Caucasus Network of NGOs Define Direction

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A meeting of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) of the North and South Caucasus was held within the framework of the "Peace and Stability Through Inter-Regional Cooperation Program" (FRESTA) on Refugees and Enforced Migran’s Affairs in Armenia at the end of February. The main purpose of the meeting was to establish an effective Caucasian network of NGOs. The program is fulfilled by the Danish Council on Refugees with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. More than 50 NGOs from Armenia–Georgia–Azerbaijan–the North Caucasus and from unrecognized state formations–such as Nagorno Karabakh–Abkhazia and South Ossetia–participated in the meeting.

The NGO meeting made decisions about the main directions of the network activities–mainly peacemaking activities both in every country and at a inter-regional level. Participants of the meeting expressed wishes to participate in educational–cultural–social programs. Donors were proposed to execute both the policies of small gran’s and the policies of large investmen’s’ attraction to the Caucasian region for executing peacemaking drafts–the development of long-term and effective network with adjusted information exchange.

NGOs agreed to refuse the politicization of refugees and enforced migran’s affairs–but according to Batal Kobakhia–an Abkhzian representative of NGO–it is impossible to consider issues on refugees repatriation excluding the participation of community in the places of their previous residence (i.e. Nagorno Karabakh–Abkhazia and South Ossetia)–and such an approach complicates the further cooperation of Abkhazian NGOs with the network. Alan Parastayev–an NGO representative of South Ossetia–agreed with Kobakhia.

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