8th March is the International Women's Day, celebrating women’s achievements regardless of national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political divisions. “The Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development” (SeeD) highlights 8th March as an important opportunity to advocate for the vital role that women must play within the Cyprus peace process, thereby increasing their capacity as decision makers.
In 2010, the report of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his mission to the Good Offices in Cyprus (S/2010/238) suggested the need to pursue projects “aimed at...enhancing the role of women in the peace process.” This was followed by further calls for “gender-focused recommendations on the main areas under discussion in the peace talks” (S/2010/603, par 43). In anticipation of the resumption of formal negotiations in coming months, 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, SeeD advocates that UNSCR 1325 must be incorporated into the formal negotiation framework of Cyprus.
- 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 SeeD (formerly the Cyprus 2015 Project), 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.
Who are we? SeeD - Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development
SeeD is a peace-building think tank, with regional scope, which grew out of the UNDP_ACT-funded “Cyprus 2015” project, which was launched in May 2009 with the intention to create a bridge between public opinion and the policy level of the Cyprus peace process. In partnership with UNDP-ACT, and using novel “Participatory Polling” methodology, and now the “SCORE Index”, SeeD provides unique tools for effective and sustainable policy recommendations that inform the peace-building policy debate while ensuring citizen participation in, and ownership of, the peace process.