President Margvelashvili Hosts the President of Japan International Cooperation Agency
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has held a meeting with the President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka.
The parties have discussed the successful bilateral relations between the two countries and the prospects of further strengthening cooperation.
The discussion has also touched upon the importance of expanding cooperation with JICA, as well as implementation of various infrastructural and economic projects.
"Japan International Cooperation Agency has opened its office in Tbilisi this year, which also includes both Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Georgia is an interesting country for JICA because of its significant geopolitical location. As you are aware, Georgia connects Asia with Europe. JICA considers Georgia as a country of a great and valuable potential in terms of enhancing trade relations", - stated the Advisor to the President of Georgia in Economic Issues, Ms. Maia Melikidze.
The meeting has also been attended by the Head of the Administration of the President of Georgia Mr. Giorgi Abashishvili, the Secretary of the National Security Council Mr. Davit Rakviashvili, the Advisor to the President of Georgia for Foreign Affairs Mr. Tengiz Pkhaladze and the Advisor to the President of Georgia in Economic Issues Ms. Maia Melikidze.
President of Turkmenistan congratulates new Prime Minister of Japan
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov addressed congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Yoshihide Suga on his election as Prime Minister of Japan.
“I am confident that under your leadership, Japan will reach new heights in political and socio-economic development, strengthen its authority in the international arena”, emphasized the Turkmen leader in his address.
Expressing satisfaction with the positive dynamics of the interstate dialogue, the President of Turkmenistan emphasized that bilateral cooperation had reached a qualitatively new level over the past years.
“Today our countries successfully interact in a wide range of areas. I am confident that due to our joint efforts, the Turkmen-Japanese relations, which are of a strategic nature, will continue to develop dynamically for the benefit of our peoples”, says the President of Turkmenistan in his address.
Taking this opportunity, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov wished Mr. Yoshihide Suga good health, happiness and success in his versatile activity in the name of the further prosperity of friendly Japan.
Turkmenistan’s delegation participates in online workshop of the ministers of finances and health protection of Asian and Pacific countries
Aspects of universal health coverage in Asian Pacific region in the context of response to COVD-19 pandemic and its impact have been discussed at joint online workshop of the ministers of finances and health protection with participation of Turkmenistan’s delegation.
Share of practice in prevention and combat against the spread of coronavirus and further measures for investment to health protection sphere and universal health coverage have been the main goals of virtual meeting organized by Asian Development Bank and the Ministry of Finances of Japan.
It was highlighted that pandemic of dangerous infectious disease has caused global crisis, having made negative impact on all aspects of life activity of humankind.
At the same time, consolidation of efforts in support and promotion of universal health coverage, which is to provide access to qualitative medical services for the population, receives special currency. The achievement of this goal will support to dynamic rehabilitation of the economies and protection from similar major threats in future, having provided favourable opportunities for sustainable development and progress in Asian Pacific region.
In this regard, it is worth to mention that important initiatives of the Head of the State, which are aimed at consolidation of international efforts in combating against new threat including initiatives for activation of fruitful cooperation in scientific diplomacy and in WHO direction, were approved and supported by the world community.
All conditions are made in the country for assertion of the principles of healthy life style in the country together with provision of wide spectrum of quality medical services.
SPECIAL MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE "CENTRAL ASIA + JAPAN" DIALOGUE
On August 11, 2020, a special online meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue had been held.
The meeting, which was held under the auspices of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, was attended by the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of five Central Asian countries.
As part of a constructive conversation, high-ranking diplomats discussed regional cooperation, as well as well-coordinated interaction between the CA countries and Japan, taking into account the spread of the new coronavirus infection on a global scale.
During the speeches, the effectiveness of this format of diversified cooperation, based on the principles of mutual growth, solidarity and comprehensive support in key areas of mutually beneficial partnership, was especially noted.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R.O. Meredov, expressing gratitude to the head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry for the initiative to organize this ministerial online meeting, especially noted the timeliness of the meeting.
