What Do Georgians Think About Public Services?
Quality of roads, public kindergartens, cleaning service and citizen engagement in decision-making are in focus of a research commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and carried out by the Georgian research company ACT in November 2015.
The discussion about key findings of the study on 27 July 2016 brought together representatives of the Georgian Government, Parliament, local authorities, civil society and international organizations.
Niels Scott, Head of UNDP in Georgia, and Tengiz Shergelashvili, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, addressed the participants of an event with welcome remarks.
The comprehensive nation-wide research is based on interviews with 3,800 citizens over the age of 18 in all regions of Georgia. It examines public views about the services that are currently provided by municipalities and central government, provides comparative analysis with the similar study conducted in 2013, and includes recommendations for local authorities based on the perceptions and expectations of citizens.
The research is part of a wider programme supported by UNDP, Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) to assist self-governance reform in Georgia.
Turkmenistan makes another step forward in global climate action
The Government of Turkmenistan approved the updated Nationally Determined Contributions for the submission to the Council of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to enhance its climate ambition in accordance with the recommendations set out in Article 4.4 of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) of Turkmenistan demonstrates the country's ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the commitments under the Paris Agreement and in support of global efforts to tackle climate change.
This strategic national document in the field of climate change, developed by the Government of Turkmenistan in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), sets out a plan to prevent dangerous climate change, with the long-term goal of keeping average global temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and attempting to limit the temperature increase to 1.5° to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The planned reduction of emissions in the new NDC is a confirmation of the ambitious goal of Turkmenistan, which intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030. This goal remains the highest of all possible ambitions that Turkmenistan can achieve by implementing measures to reduce GHG emissions in such sectors as energy, transport, agriculture, industrial processes, and product use (IPPU), waste, as well as by using co-mitigation benefits from adaptation measures to climate change.
The UNDP Country Office supported the development of updated NDC and will make its efforts to achieve the goals set out in the presented NDC and its national priorities for the implementation of integrated low-carbon and climate-resilient solutions to join the global efforts on saving the planet.
“The adoption of the Nationally Determined Contributions by Turkmenistan demonstrates country's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement,” – noted Ms. Narine Sahakyan, UNDP Resident Representative in Turkmenistan. “UNDP stands ready to continue providing global expertise and technical support to ensure effective implementation of country’s NDCs to address the challenges of climate change”.
NDC stands for Nationally Determined Contributions and represent the targets that each country has set to join the global efforts in tackling climate change, focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and plans to adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.
These targets were established following the Paris Agreement on Climate Change - the first legally binding international treaty on climate change, which was signed by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris on 12 December, 2015 and entered into force on 4 November, 2016.
Every five years, countries submit new and more ambitious targets, playing their part in helping the world achieve global goals.
The first NDC of Turkmenistan was submitted to the UNFCCC in October 2016.
Turkmenistan ratified the UNFCCC in 1995 and the Paris Agreement in 2016 and actively takes part in international efforts to combat climate change.
Public attitudes toward LGBTQI people in Georgia are changing, yet the protection and realization of their rights remain a challenge
The United Nations and the Government of Sweden unveil research on human rights, legal protection and public attitudes toward the LGBTQI community in Georgia
TBILISI. 6 May 2022 – The LGBTQI people remain one of the least protected and most marginalized social groups in Georgia. They face discrimination and violence, while the protection and realization of their rights remain a challenge. Yet, recent research reveals that negative public attitudes toward the LGBTQI community have been decreasing in the last five years.
A series of studies were conducted by Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office and the non-governmental organization ‘Women’s Initiatives Support Group’ (WISG) with assistance from the Government of Sweden and the United Nations through its three agencies – UN Women, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The research reviews international standards in protecting LGBTQI rights and Georgia’s commitments in this area. It analyses the legal environment and widespread practices and examines public attitudes toward LGBTQI people in Georgia. The research also includes recommendations for specific state agencies.
The research findings point out positive changes in public attitudes in the last five years. Since 2016, the number of respondents who think that the LGBTQI community is interested in propaganda, and not in achieving equality, has decreased by 20.6 percent (55.9 percent in 2021 compared to almost 78 percent in 2016). The number of people with an extremely negative attitude toward the LGBTQI community and its human rights defenders dropped by around 20 percent and now hovers around 56 percent.
