SCORE Cyprus Results Revealed? Time to get out of the comfort zone?

The Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development (SeeD), organized a public panel discussion on Thursday 26th February entitled “Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are Growing Apart: Is it time to Step out of the Comfort Zone? Analysis of SCORE Index findings” where the findings of the SCORE Index Research were presented and connected to the experiences of peace-builders Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and Emine Colak. You can see the SCORE findings and policy recommendations here.

 

Developed in partnership between UNDP-ACT and SeeD, SCORE Index is an innovative tool that measures the two main components of peace – reconciliation and social cohesion – as well as the readiness for political compromise. By providing insights on people’s perceptions on the state of peace, SCORE Index gives the ability to policy makers to develop peacebuilding strategies that are based on evidence.

The main findings of SCORE indicated that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are growing further apart. The Turkish Cypriots show a significant decrease in Quality of Contact with Greek Cypriots and there is also a decreasing trend for Turkish Cypriots on Reconciliation and Propensity to vote ‘Yes’ in a Future Referendum. What is also significant is that both communities perceive that they are in fact culturally different.

It is therefore important that all actors; policy makers, members of the negotiation team, local authorities close to the buffer zone and civil society organisations take such evidence into account in order to develop strategies that bring the communities closer together and inspire positive perceptions among them.

During his opening address, Ambassador of the USA, John Koenig, commenting on SCORE Index findings, stated “SCORE results are very revealing! Cyprus is at a crossroad and will need courage”. Christopher Louise, Programme Manager of UNDP ACT referred to the value of the SCORE Index by saying “No political change can take place without the participation of the people affected by the change.”

At the panel discussion, Ms. Erato Kozakou-Markoulli, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, began her speech by saying “I'm a strong supporter of reconciliation. Without efforts to bring the two communities together we cannot have sustainable peace." Emine Colak, head of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation indicated how “Cyprus hadn’t had any leaders so far that defend the rights and needs of the other community”.

The event closed with an interesting discussion on the findings, policy recommendations and suggestions. As a conclusion, participants and speakers agreed that more needs to be done by stakeholders and policy makers to facilitate the people of Cyprus to accept political compromise.

More information about SCORE Index and its findings can be found at www.scoreforpeace.org.

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