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Conference: Exploring the Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation in Cyprus


Thursday 20 June 2024

09:30 – 15:00

Centre of Visual Arts and Research (CVAR), Nicosia


Registration now open! Register here before 18 June.

Join us for an opportunity to gain insights into the vital role of civil society in the peace and reconciliation process in Cyprus.  The event will explore current challenges and opportunities and foster meaningful discussions on advancing peacebuilding efforts.

The conference is organised in the scope of the Active Citizens Fund Cyprus programme, funded by the EEA and Norway Grants. It will feature speakers from Cyprus and Norway, across diverse multi-stakeholder sessions.

The conference will include:

- Keynote speeches providing insights from an international as well as a local perspective on the topics of reconciliation between divided communities, conflict resolution and the role of civil society.

- Panel discussions engaging CSO representatives and activists to exchange experiences and views on the impact of community engagement, narratives of reconciliation and advocacy and policy to support the peace process. 

- A multi-stakeholder discussion to pave the way forward for supporting the role of civil society in peacebuilding in Cyprus, in view of the challenges and opportunities identified.


The sessions will be conducted in English, with simultaneous interpretation in Greek and Turkish.

Organised by:

NGO Support Centre and GrantXpert Consulting, in their capacity as Fund Operator of the Active Citizens Fund Cyprus, in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Athens.


Don’t forget to register:

We look forward to welcoming you!



09:30 – 10:00

Registrations & Welcome Coffee             

10:00 – 10:30

Opening Remarks


Nadia Karayianni

President, NGO Support Centre, Active Citizens Fund Cyprus Programme Director

Leda Skordelli

Senior Officer, DG Growth, Ministry of Finance, National Focal Point EEA & Norway Grants

H.E. Ms. Lajla Brandt Jakhelln

Ambassador of Norway to Cyprus

10:30 – 11:15

Keynote Speech: Dialogue as a bridgebuilder in divided communities

Dr Steinar Bryn

Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway


Keynote Speech: Mainstreaming peacebuilding in Cyprus

Andromachi Sophocleous

Political Analyst, Co-founder UniteCyprusNow

11:15 – 11:45

Coffee Break

11:45 – 12:30


Panel Discussion: CSO initiatives as bridges


Kemal Baykalli

Cyprus Peacemaking Initiative

Irene Antoniou

Famagusta Avenue Garage

Dr Rita Severis

Centre of Visual Arts and Research

12:30 – 13:15

Panel Discussion: Advocacy and Policy to support Peacebuilding initiatives


Mine Balman

Hands Across the Divide

Dr Meltem Onurkan-Samani

Cyprus Peace and Dialogue Centre

Mete Hatay

Peace Research Institute Oslo - PRIO Cyprus Centre

Andri Christophides

Home for Cooperation

13:15 – 14:00

Roundtable discussion: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward


Christian Grotnes Halvorsen

Norwegian Embassy in Athens

Arzu Chagin Samioglu


Menelaos Menelaou

Negotiator for the Cyprus Problem – Cyprus MFA

Evrim Peker

Civic Space Project

Loizos Loukaidis

The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research

Dr Rita Severis

Centre of Visual Arts and Research


Networking Lunch



Melanie Steliou is an activist, actress and an MEP Candidate for the recent EU Parliament elections. She graduated from the Theatre of Arts School under Karolos Koun. Upon her return to Cyprus, she worked with the Cyprus Theatrical Organiastion, ETHAL and various other theatre groups. She went on to work for CyBC and Sigma Television. As Production Development Manager at Sigma TV, she was responsible for coordinating the production of activities and television programmes on behalf of the United Nations to promote reconciliation between the two communities in Cyprus.







Keynote Speakers:

Dr Steinar Bryn, Ph.D. in American Studies, is connected to the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. He is one of the most experienced dialog facilitators in Europe. He has received over a hundred dialog groups from the Western Balkans in Lillehammer, lasting from one week up to three months, in addition to numerous dialog seminars in Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, South Serbia and North Macedonia.  He has been active in building up the Nansen Dialog Network, which has received several Nobel Peace Prize nominations for their active peace work. Dr Bryn will, in his keynote speech, share his insights into the possibilities and limitations of dialog in conflict areas.







Andromachi Sophocleous is a political theory graduate and political analyst. Besides being one of the founders of the UniteCyprusNow movement, working for reconciliation and the reunification of the island, she has also been active in the Cypriot civil society for years. Among others, she is one of the founders of the first trilingual podcast platform in the country, Island Talks. Professionally, she is a free-lance political analyst providing political insights, research and consulting, for international and local clients. Current fields of expertise lie on energy developments in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, the Cypriot political sphere and the rise of the far right. In her research, she has worked among others, on the Cyprus problem negotiations as well as hate speech in the Cypriot political system and the local media setting.


Contact Us
NGO Support Centre
27 Ezekia Papaioannou Street,
Nicosia 1075,Cyprus
T +357 22875499

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