Issues of developing partnership in Central Asia in the field of healthcare were discussed in Geneva
A meeting of the Ministers of Health of the Central Asian countries was held in the building of the Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the UN Office in Geneva, with the participation of Dr. Hans Kluge, Regional Director for Europe of the World Health Organization.
High government delegations from the countries of Central Asia took part in the meeting.
During the meeting, specific issues and areas of cooperation were discussed, including the development and promotion of the One Health concept in the Central Asian region, regional initiatives of the countries of Central Asia in the field of health, and the Roadmap for Health and Well-Being in Central Asia 2022-2025.
Hans Kluge, Head of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, expressed support for Central Asia as a priority region, including in the joint development and implementation of the Roadmap for Health and Well-Being in Central Asia 2022–2025.
It is assumed that the leaders of Central Asia will approve the Roadmap, which includes a large health component.
GLOBALink | Former prisoner tells his Xinjiang story to UN rights body
A former prisoner in China's Xinjiang told his story to the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, saying that in the prison where he served the sentence, there had never been mistreatment of prisoners. #GLOBALink
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
Personal data protection of LGBTQI+ communities in Georgia
The research examines widespread practices related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people and provides recommendations for public agencies and the civil and private sectors to raise existing standards and fill in the gaps.
Commissioned by the European Union and UNDP, the research was carried out by the non-governmental organization “Rule of Law Centre” with contributions from civil society organizations “Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group” (WISG), “Equality Movement” and “Identoba Youth”.
- The healthcare sector often collects the personal data of LGBTQI+ community members in an insulting manner and without a legal basis. Excessive data collection and intentional or accidental disclosure of confidential information are common practices. Most healthcare institutions lack the organizational and technical capacities needed to gather, process and protect personal data.
- Similar problems are registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The personal data of LGBTQI+ community members are being collected in a humiliating manner and without legal grounds. There are cases when criminal case information provided by an LGBTQI+ person is disclosed to an unauthorized third party or when data protection measures are not in place. For example, a crime witness and a victim can be interviewed at the same time in a shared space while interview protocols can be accessible to unauthorized third parties.
- Lawyers often disclose confidential personal data in their media interviews or on social media. This includes information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of court case participants.
- Psychologists and therapists disclose the confidential personal data of their patients without their consent.
- Georgian legislation does not consider personal data protection as a ground for closing a court hearing for the public. Judges usually do not grant relevant requests submitted by LGBTQI+ community members involved in civil or administrative cases.
- Public Service Hall employees sometimes use personal data for unofficial purposes or disclose it to third parties. The open-plan arrangement of Public Service Halls increases the risk of accidental data disclosure.
- Journalists often disclose information about the sexual orientation and gender identity of their respondents, violating the standards of journalistic ethics and personal data protection.
- Discrimination in the workplace is another challenge faced by the LGBTQI+ community. Sexual orientation and gender identity increase the risk of losing a job and can lead to humiliating treatment and personal data disclosure.
- The Personal Data Protection Authority does not segregate its statistical data by the cases related to the personal data protection of LGBTQI+ people. This makes it hard to analyse its actions and decisions.
- LGBTQI+ people are reluctant to respond to their personal data violation cases. Partly because they often lack information on data privacy and personal data protection, and partly because they feel vulnerable and uncomfortable contacting law enforcement authorities.
- Civil society organizations working to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ communities need support to increase their expertise and capacities in personal data protection.
ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION OF TURKMENISTAN AT THE 77TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
On December 6, 2022, the 45th plenary meeting of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly was held. During the meeting, the General Assembly considered the draft resolution "International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, 2023", submitted by Turkmenistan under agenda item 14 "Culture of Peace".
Presenting the draft resolution, the Turkmen delegation stressed that the President of Turkmenistan for the first time put forward the global initiative "Dialogue is a guarantee of peace" in December 2021 during the International Conference "Policy of peace and trust - the basis of international security, stability and development".
The delegation of Turkmenistan noted that the draft resolution "International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, 2023" was prepared after a wide range of consultations between UN member countries, taking into account all constructive opinions and proposals.
The document reflects the fundamental purposes and principles of the UN Charter, above all the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means and the determination to save future generations from the scourge of war. The draft resolution confirms that inclusive dialogue in its various manifestations plays an important role in strengthening relations and cooperation among member states.
Presenting the draft resolution, the delegation of Turkmenistan paid special attention to the fact that on December 11 this year Turkmenistan will host the International Conference “Dialogue is a Guarantee of Peace”, which will create a platform for a broad exchange of views on the topics covered in the draft resolution and lay the foundation for launching 2023 Global Campaign for Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace. The delegation of Turkmenistan invited all member countries and agencies of the United Nations to take an active part in the upcoming Forum.
After discussions, this resolution was adopted by consensus. The resolution was co-sponsored by 68 member countries of the Organization.
Joint statement by the UN Country Team on entry into force of plain packaging regulation of tobacco products
December 31, 2022 is the deadline set by the Law of Georgia "On Tobacco Control" for the regulation of plain packaging of tobacco products to come into force. Plain packaging was expected to enter into force in 2018, but was postponed until the end of this year. Currently, a legislative initiative on another postponement of this deadline has been submitted to the Parliament of Georgia. We call on the Parliament of Georgia to reject this legislative initiative and ensure that the plain packaging regulations will enter into force within the timeframe specified in the current law.
To reduce the enormous health, social and economic damage caused by active and passive tobacco use in Georgia, the Parliament of Georgia adopted a strong tobacco control legislation in 2017, which was later recognized by international organizations and experts as a visionary law that serves as an example for many countries in the region. Just two years after the successful implementation of this law, studies show a significant decrease in tobacco use and second-hand tobacco smoke pollution in Georgia, which resulted in the reduction of the burden of tobacco-attributable diseases.
To build on this success, further comprehensive tobacco control measures need to be implemented in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Regulation on plain packaging for tobacco products is one of the most powerful regulations that make tobacco products less attractive and reduce the ability of tobacco products to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking.
The United Nations in Georgia would like to commend the firm position of the decision-makers of the Parliament of Georgia of various convocations and the Government of Georgia on the smooth implementation of tobacco control regulations. We hope that the Parliament of Georgia will take immediate steps to avoid another postponement and to ensure the plain packaging regulation enters into force in the beginning of 2023 and will thus help to protect the health of the current and future generations of Georgia.
Georgia Elected to the UN Human Rights Council
As part of the 77th session of the UN general assembly on 11 October 2022, in New York, Georgia was elected with 178 votes as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the second term, for 2023-2025. Georgia was initially elected as a member of the UN’s intergovernmental body in 2015, for the term covering the years 2016-2018.The Council membership is based on geographical distribution of seats. It is made up of 47 states responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
Being elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council is an important success for Georgia. Membership in the Council gives the country a greater scope to engage actively in the global human rights agenda.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia congratulates all the newly elected members of the Council and thanks the UN Member States for supporting Georgia's candidacy.
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