On November 19, 2005 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Canadian International Development Agency, hosted the two-day international conference – “Caucasus in the 21st Century: Visions for the Future”
The conference brought to Tbilisi leading regional experts for an exploratory session about the future of the Caucasus. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mr. Gela Bezhuashvili welcomed the participants at the opening reception. In addition, Ambassador of Germany in Georgia Hon. Uwe Shramm gave the opening remarks. The conference involved panel discussions with scholars and political analysts from the North and South Caucasus. The participants assessed the current situation in the region and in their respective countries. Special attention was paid to the problems of North Caucasus; participants explored the mental maps and interests that guide the policies of the regional governments and political elites.
By holding this unprecedented conference, the Foundation aimed to initiate an intraregional dialogue and contribute to the restoration of contacts and cooperation between the two parts of the Caucasus region. One of the most important goals of the intraregional conference was to provide the representatives from North Caucasus with an ability to learn firsthand about the current processes in Georgia. They also had an opportunity to meet with President Saakashvili and discuss with him the future of the region.