TWO PERSONS DETAINED FOR THE ATTEMPTED SWINDLING
The officers of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Police Department of the MIA as a result of operative-investigation activities detained Maia B. (D.o.B.: 1968) and Nana Sh. (D.o.B.: 1980) in Zugdidi for attempted swindling.
Investigation established that the detainees deceived one of the refugees as if they had an influential acquaintance at the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees who would assist him in receiving an apartment. For the mentioned favor detainees demanded and extorted 2000 USD from the refugee.
Law enforcers detained Maia B and Nana Sh in several minutes from the moment of extortion money. Police seized 2000 USD as evidence during personal search of Maia B. Both of the detainees have already pleaded guilty.
The UN General Assembly within its 73rd session adopted the Resolution on „Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali, Georgia”
On 4th of June the UN General Assembly within its 73rd session adopted the Resolution on „Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia” that was initiated by Georgia and 44 sponsoring states.
The General Assembly has been adopting the Resolution consecutively since 2008, reaffirming the fundamental rights of forcefully displaced persons, first and foremost their right of voluntary, safe and dignified return to their homes.
It should be noted that for the first time this year United Nations Member States were given the opportunity to co-sponsor the Resolution and thus participate more actively in a global effort to resolve this important issue. Resolution was joined by 45 UN Member States from different regions. Therefore, the Resolution represents the initiative of not only Georgia, but of 45 countries.
The Resolution condemns the forced demographic changes in the occupied regions, emphasizes the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees, regardless of their ethnicity, to a safe and dignified return to their places of origin, and focuses upon the need to fully respect and protect their property rights. The Resolution reiterates the importance of unimpeded humanitarian access in the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.
Apart from the humanitarian context, the Resolution has a practical significance as it tasks the UN Secretary-General to prepare an annual report on the situation of internally displaced persons residing in Georgia as well as on the implementation of this resolution. The above-mentioned has even greater importance in the light of the deploring human right situation in the occupied territories in the absence of international human rights monitoring mechanisms, which constitutes one of the impediments to the safe and dignified return of forcefully displaced persons.
The Resolution calls upon the participants of the Geneva International Discussions to reinvigorate their efforts to ensure security and human rights protection in the occupied regions, which in turn will facilitate the return of IDPs and refugees to their homes.
During the presentation of the Resolution, the Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations, H.E. Kaha Imnadze stressed that the resolution is based on the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement. Mr. Imnadze also emphasized that security and human rights situation inside the occupied Georgian territories remains extremely alarming. People endure kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, seizure of property, as well as continued discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin including severe restrictions on free movement and residence, and access to education in their native language. Ambassador also stressed that it is heartbreaking to see the Secretary-General’s latest report referring to “tragic loss of life” of the Georgian IDPs while in detention by the occupying power. Such cases are far too often and far too many: Basharuli, Otkhozoria, Tatunashvili, Kvaratskhelia.
During the session the supporting statements were delivered by: Permanent Representative of Ukraine on behalf of the GUAM; Nordic-Baltic States were represented by Permanent Representative of Lithuania, whereas Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia aligned themselves with the statement. In a national capacity the statements were delivered by the representatives of USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Ukraine.
Adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly highlights that the situation in Georgia still remains on the agenda of the world’s most important forum.
The diplomatic service of Georgia will continue its effort on the international arena to protect the fundamental rights of IDPs and refugees who were displaced as a result of ethnic cleansing, as this issue, that implies the full de-occupation of Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions and ensuring the safe and dignified return of the internally displaced persons, is and will continue to be the main priority of Georgian Government until its final resolution.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia would like to express its sincere gratitude to all states that have supported and co-sponsored the resolution on the right of return of the IDPs and refugees and thereby once again expressed their solidarity to each and every forcibly displaced person.
Irakli Kobakhidze summing up the public consideration of the draft Constitutional Changes in Zugdidi
"We had a particularly interesting meeting with interesting questions and I believe that the meeting met the expectations of the society”, - the Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze assessed the meeting held with Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti population in Zugdidi.
“The meeting today with Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti population was particularly interesting. They expressed high interest and asked interesting questions. All the meetings differ having their specifics. Today, we had a particularly interesting meeting with interesting questions and I believe that the meeting met the expectations of the society”.
