Engaging society and decision-makers in dialogue for peace over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Project Name: Engaging society and decision-makers in dialogue for peace over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Funded by: UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund

Project period: May 2017 – March 2019

In May 2017, with support from the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the Caucasus Institute began implementing the project called Engaging society and decision-makers in dialogue for peace over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The project aims to engage the societies and governments of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in a dialogue on peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and create tools for sustaining this dialogue in the future.

The last major activity at this stage of the project is the international conference on Prospects for Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh: International and Domestic Perspectives held in Yerevan on March 15-16, 2018, involving UK and Armenian experts in an in-depth discussion of various aspects of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, with view to strategic rethinking of domestic and international approaches.

One of the first activities of the project was a panel on Nagorno-Karabakh at the Caucasus-2016 International Conference in Yerevan in June 2017, sounding the keynote for a series of expert discussions of the conflict. Throughout summer 2017, the Caucasus Institute conducted research and fieldwork in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, collecting and consolidating data on attitudes, perceptions and visions of the conflict and its resolution prospects. Research results were published in a policy paper used to initiate an informed dialogue among various stakeholders – decision-makers, political parties, media and youth – concerning the need for peace and the potential for conflict settlement.

Between autumn 2017 and spring 2018, the project organized public and closed discussions in various formats, involving youth, experts, public officials, political party activists and media in discussions of peace prospects in Nagorno-Karabakh. In early 2018, the project organized a study tour to London for a group of young members of political parties represented in the National Assembly of Armenia. The tour aimed at boosting the Armenian political parties’ capacity for political programming on Nagorno-Karabakh. The group met with UK experts, officials, journalists and scholars working on NK and the South Caucasus region. The visitors received first-hand information from UK stakeholders about their visions and experiences in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its resolution, and also shared the Armenian political parties’ positions on conflict resolution and peace building.

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