Maia Sandu: ‘Where there is political will, there is genuine reform’
“Where there is popular will, there is change. Where there is political will, there is genuine reform,” today said Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.
Referring to the recent Presidential election, she said that “people voted for serious change”, meaning justice, better standards of living, access to quality education, healthcare and better infrastructure, as well as to “put an end to pervasive corruption”. Change means that “Moldovans will trust their state”, President Sandu underlined.
The Moldovan people “want the Presidency to join forces with a new parliament and a new government to clean the country of the vices that are holding it back - and they ask for your support in doing so,” she added. And this time, “Moldovan politicians should not fail the people.”
The drive for reform must continue “to come from the people, no matter what obstacles may block the road. And there are many obstacles. Corrupt forces will fight back, because they stand to lose not only their illicit revenues, but also their freedom.” But people “are determined to fight for change, and count on the support of Moldova’s partners in the Council of Europe,” President Sandu concluded.
On the occasion of the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth will participate in the spring session of PACE (19-22 April 2021) which will take place in a hybrid format.
The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and the Secretary General of the organisation, Marija Pejčinović Burić, will also address PACE.
At this session, the Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, will present her 2020 annual report and the Assembly will award its Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.
There have been requests for urgent debates on "The arrest and detention of Alexei Navalny in January 2021" and "The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey", as well as for current affairs debates on "Covid passports or certificates: protection of fundamental rights and legal implications", "Armenian prisoners of war and other captives", "Covid-19 vaccination certificates: how to protect public health and human rights?", and "Russian threat to the pursuit of peace in Europe".
Topics on the agenda include a debate on the Assembly's vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities and a joint debate on human rights violations and the need for electoral reform in Belarus.
The OECD's work on taxing the digital economy with the participation of its Secretary General Ángel Gurría, discrimination against people with chronic and long-term illnesses, post-monitoring dialogue with Montenegro, the preservation of national minorities and a European policy on diasporas will also be discussed.
THE GOVERNMENT DELEGATION OF TURKMENISTAN DISCUSSED PRIORITY ISSUES OF TURKMEN-IRANIAN COOPERATION
Today, on 9 January, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi received a government delegation led by Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov who is on a working visit to Iran.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Turkmen side conveyed words of greetings from President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
During the constructive conversation, it was noted that at the present stage, interstate political, diplomatic, economic and cultural relations between Turkmenistan and Iran are actively developing on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual respect and good neighborliness.
In this context, the talks between the President of Turkmenistan and the President of Iran, held in Ashgabat in November 2021 as part of participation in the 15th Summit of Heads of State of the Economic Cooperation Organization, gave impetus to the further development of mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.
During the meeting of the government delegation of Turkmenistan with the First Vice President of IRI Mohammad Mokhber, issues of the bilateral agenda were also discussed, including interaction in the field of the fuel and energy complex
The working trip of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Mary and Lebap regions
Today, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who is on a working trip to Mary region, has held a working meeting on its results.
Deputy-Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Sh.Abdrahmanov, who supervises the fuel and energy complex as well as subordinate institutions of the fuel and energy complex in Mary region and the khyakim of the given region, took part in the meeting.
Chairman of «Türkmengeologiýa» State Corporation M.Rozyev reported on the tasks outlined in the «Working plan for 2022-2023», result of the exploration work carried out in different parts of the country.
The leader of the nation noted an important role given to efficient introduction of scientific achievements in the work of the fuel and energy complex, making an emphasis on the services adjusted on a scientific basis.
Further, Chairman of “Türkmengaz” State Concern B.Amanov reported on the work held to modernize gas deposits in various parts of the country, industrial development of new fields, expansion of export routes of the “blue fuel”, recognized as ecologically clean gas in the world. He also expressed his gratitude to the head of the state for continued efforts in development of processing industry in the given sector.
Deputy-Chairman of the Cabinet Sh.Abdrahmanov marked that a huge investment is made in our country in development of the oil and gas industry. The Deputy-Chairman also pointed out that in accordance with the instructions of the head of the state, in all structures of the fuel and energy complex, great attention is paid to the ecological state and level of safety of work.