However, the research also captures the negative perception of the LGBTQI community in Georgia’s society. 48.2 percent of the respondents believe that LGBTQI people are fighting for privileges. 39.5 percent are convinced that the rights of the LGBTQI community are fully protected. At the same time, 38.6 percent note inadequate state response to the acts of violence and discrimination faced by the LGBTQI people.
The research was conducted under the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality, a Sweden-funded initiative implemented by UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA. Its reports are available on the UNDP website
UNDP and national partners discuss the Constitution of Turkmenistan in the context of ensuring human rights and freedoms
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Turkmenistan convened a workshop in a hybrid format on the Constitution of Turkmenistan as the guarantor of human rights and freedoms. The event gathered representatives of a number of government agencies including Milli Gengesh, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Prosecutor`s Office, Judicial system, as well as civil society organizations from Mary, Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap velayats and Ashgabat city.
This workshop dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Constitution Day of Turkmenistan and 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan's membership in the United Nations is organized in the framework of the three-year UNDP project: "Assistance in the realization of the National Action Plan of Turkmenistan in the field of human rights for 2021-2025" implemented jointly with the Institute of State, Law, and Democracy of Turkmenistan.
“I would especially like to emphasize that the Constitution of Turkmenistan - the supreme law of the country contains the fundamental principles and concepts of human rights reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” - noted during the meeting Mr. Rovshen Nurmuhammedov, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in Turkmenistan.
The purpose of the workshop is to discuss the importance of the Constitution for the protection, observance and promotion of human rights, and effective public administration using national and international mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights. During the workshop speakers also presented an overview of modern trends and concepts of human rights education and the role of public associations in ensuring human rights in Turkmenistan. The objectives of the workshop will contribute to the efforts of the country to comply with its international human rights obligations and implementing recommendations of human rights treaty bodies, including the recommendations of the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) within the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Integrated Territorial Development for prosperous regions
The EU and Germany support decentralized governance, social cohesion and inclusive economic growth in Georgia’s regions through partnerships with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, GIZ and UNDP
TBILISI. 22 March 2022 –The European Union (EU) joins hands with the German Government to kick off a national programme supporting sustainable and inclusive growth, balanced territorial development and good governance in Georgia’s regions. The EUR9.5 million ‘Integrated Territorial Development’ (EU4ITD) programme, running from 2022 to 2025, is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in close partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure and local authorities.
Drawing on EUR8.5 million from the European Union and EUR1 million from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the initiative serves to overcome regional disparities and achieve social cohesion by combining territorial development measures, such as urban renewal, with actions promoting economic development and social inclusion. The programme covers the four regions of Guria, Imereti, Kakheti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti.
GIZ, with EUR7.5 million, will support local economic development, assisting municipalities, businesses, and citizens to realise the untapped economic and social potential in the focus regions.
UNDP will use EUR2 million to promote decentralisation and good governance and establish institutional development frameworks for decentralized regional policy.
“The Georgian Government has embarked on an ambitious goal to design and implement a new framework for regional and local development in line with EU standards. This opens a new chapter in our joint efforts to overcome social and territorial disparities in Georgia, foster economic development and create equal opportunities for all citizens through inclusive, smart and sustainable socio-economic means,” said Mzia Giorgobiani, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure.
“Integrated territorial development is key to urban and rural transformation and to reducing socioeconomic disparities between regions and communities. It helps coordinate regional and local development, including its environmental, social and economic dimensions, and strengthen local democracy through inclusive participation. The EU is very happy to assist Georgia to introduce and explore this modern approach and shape lasting solutions to the complex challenges faced by the country’s regions”, said Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Carl Hartzell.
“We are excited to partner with the EU in support of integrated territorial development in the pilot regions” said Hubert Knirsch, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Georgia. “This project will combine urban renewal initiatives with tourism development measures based on the cultural and natural heritage to be found in the regions and assistance to local small and medium-sized enterprises – thus enabling them to bring their products to Georgian and, I hope, international markets”.
“Too often development initiatives are overly programmatic, with the resulting concentration on particular sectors and a “one size fits all” approach leading to opportunities and nuances being missed. EU4ITD is novel in that it consciously seeks a different path – firstly, to be holistic and address the social, economic and environmental, and secondly to follow a “place-based” approach, thereby taking account of the particularities of individual regions and municipalities. These issues lie close to GIZ’s heart, and the organization is therefore institutionally invested in EU4ITD bringing about meaningful change,” said GIZ Programme Director Christoph Beier.
