Youth ambassadors for Cyprus’ Cultural Heritage in Brussels

December 6, 2023


Nicosia, 5th December 2023 – In their first ever joint study trip, ten Heritage Youth Ambassadors from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are visiting Brussels on 5 and 6 December within the framework of the “Support to cultural heritage monuments of great importance for Cyprus”, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Heritage Youth Ambassadors are set to present their work on promoting Cyprus’ rich cultural heritage in their local communities and learn about the EU’s activities in the field of cultural heritage.

The 10 Heritage Youth Ambassadors are accompanied by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot co-chairs of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH), representatives of the EU and UNDP.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said: “Bringing the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities closer together is one of the Commission’s priorities in Cyprus. Building trust and understanding among the two communities is essential to pave the way to the reunification of the island. The active engagement of the youth such as this group in the peacebuilding and reconciliation process is crucial as they carry the hope for a peaceful coexistence.”

Mr Jakhongir Khaydarov, Head of Office of UNDP Cyprus, stated that "As we bear witness to this study trip, welcoming ten Heritage Youth Ambassadors representing the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to Brussels, we celebrate a profound dedication to unity, anchored in the rich tapestry of cultural heritage. This significant initiative, resonates deeply with the UN Charter's principles of solidarity and collaboration. Supported by the European Union this endeavor emphasizes the pivotal role of youth in preserving and promoting our shared heritage."

The Heritage Youth Ambassadors are an initiative of the TCCH that aims to build the next generation of custodians for Cyprus’s shared cultural heritage by engaging the younger generations in its promotion and preservation. The Youth Ambassadors promote it on social media and in their own circles – some are teachers, architects or historians -, and they organise visits and activities such as cleaning and weeding the areas around restored monument.
The EU attaches great importance to the preservation of Cyprus’ cultural heritage, which reflects the diverse and rich cultures and civilizations that have inhabited the island throughout history. So far, the EU has allocated over EUR 27 million to support the work of the TCCH, which has restored or protected more than 130 sites across the island. They include churches, monasteries, mosques, cemeteries, fortifications, hammams, fountains and archeological sites.

The Youth Ambassadors have meetings with Commissioner Ferreira’s Cabinet and European Commission departments in charge of Cyprus settlement support, EU cultural policies and efforts to digitalise Europe’s cultural heritage in Europe, which is also done in Cyprus. They will also visit the
Council of the EU and the European Parliament, as well as the Experience Europe Exhibition Centre and the House of European History.

The support for the TCCH comes from the EU aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, which aims to facilitate Cyprus' reunification. The EU has allocated EUR 688 million to the aid programme since 2006.

The TCCH has received €35.6 million invested by several donors to implement the priorities of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage for the preservation of the island-wide cultural heritage of Cyprus. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

For further information and media enquiries please contact UNDP at: 

Eleni Panayiotou, Communications Associate 
Tel: +35799368879/+905488684602

Gulten Inan, Communications Assistant 
Tel: +357 99 061560/+905488684603 

The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage

The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage was established in 2008 under the auspices of the United Nations to provide a mutually acceptable mechanism for the preservation of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus. In 2009, the Advisory Board was set up by a decision of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and approved by the two leaders as the consultative body of the Committee. The aim of the Board is to protect, preserve and facilitate the preservation, physical protection and restoration (including research, study and survey) of the island’s common heritage. This mechanism allows for the practical aspects of preservation to be considered in a non-political manner so that practical measures can be taken to improve the situation on the ground.

The Technical Committees were created with the purpose of building trust between the two communities in Cyprus, thus facilitating the peace talks supported by the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General (OSASG-Cyprus).

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European Union
The Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, based on Council Regulation 389/2006, aims at facilitating the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the EU body of laws (also referred to as acquis communautaire).

For more information please visit: Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community (
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United Nations Development Programme
UNDP aims to contribute and support the peace-building process in Cyprus and to enhance cooperation between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot by implementing a range of confidence building measures.

Get in touch: UNDP Cyprus (@UNDPCY) / Twitter | on Facebook | on Instagram
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