The “ENGAGE-Do Your Part for Peace” programme is currently being implemented in Cyprus by the Management Centre and the NGO Support Centre, and is supported by the UNDP-Action for Cooperation and Trust (ACT). The programme aims at strengthening the role played by Civil Society in the reconciliation process by increasing policy positions led by CSOs and developing strategic partnerships and networks in both communities.
On 21st February 2012 at the Home for Cooperation, based in the UN Buffer Zone the Engage Programme launched its second phase. During the ceremony the Representatives of the two Leaders of Cyprus and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the U.N. publically stated their views on the role that Civil Society can play in supporting the on-going negotiations. Their messages were presented to the public via pre-recorded audio visual messages that were recorded by the ENGAGE team.
The importance of the role of Civil Society and NGOs in informing the public about the challenges and opportunities for a comprehensive settlement and bridging the gaps between the two communities was stressed by the officials George Iacovou, Kudret Ozersay and Lisa Buttenheim. Mr. Ozersay commented that: “There is an interdependency which necessitates a level of cooperation on the island which is unavoidable”. Ms. Buttenheim stressed that: “I think that day [of a settlement] Civil Society will have an even more important role…”. Mr. Iacovou added that: “When we do move forward there will be quite a lot of opportunity for civil society and civil society showing by example”.
The ENGAGE team introduced the second phase of the project which includes four innovative informative and active dialogue campaigns and a programme for small scale funding that will further engage NGOs, the wider public and the Media towards the rapprochement of the two main communities in Cyprus. The programme will be running until September 2013 and will follow up on the work that it has been doing over the last two years, building up the process towards peace and reconciliation in Cyprus.
For more information please contact Jale Canlibalik email@example.com
Information provided by Jale Canlibalik, The Management Centre