The European Neighbourhood Council (ENC) together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swiss Mission to the European Union organised a policy dialogue dedicated to the role of development cooperation in conflict areas in the Eastern European Neighbourhood.
Following the opening remarks of H.E Urs Burcher, Ambassador of Switzerland to the European Union, the panel discussion proceeded under the moderation of the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC) Managing Director, Mr. Samuel Doveri Vesterbye.
According to Ms. Cihan Sultanoglu, United Nations Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Europe and CIS, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represent the guiding framework for enabling peace in the frozen conflict areas.
Ms. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova, and Mr. Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia underlined the UNDP achievements in Moldova and Georgia respectively. Mr. Lawrence Meredith, Director of Neighbourhood East (DG NEAR) stressed the importance of moving forward based on the lessons learned from the conflict-affected areas and that we still have much to learn.
However, Mr. Archil Gegeshidze, Independent Georgian Expert, expressed his concerns on the current conflict resolution impasse in Georgia. Ms. Gercheva raised similar conserns for the deadlock in Transnistria and highlighted during her opening remarks that peace resolution does not lie inside the country and that the implementation of the development agenda is very critical.