Capacity Building Programme for the Georgian Defence and Security Committee

Between 6 and 8 June 2013 and between 20 and 22 June 2013, CESS, together with Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS), organized two one-day seminars and two two-day training courses in Georgia, part of the programme Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector in Georgia. During these highly intensive conferences and trainings, a variety of subjects were addressed. 

6-8 June 2013

The first meeting on 6-8 June 2013, opened by H.E. Pieter Jan Langenberg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia and Armenia, focused on the Role of Parliament in the Process of Security Sector Reform. The former Minister of Defence of the Netherlands, Willem van Eekelen, lectured about the role of Parliament in initiating, overseeing and sustaining Security Sector Reform, which led to an active discussion among the participants, ranging from members of the Defence and Security Committee, members of the Ministry of Defence and several other parliamentary committees. Irakli Chikovani, Member of the Defence and Security Committee, addressed this same topic. Subsequently, Chairman of the Belgian Military Acquisitions Committee and Member of the Parliament of Belgium, Wouter De Vriendt, lectured on the second part of the day about parliamentary oversight of defence reform. This same topic was addressed by Nodar Kharshiladze, former Minister of Defence of Georgia, again followed by discussion involving speakers and attendants.

  

The two-day training course, following the seminar, aimed at capacity building of the parliamentary staffers of the Defence and Security Committee. Our experts Bauke Snoep, Independent Security Sector Reform and Human Rights Expert, and Peter Vanhoutte, Parliamentary Empowerment Expert, led several highly interactive training sessions addressing the topic of the role of Parliament in the process of Security Sector Reform.

Both experts/associates were available to provide feedback and didactical advice to the attendants of the training courses. During these two days of training, all the Georgian attendants played a very pro-active role in the discussions about the topics at hand, making it a very succesful training.

 

20-22 June 2013

The second meeting, on 20-22 June 2013, was again opened by H.E. Pieter Jan Langenberg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia and Armenia, followed by David Onoprishvili, Chairman of the Budgetary Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. The seminar and training focussed this time on financial accountability and budgetary transparency of the defence sector. CESS associate and expert Peter Vanhoutte and Georgian Member of Parliament Giorgi Vashadze lectured about parliamentary procedures for reviewing defence budgets, leading to fruitful, open and active discussions about the topics at hand. The next topic of this morning, defence reforms in the context of decreasing defence budgets, was introduced and lectured by Franz Wascotte, Belgian Court of Audit Councillor, Irakli Sesiashvili, Chairman of the Defence and Security Committee and Batu Kutelia, Deputy Chairman of the National Security Council of Georgia. Again this time all attendants were eager to debate the topics at hand, leading to animated debates between different members of the oppositional political coalitions. 

During the two-day training the following two days, our CESS associate and expert Peter Vanhoutte, together with Georgian expert Tariel Sikharulidze, led several interactive training sessions. Both experts succesfully involved the attendants in several highly interactive training sessions, addressing the topic of financial accountability and budgetary transparency of the defence sector. During the second day of training, two representatives of the Georgian Court of Audit were invited to introduce the Court of Audit, followed by a very alive debate among the attendants and the representatives. During the training sessions our experts were available to provide feedback and didactical advice to the attendants of the training courses. The interactive sessions led to new insights and mutual understanding between the attendants.

 

 

The next two parts of the CESS-GRASS programme in Georgia will start in September 2013.



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