This long-term framework project seeks to identify opportunities for collaboration and cooperation as recognized elements of effective peacebuilding. It aims at putting forward suggestions to help to establish linkages, relationships of interdependency that go beyond simple or formal interaction. Such interdependency, economic, professional, political, and other builds on the recognized need and ability to rely on others develops relationships of trust that often radiate beyond the initial cooperation and create chains and networks of collaborations. It capitalizes on various tools that have been developed in international peacebuilding to aid in the development of such linkages. Sectors considered in this respect have included, among others, the environment, education, the arts and culture, gender, and business. Within the broad framework project, specific projects have been pursued, aimed at exploring effective platforms of practical cooperation and linkages between the two communities across the divide in Cyprus. Each project explores the potential benefits of cooperation as well as the potential risks of absence of cooperation for the island as a whole.
Work done culminated in the completion of research, the publication of a number of PCC Reports as direct outcomes of this project, as well as their initial launching at an event held in the Nicosia UN Buffer Zone. The Reports, exploring effective platforms of practical cooperation and linkages between various groups and communities (professional, economic, academic, civil society, and grassroots) across the divide in Cyprus, have spurred interest locally and internationally, warranting the need to facilitate more public debate on the subject and carry the message forward - especially beyond the usual recipients. The project continues, with dissemination activities planned in Cyprus and abroad, to diverse audiences and stakeholders, including policy circles. Indeed, the total absence of talks for 3 years and the slim chances for their resumption any time soon, combined with the effects of the pandemic highlight the potential risks of no cooperation and the potential benefits of cooperation, for the island as a whole. The policy recommendations of the project, suggesting ways for overcoming existing difficulties and following new potential paths of cooperation, are more topical than ever and necessitate prompt action.
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Geneva has been the PCC's strategic partner for this program in the fields of project development and implementation and it is envisaged that it will continue to be so. This program has also attracted external financial support from the Governments of Sweden, Finland and Canada.