SCORE Cyprus Results Revealed: Is it time to step out of the comfort zone?

Feb 27, 2015

Nicosia-UN Buffer Zone, 27 February 2015: Presented yesterday, the much anticipated findings of the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Index (SCORE) pointed to the key predictors of a Cyprus settlement.

An audience of policy makers, media and peace builders, were told that the drivers of a solution in both Cypriot communities must include better citizen representation in the peace process, improved political security, and reducing the social and cultural distance between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

Developed in partnership between UNDP-ACT and the Centre for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development (SeeD), the SCORE index shows that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are growing further apart. There is a significant decrease in the quality of contact between the two communities, while each community’s perception that it is culturally different is an obstacle to rapprochement. The propensity for social cohesion remains low in both communities, with the lowest levels reported in in Nicosia.

During the opening remarks, the Ambassador of the United States, John Koenig, said the “results are very revealing! Cyprus is at a crossroad and it will need courage”. Christopher Louise, Programme Manager of UNDP ACT, highlighted the importance of utilising the SCORE to enhance evidence based citizen dialogue on the future direction of the peace process, emphasizing that: “No political change can take place without the participation of the people affected by the change.”

The open discussion emphasised the need to better engage women and young people in the peacebuilding process; SCORE results reveal that young people felt disengaged and women had a lower propensity for reconciliation.

The SCORE team presented a series of policy recommendations, which included a call for the negotiating stakeholders to engage with structured feedback and consultation mechanisms between the formal negotiations and citizens.

About the SCORE

The SCORE Index is a smart tool designed to measure peace in societies around the world. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, SCORE examines two main components of peace – reconciliation and social cohesion – and the intricate relationship between them. Reconciliation refers to the harmonious coexistence between groups that were previously engaged in an event of dispute or conflict, while social cohesion refers to the quality of coexistence between people within their own group and with the institutions that surround them. By providing insights into people’s perceptions on the state of peace, the SCORE gives the ability to policy makers to develop peacebuilding strategies that are based on evidence.

Although developed in Cyprus, the SCORE has been replicated in Bosnia and Nepal.

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