16th South Caucasus Media Conference - Strengthening media freedom and safety of journalists in a changing environment
The 16th South Caucasus Media Conference titled "Strengthening media freedom and safety of journalists in a changing environment" will be held in Tbilisi on 9-10 October 2019.
The conference will gather participants from Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia representing the public authorities, media, journalists' associations, civil society, academia, and international experts to discuss the issues of the regulatory frameworks, safe working environment, and new media technologies.
The event will offer four plenary sessions providing an overview of media freedom developments in the region, as well as focus on news creation, quality journalism and distribution of media in the age of digital reporting; the safety of journalists offline and online in times of political change; and the regulatory environment for media freedom and media pluralism.
The working languages will be English and Russian with simultaneous interpretation.
The event will take place at the Hotel Marriott Courtyard Tbilisi.
Georgia uses all available mechanisms to consolidate the international community - Zalkaliani on the latest developments across the occupation line
The situation in Georgia’s occupied territories and the latest developments across the occupation line were discussed during a meeting between the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani and the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia, Toivo Klaar.
“We discussed in detail the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. Expressing Georgia’s clear position regarding the illegal borderization process I urged the EU Special Representative as one of the key actors in the Geneva Process to press for this issue in a bilateral dialogue with the Russian Federation, as well as in their communication with the occupation regimes” – Zalkaliani said following the meeting.
According to him, the occupation regime’s attempts to use humanitarian issues to attain its illegal political aims are unacceptable and this must end immediately. Zalkaliani underlined that he will use all available mechanisms, including international formats to discuss this issue during his visits in Strasbourg and Vienna where he will hold meetings at the Council of Europe, and will also participate in the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council and will conduct bilateral meeting within OSCE.
“To the occupation regime’s efforts to escalate the process we should oppose our consistent position and continue to mobilize and consolidate the international community and to use the Geneva format to its maximum to achive further de-escalation of the situation” – the Minister said adding that Georgia will propose measures that need to be taken to ensure free movement on the ground.
The EU Special Representative, for his part, highlighted that all needs to be done to open the crossing points to relieve the local population of the problems they are currently facing.
Sergey Lavrov: we are grateful to Turkmenistan for the wonderful organization of the work of the CIS Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs
“We are grateful to Turkmenistan for the wonderful organization of the work of the CIS Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs”, said Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, addressing the mass media representatives.
“Today, we have completed the process of approving a very important document that was initiated by President of Turkmenistan Mr. Gurbanguly Myalikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov. I am talking about enhancing partnership in the foreign-policy sphere between the CIS member states.
“This is a very important document that lays the vectors for further work in international organizations and other platforms, including regional structures such as OSCE, and this is very useful. Second, the project of the Appeal to the people of the world with regard to the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War was adopted. It was agreed to promote the relevant memorable events in frames of the UN and OSCE.
“The new for our CIS Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs document – as suggested by the Russian Federation it was adopted the declaration of ministers on the Prevention of Militarisation of Outer Space. There are a lot of warning signs that some states have plans in this area. This is crucial to draw attention to them and agree on the conditions for the non-placement of weapons in space.
“The draft strategy for cooperation in the sphere of international information security and the documents on strengthening military cooperation, including the establishment of a joint unit for humanitarian demining and the formation of joint communication systems were adopted. I’m sure that the heads of states will make important strategic decisions aimed at deepening and strengthening the CIS”, emphasized the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
David Zalkaliani has discussed the situation in Gugutiantkari with the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani had a telephone conversation with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Lajčák on the continuation of illegal process of erecting artificial barriers in the village of Gugutiantkari.
David Zalkaliani provided the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office with detailed information on the increasing number of provocations across the occupation line, including the installation of artificial barriers in Gugutiantkari and the kidnapping of 8 citizens of Georgia from there.
According to the Minister, the erection of artificial barriers in the village of Gugutiantkari coupled with the continued practice of illegal detentions and kidnappings of Georgian citizens by the occupation forces aggravates the already difficult humanitarian situation and the security environment on the ground, and represents a clear attempt to further destabilize the situation.
Zalkaliani urged the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office to employ all international levers at his disposal to ensure that the illegal installation process is stopped and the kidnapped citizens of Georgia are returned to their families.
The Georgian Foreign Minister also urged Miroslav Lajčák to place the issue of Georgia high on the international agenda. The sides also highlighted the importance of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office’s arrival in Georgia to assess the situation on the ground.
Reaffirming his support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office emphasized the need to ensure security on the ground.
President Salome Zourabichvili Meets with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office
Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia held a meeting with Miroslav Lajčák, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, as part of his working visit to Georgia.
The meeting focused on cooperation between Georgia and the OSCE and prospects for strengthening Georgia-Slovakia relations. At the meeting, importance of the OSCE support for Georgia and the non-recognition policy of Georgia's occupied regions has been emphasized.
Among the major topics raised at the meeting are Miroslav Lajčák’s working strategy and priorities, detrimental consequences of the Russian occupation of Georgian territories, living conditions of the population affected by the conflict, recurrent cases of human rights violations in the occupied regions, harsh humanitarian situation and security environment in the region.
President Zourabichvili and Miroslav Lajčák also discussed prospects for advancing Georgia-Slovakia relations and stressed the significance of establishing close cooperation between the regions of the two countries.
Lasha Zhvania, Head of President Zourabichvili’s Administration, Ketevan Makharashvili, Deputy Head of the Administration, Lasha Darsalia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, and Davit Dondua, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Austria and Permanent Representative of Georgia to OSCE and international organizations in Vienna attended the meeting.
PACE to observe the 2nd round of the presidential election in Georgia
Strasbourg, 26.11.2018 – Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL) and Reina de Bruijn-Wezeman (Netherlands, ALDE), members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will travel to Georgia from 27 to 29 November to observe the conduct of the second round of the presidential election, alongside observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament and OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
They are due to meet the two candidates, the Central Election Commission, and representatives of the media, before observing the ballot on Wednesday 28 November.
A joint press conference is scheduled on Thursday 29 November at 2.30 p.m. at the Biltmore Hotel, Grand Royal Ballroom, 29 Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi.