141st APHA Annual Meeting

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Cyprus academic dialogue: A catalyst for peace and friendship in Cyprus

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Costas Constanti, Ph.D , Australian High Commission, Nicosia, Cyprus
Iacovos Psaltis, Ph.D , Institute for Work Based Learning, Nicosia, Cyprus
Chrysostomos Pericleous , Cyprus Academic Dialogue, Nicosia, Cyprus
Background: Cyprus Academic Dialogue (CAD) was founded in 2010 amongst Cypriot academics and intellectuals. Its main goal is to influence policy makers and empower Cypriots through a systematic dialogue toward reaching an overall settlement reunifying our country and becoming a catalyst for peace and friendship in the triangle: Cyprus-Turkey –Greece. Past accomplishments: Some of the highlights of its work include: a) organizing panel discussions, conferences, workshops and public lectures on key issues of the conflict, b) drafting concrete proposals regarding sensitive issues such as the “property issue” by emphasizing its human implications inflicted by war, and c) disseminating the above proposals among key players of the conflict as they are working toward a resolution. Current and future priorities: These include: a) emphasizing the public health implications (especially in the area of mental health) which arise from the feelings of uncertainty and fear due to the current stalemate of the political negotiations; b) emphasizing the environmental risks due to the long cease fire line; c) mapping out a new educational policy to address the above problems through the development of school curricula, and d) fostering cooperation and coexistence between the two main communities (i.e. Greek and Turkish). Conclusion: The penetrating message that CAD has managed to pass so far is: If citizens of Cyprus, Turkey, and Greece, through dialogue, can reach a consensus on various intractable issues, why shouldn't our leaders? Further work is needed though so that CAD can indeed become a catalyst for peace and achieve its long-term goal.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the history of the political conflict in Cyprus Demonstrate the role that academicians and intellectuals can play in promoting peace Discuss the long-term public health implications of a conflict that has been rooted for almost 50 years in one of the most sensitive geographical areas of the world.

Keywords: Mental Health, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Mr. Constanti has received a Masters in International Relations and he is currently working at the Australian High Commission in Nicosia as a researcher and a public diplomacy officer. He was a founding member of the Cyprus Academic Program and contributes in the realm of international relations. He has been involved in many projects in Cyprus as a researcher or a trainer promoting peace between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.