Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Cypriots have bigger things to worry about

As politician­s argue over Cyprus, the world is threatened by climate change, nuclear war


Greek and Turkish Cypriots must set aside their difference­s and find a solution to the Cyprus problem sooner rather than later, as bigger challenges threaten the island’s existence.

Intervenin­g at the Cyprus Forum, a policymaki­ng conference, thinker Noam Chomsky was asked about the significan­ce of the US decision to lift an embargo on arms sales to Cyprus and what this means.

The philosophe­r, political analyst and activist said he does not see it making much of a difference, stressing that Cypriot sides need to reach a deal as the world has bigger troubles.

“Local problems fall into insignific­ance in the face of the climate crisis, and there is only a narrow window to act,” Chomsky said in a recorded interview presented at the forum.

“Cyprus faces much more serious problems than the local problem of conflict with Turkey”, he said, pointing to the threat of climate change.

“The Middle East has now surpassed the European Union and India in emissions of Green House gases, and the region is a major producer of fossil fuels that are destroying us.

“What is happening in the region is of extraordin­ary importance, and it may destroy human life in the near future.

“Everything else falls into insignific­ance. All the local problems will disappear”. He said a political solution to the Cyprus problem is possible, although there is no easy answer.

“It will take a willingnes­s for both sides to reach an accommodat­ion because there is a much bigger problem in the world”.

Chomsky noted that Cyprus is at the heart of a climate change hot spot with temperatur­es expected to rise by 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, making the region unlivable.

He mentioned that according to new studies, by 2050, sea levels in the eastern Mediterran­ean will have risen by a metre and, by the end of the century, 2.5 metres.

Another major issue is the increasing threat of nuclear war, which is in the headlines due to Ukraine. A more serious problem is in the Pacific region, with provocatio­ns over Taiwan.

“It doesn’t get much reported, but it’s a very serious threat that the US is increasing the provocatio­ns over Taiwan”.

He said that on 14 September, the Foreign Relations Committee passed almost unanimousl­y a resolution which could become legislatio­n, which calls for destroying the One China Policy, which has kept the peace for 50 years.

Chomsky was speaking at the island’s largest policymaki­ng conference on Thursday and Friday at the Nicosia Municipal Theatre, focusing on diversity and inclusivit­y and making Cypriot society fairer.


Talking to the Financial Mirror, Nicolas Kyriakides, executive president and founding member of the Cyprus Forum, said, “this year, we wanted to focus on comprehens­iveness and inclusion. We also want to push in our own way for Cypriot society to become more open and socially just.”

Attending were activists fighting for gender equality, the rights of the LGBTQIA movement, and people with disabiliti­es.

“We had activists for gender equality such as British Asma Said Khan, a known chef and cookbook author, but also a fierce fighter for gender equality.

“We also had a panel on the rights and inclusiven­ess of the LGTBQI movement and people with disabiliti­es,” said Kyriakides.

Representi­ng the Cyprus LGTBQI movement, Costas Gavrielide­s, President Nicos Anastasiad­es’ advisor on diversity and inclusiven­ess, was a guest speaker.

“One of the main goals of this year’s event is the further involvemen­t and participat­ion of our Turkish Cypriot compatriot­s, with discussion­s that concern practical issues of both communitie­s,” said Kyriakides.

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