political leaders the vital role that women must play within the Cyprus peace process, thereby increasing their capacity as decision makers.

 

 

Gender participation in the Peace talks - 8 March 2014

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 Gender participation in the Peace talks - 8 March 2014

8th March is the International Women's Day, celebrating women’s achievements regardless of national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divisions. The “Cyprus 2015” initiative, which is being implemented by “The Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development” (SeeD), highlights 8th March as an important opportunity to remind all the political leaders the vital role that women must play within the Cyprus peace process, thereby increasing their capacity as decision makers.

Full-fledged negotiations in Cyprus have recently recommenced. Notwithstanding this, despite the UN Secretary-General’s reminders (S/2010/603, par 43) to the negotiating teams of the need to incorporate gender-focused recommendations (S/2010/238) into the peace talks, this has yet to transpire. With the resumption of formal negotiations, various organizations have been sharing ideas on how to implement United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in Cyprus.

UNSCR 1325 is a global call for all countries to ensure the effective participation of women in negotiations, including at decision-making and diplomatic levels, as well as more prominent roles in peacekeeping roles and rehabilitation functions. By the same token, the “Cyprus 2015” initiative advocates that UNSCR 1325 must be incorporated into the formal negotiation framework of Cyprus.

Moving forward

The recommendations on formal adoption and implementation of a National Action Plan (NAP) within the framework of the negotiations can be summarized as follows:

The establishment of a Technical Committee for a gender perspective and representation in the formal negotiation process.

The Technical Committee would work toward the  adoption of a mutually binding National Action Plan (NAP).

To demonstrate mutual commitment to NAP implementation the Technical Committee would require funding from both communities.

Through these resources the Technical Committee would serve a forum function that would entail the broad participation of civil society and relevant stakeholders in the elaboration of NAP objectives and deliverables.  

The mutual funding of a NAP project would require the establishment of a joint board of trustees appointed jointly through the leaders and civil society organizations.

The implementation of NAPs requires oversight and the pre-determination of specific objectives that are elaborated in the form of specific targets. 

The Technical Committee secretariat would be obliged to produce an annual report to the board of trustees.

The bullet points listed above are inspired by the policy brief ‘Gender participation in the Peace talks’ prepared by the “Cyprus 2015” initiative, which has been shared with the two leaderships and UN Good Offices in Cyprus. In and of itself, the development and implementation of a NAP in Cyprus may not transform relations overnight, but it will serve to galvanize advocates of a new set of norms, reinforcing democratization and participatory processes, both of which will prove invaluable assets in guiding Cyprus out of conflict into the realm of sustainable peace and sustainable future.