Undoubtedly, since the establishment of the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue in 2004, this format of multilateral interaction has developed significantly. The topic of discussions within this format has significantly expanded, which today covers topical issues of ensuring international and regional security, sustainable development, creating favorable conditions for effective trade-economic ties, active exchange in the cultural-humanitarian field.
As the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan noted, in these conditions, when the world community is fighting an urgent struggle against a new infection, this communication format, which unites the states of Central Asia as an important region of the planet and Japan, cannot remain aloof from solving the acute problem faced by humanity. In this context, the current dialogue of the Foreign Ministers provides an opportunity for an exchange of views on the complex situation in the world and ways to overcome it.
Based on the need to develop a global response to the challenges of our time, it is advisable to intensify the process of consolidating the efforts of the countries in countering the pandemic.
In this regard, the Turkmen side also took the initiative to develop, within the framework of the "Central Asia + Japan" Dialogue, a Program document that includes the basic principles of solidarity activities of the participating States in the fight against a new type of infection and specific measures aimed at preventing and treating diseases, caused by it.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan also expressed special gratitude to the Japanese side for their readiness to provide a grant project in the field of medicine within the framework of the Official Development Assistance Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
As is known, Turkmen doctors highly appreciate the knowledge and experience gained in the course of numerous multilateral and two-way videoconferences with leading Japanese specialists.
Currently, the constant exchange of knowledge and information on the methods of treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, medical technologies, drugs and equipment, personal protective equipment for the full use of the mechanisms of scientific diplomacy is of great importance.
It is known that over the years of partnership within the framework of this format, the participating countries have identified a number of areas of multilateral interaction, including such areas as security, economy and culture. The implementation of joint projects in these areas remains an urgent task for the near future.
During the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on the agenda of the upcoming 8th meeting of the "Central Asia + Japan" Dialogue. In particular, they discussed the possibilities of developing and adopting the Concept of partnership between the states of Central Asia and Japan in the field of security, developing a new Platform for the development of economic partnership, preparation and discussion of the Roadmap on cooperation of the participating states in the field of high technologies, as well as preparation of the Program of cooperation between the participating countries in the socio-cultural sphere.
International Scholars Raise Concerns over “an Attempt to Destroy a New Religious Movement” in South Korea
On July 20, a webinar on a new religious movement in South Korea and its political, religious, and social dimensions with the recent COVID-19 crisis invited international scholars and experts in the field of religion, international law, and human rights.
Titled “COVID-19 and Religious Freedom: Scapegoating Shincheonji in South Korea”, the webinar addressed the recent issues of aggressive attack from politically powerful conservative and fundamentalist Protestant churches in the country on a newly-established, fast-growing Christian denomination named 'Shincheonji (New Heaven and New Earth) Church of Jesus' founded in 1984.
The new Christian movement by Shincheonji has become a target of “persecution from fundamentalist protestants” because of its successful religious expansion “from the conservative and fundamentalist protestants who see Shincheonji as competitors and want to destroy it," said Massimo Introvigne as an Italian sociologist of religion who studied Shincheonji before and after the COVID-19 pandemic and published the first account of the religious group in English.
Alessandro Amicarelli, Chairman European Federation for Freedom of Belief, pointed out that the South Korean authorities problematized Shincheonji as a cause of the COVID-19 crisis to shut down the church. “Already 30 other people were tested positive before the patient 31 (a member of Shincheonji criticized for the widespread of the virus). Many Chinese including ones from Wuhan had visited Daegu (of South Korea) and infection spread,” he said.
Willy Fautre, Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF), said that the recent attack on Shincheonji can be viewed as an attempt by the fundamentalist Protestant groups in South Korea to weaken and destroy the competitor in the religious market. He added, "Human rights violations against Shincheonji members through coercive conversion program (also known as 'deprogramming') with kidnapping and confinement for the last decade have been made as a result of the failure of competition from the Protestant churches in the country."
