Youth for Open Parliament
Fifteen students received certificates and gifts from the Parliament of Georgia, European Union, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) for taking part in the ideas contest “Open Parliament - Voice of Youth”.
MP Giorgi Kakhiani, Chair of Procedural Issues and Rules Committee;Sophie HuetGuerriche, Project Manager of the EU Delegation to Georgia; Gigi Bregadze, UNDP’s Democratic Governance Team Leader; and Giorgi Kldiashvili,IDFI Director, met with the contestants and winners on 14 December 2015.
In November and December, young people from different universities of Georgia spent several days with the Parliament, attended specialised training and met MPs and staff to learn more about legislative openness and transparency. The students then attempted at inventing creative ways to increase Parliament’s openness and boost civic engagement in the legislative process. Fifteen out offorty participants rose to the task and brought their innovative ideas to the table.
The best ideas will be considered by the Parliament of Georgia in the work of the Inter-Factional Group and Open Parliament Working Group.
The contest for students is part of a larger programme to support parliamentary openness in Georgia, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with IDFI.
Since 2014, this initiative has assisted the Parliament of Georgia to take major steps forward on the way to legislative openness, including for the adoption of the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan 2015-2016.
Last September, the Parliament of Georgia hosted a Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW) and international conference which brought together 70 foreign delegates. In October, the Parliament of Georgia was awarded with the Government Champions Award at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Mexico.
Currently, the Parliament of Georgia is discussing the establishment of a Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open and Transparent Governance, which is one of the commitments of the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan 2015-2016.
Opposition Reject Election Results, Hit the Streets
Georgia’s major opposition parties, including the United National Movement of ex-President Saakashvili, European Georgia, Lelo, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Labor Party, hit the streets on Sunday afternoon, rejecting the preliminary results of the October 31 parliamentary vote, that forecast the Georgian Dream to form a third consecutive government.
The opposition claims the Georgian Dream “usurped power,” and rigged the elections, citing, among others, discrepancies in a number of final vote tallies. The key local election watchdogs said they identified the discrepancies in some 7 or 8% of the summary protocols. The opposition politicians argue the united opposition forces garnered more votes in total than the incumbent ruling party.
Protesting the “stolen elections,” the opposition leaders and protesters are rallying towards the hilltop residence of GD leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, after blocking Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Georgian capital, outside the Parliament.
In the meantime, Gigi Ugulava of the European Georgia party, announced the opposition parties will organize a large-scale rally on November 8.
Georgia held Saturday’s parliamentary vote under a significantly modified system, which changed the composition of 150-member parliament to 120 MPs elected through proportional, party-lists, and 30 elected as majoritarians (from 77/73 ratio) and set threshold at 1% of votes. According to the results of 98.86% precincts counted, Georgian Dream garnered 48,1% of proportional votes, while the United National Movement-led Strength in Unity bloc came second with 27.12%. European Georgia scored third with 3.77%.
Preliminary results also show GD victory in 13 single-mandate constituencies, while runoffs are expected in 17 districts, including in all 8 districts of the capital city of Tbilisi.
MP Irma Inashvili, leader of Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots party, that is at odds with UNM and other opposition parties, also announced that today her party rejects the results, vowing to hold separate rallies.
During his speech at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Turkmenistan stressed the importance of restoring trust in international politics
On September 22, 2020, the high-level week of the 75th anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly began. On the same day, a transmission of the speech of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took place.
Noting that the current session of the UN General Assembly is being held in a difficult period, the Head of Turkmenistan called for an objective look at the general international situation, shattered by the neglect of international law, military and political rivalry, which, unfortunately, is observed in the world today.
To resolve this situation, the Head of State noted “that it is necessary to consolidate efforts aimed at strengthening the role of international law, multilateral legal instruments of the existing system of global security, strict observance by all countries of generally recognized norms arising from the UN Charter. This is the only way to maintain stability and predictability in world politics, to reduce the risks of conflicts. "
The President of Turkmenistan emphasized that in order to achieve these goals, it is necessary to restore trust in international politics, to establish a culture of respectful dialogue.
In this regard, the important role of the policy of permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan was underlined. As a matter of fact, its keystones contain the principles of humanism and peaceful approach to the resolution of global challenges and response to the threats of modern times. As is known, this year Turkmenistan honors the 25th anniversary since obtaining the given status. The model of positive neutrality developed by Turkmenistan calls not for impartiality, but unity by means of political-diplomatic tools. This concept is vividly presented in the project of the resolution initiated by Turkmenistan entitled “the Role and Significance of the Neutrality Policy in Sustaining and Strengthening International Peace, Security and Sustainable Development,” the presentation of which was held in January of current year in the UN headquarters. The draft of the resolution is under consideration.
