British Embassy in Tbilisi Highlights the Work of ‘Conflict Pool’
On 31 March UK Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall hosted a reception to highlight the UK’s contribution to conflict resolution efforts across the South Caucasus and to thank current project partners for their valuable work. The UK’s Conflict Pool funding mechanism was established to enhance the effectiveness of the UK’s contribution to conflict prevention and resolution and has been funding a range of projects aimed at the resolution of past and on-going conflicts and the prevention of new ones.
“In the last year the UK invested just under Ј3m on projects aimed at conflict-resolution across the region” said Ambassador Hall Hall ahead of the event. “This year, recognising the new challenges facing the region and the increase in tensions, the UK has increased its spending to Ј4m. We will continue working with other international organisations and our partners to advance peace and stability across the region.”
The event in Tbilisi brought together both current and potential project partners of the UK embassy. “I think it is absolutely vital to bring all people together and give them a space to share not only what they have done but also what should be done,” Murad Nasibov from the Eurasia Partnership Foundation told Georgia Today.
The Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Azerbaijan and Armenia have been working with Conflict Pool funding since 2008, and have recently run a successful project entitled ‘Linking Young Generation of Civil Society Peace-builders with Policy Level Stakeholders.’
In a speech to assembled participants, Ambassador Hall Hall spoke about the UK’s continued commitment to conflict resolution and prevention in the region. “The UK obviously has very hard-headed reasons for wanting to prevent conflict in the region,” she said, alluding to such British strategic interests as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, “However, the lives of people affected by conflict is something we care passionately about.”
Shortly after her appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Georgia in 2013, Ambassador Hall Hall visited the Gori and Zugdidi field offices of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), joining a patrol along the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia.
The Embassy also announced a new call for funding bids for 2015-2016 funding by the new Conflict, Stability and Security Fund which replaces the Conflict Pool from April 2015. The CSSF aims to reduce the potential for violent conflict in the South Caucasus region by investing in upstream conflict prevention and by creating an environment that is more conducive to the resolution of conflicts.