Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain Annual General Meeting 12th May 2024

Over 60 members attended,  the 47th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Rizokarpasso held at the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood, North Finchley. The Association was established in 1975 following the Turkish invasion and continued occupation of the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus and has held an AGM every year except for 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid Pandemic. They discussed the challenges faced by Cyprus and the specific issues regarding Rizokarpasso, especially in relation to the plight of compatriots who have been enclaved for 50 years and their denial of Human Rights. The members discussed the activities of the Association and future priorities.

The President of the Association, Maria Karaolis, presented the Association’s activities since the last AGM showing that the Association and its members continue to engage in political and philanthropic activities for Cyprus. The Association  actively participated in the National Federation of Cypriots in UK “Hands of Cyprus” campaign when over 150 members sent emails to the Member of Parliament where they lived, covering 37 Parliamentary constituencies throughout the country e.g  Broxbourne, Canterbury Guildford, Harlow, Leeds, Somerset, Thanet, Western-Super-Mare, York etc and many of the London boroughs. The Association has: been represented at NFC meetings in Parliament; regularly sent letters to Members of Parliament e.g. regarding attempts to recognise the illegal airport in occupied Cyprus; reported and sent letters when the media have tried to promote illegally occupied north Cyprus; participated in demonstrations outside the Turkish Embassy.  In 2023 the Association once again sent each of the 45 enclaved school children a Christmas card and a €100 present, half of the amount being funded by a donation from the Hive Foundation. Donations to charities have been made in memory of members e.g. to Cancer Research, Age UK, British Heart Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society. The Association has been represented at numerous community and philanthropic events in the UK and also at the World Conference for Overseas Cypriots in Nicosia. 

At the AGM Councillor Tony Vouros, (who will be officially sworn in as Mayor of Barnet at the end of May), presented the Auditors Reports for the Association of Rizokarpasso and the Help Rizokarpasso Charity.

The members passed a Resolution to be sent to the UK Prime Minister, President of the USA, President of the European Commission, President of the European Council, President of the European Parliament, UN Secretary General, NATO Secretary General, Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, ambassadors of the UN Security Council 15 member countries and Germany. On the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion our Resolution includes the need for a negotiated solution for Cyprus to encompass:

a)      The reunification of the island and people of Cyprus,

b)      The removal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus.

c)      The repatriation to Turkey of illegal settlers in Cyprus.

d)      The return of all properties to their lawful owners.

e)      The return of all the refugees to their homes and properties in safety.

f)       The abolition of the anachronistic Guarantor Status held by other countries.

g)      The full and effective investigation of the fate of all the missing persons.

The meeting finished with all the members enjoying souvlakia and catching up with friends; it was an enjoyable opportunity to socialise in good company and remember Rizokarpasso.