Minority Rights Group International (MRG) Deputy Director, Claire Thomas, writes this opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters News Foundation.+ LEARN MORE
Minority Rights: A Contribution to the Cyprus Problem
This evaluation looked into a two-year project run with our partner organization, KISA (Action for Equality, Support and Anti-racism) between March 2009 and April 2011. The project included capacity building to activists as well as research, a publication and advocacy on how smaller minority communities are affecting by the ongoing stalemate in Cyprus which is commonly seen as a bi-partisan issue. Here is part of the executive summary:
The framework under which the project was developed was one of its key successes. Even though central to the Cyprus problem are the two main communities (the Greek-Cypriots and the Turkish-Cypriots), the project partners felt that all the inhabitants of the country should be involved in the efforts for a solution to the problem. In a very polarized and bipolar frozen conflict such as the one in Cyprus, the addition of a much wider range of views and some acknowledgement that it is not just about two sides, would help all stakeholders look at the Cyprus conflict in new ways.
Overall, the project was successful given the complexity of the issues that it aimed to cover. The target indicators were met and participants provided very positive input at the end of the project activities. Overall, the project activities contributed to the increase in understanding between the communities involved and enhanced the interest of the representatives and leaders of the communities in the project. Active participation and involvement from the part of these communities, as well as increased interest in the issues portrayed in the project can have a positive impact in the Cypriot society in the long-term. Furthermore, this project not only provided substantial knowledge to people who might have not been aware of the issues discussed, but also served as a reminder to everyone that minorities also have a significant role to play in the society and they need to be taken into consideration in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.
Download evaluation: Minority Rights: A Contribution to the Cyprus Problem