“Regardless of where they live, people strive for a prosperous and livable environment shaped around the principles of inclusion, sustainability and good governance. Through our partnership with the European Union, we can provide Georgia’s regions with the assistance they need to achieve these goals, create new opportunities for local communities, improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty,” said UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia Nick Beresford.
The EU4ITD initiative contributes to and supports the implementation of the Pilot Integrated Regional Development Programme (PIRDP), the national programme developed by the Georgian Government to advance regional development and decentralization reform and to achieve the goals outlined in the 2020-2025 Decentralisation Strategy. PIRDP financing comprises over EUR54 million from the EU and a further EUR10 million from the national budget.
6 in 7 people worldwide plagued by feelings of insecurity, reports UN Development Programme
The new UNDP report shows a growing sense of insecurity among people despite years of development growth prompting calls for solidarity and refocusing development efforts
8 February, New York – Global development progress does not automatically lead to a greater sense of security, according to a new United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report on human security released today.
New data and analysis in the report, New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene, shows that people’s sense of safety and security is at a low in almost every country, including the richest countries, despite years of upwards development success. Those benefiting from some of the highest levels of good health, wealth, and education outcomes are reporting even greater anxiety than 10 years ago.
To tackle this disconnect between development and perceived security, the report calls for greater solidarity across borders and a new approach to development; one that allows people to live free from want, fear, anxiety and indignity.
“Despite global wealth being higher than ever before, a majority of people are feeling apprehensive about the future and these feelings have likely been exacerbated by the pandemic”, said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “In our quest for unbridled economic growth, we continue to destroy our natural world while inequalities are widening, both within and between countries. It is time to recognise the signs of societies that are under immense stress and redefine what progress actually means. We need a fit-for-purpose development model that is built around the protection and restoration of our planet with new sustainable opportunities for all.”
The imperative to act now has never been more clear, as new findings also show that global life expectancy at birth is falling for a second year because of COVID-19, and overall human development measures are also moving downward. Furthermore, climate change is likely to become a leading cause of death around the world. Even with moderate mitigation of emissions, some 40 million people might die because of changes in temperatures before the end of the century.
The report examines a cluster of threats that have shifted to become more prominent in recent years including those from digital technologies, inequalities, conflicts, and the ability of healthcare systems to tackle new challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing these threats, report authors argue, will require policymakers to consider protection, empowerment, and solidarity alongside one another so that human security, planetary considerations and human development all work together and not despite each other. This means that solutions for one problem shouldn’t exacerbate other problems.
“A key element for practical action highlighted in the report is building a greater sense of global solidarity based on the idea of common security. Common security recognises that a community can only be secure if adjacent communities are too. This is something we see all too clearly with the current pandemic: nations are largely powerless to prevent new mutations of this coronavirus from crossing borders,” said Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau.
The report also notes the strong association between declining levels of trust and feelings of insecurity. People with higher levels of perceived human insecurity are three times less likely to find others trustworthy.
Other new findings in the report include:
- The more highly developed countries tend to capitalize more on the benefits from planetary pressures and suffer less of their consequences, highlighting how climate change is pushing inequalities further apart.
- About 1.2 billion people live in conflict-affected areas, with almost half of them (560 million) in countries not usually considered to be fragile, indicating that the traditional ideas about which countries are most vulnerable to conflicts need to be revisited.
- In 2021, despite the highest global GDP in history, and despite COVID-19 vaccines becoming more readily available in some countries, global life expectancy declined for the second year in a row. Declining by about one and a half years on average compared to a pre-COVID world.
- There are large and widening gaps in healthcare systems between countries. According to the report’s new Healthcare Universalism Index, between 1995 and 2017, the inequality in healthcare performance between countries with low and very high human development worsened.
The concept of human security, first introduced in UNDP’s milestone 1994 Human Development Report, signalled a radical departure from the idea that people’s security should be only assessed by looking at territorial security, emphasizing the importance of people’s basic needs, their dignity, and their safety to live secure lives.
For the full report, visit HERE.