The President made an emphasis on the fact that a huge investment is made in the oil and gas complex of the country and it has a great significance for development of the sector and supply of oil and gas enterprises with necessary equipment, conduction of exploration work, drilling activities and industrial development of new fields. Thus, large-scale projects are implemented by way of development of international cooperation.
The work carried out by foreign partners, main areas of realization of joint investment projects and development of gas deposit «Galkynysh» were also mentioned.
Besides it, exploration work and prospecting and drilling activities carried out in the country in accordance with the instruction of the head of the state were also reported.
With a view of industrial development of oil and gas rich wells the proper work and research activities are carried out with use of digital technologies in deposits.
At present, at the giant deposit «Galkynysh» a complex work is carried out to produce, process and transport the “blue fuel”.
A large-scale work is carried out in the country to diversify economy, to attach an innovation character to it, and to transform into the digital platform, which would rise not only the productivity of wells but also efficiency of work carried out in the gas deposit «Galkynysh».
Having heard the reports, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov underlined that optimal solution of tasks in the processing of natural gas and expansion of its export will enable not only to strengthen the national economy but also to establish fruitful international cooperation and made an emphasis on necessity of investment of advanced achievements of world science and practice to this end.
Having noted importance of use of innovative technologies in realization of measures in the given area, the head of the state gave related executives concrete instructions.
Further developing on the theme, the leader of the nation told them to make necessary efforts to adjust work in oil and gas enterprises in accordance with the requirements of the time.
The head of the state also commissioned them to accelerate the pace of exploration work, complex measures taken to prospect, discover and open new oil and gas deposits.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made an emphasis on intensification of relations with leading world profile institutions using the opportunity of modern communications systems and digital technologies that will enable to train highly qualified personnel for the oil and gas sector and to hold a scientific experimental work.
Besides it, one should strengthen the material and technical basis of the fuel and energy complex, including exploration institutions as well as reconstruction of industrial projects, in case of necessity and prepare concrete proposals to attract investment in realization of new projects, the head of the state stated.
Then, the leader of the nation gave the floor to khyakim of Mary region D.Annaberdiev.
The head of the regional administration on behalf of the population of the region expressed his gratitude that the leader of the nation has started his working trip with Mary region and has familiarized with implementation of the national Rural Development Program.
The khyakim reported that guided by instructions of the head of the state, the region plans to expand the acreage of fields under potatoes and gourds and vegetable at the expense of reduction of fields under cotton and increase in its yield. In this connection, the volume of vegetables and gourds produced as well as livestock production in the region will grow.
In conclusion, the head of the local administration once again expressed his gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the state support in socio-economic development of regions, improvement of social and living conditions of people, gradual increase in productivity of work of people employed in the sphere of livestock breeding, in particular, sheep and goat breeding.
Then, having bid a farewell to the gathered, by helicopter the head of the state made a flight in the direction of gas deposit «Malaý», located in Lebap region.
During the flight, leader of the nation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov enjoyed the wonderful view of Turkmen nature, vast steppe areas of the Garagum that in winter become pastures for the sheep and goats. Especially after the heavy rain, the sand landscape become more beautiful. One should note that rain humidity this time of the year is very good for cultivated areas.
In some time, the helicopter of the leader of the nation landed at the square near the gas deposit «Malaý».
Upon his arrival, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held a meeting in which issues related to implementation of the tasks designated in the program for development of oil and gas industry of the country for 2030, modernization of gas deposit «Malaý», and increase in its production capacities were discussed.
Director of the Institute of Natural Gas of «Türkmengaz» State Concern, who by drawings and charts informed them on research activities conducted to increase in the productivity of deposits of natural gas and results of exploration and discovery of new wells, was the first to take the floor.
The leader of the nation stated that as a result of industrial development of newly discovered gas deposits and natural gas mined from them, the volumes of gas reserves of the country grow by 126 billion cubic meters. And it is a noteworthy fact.
After industrial processing natural gas which is considered a bliss of the Turkmen land, is used in many types of industrial and construction goods, the head of the state underlined. Having taken into account the fact that polyethylene and polypropylene obtained from it are used in production of various goods, including carpets and fertilizers as well as ecologically clean motor transport fuel, Turkmen natural gas is a very valuable and important raw material in industrial manufacture.
