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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MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL TURKMEN-AZERBAIJANI COMMISSION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION IN BAKU
On November 28-29, 2022, the Turkmen delegation led by the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan B.Atdaev paid a working visit to Baku.
On November 29, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan B.Atdaev was received by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
The Vice Premier of Turkmenistan thanked the leader of Azerbaijan for the warm welcome and conveyed the greetings and best wishes of the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
The President of Azerbaijan, in turn, conveyed warm and kind wishes to the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
During the meeting, issues of further expansion of the Turkmen-Azerbaijani multifaceted cooperation were considered. In particular, the parties touched upon issues of cooperation in the field of transport and energy. At the same time, the Azerbaijani leader stressed the importance of promoting economic cooperation projects and cultural and humanitarian exchange programs.
The President of Azerbaijan, wishing fruitful work of the meeting of the Commission, expressed confidence that the upcoming meeting would serve as a further impetus for strengthening bilateral friendly ties.
In the afternoon, the sixth meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Azerbaijani Commission for Economic Cooperation was held.
The meeting of the Commission was chaired from the Turkmen side by Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan B. Atdaev, from the Azerbaijani side - Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan Mikayil Jabbarov.
In frames of the meeting, an exchange of views took place regarding the implementation of the agreements reached during the previous meeting of the Commission. Proposals were considered to deepen cooperation between the relevant ministries and state agencies of the two countries, as well as to develop partnerships between business circles.
An increase in trade turnover was noted and the importance of implementing new joint projects that would further expand trade cooperation, was emphasized. Among the discussed topics was an interaction in shipbuilding and ship repair, as well as other industries. In addition, the prospects for opening Trading House of Turkmenistan in Baku and a Trading House of Azerbaijan in Ashgabat, including the creation of the Turkmen-Azerbaijani Business Council were discussed.
The parties agreed to hold the next seventh meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Azerbaijani Commission for Economic Cooperation in 2023 in Ashgabat.
Covenant of Mayors in Eastern Partnership marks its 10 Years in the region
Over the course of ten years of its fruitful work, the Covenant of Mayors East brought together national stakeholders, regional authorities, local governments, civil society, and communities from almost 500 municipalities from the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. With more than 42% of the total population living in the municipalities committed to CoM East objectives, there is a clear positive trend of local authorities in the region joining the initiative.
The cooperation within the initiative aims to embark on the path of energy and climate transition, share the experience among signatories of the project, exchange the best practices, take advantage of the technical expertise and funding opportunities, encourage each other, and jointly search for efficient solutions to shared obstacles.
Organised in the framework of the EU-funded project Covenant of Mayors – Eastern Partnership, the high-level conference “10th Anniversary of the Covenant of Mayors in the Eastern Partnership Region” will take place on 29-30 November 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Conference will host over 150 representatives, including local and national authorities, associations of local officials, and other stakeholders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, along with the EU institutions, EU Member States and international organisations’ representatives.
“I am very happy to see that the Covenant of Mayors initiative in the Eastern Partnership is ready to deliver on the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The ambition to cut emissions by 35% by 2030 demonstrates that your municipalities are truly stepping up to this challenge. With over 460 signatories, the Eastern Partnership region is a frontrunner and a great example for local authorities around the globe,” said Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East and Institution Building from the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) at theEuropean Commission.
During the Conference, speakers will present the progress achieved by the Covenant and its signatories, and will reaffirm the EU’s strong political will to support EaP authorities in designing and implementing sustainable policies. The event will offer opportunities for discussing the main bottlenecks and barriers encountered by the signatory cities, providing effective recipes for success. It will also outline the future of the initiative and EU support to EaP municipalities in the perspective of the Green Deal and other European initiatives. The workshops, taking place on the second day of the event, will create a space for dialogue between local, national, and EU representatives on the implementation of SECAPs, examples of demonstration projects, and climate policy objectives.
Along with the project’s 10th Anniversary in the Eastern Partnership countries, the event also marks the launch of the CoM East third phase that started its work earlier this year. Moreover, from 2014 to 2021 a total of 33 Covenant of Mayors demonstration projects were implemented in the framework of the initiative with the budget of around 38.5 M€.
