The sitting of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee
The Parliament started development of drug policy liberalization. Committee considered the draft on Narcotic Means, Psychotropic Agents, Pre-cursors and Addiction Aid. The draft is entailed with the Decision of the Constitutional Court of October 24, 2015 N1/4/592 and the Judgment of February 15, 2017 N3/1/855.
As the acting Justice Minister, Alexander Baramidze stated, compliance of the public threat and respective penalty deriving from the committed actions have been considered upon development. “Despite that Marihuana has hazardous impact on health, preparation, storage, acquisition or transportation in small amount for personal use without threat of distribution and sale, is not hazardous for other persons and public order and hence, no criminal responsibility shall be imposed”.
The changes envisage preparation, purchase, storage and transportation of cannabis and marihuana in small amount for personal use will not entail detention. “Preparation of drugs, similar agents or pre-cursors in small amount, as well as illegal purchase, storage or use will be subject to administrative responsibility and in case of repetition – to criminal responsibility”.
15-day administrative detention shall as well be annulled. Administrative penalty shall envisage fine of 300 GEL or corrective labor of 1-6 months. The draft envisages change of definition of small and large amount of drugs – in case plant cannabis, large amount is defined with 140 gr instead of 50; particularly large amount – 1000 gr instead of 250; marihuana – dried form – large amount – 70 gr instead of 50, raw form – 140 gr instead of 100.
As noted, speaking about state policy and legislation on drugs, we shall tell 3 various terms apart: 1. Liberalization of law; 2. Decriminalization; 3. Legalization. All these terms have various meanings. Liberalization is when you alleviate the penalty but maintain responsibility. This is what draft offers instead of decriminalization or legalization”. The Committee supported the draft.
THE BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE DISCUSSED WITH THE II READING THE DRAFT CUSTOMS CODE AND THE DRAFT TAX CODE
The Committee discussed the Draft Customs Code and the Draft Tax Code with the II reading and accelerated manner.
As the Deputy Finance Minister, Mamuka Baratashvili stated, the Bill extends the validity of certain norms to 2023.
The technical and editorial changes are to be introduced to the Tax Code. The Committee approved the Drafts.
Parliament of Georgia
The NATO Military Committee to visit Georgia
The NATO Military Committee and its Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach will be in Tbilisi, Georgia on 27 and 28 March 2019.
As a show of support to its long-time partner, the NATO Military Committee will hold a meeting in the NATO-Georgia format chaired by the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Peach and the Georgian Minister of Defence, Mr Levan Izoria. The opening remarks will be open to the media. The NATO Military Committee will receive an overview of the regional security situation, including the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the Black Sea. The NATO Military Representatives will then be briefed on the ongoing implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, the ongoing Georgian Reforms as well as the continuing Georgian contributions to NATO operations and exercises.
On the 28th of March, the NATO Military Committee will head to the Vaziani Military Base to receive a briefing from the Combat Training Centre and visit the Georgia Defence Readiness Programme, a bilateral programme designed, by the US, to improve Georgian troops’ combat readiness and develop a self-sustaining institutional capacity to man, train and equip their national missions.
The NATO Military Committee will then proceed to the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre to observe the “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019”. This joint multinational brigade-level, Command Post exercise aims to further develop the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities.
Meeting with Co-chairman of Japanese–Turkmen Committee for economic cooperation Yoichi Kobayashi is held in the Foreign Ministry
Meeting with Japanese delegation chaired by Co-chairman of Japanese – Turkmen Committee for economic cooperation Yoichi Kobayashi was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 21.
During the meeting, the sides noted high level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and Japan especially in economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. Subjects of joint projects for supply of Komatsu agricultural equipment as well as joint investments with the participation of Japanese Bank of International Cooperation have been reviewed. Relative Protocol has been signed by the outcomes of the talks.
It is worth mentioning that representative delegation of Turkmenistan has visited Japan in October 2018, during which the expansion of bilateral cooperation in trade and economic sphere has been discussed.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
International Human Solidarity Day Brings People Together for Peace
Raffles University of Johor Bahru hosted a celebratory event for International Human Solidarity Day on December 29th and 30th at Capital City Mall in Malaysia. The event was co-hosted by international NGOs called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) to raise awareness of solidarity for peace-building. Also, the Capital City joined the event in partnership.
The event included various booths, presentations and exhibitions. The Peace Letter project, one of the most-crowded booths during the event, encouraged the participants to write hand-writing letters in support of the establishment of international law for peace.
According to the volunteer of the IPYG running the booth, the letters written by the youth all over the world have been delivered to the head of each state. He added that the contents of the letters include the voice of youth urging for the legally binding document that prevents any war-like activities based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
Several schools in Malaysia including Dato Osman Awang, Mohd Khalid are known to implement peace education in their curriculum. With the aim of fostering a culture of peace through peace education, HWPL carried out a survey during the event. The participants partook in the survey that collected the demands of the citizens for implementing peace education throughout the country.
Denise, Education Consultant in Raffles University Iskandar who headed the event, said ‘I hope that this event can be an example for our students like how to organize events in future, and also to bring our students and society to a next level to more concern the world's news. And we believe this will also help our students to be more responsible to the society. ’ in regards to the expected outcome of the event.
Co-hosts IPYG and HWPL also stated ‘ First I want to thanks for all the help in this events and being our partner until the end of the event. And I do hope that we can work together next time.’.
70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet
Geneva (6 December 2018) - On 10 December, we mark the 70th anniversary of that extraordinary document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is, I firmly believe, as relevant today as it was when it was adopted 70 years ago.
Arguably even more so, as over the passing decades, it has passed from being an aspirational treatise into a set of standards that has permeated virtually every area of international law.
