The European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Governments of Azerbaijan and Georgia summarised the results of a three-year initiative which aimed to enhance land border protection between Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Theclosing conference of the programme in Tbilisi on September 25, 2017, brought together top officials of the border management agencies of Azerbaijan and Georgia, border management officials from the European countries – Austria and Romania, and representatives of the European Union, United Nations and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
Niels Scott, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia; Carlo Natale, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Georgia; Levan Chabukiani, Acting Head of the Border Police of Georgia; and Farhad Taghizada, Deputy Chief of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan, addressed the conference participants with welcome remarks.
“The initiative implemented in Azerbaijan and Georgia is part of the European Union’s wider assistance to the South Caucasus under the European Union Eastern Partnership Flagship. We assist the countries to introduce Integrated Border Management as an effective way to tackle smuggling and trafficking, ease people’s mobility across the borders, and enhance regional and global cooperation,” said Carlo Natale, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia.
Niels Scott, Head of UNDP in Georgia, stressed the importance of open yet secure borders for promoting sustainable development in the region.
“Modern borders serve the interests of people opening doors to new markets, trade, tourism, education, free movement of people and goods, and economic cooperation across the regions,” Niels Scott said.
With the total budget of over Euro 5 million, the programme addressed a range of a border management areas, including the coordinated operation at a land border between Azerbaijan and Georgia, improvement of the operational performance of the border management agencies, strengthened cooperation between the two countries, and overall security in the South Caucasus region.