A bay in north cyprus

Cyprus : History

Cyprus is an oval island state with a north-eastern peninsula. It lies in the eastern Mediterranean, to the south of Turkey, south-east of mainland Greece and west of Syria. Cyprus’s rocky coast has long, sandy beaches. It has two ranges of mountains in the north and south, with a flat low-lying plain between.

Key facts 

  • Region: Europe
  • Population: 1,189,265 (2018) 
  • Area: 9,251 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Nicosia 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1961, a year after independence from Britain 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 10 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Cyprus 

Human rights 

The Commonwealth Small States Office (CSSO) in Geneva helped Cyprus prepare to report on human rights in the country under the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. 

Debt management 

In November 2018, the Secretariat helped Cyprus improve skills for managing the risk of contingent liabilities (potential future financial losses). 

The Secretariat also trained debt managers from Cyprus on Meridian, the new version of its debt management system.  

Sustainable development 

The Secretariat is working with Cyprus to help it manage its ocean and other natural resources more sustainably. Cyprus is a ‘champion’ for sustainable aquaculture (the farming of aquatic animals and plants) under the Commonwealth’s Blue Charter initiative. 

In June 2019, a Secretariat forum helped Cyprus exchange knowledge and ideas with other member countries on sustainable energy

Blue Charter 

Cyprus champions the Blue Charter Action Group on Sustainable Aquaculture. The Mediterranean island nation has practised aquaculture for nearly half a century.  

The Sustainable Aquaculture Action Group assesses aquaculture practices in member states. The group is currently working on a model roadmap that Commonwealth countries could use as a basis to develop “environmentally compatible, financially viable and socially acceptable” aquaculture. 

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