Latest poll results from Cyprus – Cypriots have strong desire for a solution
December 14, 2010
“Cyprus 2015: Research and Dialogue for a Sustainable Future’’, a research initiative designed to increase dialogue within and between the two main communities in Cyprus, releases the results of its most recent comprehensive public opinion poll today.
The findings of the survey contribute towards the development of a road map for the constructive engagement and participation of the wider public in the peace process, in a way that will enhance the sense of societal ownership – and by extension the long term viability – of any future political settlement.
The current round of negotiations to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem has reached a critical phase. A Federation remains the only consensual, negotiable settlement model.
Yet, the ongoing peace process takes place in an environment of ongoing lack of trust between Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots and ongoing alienation of the public opinion, within both communities, from the peace process. Should there be a breakthrough, people will be called upon to cast votes in referenda.
The effort to reach a comprehensive settlement at a political level should be complemented by an effort to bridge the lack of confidence that exists at a social level, vis-à-vis the settlement.
The poll shows that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are prepared to accept federation as a compromise settlement. However, as the United Nations Secretary-General observed in his recent report on his good offices mission:
“while there is an appetite for peace in both communities, public skepticism regarding the potential success of the ongoing negotiations in reaching a lasting agreement, continues to grow. Polls indicate overwhelmingly low public expectations that a settlement will be reached, as well as distrust on both sides that, if a settlement were to be reached, the other side would have any serious intention of honouring it. A solution therefore needs more than a comprehensive plan. It needs strong and determined leadership that will make the public case for a united Cyprus with all the benefits this brings.”
(S/2010/603, 24 November 2010)
The Cyprus 2015 initiative was conceived in light of the need to provide a forum through which research and dialogue contribute to a sustainable future. Whereas negotiations require confidentiality, the legitimacy of any settlement also requires transparency and participation. The project fills a gap in the current debate on the Cyprus problem. By merging objective research with in-depth stakeholder discussions the project aims to contribute towards a sustainable settlement of the Cyprus Problem in a way that complements current peace efforts on the island.
Cyprus 2015 has been contributing to the participatory function in a number of ways. In the near future, Cyprus 2015 will publish reports and screen documentaries that outline hopes and fears people have regarding the future, as well as on the means for sustainable development. Cyprus 2015 has also been conducting island-wide public opinion polls, the latest of which is outlined below.
The Cyprus 2015 Initiative is implemented in collaboration with Interpeace and is supported by UNDP-Action for Cooperation and Trust (ACT) Programme in Cyprus and the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.
Summary of the results from the latest poll.