Then, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov added that “the UN General Assembly, at the initiative of Turkmenistan, adopted a resolution declaring 2021 the Year of International Peace and Confidence. In the light of the implementation of the provisions of this document, Turkmenistan sets forth the initiative to hold an International Forum of Peace and Trust next year. The leader of Turkmenistan expressed confidence that this Forum will give an important impetus to the promotion of peace, stability and will contribute to the strengthening of international cooperation.
In this context, the important role of preventive diplomacy was noted, which is consonant with the UN principles. Noting that the policy of Neutrality is aimed at ensuring regional peace, security and development, the President of Turkmenistan stressed that within the framework of the upcoming session, the Turkmen side intends to propose to the General Assembly to consider the draft resolution “The Role of the Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.”
The Head of State noted that the achievement of peace, security and progress in the Central Asian region depends on the settlement of the situation in Afghanistan. “The position of Turkmenistan here is principled and unchanged: there is no alternative to the negotiation process,” the President noted. In this regard, it was noted that Turkmenistan is ready to assist in the advancement of this process, in particular, by creating the necessary political and organizational conditions on its territory.
Along with political stabilization, the economic and social reconstruction of Afghanistan is also important. In this regard, Turkmenistan stands for the implementation of large infrastructure projects with Afghan participation, primarily in such important areas as energy, transport and communications. Turkmenistan has already initiated a number of projects in this direction, in particular the construction of a gas pipeline along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India route, railway branches, and fiber-optic communication lines reaching the territory of Afghanistan.
The President of Turkmenistan stressed that Turkmenistan firmly believes in the future of the UN, will continue to strengthen and build up strategic partnership with this Organization for the benefit of all mankind.
The President of Turkmenistan called for the creation of platforms to bring the global economy onto a sustainable growth path
On September 22, 2020, the high-level week of the 75th anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly began at the UN headquarters in New York. On this day, the broadcast of the speeches of the heads of states and governments began. One of the first was the translation of the speech of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
In his address, the head of Turkmenistan voiced the state of the global economy, which was going through a difficult period this year. It was emphasized that, being a staunch adherent of the Sustainable Development Goals, Turkmenistan is actively using all the necessary potential in this direction. Unfortunately, the pandemic has seriously undermined the colossal progress towards the SDGs.
The Head of State stressed that Turkmenistan intends to intensify work on the creation of UN international legal instruments in the field of stability and reliability of energy transit. As is known, the proposals of Turkmenistan in this area have more than once been confirmed by the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly.
The leader of Turkmenistan also noted the importance of developing cooperation in the field of transport, adding that Turkmenistan proposes to consider the issue of ensuring stable international transport in times of emergency. It was also expressed the intention of Turkmenistan to host the International Conference of Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries, which will make it possible to intensify interaction in this direction.
The President of Turkmenistan called for the comprehensive strengthening of international cooperation in the field of health during a speech at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly
On September 22, 2020, the high-level week of the 75th anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly began, during which video speeches of the heads of states and governments will be broadcasted. On the same day, one of the first, the broadcast of the speech of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took place.
In his speech, the Head of State outlined in detail the position of Turkmenistan on key aspects of the international agenda, put forward a number of significant initiatives of a political, socio-economic and humanitarian nature.
At the beginning of his speech, the President of Turkmenistan expressed words of deep empathy in connection with the loss of numerous inhabitants of the planet who did not survive the blow of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov dwelled on the measures taken in Turkmenistan, which were carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization and in close cooperation with the relevant UN departments to counter this threat.
The Head of State noted that for a speedy victory over the pandemic, close professional coordination and unification of efforts of scientific and medical communities around the world are necessary. Having voiced the importance of multilateral cooperation on the problem of dangerous viral diseases, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted the importance of fully launching channels of scientific diplomacy. He added that under the auspices of WHO, it is advisable to establish a Special Program of the World Health Organization to study the genome of coronavirus, develop a multilateral mechanism to combat pneumonia, and create a Methodological Center for the Treatment and Prevention of Acute Diseases.
Azerbaijan and Turkey were among the countries that supported Georgia in the UN
On September 3, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution entitled “Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia”. As Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia noted, this year the document had unprecedented support – has been supported by 84 member states, only 13 opposed. Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili expressed her gratitude to all 84 countries that have stood next to Georgia this year.
It is noteworthy that our neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey have once again expressed support for Georgia, joining the global call to ensure the observance of the rights of the Georgian population expelled from Abkhazia and Samachablo. With Russia's position, everything is clear. But Armenia acted in a very non-trivial way – it did not take part in the voting. It is difficult to imagine that the immediate neighbor of our country, who assures of friendship in the course of bilateral contacts, is poorly informed about the state of affairs of internally displaced persons in Georgia. However, Yerevan has avoided expressing a clear position on this issue.