On December 9-11 in Tbilisi the first international conference titled “Transformation of Conflicts in South Caucasus” was held. The conference was organized under a regional project “South Caucasus Network for Civil Accord”, implemented since September 2001, by 12 NGOs (including journalistic associations) of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the United Kingdom and Germany with the support of European Commission. Over 40 representatives of the “third sector” and media of the countries of the region, missions of international organizations, foreign NGOs took part in the conference.
The participants were introduced to the main objectives and goals of the project aimed at the activation of the efforts of civil institutes on achieving peace, stability and cooperation in South Caucasus. This purpose is to be served by the regional electronic weekly Bulletin “Press Club” issued since October this year by Yerevan Press Club, “Yeni Nesil” Journalists Union of Azerbaijan and “BS Press” Association (Georgia), as well as the web site. During the first session the conference participants were presented the print version of the first eight issues of “Press Club” Bulletin.
As to the next sessions, the attention during them was mainly focused on the analysis and the possibilities of regulating conflicts in the South Caucasus. Thus, the Political Adviser to the UN Mission in Tbilisi Martian Chuchuk and the Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission in Georgia Ivar Vikki described to the conference participants the efforts made by the international organizations to achieve peaceful conflict resolution in the region. On their part, experts Ivlian Khaindrava (Georgia), Khachatur Bezirjian (Armenia), Rasim Musabekov (Azerbaijan) spoke about their vision of the problems associated with the transformation of conflicts in South Caucasus.
It is notable that these reports were mostly consonant with the findings of sociological researches and media content analysis, conducted in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia on the subjects of concern. In particular, the results of the surveys – which, by the way, mostly confirmed the diametrically opposing attitudes of the parties – were presented by the experts Georgy Khutsishvili (Georgia), Gevork Poghosian (Armenia) and Rakhmil Shulman (Azerbaijan).
Within the frameworks of the conference a talk show – TV discussion on the conflicts in the region and ways of overcoming them – was made. The talk show was opened by documentaries shot in the “hot spots”. A TV program based on the talk show materials is to be aired on the TV channels of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.