The Speaker commented regarding the defense and security issues and the Presidential authorities. “The current Constitution provides vague regulation of defense and security issues as recognized by the international and local experts. The authority and responsiblity upon state of war or state of emergency are as well vague. These issues are accurately regulated in the new edition, defining competences, including the particular and tangible authorities of the President. He/she chairs the Military Council upon state of war responsible for common coordination. Besides, neither war nor emergency state can be announced without the President. The President participates in appointment of the Commander of Armed Forces and makes the decision on dislocation and deployment of military forces”.
The Speaker estimated the free discussion as an achievement and stated that every single person in the hall expressed their opinion. “It is an achievement. We have qualitatively changed the culture established. You remember the discussions in the part. Today, we have wider involvement. Various NGOs, civil society and municipal representatives attend the meeting and everyone had the opportunity to express opinion. The opinions were different and event acute and critical”.
The consultations will be also held with Venice Commission and none of the norms rejected by the Commission will be adopted. “We have an improved document. We will consult with the Venice Commission in common format. We will hold 2-day meeting with political forces, experts and NGOs. We are sure that the Venice Commission will give the positive estimation and we will adopt none of the norms negatively estimated by the Commission”.
Development of the draft took 4 months and it reflects the opinions of the Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary opposition and NGOs. “We had 4-month considerations in the State Constitutional Commission resulting in development of the document reflecting the opinions of the Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary opposition. Approximately 80% of new norms is based on the opinions of the political parties, NGOs and experts. Everyone were actively participating in consideration. It will be submitted to the Venice Commission and then submitted to the Parliament for consideration”.
IPRM Meeting Held in Gali
43rd IPRM meeting was held in Gali. Representatives of the Central Government discussed recent important incidents. Representatives of Central Government of Georgia raised the issue of Giga Otkhozoria, citizen of Georgia who was murdered in village Khurcha, Zugdidi region on May 19th and stressed the importance to detain Rashid Kanji Oghli, the person accused of murder.
During the meeting particular attention was paid to Giorgi Lukava case, who is illegally detained in so called Abkhazian prison. Representatives of Central Government demanded the release of above-mentioned person and spoke on the issues of his health and safety. According to the representatives of de-facto government, Giorgi Lukava’s health and safety is not endangered.
The talks were also held concerning closure of BCPs. Representatives of the Central Government stressed that any kind of prohibition which will restrict fundamental rights of local residents, will not only complicate their everyday lives, but also will pose significant threat to security on the ground. Next IPRM meeting will be held in 21st March, 2017.
Sofio Katsarava, Tamar Khulordava and the Ambassadors visited the Tech Park
The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sofio Katsarava and the Chair of the Committee on European Integration, Tamar Khulordava along with the Ambassadors of Estonia, Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia visited the Tech Park.
According to Ms. Katsarava, Tech Park, as the Centre for Innovations and Technologies of Georgia, allows establishment of new technologies as on local so on global markets and is competitive. “I had the greatest desire to introduce our innovative project to the Ambassadors, which was established in capacity of Tech Park in Georgia. It is an effective platform for realization of creative ideas, which is important for stimulation and motivation of our new generations. We also considered the visit of the Chairmen of the Parliaments of NB8 states scheduled in spring in Georgia”.
According to her, Tech Park is as well now operating in Zugdidi and will be further extended.
Tourism Revenues Exceed Two Billion USD
The numbers of tourists in Georgia have increased by half a million, and tourism revenues exceed two billion USD. The Prime Minister of Georgia commented on the positive tourism statistics at today's Government meeting.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, it is truly commendable that, in 2016, over 6,350,000 international guests visited Georgia, and the country's revenues from tourism exceed 2,000,000,000 USD.
"It is a result of our joint efforts seeking to develop infrastructure and position Georgia as an attractive international destination. We believe that the investments to create year-round resorts and build roads to tourist destinations, also to implement public-private partnership models at winter resorts, must be enhanced further, because they yield concrete results in terms of additional revenues for local businesses and residents," the Prime Minister stated.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, it is also a commendable outcome that, this year, more than one reputable publication has named Georgia as one of the most attractive new destinations, while some even rank it as the best new tourist destination in the world.