Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots joined on the International Day of Non-Violence in the Buffer Zone in Nicosia, Cyprus

non violenceNicosia, 2 October 2012

On 2 October 2012, on the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence, the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), the POST Research Institute (POST RI) and the Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus organised a seminar/workshop in the Buffer Zone in Nicosia, Cyprus, with the support of the Youth in Action programme of the European Union.

The programme started with the welcoming speech of Gina Chappa, EBCO Board Member and followed with a commemoration of late EBCO President and co-founder Gerd Greune which included a film showing his solidarity to conscientious objector Murat Kanatli in Cyprus. Following the introduction, POST RI President Mehves Beyidoglu Onen made a presentation on non-violence, non-violent action and pacifism. Murat Kanatli, Member of the Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus, then talked about conscientious objection in Europe and Cyprus and the progress towards the ideal of having a demilitarised Cyprus. POST RI member Loizos Loukaides presented a paper regarding peace education in connection to non-violence. The seminar/workshop ended with an interesting and productive discussion about the issue. The event was held in the Cyprus Community Media Centre.

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness". The resolution reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence". Mahatma Gandhi had said: "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man".

Press contacts:
European Bureau for Conscientious Objection: Gina Chappa, +357 99 613 613,
POST Research Institute: Mehves Beyidoglu Onen, +90 (392) 22 76 843,
Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus: Murat Kanatli, +90 533 861 09 08 & +357 99 896 675,






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