While efforts to improve the situation in Cyprus remain almost exclusively focused on reaching a 'comprehensive settlement', attempts to form structures of genuine cooperation and interdependence continue to be trivialized and neglected. Yet, whether there is a political agreement or not, the two communities are destined to live together on the island. Consequently, it is imperative that avenues for cooperation are efficiently pursued. This will not only help to enable the two communities enjoy a more peaceful and prosperous inevitable coexistence; it will also increase positive interaction between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, thus helping gradually to build mutual confidence and to bridge the gap separating them, and in case of an eventual settlement, it will greatly facilitate the implementation process. In view of the above, it is clear that new paths where progress can be possible, even independently of the negotiations, can be enabled and nurtured for purposes of inter-communal trust-building and cooperation at the civil society and grass-roots levels. One way in which this can be done is by creating frameworks within which the two sides would be able to interact in mutually beneficial ways or work together to deal with problems that affect the life of the people everywhere on the island.
This event will see the launching of a series of new PCC reports exploring effective platforms of practical cooperation and linkages between various groups and communities (professional, economic, academic, civil society, and grass-roots) across the divide in Cyprus. Each report explores the potential benefits of cooperation, as well as the potential risks of absence of cooperation, for the island as a whole, suggesting ways for overcoming existing difficulties and, where possible, making recommendations regarding new potential paths of cooperation.
14:45 - 15:00 Registration
15:00 - 15:30 Welcome & Introduction
15:30 - 15:50 Inter-Communal Contact and Exchange in Cyprus' Higher Education Institutions: Their Potential to Build Trust and Cooperation
Gregoris Ioannou and Sertac Sonan
15:50 - 16:10 Environmental Protection and Cooperation in an (ethnically) divided island: The case of Cyprus
Maria Hadjimichael and Klitos Papastylianou
16:10 - 16:30 Conflict Transformation Art: Cultivating coexistence through the use of socially engaged artistic practices
16:30 - 16:50 Missing Persons In Cyprus: Observations from the past and recommendations for the future
Natasa Iakovou and Nadia Korntioti
16:50 - 17:10 The Green Line Regulations and its potential for Cooperation in Cyprus
Commentary by Mete Hatay
17:10 Concluding remarks