President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Wednesday attended an event hosted by Unficyp at Nicosia Airport, under the aegis of Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus Colin Stewart.

The event marked the official launch of an action plan on “ways to ensure women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in the settlement process/an eventual settlement in Cyprus,” according to a statement by Unficyp. 

The statement said that the action plan was developed in response to a request by the UN Security Council, which was part of a 2021 resolution. 

“On 27 January, in its resolution 2618 (2022), the United Nations Security Council welcomed the joint Action Plan and encouraged the sides to ensure the needs and perspectives of women are addressed in a future settlement”. 

The action plan was presented by the Technical Committee on Gender Equality to select representatives of women’s civil society organisations and the diplomatic community. According to the Unficyp statement, this marked “an initial step to engage with diverse stakeholders to bring awareness of the action plan to the public and outline next steps. 

“The Technical Committee on Gender Equality expressed their intention to conduct further outreach to civil society organisations, in particular, to women’s organisations and youth, along with other stakeholders, in order to solicit their views on the recommendations and how to include a gender perspective in the settlement process/an eventual settlement process in Cyprus”. 

Tatar later told reporters it was a pleasant event and thanked Stewart for his support for the action plan, wishing for progress. 

Returning to the presidential palace, Anastasiades told reporters that Tatar declined his invitation to set up a meeting to discuss the government’s ideas for Confidence Building Measures.

I said it would be good for either side to share its concerns so we can see how to deal with them, but it looks like [the Turkish Cypriot side] would rather maintain its unacceptable stance that we must have sovereign equality before looking for grounds for a solution.

“This sincerely saddens me as there is a constant intransigence on part of the Turkish Cypriot side”.

The last time the leaders of the two communities met was December 14, 2021 at the Ledra Palace during a social event, also hosted by Stewart.