The CBDN history dates back to 2002 when International Alert formed the Economy and Conflict Research Group (ECRG) that carried out a groundbreaking research on the nexus between economy and conflicts in the South Caucasus. In 2004, the book From War Economies to Peace Economies was published. The book was innovative in its 3+3+1 format of the research teams and chapters (3 states of the South Caucasus- Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, 3 non-recognised entities- Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorny Karabakh, as well as Turkey) and its focus on the potential for economic incentives to positively contribute to peacebuilding.
This and other forthcoming publications of CBDN are both a research, as well as an advocacy tool designed to inform policies of national governments and international institutions.
CBDN was founded in 2005. It is institutionalised as a network of regional offices in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Tskhinval/i, Sukhum/i, Yerevan, Gyumri, Baku, in Nagorny Karabakh and in Turkey. All have their individual work plans based on the needs and realities of their regions. The scope of their work ranges from training, consultations for local entrepreneurs, sponsorship of business initiatives, research, and advocacy. The network is an effective information exchange mechanism and ensures coordinated work of the individual centers, timely assistance and decision making. There are also bi-lateral, tri-lateral and regional activities and events that are being carried out under the aegis of the CBDN and International Alert in cooperation with local businesses and business associations and international partners.
CBDN, PEACE AND BUSINESS
In the absence of political resolutions to the conflicts, CBDN believes that business offers a common interest across the region for cooperation and an alternative way to promote peacebuilding in the region
CBDN believes there is a strong economic case for regional cooperation and that regional challenges (e.g. interrupted markets, conflicts) need regional solutions. CBDN is the only institution actively promoting regional economic cooperation in an inclusive format across the South Caucasus
CBDN supports business projects that are for mutual benefit and require genuine partnership and where neither conflict party dictates or unilaterally profits from the other help. This helps restore trust and humanity in the relationships between the opposing sides
CBDN launches and supports business initiatives that are legal, transparent and beneficial for people across conflict divides in the South Caucasus. This makes it a legitimate and respected force in the economic sector and in the peacebuilding
CBDN supports creation of new platforms to promote regional economic cooperation (Caucasian Tea Producers’ Association, Women’s Economic Forum, etc) and supports business initiatives that are for mutually beneficial and promote positive change
CBDN develops, advocates for and pilots models of regional economic cooperation such as regional events (e.g. exhibitions, business fairs), information tours for entrepreneurs, cross-divide production chains (e.g. production schemes, machinery lending schemes), economic zones and creation and promotion of regional brands (Caucasian cheese, Caucasus tea, Caucasian wine
CBDN alleviates negative social consequences of protracted conflicts by means of practical assistance to the development of private sector in border regions, conflict zones and among small and medium business
CBDN demonstrates that holding different and even polar positions on the core conflict issues is not an impediment for genuine and effective cooperation between entrepreneurs from the opposing sides
- The CBDN is an open platform for all those who support its goals. It is a platform for dialogue and cooperation, not for promoting political views.
- Participants in the CBDN’s work are equal and interdependent.
- The goals of the CBDN can only be achieved when everyone cooperates closely with each other.
- All CBDN initiatives aim to make a positive contribution and follow the principle of “do-no-harm”.
- The CBDN’s goals should always be above personal interests.
- The CBDN aspires to be a dynamic and continuously expanding network that engages new people and sectors.
- Enhancing the sustainability of the CBDN is a collective responsibility of everyone participating in the CBDN’s work.
The initiatives are funded by Conflict Prevention Pool of British Government (CPP), Instrument for Stability (IFS), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and Department for International Development (DFID).