UN Women delegation visits Cyprus

9 May 2016

UN Women delegation visits Cyprus

From 5-6 May 2016, Ms. Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, UN Women’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia and Representative to Turkey, undertook a visit to Cyprus to lend her organisation’s support to local efforts to promote women’s rights on the island.

Accompanied by UN Women Policy Adviser on Governance, Peace and Security, Dr. Sabine Freizer, Ms. Gisladottir was briefed on the state of women’s rights in Cyprus, women’s engagement in dialogue and the promotion of confidence building, such as through the formation of the Technical Committee on Gender Equality, and challenges, including women’s limited participation in politics and government. She was particularly impressed with the mandate of the Gender Committee, created under the auspices of Mr. Nicos Anastasiades and Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, for its ability to provide concrete suggestions to the negotiators to help ensure that gender equality is ensured in a possible future reunited Cyprus. She expressed her hope that gender perspectives would be considered as an integral part of a comprehensive settlement, and offered UN Women’s technical support to this end.

Ms. Gisladottir was made familiar with the work of women’s organizations on the island who for decades have been engaged in bi-communal efforts to foster a community of peace. She was informed of efforts to develop an Action Plan in Cyprus on the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which for the first time recognised the vital role of women in conflict prevention and resolution, and expressed her support. Ms Gisladottir underlined that Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women have much to share with other women leaders in the region and pledged to include them more in initiatives that bring together women from across Europe and Central Asia. 
During her visit to the island, Ms. Gisladottir met various interlocutors and relevant actors, including members of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Gender Equality, members of civil society from both communities and the UN. At a reception at Ledra Palace Hotel on 5 May, Ms. Gisladottir met with civil society and local and foreign dignitaries including Mrs. Andri Anastasiades, Mrs. Meral Akıncı, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, Lisa Buttenheim and UNFICYP Force Commander Maj. Gen. Kristin Lund.