It has withstood the tests of the passing years, and the advent of dramatic new technologies and social, political and economic developments that its drafters could not have foreseen.
Its precepts are so fundamental that they can be applied to every new dilemma.
The Universal Declaration gives us the principles we need to govern artificial intelligence and the digital world.
It lays out a framework of responses that can be used to counter the effects of climate change on people, if not on the planet.
It provides us with the basis for ensuring equal rights for groups, such as LGBTI people, whom few would even dare name in 1948.
Everyone is entitled to all the freedoms listed in the Universal Declaration "without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."
The last words of that sentence – "other status" – have frequently been cited to expand the list of people specifically protected. Not just LGBTI people, but also persons with disabilities – who now have a Convention of their own, adopted in 2006. Elderly people, who may get one as well. Indigenous peoples. Minorities of all sorts.
Gender is a concept that is addressed in almost every clause of the Declaration. For its time, the document was remarkably lacking in sexist language. The document refers to "everyone," "all" or "no one" throughout its 30 Articles.
This trailblazing usage reflects the fact that, for the first time in the history of international law-making, women played a prominent role in drafting the Universal Declaration.
The role of Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the drafting committee is well known. Less well known is the fact that women from Denmark, Pakistan, the Communist bloc and other countries around the world also made crucial contributions.
Indeed it is thanks primarily to the Indian drafter Hansa Mehta, that the French phrase "all men are born free and equal," taken from the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen, became in the Universal Declaration "all human beings are born free and equal."
A simple but – in terms of women’s rights and of minority rights – revolutionary phrase.
Hansa Mehta objected to Eleanor Roosevelt’s assertion that "men" was understood to include women – the widely-accepted idea at that time. She argued that countries could use this wording to restrict the rights of women, rather than expand them.
Born out of the devastation of two World Wars, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the Holocaust, the Universal Declaration is geared to prevent similar disasters, and the tyranny and violations which caused them. It sets out ways to prevent us from continuing to harm each other, and aims to provide us with "freedom from fear and want."
It sets limits on the powerful, and inspires hope among the powerless.
Over the seven decades since its adoption, the Universal Declaration has underpinned countless beneficial changes in the lives of millions of people across the world, permeating some 90 national Constitutions and numerous national, regional and international laws and institutions.
But, 70 years after its adoption, the work the Universal Declaration lays down for us to do is far from over. And it never will be.
In 30 crystal-clear articles, the Universal Declaration shows us the measures which will end extreme poverty, and provide food, housing, health, education, jobs and opportunities for everyone.
It lights the path to a world without wars and Holocausts, without torture or famine or injustice. A world where misery is minimized and no one is too rich or powerful to evade justice.
A world where every human has the same worth as every other human, not just at birth but for the duration of their entire lives.
The drafters wanted to prevent another war by tackling the root causes, by setting down the rights everyone on the planet could expect and demand simply because they exist – and to spell out in no uncertain terms what cannot be done to human beings.
The poor, the hungry, the displaced and the marginalized – drafters aimed to establish systems to support and protect them.
The right to food and to development is crucial. But this has to be achieved without discrimination on the basis of race, gender or other status. You cannot say to your people – I will feed you, but I won’t let you speak or enjoy your religion or culture.
The rights to land and adequate housing are absolutely basic – and yet in some countries, austerity measures are eroding those very rights for the most vulnerable.
Climate change can undermine the right to life, to food, to shelter and to health. These are all related – and the Universal Declaration and international human rights conventions provide a roadmap to their achievement.
I am convinced that the human rights ideal, laid down in this Declaration, has been one of the most constructive advances of ideas in human history – as well as one of the most successful.
But today, that progress is under threat.
We are born ‘free and equal,’ but millions of people on this planet do not stay free and equal. Their dignity is trampled and their rights are violated on a daily basis.
In many countries, the fundamental recognition that all human beings are equal, and have inherent rights, is under attack. The institutions so painstakingly set up by States to achieve common solutions to common problems are being undermined.
And the comprehensive web of international, regional and national laws and treaties that gave teeth to the vision of the Universal Declaration is also being chipped away by governments and politicians increasingly focused on narrow, nationalist interests.
We all need to stand up more energetically for the rights it showed us everyone should have – not just ourselves, but all our fellow human beings – and which we are at constant risk of eroding through our own, and our leaders’ forgetfulness, neglect or wanton disregard.
I will end, where the Universal Declaration begins, with the powerful promise – and warning – contained in the first lines of its Preamble:
"…Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
"…Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief, and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.
"…It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression that human rights should be protected by the rule of law."
And we would do well to pay more attention to the final words of that same Preamble:
"…every individual and every organ of society keeping this Declaration constantly in mind shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."
We have come a long way down this path since 1948. We have taken many of progressive measures prescribed by the Universal Declaration at the national and international levels.
But we still have a long way to go, and too many of our leaders seem to have forgotten these powerful and prophetic words. We need to rectify that, not just today, not just on the 70th anniversary next Monday, but every day, every year.
Human rights defenders the world over are on the frontlines of defending the Universal Declaration through their work, their dedication and their sacrifice. No matter where we live or what our circumstances are, most of us do have the power to make a difference – to make our homes, communities, countries, and our world better – or worse – for others. Each of us needs to do our part to breathe life into the beautiful dream of the Universal Declaration.
For this was the gift of our ancestors, to help us avoid ever having to go through what they went through.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the UN General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris three years after the end of World War II. It was the product of 18 months’ work by a drafting committee, with members and advisers from all across the world, and – in the words of one of its principal architects, René Cassin – "at the end of one hundred sessions of elevated, often impassioned discussion, was adopted in the form of 30 articles on December 10, 1948."