The Chairman of “Türkmengeologiýa» State Corporation in his turn reported on the state of affairs in institutions under his supervision, in particular, geophysical and geological exploration work carried out in different parts of the country as well as their results. In this regard, a great significance is given to modernization of work of the Corporation and introduction of modern achievements of practice in its work.
Then, the Chairman of «Türkmengaz» State Concern reported that at present, work on industrial development of newly discovered deposits is carried out actively in Mary and Lebap regions.
Then, Deputy-Chairman of the Cabinet Sh.Abdrahmanov reported on the work carried out within the framework of realization of the Program for development of oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan for 2030. On behalf of specialists of the fuel and energy complex, the Deputy-Chairman expressed his sincere gratitude to the leader of the nation for a regular control over the work of the fuel and energy complex and related support.
Summing up the results of the working meeting, held at deposit «Malaý» in Lebap region, the President of the country wished its participants sound health, family wellbeing and successes in their work for the benefit development of our fatherland.
Then, by his off-highway vehicle, the head of the state made his way to the centre of the Garagum desert. These winter days after heavy rain the flora of the vast area is very attractive.
A careful approach to the unique eco-system of the Garagum and creation of favourable ecological conditions in its territory for steppe animals help development of sheep and goats and camel breeding, the leader of the nation notes, underlining that along with it, an opportunity for development of ecological tourism also grows.
On his way President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made a halt at the herd of camels grazed here by the shepherd Aymyrat Pashshykov from peasant association “Ýeňiş” of Sayat district of Lebap region who warmly welcomed the leader of the nation there.
The President of the country having greeted the shepherd took an interest in his work, the state of the cattle, pastures and family life.
With pride, the shepherd noted that he work on a lease method and it is very profitable. The shepherd pointed out that the state creates easy terms for all workers of agriculture, including for animal breeders and on behalf of them, expressed his gratitude to the head of the state.
The leader of the nation noted that our people who have created wise sayings of camels as a symbol of wellbeing and abundance, respected and valued the camel as world treasure. The head of the state underlined that camel hair, milk, chal and agaran have been scientifically proven good for human health.
As the President of the country marked, in the course of history, camels became close friends of people. Among trade caravans, which passed along the great Silk Road, which for centuries worked as connection between epochs and generations, were numerous camels including the breed of arwana.
A.Pashshykov said that their significance is still great and care of increase in the head of arwana breed gives positive results. Adding with pride that he has made a good fortune thanks to his engagement in camel breeding. He noted that today his family members live a happy life and expressed his gratitude to the leader of the nation to this end.
The shepherd was presented with a gift on behalf of the head of the state. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov addressing the shepherd of camels said that he has a much-respected trade and having wished him great future success, he left the place.
Then, by helicopter, the head of the state flew in the direction of Turkmenabat city.
PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN TOOK PART IN THE INFORMAL SUMMIT OF THE CIS
On December 28, 2021, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov arrived in the city of St. Petersburg to participate in the informal summit of the Heads of the CIS member states.
Speaking at the summit, the Leader of the Turkmen state noted that this year was significant and the countries honorably celebrated the 30th anniversary of the formation of the CIS. In this regard, the President of Turkmenistan noted that meetings of the statutory and sectoral bodies of the CIS, a number of cultural events were held, exhibitions and fairs were organized with the participation of representatives of the Commonwealth countries.
As an important part of the integration processes in the CIS space, the head of the Turkmen state highlighted the economic component, based on the compatibility of economic and structural parameters, the development of cooperative and partnership relations, building production, technological and logistical chains with a strong innovative component.
The President of Turkmenistan also called for intensifying work with partners of the Commonwealth, primarily with regional economic associations of Eurasian orientation, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Economic Cooperation Organization. This will allow the CIS countries, using their own production, resource and technological potential, to reach systematic lines of partnership, offering attractive joint projects in the transport, energy and industrial sectors.
At the same time, the importance of the initiative to form a new philosophy of modern international relations, called “Dialogue – a guarantee of peace”, was especially noted.