Ciaran Burke, Associate Professor in University of Derby, said that the South Korean health authorities explicitly link Shinchoenji and outbreak of the COVID-19 until now even though a greater link between the virus and confirmation cases has been found in other churches. He also expressed concerns over “collecting personal information of 300,000 domestic and international Shincheonji members by the government which is a possible violation of international agreement, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) South Korea ratified in 1990.”
The prosecution initiated investigation of Shincheonji leaders including founder Man Hee Lee for his alleged role in the widespread of the COVID-19. Three Shincheonji officials were arrested on July 8 on a charge of playing a role in major outbreak at its early stage by “(submitting) inaccurate list of members.”
“The authorities ignored requests to change the word ‘sect’ in their official reports when referring to Shincheonji church. Local governments encouraged the residents to report Shincheonji congregation and facilities to the authorities, creating stigma that the members were to be treated as criminals,” said a Shincheonji official in the webinar.
A recent statement issued by “families of the deceased and victims of COVID-19” wrote that "the thousands of the damage and deaths of Koreans reflect the failure of initial response to contain the virus by the government." It added that the Minister of Justice Choo Mi-ae “allowed COVID-19 patients from China to enter Korea, leading to a widespread outbreak of the virus across the country, which resulted in the deaths of the Korean people.” It also stated that she is trying to avoid her responsibility for the damage by “giving direct orders to prosecutors for a raid and arrests against Shincheonji Church”.
A leading South Korean TV network, MBC reported that a recently conducted screening at Daegu, epicenter of COVID-19 major outbreak within South Korea added the weight to the failure of initial response to contain the virus by the government. The report, citing analysis from a local university hospital, inferred that at least 180,000 of the total population of 2.4 million people in the city of Daegu were infected with the COVID-19, 27 times to the official 6,800 confirmed cases. Most of the confirmation cases, over 5,000, are members of Shincheonji Church as their personal information was collected by the government, while the remaining 180,000 potential infections have not been investigated.
Press Release of the Department of Public Relations
Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and the Restoration of Light
Turkmenistan and the United Nations are committed to long-term cooperation
On March 14, 2020, the presentation of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework between the Government of Turkmenistan and the United Nations for 2021-2025 was held in the hotel “Yildiz.”
The given document is aimed to promote further collaboration between Turkmenistan and the UN in different areas, including the maintenance of economic stability and growth, protection of social rights of the population, enhancement of the healthcare system and preservation of ecological balance.
At the beginning of the ceremony, an exhibition of books created on the base of invaluable wisdom of the national Leader was held in the lobby of the building. It is noteworthy that the multivolume work of the Head of State “Medicinal Plants of Turkmenistan” took a separate place at the exhibition. The first volume of this book in detail describes the use of "yuzarlik" and pepper, the preparation of medicine from them and the features of their use.
The heads and representatives of a number of ministries and departments of Turkmenistan, including the Parliament (Mejlis), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan, law enforcement agencies, Institute of State, Law and Democracy of Turkmenistan, as well as the heads and representatives of the diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Turkmenistan, representatives of public organizations, local and foreign journalists participated to the event.
In their speeches, speakers noted that the new Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework between the Government of Turkmenistan and the United Nations for 2021-2025, focuses more on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It was also emphasized that the new Cooperation Framework involves the participation of more UN agencies in its implementation than the current one. This is a clear evidence of the expansion of Turkmenistan’s interaction with UN specialized agencies and a multifaceted approach to solving common problems through the use of best practices and recommendations of international partners.
The signing ceremony of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework between the Government of Turkmenistan and the United Nations for 2021-2025 took place in the course of the presentation.
Afterwards, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R.Meredov and the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Elena Panova made an address to mass media.
During the address, they reiterated the constructive character of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN structures and underlined that the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework will serve as a guide for joint actions of the Government of Turkmenistan and the UN system till 2025.
It was also stated that the Cooperation Framework confirms the common view and partnership between the Government of Turkmenistan and the UN system, while demonstrating joint strive for development of prosper, inclusive and sustainable Turkmenistan.