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Service for Overseas Cypriots
2001-12-11 13:30:12

The general purpose of the Service for Overseas Cypriots is to ensure continuous and close contact with Overseas Cypriots and the preservation of their national identity, religion and cultural heritage, to maintain their love and interest in Cyprus and to assist with their problems and needs.

In particular, the Service for Overseas Cypriots is involved with the following:

1. The setting up of a register of Overseas Cypriots.

2. Contact and communication, direct and indirect, with Overseas Cypriots all over the world, and assisting with the variety of social and educational problems they face, either as a group or as individuals.

3. The calling of local, regional and world conferences and meetings for the purpose of studying matters relating to Overseas Cypriots and Cyprus.

4. The publication of a magazine for Overseas Cypriots.

5. The organisation of tours of groups of performers and exhibitions of a cultural nature for Overseas Cypriots.

6. The provision of assistance to Cypriot communities abroad in the form of coordination, guidance and facilities for the finding or acquisition of means for the purpose of giving financial support to efforts which the Overseas Cypriots themselves make to preserve their mother tongue and their national, religious and cultural heritage.

7. The support of efforts to establish community centres, clubs and libraries.

8. The organisation of regular visits/trips of Greek Cypriots to Cyprus.

9. The encouragement of financial investment in Cyprus by Cypriot businessmen abroad.

10. In general, the taking of initiatives and the finding of ways to assist Overseas Cypriots in every way, in collaboration with the local Cypriot Consular Authorities and other interested Ministries or Services and the coordination of efforts in those cases where the performance of the task demands the activation of other Government Services or Departments as well.

11. The Service for Overseas Cypriots, in the exercise of its responsibilities where these come within the competence of a specific Ministry or Service, will act in concert and in cooperation with the competent authority, and in every case its role will be a coordinating one (Note: Para. 11 was added on 23.11.78 by decision of the Council of Ministers).

More analytically the above aims are served mainly by:

1. Hosting Cypriot children from abroad.

2. The support of community schools, libraries and clubs by the provision of books and other educational material (slides, tapes etc.).

3. The support of cultural events:

a) By sending traditional Cypriot costumes,
b) By sponsoring visits of music/dance/theatrical groups, the projection of films, the sending and/or organising of exhibitions and other missions to the communities for the purpose of enlightenment,
c) By sponsoring the participation of the communities in cultural and/or trade exhibitions or events and generally in activities for the purpose of indirect enlightenment.

4. The organisation of the World Conference of Overseas Cypriots every 2 years and of annual conferences of the Central Committees of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots and the World Coordinating Committee of the Cyprus Struggle, within the framework of the activities for the exchange of information and for the further activation of the organised community to alert, exert pressure on and influence public opinion, politicians and the governments of the countries where Overseas Cypriots live. The main themes of the conferences, apart from the national problem, are the problems and difficulties of preserving the national identity of 2nd and 3rd generation Overseas Cypriots and the problems of repatriation which Overseas Cypriots face on returning to Cyprus to resettle.

5. The hosting of individuals or special groups of Overseas Cypriots (artists, music/dance groups or theatrical groups, elderly people etc.).

6. The sponsoring of seminars/conferences, visits of Cypriot community leaders and/or teachers and/or experts and/or politicians from countries where there are organised Cypriot communities, within the framework of the promotion of the national problem and/or matters, which affect Cyprus and/or the communities.

7. Special publications, which aim at the promotion of political, commercial and financial relations and at informing and enlightening Overseas Cypriots.

8. The production of special programmes for radio and television and of pictures/slides/tapes for Overseas Cypriots for the following special purposes:

a) Communication between Cyprus and Overseas Cypriots,

b) Preservation of national identity, religion and cultural heritage,

c) Preservation and strengthening of their love for and links with Cyprus,

d) Bonding" of 2nd and 3rd generation Overseas Cypriots with their roots,

e) Information about incentives and concessions, the creation of correct financial impressions about the homeland and the encouragement in this way of investments and the flow of capital to Cyprus.

9. Specialist studies which aim at the most substantial utilisation, from the national and economic aspect, of Overseas Cypriots, and on educational matters.

10. Research and gathering of information for the creation of a register of Overseas Cypriots.

11. Strengthening of community organisations to cover the variety of their needs and activities.

12. The publication, in collaboration with the P.I.O. of the magazine "Our Cyprus" for Overseas Cypriots and the preparation, in collaboration with the P.I.O. and CyBC of the two weekly programmes "7 Days Cyprus" and "Cyprus Close to You".

13. Official visits by officers of the Overseas Cypriots Service to ascertain, study and solve the various problems which Overseas Cypriots face. During these visits there is intensive and continuous enlightenment of Overseas Cypriots about the national problem.

14. The provision of services, in the performance of its coordinating role, for the facilitation of repatriation and the smooth re-assimilation of those repatriated into Cypriot society.

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