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Proposal for Joint TC/GC Measures to combat COVID-19

Help Cyprus find its direction while bringing your ideas to life!
n.loizides@kent.ac.uk n.loizides@kent.ac.uk       No comments    Created Date: 09/03/2020

Proposal code: Pusula / Ππούσουλας-2020-03-83

The aim of this proposal is to initiate a debate for joint Turkish Cypriot/Greek Cypriot action on COVID-19. A list of measures and the rationale of this proposal is introduced below.

Measures and joint TC/GC action on COVID-19 are a necessary step to minimize an unprecedented global health emergency, save lives in the following weeks and highlight that Cyprus and its people constitute a unit that can work together during difficult times. The list below  is not an exhaustive one but offers some grounds for further thinking in bicommunal terms. This is a tentative set of recommendations as the situation on the ground changes very quickly. As countries come up with new practices, this text will be updated (suggestions welcome). Suggestions are also welcome as to lessons learnt from earlier crises and for the future as to the creation of joint infrastructure to address similar challenges. Please read the articles attached describing positive practices in Israel/Palestine as well as Taiwan/Singapore or help us with ideas on related good practices. The World Bank could support this or similar ideas so please do share your comments and votes, if you think they could help the two sides to cooperate to save lives:

  1.  Share information through the technical committee on health on medical supplies, expertise/personnel and any incidents/areas potentially exposed to COVID-19
  2.  Request new checkpoints to open for the exclusive use of ambulances/medical practitioners (e.g. in Piroi, Kokkina/Erenkoy) to allow quicker access to emergency treatment
  3.  Investigate the use of areas at the old Nicosia airport and elsewhere in the Green Line for emergency health units/quarantine purposes
  4. Use Pusula in education when students are at home to collaborate and propose new bicommunal projects either virtual during the crisis or future oriented for implementation in the post-COVID 19.
  5. Use available online resources for learning Greek and Turkish (e.g. Roseta Stone is now free for students at https://www.rosettastone.com/freeforstudents/ and this project if funded could cover subscription for the rest if we can negotiate a good rate)
  6. Attend a course on resolving prolonged conflicts through federal settlements (to be designed as part of this bid)
  7. Encourage events/ceremonies via internet/social media e.g. allow clergy to use churches/mosques that have not been used after 1974 for Easter and Ramadan as well as summer religious holidays (for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to watch from their home)
  8. Introduce bicommunal learning programs to be watched at home (e.g. teaching Turkish and Greek via internet and TV programs during the quarantine period)
  9. Announce a competition for the best student essay , drawing, photo or cartoon 'Imagining a reunified Cyprus' (in Greek, Turkish or English). Pusula program to fund those competitions and support participating students and staff. 
  10.  Re-open checkpoints gradually and monitor movement with reasonable agreed restrictions (e.g. for persons who have recently traveled to countries heavily affected by COVID-19)
  11.  Cancel military exercises and cease travel of military personnel to third countries including UN and British bases
  12. Encourage a joint statement by the two leaders for citizens to follow instructions in battling the spread of COVID-19.

Documents (3)