UNDP ''Action for Cooperation and Trust'' initiative launched
Nicosia, Nov 14 (CNA) – With an aim to promote island-wide initiatives that allow Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot organizations to take joint action in areas such as environment, education and cultural heritage, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a new initiative in Cyprus entitled “Action for Cooperation and Trust”.
Speaking at a press conference, at Ledra Palace in the buffer zone, Programme Manager Andrew Russel said that “Action for Cooperation and Trust is a inter-communal initiative with a mandate to create opportunities for all of Cyprus’ different communities to work together on concrete projects that will benefit all people on the island, while at the same time promoting tolerance and mutual understanding.”
He noted that the programme will receive US$ 26.5 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UNDP, and will be managed directly by UNDP.
Russel said the programme will have three priority areas of work, which are improved opportunities for education that promote learning around the construction of a multi-cultural society, based on justice, tolerance and mutual respect, strengthening the role of civil society as a crucial actor in deepening citizen dialogue and participation in decisions affecting the island’s development, building a platform for co-operation for all Cypriots, especially those working in the private sector, around the themes of corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability, and the preservation and celebration of cultural heritage.
“We expect that these initiatives will promote European values such as multi-culturalism and tolerance and provide Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots with the resources and opportunities to jointly build solid foundations for future cooperation,” he added.
He noted that “Action for Cooperation and Trust represents the continued commitment of the United Nations and of its donor partner, the Government of the United States, to Cyprus and to the important idea that Cypriot citizens from all walks of life can and should play a role in promoting peace and reconciliation.”
“The programme will seek to both deepen the bonds of cooperation that have already been established, but it will also seek to identify new issues and concerns that can involve people, especially young people who may have not yet had the opportunity to participate in building peace,” Russel stressed.
He said the activities supported by Action for Cooperation and Trust will be designed by Cypriots, implemented by Cypriots, and they will address Cypriot needs.
“These initiatives together will constitute a process of building networks of cooperation on a variety of technical, social and cultural issues; networks that can and should underpin whatever political solution is found eventually,” he noted.
A UNDP press release said Action for Cooperation and Trust encourages Cypriot organisations to submit proposals on a periodic basis. Invitations for project proposals for World Women’s Day, World Environment Day and Education have already been posted on the programme’s website at http://www.undp-act.org.