Diplomats from the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) joined dozens of experts and academics to discuss ongoing processes in the South Caucasus region, prospects for regional-co-operation and how to address issues related to the unresolved conflicts. The 3rd Oxford Conference on contemporary South Caucasus Issues, jointly organised by LINKS (DAR) and Oxford University this year had the theme "Regional Co-operation in the South Caucasus: elusive but necessary".
The conference opening, chaired by Dame Audrey Glover, included contributions by Toivo Klaar, European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the conflict in Georgia; Cihan Sultanoglu, United Nations Representative for the Geneva International Discussions; and Rudolph Michalka, Special Representative of the OSCE CiO for the South Caucasus.
During the day participants listened to three panel discussions. The 1st Session dealt with the theme "Domestic developments amid shifting regional dynamics and tense global processes". it was moderated by Professor Roy Allison (Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre, Oxford University). Other speakers were Zaur Shiriyev (Analyst, International Crisis Group), Dr Giorgi Khelashvili (Advisor to the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia), Lusine Kharatyan (National Academy of Sciences of Armenia).
The theme of the 2nd Session was "Big players, competing agendas, demanding clients - the role of external actors in the South Caucasus", and it was moderated by Craig Oliphant from the Foreign Policy Centre. Panellists included Amanda Paul (Senior Analyst, European Policy Centre), Dr Giorgio Comai (International Co-operation Centre, Trento), Professor Jamie Shea (Exeter University); and Armenak Tokmajyan (International Crisis Group).
The 3rd Session focused on the theme "Breaking the vicious circle: Can the region emerge from the quagmire of conflict?" It was chaired by Dr Dennis Sammut (LINKS [DAR]). Speakers included Veronika Movchan, (Berlin Economics), Ahmad Allili (CESD. Baku), Eduard Abrahamyan (Leicester University).
Detailled reports on the conference can be found on commonspace.eu.