H.E. Anne Toft Sørensen, Ambassador of Denmark to Georgia and Armenia, Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia, and Mzia Giorgobiani, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, visited Mtskheta and Dusheti municipalities on 17 July to assess the progress of local development projects supported by Denmark and UNDP. The visit aimed to strengthen local development initiatives and promote citizen engagement in decision-making processes.
In Mtskheta, the delegation explored the renowned Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a significant historic and cultural monument in Georgia. They also visited a newly established tourist information centre, engaging in discussions with Mayor Dimitri Zurabishvili to uncover untapped potential and evaluate the impact of tourism development on the social and economic well-being of local communities. During their visit, the guests had the opportunity to experience innovative audio guides, a user-friendly tool developed with the support of Denmark and UNDP, which offers visitors an immersive exploration of Mtskheta’s rich history spanning three millennia.
As the visit continued in Dusheti Municipality, the delegation participated in a community forum organized by local civil society organizations. The forum provided a platform for dialogue between Mayor Manana Narimanidze and local residents, enabling a comprehensive assessment of the economic, social, and infrastructural challenges faced by the people of Dusheti. Collaborating with local authorities, the participants sought to identify effective municipal solutions and foster inclusive decision-making processes.
H.E. Anne Toft Sørensen, Ambassador of Denmark to Georgia and Armenia, expressed her satisfaction with the progress of the local development initiatives. “Denmark is committed to supporting sustainable development in Georgia. Our partnership with UNDP and the Georgian Government aims to enhance local communities and promote their active participation in decision-making processes. The impressive work we witnessed today in Mtskheta and Dusheti showcases the positive impact of our collective efforts.”
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia, emphasized the importance of citizen engagement, saying, “By empowering local communities and promoting citizen involvement, equality, and inclusivity, we can ensure that development initiatives address the needs and aspirations of the people they are designed to benefit.”
The visit of the Danish Ambassador and the UNDP Resident Representative to Mtskheta and Dusheti municipalities highlighted the successful cooperation between Denmark, UNDP, and the Georgian Government in advancing local development and citizen engagement and fostering sustainable growth and inclusive societies. Denmark and UNDP are supporting a range of similar initiatives in 23 municipalities across Georgia, drawing on the resources of a US$4 million Danish-funded project for Decentralization and Good Governance.