Pre-Conditions for Peace: A Civil Society Perspective on the Cyprus problem

PRIO Report

Tziarras, Zenonas (2018) Pre-Conditions for Peace: A Civil Society Perspective on the Cyprus problem. PRIO Cyprus Centre Report: 1. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Against the background of Cypriot civil society's growing role since the early 2000s, this report aims to track the progress or lack thereof and identify the limitations and prospects of pro-peace grassroots mobilization in Cyprus. As such, it focuses on three contemporary case studies of pro-peace civil society in Cyprus: The Home for Cooperation, Cyprus Dialogue Forum and United Cyprus Now. Each case study provides a different perspective of pro-peace civil society mobilization. The Home for Cooperation is looked at as one of the older and main initiatives given that it functions as a meeting space that hosts other pro-peace civil society organizations and initiatives as well. The Cyprus Dialogue Forum is examined as probably the biggest, most ambitious and most structured platform of multi-segment intercommunal dialogue thus far. The Unite Cyprus Now initiative is quite different to the previous two in that it emerged rather spontaneously at the grassroots level, with extensive use of social media, and it still remains largely decentralized.

The report goes on to assesses the success, limitations and potential of those pro-peace initiatives and lists a number of pre-conditions that need to be pursued at the grassroots and official levels for a more impactful approach to peacebuilding and reconciliation. It is ultimately argued that, in addition to efforts that should be made by civil society towards a more inclusive and effective grassroots movement, Track I has great responsibility in providing the space to civil society thus allowing it to be empowered and be part of the solution both in terms of improving everyday inter-communal relations as well as supporting the official peace process.

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