Earlier this month International Alert helped to organise a presentation by our partner, the Caucasus Business and Development Network (CBDN), at a festival in Kutaisi, Georgia on promoting peace through advocating for new models of cooperation.
The festival, called Maisoba, gave CBDN the opportunity to raise awareness of its efforts to promote greater regional cooperation across conflict divides in the South Caucasus and with neighbouring Turkey (Kars). CBDN members from different corners of the region came together to talk about how their ‘Caucasian brands’ have come about and gave people the chance to try their products, which include tea, honey, cheese and wine.
At the event CBDN launched its latest tea (pictured left), which blends the finest Abkhaz, Azeri and Georgian tea leaves with the best Armenian, Karabakhi and Ossetian herbs, and also released a new collection of natural honeys from across the region.
Hundreds of people attended the event, including the city’s mayor, members of Georgia’s parliament, and representatives from the State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, the chamber of commerce and the international community, as well as local business groups and the media.
The festival was a huge success for CBDN, raising public interest in the scheme and its products, which were highly praised by the public and experts alike. It also reaffirmed the commitment and passion of CBDN members to the founding principle of the network, which is about improving dialogue and cooperation in the region to contribute to peace.
This initiative is funded by the European Union and UK Conflict Pool.