NICOSIA – The 20th Conference of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus” (PSEKA), and the Executive Council meeting of the World Organization for Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK) was held in Nicosia, on August 27-30. Delegates from the UK were represented by member organizations of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK.
As part of the Conference, delegates held elections for the leadership of POMAK and PSEKA. Andreas Papaevripides was re-elected President of POMAK and Philip Christopher was re-elected President of PSEKA. Delegates also expressed their ongoing commitment to advocate and further the cause of a reunited Cyprus, in line with UN resolutions and High Level Agreements, to end the illegal Turkish invasion and continued occupation.
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At the Opening Ceremony of the Conference, President Anastasiades said that he will not agree to a Cyprus settlement that does not ensure the security and safety of all Cypriots.
Addressing the Conference, the President praised the work of the Diaspora and assured delegates that the effort of “a politician who finds himself on the exit course is not how to see his homeland run even more risks, but to see how to provide for future generations” and how to leave behind a safe country, ensuring peaceful coexistence.
Speaking about the way ahead, the President noted that it has become possible to hold a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, as a result of the intense efforts of the Greek Cypriot side, to agree the path forward. He said that as a result of the August 9 meeting, the two sides appeared willing to ask the UN Secretary-General and international players to act towards the resumption of settlement talks. “I have therefore no reason to refuse to enter into dialogue, or to deny the efforts that need to be made in order to counter the faits accomplis which are being recorded every year,” he said.
The President of Cyprus called for unity and said that work must be done to help the world finally realize that it is not the Greek Cypriots who don’t want a solution, but a larger power with the “vision of a new Ottoman empire” that acts in a way that is not acceptable for Cyprus, or other countries. The President expressed his hope that logic will prevail among those who provoke through illegal activities, not just Cyprus, but also other international players that violate international and European law. He also hoped that in this endeavor, Cyprus will also receive assistance from all those who are really interested in peace, including the EU and the UN.
The Opening ceremony was also addressed by the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Cypriots Photis Photiou, the President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Antonis H. Diamataris, a representative of the Archbishop of Cyprus, as well as the Presidents of POMAK, PSEKA, and NEPOMAK.
Also in attendance were the Diaspora Ministers of Israel, Armenia, Serbia and Romania.
In his remarks Photiou said that upgrading and enhancing trilateral cooperation schemes on Diaspora matters with other countries occupies a prominent position among the activities of the National Strategy for the Diaspora. He added that after the bilateral and trilateral cooperation schemes with Israel, Armenia, Egypt, Serbia and Romania, preparations are underway to sign more memoranda of understanding with other countries, such as Ireland, Portugal, Lebanon and Italy.
From their part, the Presidents of POMAK, PSEKA, and NEPOMAK pledged to continue their work for the reunification of Cyprus and the termination of the Turkish occupation.
NEPOMAK held its 9th Executive Council conference in Nicosia with representatives from across the world travelling to participate.
At the opening ceremony of the conference, Tuton conveyed NEPOMAK’s support for the President of Cyprus’ efforts to resume negotiations for a reunified Cyprus. He also spoke about the experience of second- and third- generation Diaspora Cypriots and the contribution that NEPOMAK makes in developing their passion for Cyprus and in bringing the global Cypriot Diaspora closer together.
There were several workshops that identified initiatives to enhance the effectiveness of the organization including a focus on NDCP, NCCT, and the scholarships offered by NEPOMAK with various higher education institutions in Cyprus. There was also a discussion about the importance of environmental initiatives and the ways that NEPOMAK can help support protecting Cyprus’ outstanding natural beauty and strengthening its contribution towards tackling climate change. In addition, the NEPOMAK Executive Council attended several briefings by senior Cypriot Government officials.