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Gender in Cyprus Peace Negotiations

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Declaration by Cypriot Women on Peace

At the initiative of the Gender Advisory Team (GAT), a series of meetings were
held with women's representatives bodies, including women's organizations,
trade unions, and party branches, as well as with individual women from
throughout the island, to discuss the integration of a gender perspective in
the peace process in Cyprus. The GAT operates in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) that aims to incorporate
gender sensitivity and include women in approaches on security and
peace-building. The present declaration is an outcome of
these meetings. It is signed by the women of Cyprus, who also welcome the
recent decision of 28 May 2015 by the two leaders to establish a Technical Committee on Gender Equality. We reserve our further comments on this development and we are concerned to see efforts being made to ensure that the Committee's mandate delivers direct input on the substance of the negotiations, and that its composition prioritizes expertise in gender and peace-building.

Declaration Text:

Noting the change in climate and declared intention of the leaders to finalize an agreement as soon as possible, we urge them, all the more strongly now, to include gender perspectives in the negotiation and the peace -building processes. The lack of substantial women's representation in the peace process so far has been disappointing and contradictory to UNSCR 1325. It is now imperative that the leaders ensure that women's voices and perspectives are thoroughly integrated in the peace process. To this end, we demand that:

The negotiating teams, working groups, and technical
committees are gender balanced at a ratio of 30%-50%.

Each working group and technical committee includes an
actively participating gender expert, with specialized knowledge of the
gendered aspects of peace and conflict resolution, with the task to monitor the
collective outputs for gender sensitivity.

All documents prepared for incorporation into an eventual Peace
Agreement and Constitution, are checked for compliance with gender equality
standards and UNSCR 1325- related practices. We call on the UN to engage an international expert for this task.

Finally, we note that transparency is crucial for the success of any negotiation and to this end we also demand that channels of communication should also be set up between the leaders, negotiators, and the women's civil society.

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