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The 1st Cyprus Forum London takes place with Shipping Deputy Minister as keynote speaker

The first Cyprus Forum in London has taken place at the High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus in the British capital, organised by ‘Oxygen for Democracy’ in collaboration with the High Commission.

The Forum is an established annual event, bringing together policy-makers, academics, civil society representatives and others with the aim of fostering dialogue and promoting impactful change.

The morning session of the event on 15 May featured a keynote speech by the Deputy Minister for Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis, who summarised some international initiatives regarding the sustainable governance of the seas that Cyprus has been part of.

She particularly referred to a Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting hosted in Cyprus last month, which resulted to the proposal of a Commonwealth Ocean Declaration. The Declaration will for the first time identify shared priorities and collaborative actions in this regard.

The Meeting also brought about the establishment of a Commonwealth Blue Charter Center of Excellence, based in Cyprus, to strengthen governance for a sustainable blue economy and to support scientific research on ocean protection.

Hadjimanolis also said that the Cyprus Registry today ranks among the top registries in the world and that in the last six months there has been a 5.5% increase of vessels registered under the Cyprus flag.

She added that Cyprus is the largest ship management centre in Europe and amongst the top three worldwide, and also that over 200 shipping companies are based in the island.

She then highlighted the factors that make Cyprus such an attractive destination for shipping companies, namely the tonnage tax system, its strategic location, the simple and effective regulatory structure and the highly skilled workforce.

The Deputy Minister finally referred to the emphasis given by the Cypriot government to the quality of the fleet, the digitalisation of the public shipping administration and the protection of the environment.

The morning session included a panel discussion on the Cyprus problem and the prospects for the Eastern Mediterranean with the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to the UK Dr Kyriacos Kouros and the Ambassador of Greece Yiannis Tsaousis.

Dr Kouros described the situation regarding efforts to resume settlement negotiations as “challenging”, but also commented that the world now sees Cyprus as “a beacon of stability” in a volatile region.

(Source: CNA)

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