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EWL calls on Cypriot leaders to include women on an equal footing with men in peace negotiation

[Brussels, 19 June 2015] In Cyprus, peace talks between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed on 15 May 2015, after a pause of seven months. The new climate seems quite positive and there are hopes of effective progress towards reconciliation in the country.

This process, that the European Women’s Lobby welcomes and supports, has nevertheless so far excluded the adequate participation of women, and a gender perspective is patently lacking in the negotiations. As acknowledged by many international instruments, including UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820 and the European Parliament’s Resolution 2000/2025 on the Participation of Women in Peaceful Conflict Resolution, no peace can be long-lasting without the sound involvement of women in the negotiation process. The EWL recalls that women constitute half of the population, but still face many types of discrimination, including at different levels of political decision-making, in Cyprus as well. It is imperative that women are fully represented in the negotiations, and that their concerns are taken into account and integrated in the broader discourse.

In light of the above, the EWL adopted an Emergency Motion during its last General Assembly on 31 May 2015, calling on the Cypriot leaders to reaffirm their commitment for the implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820 and the European Parliament’s Resolution 2000/2025.

Yesterday, 16 June 2015, the EWL sent letters to Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, Ambassador and Negotiator for the Greek Cypriot Community, Mr. Mustafa Akinci, Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community, Mr. Özdil Nami, Negotiator for the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr. Espen Barth Eide, Special Adviser of UN Secretary General on Cyprus, and Mrs. Lisa Buttenheim, Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

The EWL asked the two leaders to take a bold decision to increase the involvement of women on an equal footing with men at the negotiating table and to support the integration of a gender perspective in the negotiations. The EWL encourages the Cypriot leaders to make sure that women constitute 50% of the team in the negotiation process and in all the supporting working and technical committees, as well as to ensure that a gender perspective in the negotiations is systematically applied.

We are looking forward to an inclusive and fruitful negotiating process and to long-lasting peace in the country.

Article by Valentina Brogna, EWL Memberschip & Governance Coordinator

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