The Eastern Partnership countries, throughout the past ten years, were able to build a strong and supportive Covenant community, where both ministries and regional authorities’ associations play an important role by assisting the signatories in meeting their CO₂ reduction commitments and implementing climate change adaptation measures.
Teimuraz Janjalia has participated in the forum dedicated to joining the European UnionOn 28 November 2022, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Teimuraz Janjalia, participated in virtual mode in the Accession Exchange Forum held in Kyiv.The forum was organized by the Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine and non-governmental organizations with the support of the European Union. It was attended by representatives of EU institutions, officials of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, as well as international and local non-governmental organizations.
Speaking at the session - "EU candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova, potential candidate status for Georgia: the road to membership", the Deputy Minister highlighted that given the new geopolitical realities, it is important to develop new approaches and a new vision for the EU.
In this context, the need for more involvement and support from the EU was highlighted. Teimuraz Janjalia spoke about the irreversibility of Georgia's accession to the European Union and noted that the recognition of the European perspective brought the relations with the European Union to a completely newer level and opened up new opportunities for the country. The Deputy Minister focused on the importance of greater economic and sectoral integration with the European Union, which will support the country's progress on the path to accession and practically prepare it for this goal.
The deputy minister spoke about the importance of peace and stability in the region and emphasized the role of EU support in strengthening the country's resilience to hybrid threats.MFA of Georgia
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili meets Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Mukhtar Babayev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan.At the meeting held at the Administration of the Government, the directions of strategic cooperation existing between Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan and prioritized by both countries were discussed. Readiness to further deepen productive cooperation was expressed. According to the Prime Minister, the visit of Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, is of special importance and emphasizes the exceptional relations between the two countries.The conversation touched on economic cooperation.The Prime Minister underlined that Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan are reliable transit partners, and the shared transport corridor offers access to reliable distribution channels and global markets.Emphasis was placed on the functioning of infrastructural projects of regional importance at full capacity and the importance of Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation.The meeting was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Georgia, Faig Guliyev, and the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Shamugia.Press Service of the Government Administration
Statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November)
This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we would like to join hands with survivors, activists, decision-makers, and people from every walk of life to take a bold stand against this global scourge.
Stigma and impunity have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions. Across the world, as well as in Georgia, violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive and latent human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination.
A world where violence against women and girls is not just condemned but stopped is possible. It can and must be prevented.
As highlighted in the GREVIO baseline report on Georgia published on 22/11/2022, over the past decade, Georgia has made significant progress towards effectively addressing the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls by putting in place a comprehensive policy and legislative framework, producing data and strengthening institutions to effectively enforce the laws. Moreover, specialized services for survivors such as shelters, crisis centres and a hotline have been created, and law enforcement has been specialized to handle cases in a more sensitive and qualified manner. Importantly, there have been positive shifts in public perceptions and an increase in survivors’ trust in the justice system and services.
Despite these significant measures taken to tackle gender-based violence in Georgia, women continue to die as a result of these atrocious crimes. Often, femicide represents the continuum of other forms of violence experienced by women and girls. Sexual violence also persists in Georgia, with an extremely low number of reporting and respective cases reaching the courts. The persistent patriarchal norms and deeply entrenched stereotypes in Georgian society tend to blame victims and condone violence against women and girls.
We call for the strengthening of a holistic national framework to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls in Georgia. Efforts should be translated into concrete actions through the necessary legislative measures by, inter alia, amending the definition of rape in the Criminal Code of Georgia to ensure compliance with the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention and other international standards, as well as by exercising due diligence to prevent (including through integrating the issue into the general education programmes), investigate, punish, and provide reparation for acts of violence. Building and strengthening an enabling environment for women’s economic, political, and social empowerment is paramount.
Since everyone has a pivotal role to play in tackling violence against women and girls, we remain steadfast in our determination to support the Government of Georgia, civil society, and other partners to ensure that the inalienable right of women and girls to live a life free from violence is observed and enjoyed for the benefit of everyone.