A delegation of Norwegian members of the Nordic Women Mediators’ Network visited Cyprus from 26-31 May 2016, meeting UN officials, the bicommunal Technical Committee on Gender Equality, civil society and other gender stakeholders.
Launched in 2015, the Nordic Women Mediators’ Network is backed by Nordic governments and aims to increase the number of women involved in international peace mediation efforts.
Describing the meetings as “interesting and meaningful” for the women of Cyprus, UNFICYP Force Commander Kristin Lund noted that such exchanges were an important part of building support and pressure for the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325, which in 2000 recognised the importance of including women at all levels of peace and security.
While in Cyprus, the delegation also met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s wife, Meral Akinci, UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, UN Secretary-General Special Representative on Cyprus, Lisa Buttenheim, diplomatic community members and local civil society.
The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and illegally occupied 37 per cent of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal system.