Celebrating Ten Years of Peacebuilding

Feb 1, 2016

UNDP-Action for Cooperation and Trust closed its doors on a decade of peacebuilding projects in Cyprus on 31 December 2015. The end of the programme comes amid optimism that the peace negotiations will bring about a lasting settlement to the Cyprus division.

With concerted funding from USAID, the Action for Cooperation and Trust programme has improved the prospects for peaceful reconciliation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The programme supported hundreds of projects in dozens of fields which illustrated the benefits of cooperation, and included people from all walks of life and from all communities. Many of ACT’s former partners are now at the forefront of the efforts to demonstrate the tangible benefits of a solution. Similarly, many of the experts involved in several Technical Committees have experience of implementing ACT-funded bicommunal activities. The venues now used for bicommunal events and exchanges exist because of early contributions through UNDP-ACT, while the collaboration in the areas of cultural heritage restoration and business development is possible because of the foundations laid with key partners by UNDP-ACT.

One of UNDP-ACT’s most profound achievements has been its stewardship role in developing an active peace constituency, led mostly by Cypriot civil society organisations. Continued support for the role of an inter-communal civil society movement will be key to providing the societal basis for a settlement; something which has been echoed by consecutive UN Security Council resolutions.

In the last 12 months UNDP-ACT has been able to support the development of the Cyprus Dialogue Forum, which now has a membership of over 90 representatives of political parties, trade unions, business and professional associations and civil society organizations from both communities. Through the Forum, local stakeholders work together to resolve differences and create instruments to support an infrastructure of peace. It is a testament to the power of this idea that the Cyprus Dialogue Forum will continue in 2016 without UNDP-ACT support.

The Final Report of the UNDP-ACT programme tells the story of the programme through the lens of its four phases, while showcasing the major project achievements.