Speaking of the need to continue combating the consequences of COVID-19, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized the special importance of consistent and rapid achievement of the restoration of economic and trade relations, removal of forced restrictions in the transport sector. At the same time, as the Head of Turkmenistan stressed, the accumulated national and international experience in combating the pandemic and its consequences gives hope for the successful outcome of this work.
The President of Turkmenistan emphasized that cultural and humanitarian cooperation should remain among the priorities of the CIS.
Statement of the Administration of the President
The process of national accord initiated by the President is a complex and difficult process that is both open and transparent and in no way secretive. In recent days, various information has been spread, the source of which is not the Administration of the President.
At the beginning stage of the national accord process, the President is listening to everyone and holding meetings and is interested in the views, initiatives and positions of various societal groups, all of which are part of the greater national accord process.
It should be noted that not only political parties but also the public at large, including representatives of non-governmental organizations working on victims’ issues, are involved in this process.
The President has already held meetings with the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, former President Giorgi Margvelashvili and representatives of political parties. The process continues and the President continues to hold active meetings.
PACE rapporteurs call upon all political forces to overcome extremely polarised political climate
Strasbourg, 17.12.2021 - Following their visit to the country from 8 to 10 December 2021, the rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the Monitoring Procedure in respect of Georgia, Mr Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Mr Claude Kern (France, ALDE), expressed their serious concern about the extremely polarised political climate in the country which is foreclosing any political co-operation and dialogue. This is undermining the political stability and democratic consolidation of the country, putting at risk the considerable progress made by Georgia in this respect over the years. The rapporteurs emphasised that democratic consolidation and Euro-Atlantic integration are the shared responsibility of all political forces in the country and therefore urged them, in particular the two largest parties, Georgian Dream and the United National Movement, to place the common good of the nation over any narrow party-political strategies.
The rapporteurs noted that the October 2021 local elections had, as they had feared, been a de facto plebiscite on the ruling majority, and had resulted in an increasingly harsh and contentious electoral environment. That said, they welcomed that, as a result of the consensual reform of the electoral code earlier this year, the legal framework for elections had considerably improved, which had benefited the organisation of the election process . At the same time they expressed their concern about the many reports of abuse of administrative resources and pressure on voters, as well as incidents of violence. They called upon the authorities to fully and transparently investigate, and where necessary address, all allegations and reports of electoral misconduct.
The establishment of a genuinely independent and impartial judiciary that has the full trust of Georgian citizens is an essential condition for the further democratic consolidation of the country. Recognising the progress made in this respect, the rapporteurs urged the authorities to conduct the comprehensive and independent evaluation of the third and fourth wave that was agreed upon in the Michel agreement. Such an comprehensive evaluation, which needs to be conducted independently to ensure public trust, should identify areas of success as well as remaining shortcomings and should guide future reforms. The rapporteurs felt that the Venice Commission should play an important role in such an independent evaluation. In this respect the rapporteurs deeply regretted that the parliament had continued to appoint new Supreme Court judges, despite the calls from the international community not to.. For the rapporteurs this also underscores the need for further reform of the High Council of Justice, whose functioning remains an obstacle for the establishment of a genuinely independent and trusted judiciary.
On the occasion of their visit the rapporteurs also focussed on developments with regard to minorities in Georgia. In this respect they welcomed that the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention on National Minorities had noted the greatly improved legal framework for national minority and anti-discrimination issues. However, the rapporteurs underscored the need, expressed by the Advisory Committee to further strengthen the quality of education for minorities as well as minority language education, and urged the authorities to do this as a priority. With regard to LGBTI issues, the rapporteurs expressed their concern about the increasing public expressions of homophobia and intolerance towards the LGBTI community. In this context they condemned the violent attacks and counter demonstrations that had occurred during Gay Pride Week in July 2021. The rapporteurs urged the authorities to fully investigate these violent actions, and bring perpetrators to justice, including with regard to the organisers of these violent actions and those forces enticing them.
The rapporteurs will present their report on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Georgia to the Assembly in the first half of 2022.
of the PACE Communication Division