Panel discussion - "Joint efforts to eliminate the threats of illegal proliferation of Advanced Conventional Weapons (ACW) and their components"

On October 26, the Georgian Center for Strategy and Development (GCSD) held a panel discussion - "Joint efforts to eliminate the threats of illegal proliferation of Advanced Conventional Weapons (ACW) and their components".

The event was opened by Giorgi Goguadze, a board member of GCSD, followed by a speech from the representative of the United States State Department, Matthew Sapp, and the director of the Intelligence and analysis research group at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), James Byrne.

At the first panel of the event, Giorgi Goguadze, guest expert Bethany Banks, and Mariam Tokhadze the director of GCSD, talked at length about the threats and challenges related to the proliferation of illicit ACW components. Bethany Banks spoke about parts and components found in various types of everyday items that are then used in Russian Advanced conventional weapons systems. She gave various examples and discussed the complexity of the supply chain used by Russia on the basis of case analysis.

The second panel kicked off with James Byrne's speech, he presented the documents drafted by of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), which were translated into Georgian by GCSD. Participants reviewed RUSI's findings, discussed their research methodology, and discussed other reports prepared by RUSI, including a study on the involvement of three Georgian companies supplying high-tech components to Iran. The Q&A section of the panel was led by the moderator of the panel, Natia Seskuria, director of the Regional Institute for Security Studies.

The speakers of the final panel were Akaki Saghirashvili - a local expert on the topic of high-tech conventional weapons, Tinatin Japaridze - Eurasian geopolitical risk analyst at the Eurasia Group and Shorena Lortkipanidze, the founder of the Civil Defense and Security Council. They talked about the threats in Georgia and effective protection measures against the spread of ACW components. Tinatin Japaridze spoke about Georgia's capabilities and the need to be in line with Western partners. Akaki Saghirashvili, within the framework of the discussion of the regional context, presented the risks that the companies and organizations in Georgia might have.

Through the Q&A-s during the panel discussions, the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers regarding the restrictions regimes, modern compliance methods and other frameworks to discover illicit transactions.