The Queer Cyprus Association and Accept LGBTI Cyprus were honored with the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize for Cyprus in recognition of their steadfast dedication to promoting equality, unity, and LGBT+ rights. The award ceremony, held at the EU House in Nicosia, celebrated their significant contributions to building a more inclusive society. These two esteemed organizations, committed to advocating for the rights and welfare of the LGBTI+ community in Cyprus, received this recognition for their outstanding decade-long efforts.
The award ceremony was attended by distinguished dignitaries, including Head of the European Parliament’s Office in Cyprus; Justice Minister; Gender Equality Commissioner; Australian High Commissioner; Deputy Chief of Mission – USA; British High Commissioner; Ambassador of Sweden in Cyprus and representatives from the Embassies of Finland, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands and Spain.
In his opening speech, Andreas Kettis of the European Parliament Cyprus Office emphasized the importance of protecting the rights of every citizen and commended both organizations for their tireless efforts in promoting equality, diversity, and human rights.
MEPs Niyazi Kızılyürek and Giorgos Georgiou, who submitted the application and nominated Queer Cyprus and Accept LGBTI Cyprus for the European Citizen’s Prize, delivered speeches supporting the honorable struggle of these organizations in the name of democracy and human rights.
Two organizations have extended their appreciation to those who devoted their efforts for LGBTI rights throughout the years. They noted that although not everyone who has contributed over the years is at the award ceremony today, their contributions have forged a lasting impact and continue to serve as a pillar of support for all.
Accept LGBTI Cyprus and Queer Cyprus Association stated that “It reminds us that when we celebrate our diversity, we become stronger as a society. But our work is far from over. While we proudly accept this award today, we must remember that there are still challenges ahead”. They continued “Our Pride festivals are not just a celebration; it is a call for action. It is an invitation to everyone to stand with us, to embrace diversity, and work towards a more inclusive future. The importance of this award goes beyond the recognition of our efforts; it is a recognition of the power of peacebuilding. In a world filled with conflict, polarizations, and discriminations, the LGBTI+ community has shown that love, acceptance, and inclusivity can bring people together.”
The speeches were concluded by expressing both organisations commitment to continued advocacy for intersectionality, transparency, equality, respect, care, and understanding stressing the importance of their mission to break down barriers and promote human rights for the whole of Cyprus as the European Citizen’s Prize serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for individuals and organizations striving to create a more inclusive, accepting, and peaceful Cyprus for all its inhabitants.
The award ceremony concluded with the presentation of the awards, followed by a reception.