The opening ceremony of the 2023 World Congress of Cypriots in the Diaspora is scheduled to take place at the University of Cyprus at 7 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, will open the proceedings, while the conference program will be presented by the Deputy Government Spokesperson, Doxa Komodromou.
Among the other participants, the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Overseas, Giorgos Kotsiras, will also visit Cyprus.
As part of the visit, Mr. Kotsiras will be received by Mr. Christodoulides, as indicated by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister will also meet with Speaker of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou and Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos.
He will also be received by the Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus, George.
In addition, on the sidelines of the Conference, he will have a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, the Minister of Immigration and Expatriates, Soha Samir Nashed Gendi, as well as with his Armenian counterpart, the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs , Zareh Sinanyan .
During his stay in Cyprus, Mr. Kotsiras will lay a wreath at the “Tymbos Makedonitissas” military cemetery and at the “Prisoners’ Memorial”, and he will organize a series of meetings with Greek community associations.
What the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported:
With the participation of around 280 delegates, the World Congress of Cypriots in the Diaspora is due to start this evening, August 22.
The conference, scheduled until August 25, will feature a speech by President Christodoulides.
Speakers will include ministers from Cyprus and Greece, ambassadors accredited to Nicosia, as well as party leaders.
Notably, for the first time, US Senator and Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, will be present and address the conference.
Specifically, as reported by Thalia Polydorou Antoniou, Head of the Cypriot Expatriate and Returnee Service, “around 300 participants are joining the conference, including around 20 Cypriot returnees from five different countries. They will attend the opening ceremony and some sessions of the conference.
Participation includes 235 people from 11 countries via POMAK-UK and 45 people from 8 countries via NEPOMAK.
The detailed attendance from the UK has 125 participants, 60 from the USA, 30 from Australia, 35 from Greece and parts of Africa such as Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Zimbabwe, a total of 15 participants. In addition, 15 participants from France, Austria and Luxembourg are taking part.
Also in attendance will be Egyptian Minister of Immigration and Expatriates, Soha Gendi, Commissioner for Armenian Diaspora Affairs, Zareh Sinanyan, Minister of Education of Alberta, Canada, Dr. Dimitrios Nikolaides, President of the World Federation of Cypriot Foreigners (POMAK), Andreas Papaevripides, the President of the World Coordinating Committee for the Cypriot Struggle (PSEKA), Philip Christopher, and the President of the Youth of Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK), Christos Touton .
The opening ceremony will take place at the University of Cyprus and will be broadcast live by RIK. Simultaneous transmission will also be done by CYTA Live Streaming.
The event will begin with an artistic program organized by Vasiliki Hadjiadamou, where participants will discover the cultural heritage of Cyprus and the wider Hellenic region through the sounds of the violin, lute, kanun and clarinet, with the participation of the cultural association “Nostos”. by Pissouri.
Delegates will be welcomed by Government Spokesperson, Constantinos Letymbiotis, and greetings will be offered by Andreas Papaevripides, President of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), Philip Christopher, Chairman of the World Coordinating Committee for the struggle against Cyprus (PSEKA), and Christos Touton, president of the Overseas Cypriot Youth (NEPOMAK).
Representing the Greek government, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Giorgos Kotsiras, will address the participants.
Greetings will also be delivered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou, and the Archbishop of Cyprus, George, while the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, will deliver a speech and inaugurate the proceedings.
In addition, a photographic exhibition entitled “When the beautiful past meets the tragic present” by Anastasios Dimitriadis will be presented in the vestibule of the Senate building of the University of Cyprus.
The exhibition, it was mentioned, “offers an illuminating experience, filled with intense emotions about the tragic events and consequences of the Turkish invasion on our beautiful island”.
The exhibition has already been presented successfully in Brussels, on the initiative of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.
The proceedings of the conference will begin on Wednesday August 23 at the Senate building of the University of Cyprus.
The program will start with a presentation of the agenda of the 21st World Conference of Cypriots in the Diaspora organized by POMAK-PSEKA, followed by the determination of the 30th session of the Central Council of POMAK-PSEKA in 2024.
POMAK President, Andreas Papaeuryprides, will present a summary, and there will be a discussion on changes to POMAK’s statute, which will continue in the afternoon.
Participants will be updated in a closed session on the topic of hydrocarbons/energy policy by the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry, Georgios Papathanasiou, while the Deputy Minister to the President , Irene Pikkis, will inform about the coordination of government work. .
Marios Tannousis, CEO of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA), will brief participants on investment issues, while Health Minister Popi Kanari will brief on GESY (General Healthcare System) issues and possibilities for integration into the Plan for Cypriots abroad and returnees.
Minister of Education, Culture and Youth, Athena Michaelidou, as well as Deputy Executive Director of the Cyprus Youth Council (NEPOMAK), Maria Miltiadous, will also provide updates on youth issues .
