Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said on Friday that female and male diplomats “now have the same opportunities and the same access to leadership positions” in Cyprus.

Even so, speaking at an event entitled “Women in Diplomacy”, Kombos said that only total of 55 of Cyprus’ 166 official diplomatic roles were filled by women. These included ten leaders of Cypriot diplomatic missions abroad.

Among those, he said, are the leader of the Permanent Cypriot Representation to the EU, as well as the Cypriot ambassadors to Germany and China.

Kombos added that it was “self-evident that the diplomatic actions of women contributes the most to the promotion of peace, dialogue and development”.

In addition, he pointed out the creation of the first “national action plan” regarding the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 regarding “Women, Peace, and Security”.

“We must highlight that there have been many steps of progress made in Cyprus,” he said, but added that Cyprus could not rest on its laurels in this regard.

“Undoubtedly, we have a way to go. And I believe that it is not a question of numbers, but mainly of mentality,” he said. “A mindset where the practical application of what we proclaim must continue, and be strengthened, with steady and methodical steps. The key is to attract more women to join the human resources of our ministry.”

The event was organised on Friday to coincide with Saturday’s International Day of Women in Diplomacy, with the foreign ministry organising the event in collaboration with the gender equality office.