On July 5, 2005 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies launched a two-day seminar: South Caucasus: Political, Security, and Development Challenges.  Forty participants from Great Britain, the United States, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Georgia took part in five panel discussions. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Zurab Noghaideli delivered the opening speech.

The first panel addressed the possible effects of the frozen conflicts on democratic development and consolidation, as well as on economic progress.  In particular, the panelists emphasized the ways in which underdeveloped democracy allows leaders to avoid honest dialogue with citizens regarding the issues in the conflict zones.  Deeper democratization, therefore, was determined as a potential avenue for ‘unfreezing’ the conflicts and moving forward toward peaceful resolution.  The second panel dealt with non-traditional security challenges in conflict regions, specifically, the panelists discussed trafficking, counterfeiting, computer fraud, and terrorism.  The third panel addressed local and regional dimensions of the conflicts and looked for factors that might facilitate peaceful settlements.  The fourth panel focused on practical economic and political policy measures for resolving the conflicts. The final panel explored avenues by which the international community—including the UN, OSCE, the EU, NATO, the United States, and Russia—can realize viable peace in the region