On the same day, members of the Central Council of POMAK-PSEKA-NEPOMAK will visit the Presidential Palace, where they will receive a briefing on the Cyprus issue by President Christodoulides behind closed doors. Later, after the arrival of the remaining participants at the Presidential Palace, President Christodoulides and the First Lady will host a reception in honor of the delegates of the World Conference of Cypriots in the Diaspora organized by POMAK-PSEKA and NEPOMAK.
Distinguished Cypriots in the diaspora and returnees will be honored by the President of the Republic.
On Thursday, August 24, the Conference of the Global Coordinating Committee for the Fight against Cyprus (PSEKA) will take place with a presentation of the Committee’s activity report by the president of the organization, Philip Christopher. Following reports on PSEKA activities from all Vice Presidents, a short video of the PSEKA conference in Washington will be shown, with messages from US Senators.
In addition, an update on missing persons will be issued by the Head of Humanitarian Affairs for Missing and Landlocked Persons, Anna Aristotelous, and the representative of the Turkish Cypriot side in the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), Leonidas Pantelides. , in the presence of organizations of relatives of missing persons. There will be brief interventions by the President of the Pan-Cypriot Organization of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Disappeared Persons, Nikos Sergides, the President of the Panhellenic Committee of Relatives and Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Disappeared Persons of the Cyprus Tragedy , Maria Kalpourtzi, and the Chairman of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons in the United Kingdom, Neoklis Neokleous.
Then, behind closed doors, there will be an update on foreign policy issues by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Konstantinos Kombos, and an intervention on international mass media and the contribution of the diaspora to the promotion of our national question by the government spokesman. , Konstantinos Letymbiotis.
It will be followed by a round table with interventions by the United States Ambassador to Cyprus, Julie D. Fisher, the French Ambassador to Cyprus, Salina Grenet Catalano, the Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus, Oren Anolik, and the UK High Commissioner to Cyprus, Irfan Siddiq. Ambassadors will answer questions.
Participants will also receive an update on defense issues during a closed session by Defense Minister Michalis Giorgallas and National Guard Chief Major General Demokritos Zervakis.
Additionally, there will be a presentation on the work of the Cyprus Children’s Rescue Committee by the Honorary Chair of the Committee, First Lady Filippa Karsera Christodoulides, and the Chair of the Committee, Accountant General of the Republic of Cyprus, Andreas Antoniades.
At 5:15 p.m., U.S. Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez will deliver a keynote address at the conference.
Friday, August 25attendees will receive an update from Petros Kkolias and a trailer will be screened for the documentary “Queens of Amathounta”, featuring the stories of 22 immigrant women from Cyprus during World War II.
Then, greetings will be conveyed by the leaders or representatives of the parliamentary parties Movement of Ecologists – Citizens’ Cooperation (EDEK), Democratic Rally (DISY), Democratic Party (DIKO), Solidarity Movement (EKEL), Progressive Workers’ Party ( AKEL) and People’s Democratic Party (DIPA), followed by a debate.
There will also be a discussion on “The Committee of Occupied Communities’ relations with Cypriots in the diaspora and the role it is called upon to play in shedding light on the Cyprus problem”, by the President of the Union of Occupied Communities in the district of Nicosia. , Elefthérios Antoniou.
Next, the drafting and approval of resolutions will take place, and there will be an update on “Diaspora Woman Power” by the President of the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Cyprus) , and conference elections.
In the evening, a concert entitled “Cyprus Now and Forever” will take place with Miltos Paschalidis and the Adouloti Keryneia choir. Notable performers from Greece and Cyprus will take part, under the artistic direction of Cypriot poet-lyricist Polys Kyriakou. The concert is under the auspices of the Cypriot Expatriates and Returnees Service of the Presidency and the PSEKA and will take place at Skali Aglantzias in Nicosia.
During the conference from 23 to 25 August, there will also be registration of all participants on the online platform for Cypriots in the Diaspora, www.cydiaspora.gov.cy.
Dandelions or “pikralida”
It should be noted that the invitation features dandelions or “pikralida”, which holds special symbolism for the conference. More precisely, the “pikralida” is a delicate and light flower that breaks in the wind, symbolizing our Cyprus. As the Head of the Department for Cypriots Abroad and Returnees, Ms. Polydorou-Antoniou, explained to the CNA, its scattered flowers scatter in the wind and take root.
“In the same way, members of our diaspora have spread to various foreign countries,” she said.
“The ‘pikralida’ grows everywhere, just as the Cypriots in the diaspora have grown, excelled, made us proud in various countries of the world and have become the best ambassadors of our country. Whatever hardships this flower may face, its root stays alive in the ground and blooms again the following year. Likewise, the relationship of our diaspora with their homeland: a deeply rooted and resilient bond,” she added.