EU condemns Russia’s attempts to forcefully integrate parts of Ukraine
The European Union strongly condemns Russia’s attempts to forcefully integrate parts of Ukrainian territory.
On 25 May and 30 May, the Russian president issued decrees, simplifying the process for granting Russian citizenship and issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, which are temporarily under Russian military control, as well as to Ukrainian children without parental care and legally incapacitated persons from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
“The European Union will not recognise these passports, issued as part of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell in a declaration issued on behalf of the EU.
The EU also strongly condemns any attempts by Russia to replace democratically elected and legitimate Ukrainian administrations, to introduce the Russian rouble as a parallel currency to the Ukrainian hryvnia, and to impose Russian curricula and education materials and change the language of tuition in schools in those parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions that are currently under the illegal control of Russian armed forces.
“Any attempts to alter the status of parts of Ukrainian territory are a clear violation of international law, the UN Charter and Ukraine’s Constitution, they further undermine sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and will not be recognised by the European Union,” said the declaration by Borrell.
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G7 Foreign Ministers demand Russia immediately return control of Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant to Ukraine
On 10 August, G7 Foreign Ministers, including the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, demanded that Russia immediately hand back full control of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and of all the nuclear facilities to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine. This will ensure their safe and secure operation.
“Ukrainian staff operating the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant must be able to carry out their duties without threats or pressure. It is Russia’s continued control of the plant that endangers the region,” says the G7 statement.
The ministers warned that the seizure of Ukrainian nuclear facilities and other actions by Russian armed forces significantly raise the risk of a nuclear accident or incident and endangering the population of Ukraine, neighboring states and the international community. It also undermines the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) ability to monitor Ukraine’s peaceful nuclear activities for safeguarding purposes.
“IAEA staff must be able to access all nuclear facilities in Ukraine safely and without impediment, and engage directly, and without interference, with the Ukrainian personnel responsible for the operation of these facilities,” says the statement.
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International Youth Day – Finding your place in society
EU and UNDP help introduce youth work in schools and vocational colleges
TBILISI. 12 August 2022 – On the path to creating a high-performing educational system, Georgia introduces new educational models and tools to inspire young people to study hard and strive for professional success. These efforts aim to improve youth education and close the gaps between Georgia and the European countries in the areas related to youth participation and engagement.
For now, around 34 percent of Georgian youth are not engaged in employment, education or training (NEET), compared to 13 percent on average in the EU. Youth unemployment in some of Georgia’s regions exceeds 40 percent (13.3 percent on average in the EU). Only five percent of Georgian secondary school graduates choose to enter vocational education programmes (48 percent in the EU).
To help Georgia make education more responsive to the needs and aspirations of young people, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) support the Ministry of Education and Science to introduce a concept of youth work in schools and vocational colleges. The initiative is implemented in partnership with ‘Sunny House’, a non-governmental youth organization.
In 2022, a new cohort of 18 youth workers went through professional training to join nine schools and vocational colleges across Georgia. Youth workers took a lead in establishing youth clubs at the educational institutions and arranging non-formal learning programmes.
In July and August, over 100 young people – high-school or college students, engaged in enjoyable and interactive educational activities organised by youth workers with EU and UNDP support.
In Kachreti, ‘Aisi’ community college grounds turned into a magical world of lost treasures where students had to show their physical and intellectual abilities and team-working skills to win the game.
In Kobuleti, young people will enjoy a rare opportunity to discuss generational challenges with well-known Georgian writers. The discussion will be organised and hosted by the youth club at ‘Akhali Talga’ (‘New Wave’) college.
“The European Union helps strengthen links between formal education and non-formal learning to ensure that young people have access to high-quality education and training and improve their transition from education to employment,” said Nino Kochishvili, Programme Officer at the European Union Delegation to Georgia.
“Getting more young people into employment – jobs that pay well, with real career paths ahead – is a big social and economic opportunity for Georgia. The EU and UNDP join hands with our national partners to curate new and more effective youth education and training programmes. Greater youth employment creates a brighter future for young people and contributes to developing a larger and more dynamic economy for everyone’s benefit,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia.
“We shape our work around the single most important goal – to help young people build skills they need to establish their place in society. Youth work blends formal and informal education to make the educational process richer and more effective,” said youth worker Tamuna Khalichashvili.
Starting from the new academic year in September, nine youth clubs across Georgia will resume their work to continue supporting young people in their personal development and social integration.
The EU and UNDP support draws on the EU-funded US$1,000,000 programme which contributes to creating new educational services in vocational education and training (VET), ensuring the sustainable and inclusive development of the VET system and the labour market. The programme is implemented in close partnership with Georgia’s Ministry of Education and Science, educational institutions and the private sector.
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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GLOBALink | China's foreign trade of goods up 10.4 pct in first 7 months
China's foreign trade of goods jumped 10.4 percent year on year to 23.6 trillion yuan (about 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars) during the first seven months of the year, official data showed Sunday.
Exports rose 14.7 percent year on year to 13.37 trillion yuan, while imports increased 5.3 percent from a year ago to 10.23 trillion yuan, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).
During the period, China's trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the United States, expanded by 13.2 percent, 8.9 percent and 11.8 percent from a year ago, respectively.
From January to July, China's trade with Belt and Road countries and other members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) soared by 19.8 percent and 7.5 percent year on year.
In July, trade with RCEP partners reached 1.17 trillion yuan, up 18.8 percent year on year, boosting the overall foreign trade growth by 5.6 percentage points, said Li Kuiwen, spokesperson for the GAC.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service