The PESTUGE project held a series of meetings in Tbilisi, Georgia from 18th to 21st September 2018. PESTUGE is a three-year project to create MA programmes in peace a conflict studies in the Republic of Georgia. PESTUGE is funded by Erasmus+ and coordinated by IICRR. The visit included management meetings to plan for the conclusion of the project, the submission of the final report and future funding applications for the consortium. The meetings were hosted by Ilia State University, Tbilisi. Representing IICRR were Dr Walt Kilroy, Dr Eamonn McConnon and Dr Michael Breen.
The main event of the visit was the “Tbilisi International Peace Conference 2018” held at the Hotel Ambassadori, Tbilisi and organised by Ilia State University on 19th September 2018. The conference showcased the activities of the project and communicated the key messages of the project to the wider Georgian public. Opening Remarks were delivered by Dr Lika Glonti, National Erasmus+ Office (NEO) Head, Prof Giorgi Sharvashidze, Rector, Tbilisi State University, Prof Kakha Shengelia, President, Caucasus University, Prof Giorgi Gvalia, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Ilia State University. Dr Walt Kilroy, IICRR Assoxiate Director and Project Coordinator spoke on “PESTUGE: Philosophy of the Project and Overall Overview – Key Achievements”. Dr Gillian Wylie, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; Dr Josefina Echavarría Alvarez, University of Innsbruck, Austria and Dr Adrian Grant, Ulster University, Derry, UK spoke on the panel discussing “EU PERSPECTIVES: Peace Studies Curricula Development & Activities in the EU and Georgia”.
Prof Giorgi Gvalia, Dean of School of Arts & Sciences, Ilia State University; Prof Eka Akobia Dean of Caucasus University Caucasus School of Governance (CSG), Director, Institute of Peace Studies (IPS); Prof Gvantsa Abdaladze Associate Professor, Sokhumi State University; and Nika Samkharadze, Professor, Tbilisi State University spoke on the panel “PESTUGE Project Outcomes in Georgia”. The Stakeholders panel discussion on the topic “Challenges to the Peace and Security in Georgia: Local Perspectives” was addressed by David Aprasidze, Ilia State University; Lasha Markozashvili, National Defense Academy of Georgia; Irakli Porchkhidze, Ilia State University, Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies; Ivanna Machitidze, International Black Sea University; Bidzina Lebanidze, Ilia State University, University of Bremen.
The publication outputs of the project were presented by Prof Tariel Sikharulidze, Ilia State University; Prof Gvantsa Abdaladze, Sokhumi State University; Prof Nino Pavlenishvili and Ms Natia Chachava. A discussion of PESTUGE Students’ Perspectives on Peace Studies was held with Giorgi Odoshashvili, Ilia State University, Zurab Gorgodze, Sokhumi State University, Nino Papiashvili, Caucasus School of Governance, Caucasus University and Tamar Giorgobiani, Tbilisi State University. Closing Remarks were given by Prof Giorgi Gvalia, Dean of School of Arts & Sciences, Ilia State University and Dr Walt Kilroy.