2009 / 06 / 25

On 25 June, 2009 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies hosted a roundtable discussion which focused on the prospects for civil society engagement in the South Ossetia conflict resolution. The event was organized in partnership with the EU monitoring mission and brought together representative from the non-governmental organizations actively involved in the area as well as European Union Monitoring Mission staff.

Discussions proceeded in three thematic directions: assessment of the post-August 2008 environment and the role of civil society in establishing conditions for a peace process; civil society projects under implementation; and opportunities for future involvement of NGOs in the conflict resolution efforts (through information sharing and dialogue initiatives).

All participants agreed that August war undermined activities of Conflict and Stabilization Operations working on issues of Georgian-Ossetian relations. As a result, this new political context provides unfavorable conditions for effective continuation of the past efforts. This said, it is fundamental that civil society’s involvement in establishment of a dialogue between Georgians and Ossetians is promoted and supported. It was noted, that under current circumstance the mission of Georgian CSOs is twofold: start a dialogue with Ossetian counterparts and work with the government on elaboration of policy approaches for a peace process.