EU and UNDP launch new project – EU for Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea (EU4EMBLAS)
On 24 June, the European Union and UNDP launched a new project – EU for Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea (EU4EMBLAS) – to further boost the efforts to improve protection of the Black Sea environment.
EU4EMBLAS builds on the results of previous phases of the project, which have tackled the deficiencies and limitations in marine data availability, supported development of the Black Sea Water Quality Databases, assessment and classification schemes, as well as addressed public involvement in marine litter reduction and environmental protection through local small-scale actions, campaigns and events.
EU4EMBLAS will primarily help to establish modern systems and facilities to support marine environmental monitoring in Georgia and Ukraine and strengthen national capacities for application of modern analytical methods, data management and assessment related to marine environmental monitoring. Increased public awareness on Black Sea environmental issues and education of the young generation will continue to be an integral part of the programme.
Key actors include national institutions involved in the Black Sea monitoring, as well as national authorities, research / scientific / educational organisations, and civil society organisations.
The material is prepared within the project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"
Georgian villages appear on Google Maps with EU and UNDP support
Over 50 rural locations are pinpointed on Georgia’s AgroMap, created jointly by the EU, UNDP and Georgian Farmers’ Association.
The map is a Google-based interactive information system and contains extensive data on agricultural enterprises, service providers, educational institutions, professional associations and other actors in the agricultural and food sector. In addition to private companies and non-governmental organisations, AgriMap also identifies government programmes and initiatives that support agricultural entrepreneurship.
Users can search for information by location or industry and contact specific companies to pose their business queries. They can also evaluate the quality of the information received and the effectiveness of the interaction.
The AgroMap was launched in 2020 through a pilot initiative focused on the Dedoplistskaro Municipality. For now, the resource lists over 50 locations across Georgia and offers information on 500 companies and organisations, arranged by 24 activity sectors.
“Digitalisation has the potential to transform rural living by making farming jobs more attractive for younger generations and helping farmers work more precisely, efficiently and sustainably,” said Ketevan Khutsishvili, from the EU Delegation to Georgia.
EU and UNDP support for rural development in Georgia is based on the EU-funded ENPARD programme with a total budget of €234.5 million.
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August 2008 Russia-Georgia war: EU reiterates its support to Georgia’s territorial integrity
The EU reiterates its condemnation of Russia’s recognition of and continued military presence in the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “It is a violation of both international law and of Russia’s commitments under the 12 August 2008 agreement,” says a press release issued by the EU Delegation to Georgia on the 14th anniversary of the August 2008 Russo-Georgian war.
“The human rights of conflict-affected communities in Georgia continue to be violated, including through so-called ’borderisation’ policies, closures of crossing points and illegal detentions. Restrictions on their freedom of movement must end,” says the press release. “We call again for accountability, including a credible investigation of all past violations of human rights to hold the perpetrators to account, to bring justice to the victims, and to ensure proper follow-up by the Russian Federation of the landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on 21 January 2021.”
The EU says it remains fully committed to conflict resolution, including through its engagement as co-chair in the Geneva International Discussions, through the work of its Special Representative and the continued presence on the ground of its Monitoring Mission. The EU also reiterates its firm support to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.
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EU welcomes international condemnation of Russia for violation of aviation rules
The European Commission has welcomed the decision by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its infractions of international aviation rules, in order to preserve the safety and security of civil aviation.
The ICAO decision refers to the violation of Ukraine’s sovereign airspace in the context of Russia’s war of aggression, and to the deliberate and continued violation of several safety requirements in an attempt by the Russian government to circumvent EU sanctions. These actions include illegally double-registering in Russia aircraft stolen from leasing companies, and permitting Russian airlines to operate these aircraft on international routes without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness, which is the necessary safety certificate.
Adina Vălean, European Commissioner responsible for Transport, said: “It is of utmost importance for all countries to defend the international aviation rules-based system, for the safety of passengers and crew. Russia continues to disrespect the fundamental rules of international aviation and to instruct its airlines to work against these rules. I welcome the ICAO Council’s clear condemnation, which reflects the gravity of the actions undertaken by Russia.”
ICAO yesterday informed its 193 Member States about Russia’s blatant non-respect of crucial international aviation law and will bring the issue to its next general Assembly, taking place from 27 September to 7 October 2022.
Armenia-Azerbaijan: EU calls for immediate cessation of hostilities along Line of Contact
The European Union has called for an immediate cessation of the hostilities which have broken out between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces around the Lachin corridor and other places along the Line of Contact. “Regrettably, these clashes already led to loss of life and injuries,” said a statement issued on 3 August.
“It is essential to de-escalate, fully respect the ceasefire and return to the negotiating table to seek negotiated solutions,” the statement added.
“The European Union remains committed to help overcome tensions and continue its engagement towards sustainable peace and stability in the South Caucasus,” it concluded.
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Learning human rights to make a difference in Georgia
The European Union and the United Nations are working in partnership to equip Georgia’s public and civic sectors with real-world, practical insights into human rights protection, organising a series of trainings last month for public servants, civic activists and journalists.
The trainings brought together representatives of state institutions, media, professional associations and civil society, and focused on the available tools and mechanisms to ensure respect for human rights in all areas.
On 15-16 July, a training session for journalists, carried out in partnership with the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, addressed the impact of misinformation and disinformation on protecting the rights of ethnic and national minorities. The training programme highlighted the critical role of the media in combating hate speech and fake news and providing the public with reliable and trustworthy information.
On 17-18 July, lawyers from the Legal Aid Service and the Georgian Bar Association participated in a training on the rights of people with disabilities. They discussed international standards in protecting disability rights and the challenges faced by people with disabilities in Georgia in getting access to justice.
On 19-20 July, human rights activists and representatives of organisations engaged in protecting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons learned how to prepare and submit alternative reports and communications to the UN human rights Treaty Bodies and how to use the UN human rights mechanisms for advocacy and strategic litigation.
Finally, on 28-29 July, representatives of Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office discussed how better to protect the right to health in Georgia, and refreshed their knowledge of international standards in this area.
“At UNDP, we deeply believe that respect for human rights is the foundation of democracy,” said Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia. “A democratic society is primarily assessed by how it protects the rights of minorities and not just the rights of the majority. With this in mind, we join hands with the European Union and our partners to assist journalists, lawyers, civic activists and the LGBTQI+ communities to better understand and more effectively protect human rights, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
The European Union and the United Nations, through their ‘Human Rights for All’ programme, promote a human rights culture in Georgia and help increase public awareness of human rights values and principles. Working with a wide range of local and international partners, the EU and the UN seek to ensure that all citizens can enjoy the rights and freedoms safeguarded by Georgia’s Constitution and major policy documents in line with the country’s national priorities and international commitments under the Association Agreement with the European Union, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN human rights treaties.
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