Diasporas and peace mediations: Cypriots abroad and reunification attitudes

This presentation will examine the role of diaspora groups in peace mediations in Cyprus. It will first present the history of the island’s diaspora and how it relates to the Cyprus conflict. The presentation will then explore diaspora attitudes towards the current reunification efforts focusing specifically on three core areas: demands for participation in a future referendum, the right of return and property compensations; and finally, the political/electoral rights of diaspora citizens in a reunited Cyprus. The presentation will investigate the demands of various diaspora groups in these issues and identify the implications of diaspora activism, both positive and negative, for a Cypriot settlement as well as highlight best practices internationally to accommodate such demands. While not always unproblematic, the presentation will conclude that the inclusion of diasporas and their views in a future peace settlement is essential due to their increasing interconnectedness, the evolution of international human rights law, and more importantly, the diaspora’s own potential for a constructive role in the Cyprus reunification efforts.