Women and the Politics of Peace
Limassol, Cyprus, 18 September 2005
For over 31 years Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been a divided country notwithstanding developments in the political process. Negotiations have been carried out with the aim of solving the Cyprus Problem and so far some bilateral agreements have been reached between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.
The partial opening of crossing points along the Green Line has enabled contacts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and proved the willingness of both Communities to live together in a united country, enjoying freedom, peace, democracy and economic prosperity.
From early on Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women managed, with the support of foreign Embassies and European Bodies, to come together at various meetings held under very difficult conditions, to join forces in the struggle for peace. However women do not participate in official negotiations, as they are absent from decision making bodies.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on 'Women, Peace and Security' acknowledges the important role women can play in the process of conflict resolution and stresses the need for their equal participation and full involvement in peace processes.
Socialist International Women therefore:
- welcomes all efforts aimed at solving the Cyprus Problem and the building of peace and democracy;
- welcomes the economic and social benefits and facilities provided by the Cyprus Government to the Turkish Cypriots;
- stresses the fact that the peace process must take into account the concerns and needs of both women and men and underlines that the integration of a gender perspective is a sine qua non in the process of rehabilitation, reconciliation, reintegration and post conflict reconstruction;
- welcomes all meetings between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women, especially the series of meetings convened by the Socialist Women's Movement of EDEK and calls on its member organisations in the region to create favourable conditions for common action towards building a peaceful and prosperous country and
- calls on all parties involved to include women in official negotiations in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on 'Women, Peace and Security' and reaffirms that a settlement of the Cyprus Problem must be based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, international treaties founding the state of Cyprus and in accordance with international law and the acquis communautaire.