Cyprus

report 2016

Global Development Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities

Cyprus has traditionally thought of itself as being a multicultural hub, situated, as it is, in the intersection of three major cultures: African, Middle Eastern and European. However, instead of the more nuanced and fluid identity required for the country to be a truly multicultural society, public and private discourses identity have existed in a perpetual feedback loop, reproducing rigid and highly localized narratives about Cypriot identity. In examining its potential to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this report identifies these narratives to include 1) the polarizing discourse concerning the relationship with Turkey and Greece; 2) the tension between public welfare spending, the power of labor unions and the advocates of free market neoliberalism and limited government; and 3) the conflict venting proxy of Cyprus football that is situated in the intersection of both the Cyprus national identity crisis and the public – market relationship.

BCI & GEI 2011
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Cyprus is situated in the intersection of Africa, the Middle East and Europa. However, instead of the more nuanced and fluid identity required for the country to be a truly multicultural society, public and private discourses are polarized, traditionally between Turkey and Greece and, since the banking crisis of 2015, between those defending public welfare spending and the power of labor unions and the advocates of free market neoliberalism and limited government. The 2030 Agenda risks confronting  a long established inertia on the part of the Government with regard to non-binding agreements and will likely be opposed by the corporate sector, as it will be assumed that the ethical standards, like due diligence and minimization of carbon footprint, will increase their operational cost or lower the demand.

Workshop. (Photo: CARDET).

The main problem with the MDGs, globally, is that the overall approach towards development they represent is quite narrow, limiting countries’ incentives to institute structural changes that would foster development.

This is particularly evident in the case of Goal 2: ‘Achieve Universal Primary Education,’ which excludes economically active people in developing countries who are in need of further education, re-skilling or vocational training. Using the case of Cyprus, we can examine how the Lifelong Learning strategy it adopted made the link between LLL and sustainable development, and ask whether the Cyprus model provides a potential model for developing countries in the post-MDG agenda.

In terms of gender equity Cyprus lags well behind the European average, and also behind some of its closest neighbours.

Photo: MME

The Mediterranean Migration Network (MMN) was officially launched during a two-day kick-off meeting in Nicosia, on March 1-2. The meeting was organized by the MMN coordinator, the research and development centre CARDET, focal point of Social Watch in Cyprus.