Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding A. Lukashenko’s travel to Georgia’s Abkhazia region occupied by the Russian Federation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its deep concern regarding Aleksandr Lukashenko’s travel to the Russian occupied Abkhazia region and the meeting held with the representatives of the Russian occupation regime in Sokhumi.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia condemns the violation of the Georgian state border by Aleksandr Lukashenko with his so-called visit in the occupied Abkhazia region, which blatantly infringes the fundamental principles and norms of international law.
We call on the Belarusian side to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the sovereign state within its internationally recognized borders and not to take the actions, which contradict the fundamental principles of international law.
MFA of Georgia
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.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the 56th Round of the Geneva International Discussions
The 56th round of the Geneva International Discussions was held on 5 October 2022. The Georgian delegation was led by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lasha Darsalia. The round was conducted as a result of the active involvement and efforts of the Co-Chairs from the EU, UN and OSCE as well as of the USA.
The round was focused on the core agenda items of the Geneva International Discussions related to the necessity of full implementation of the provisions of the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. Georgian delegation also made an emphasis on one of the main issues of the agenda – the safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to their homes.
The Geneva International Discussions were launched on the basis of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. The discussions are held within the frames of two Working Groups, where participants are represented in their individual capacity. In the first Working Group talks are focused on security and stability in the occupied territories of Georgia, while in second Working Group – on humanitarian and human rights situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as on the issues related to safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin. The discussions are held with Co-Chairmanship of the EU, UN and OSCE, and participation of Georgia, the Russian Federation and the USA. The Head of the Provisional Administration of the former South Ossetian Autonomous District and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, as well as the representatives of the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali occupation regimes also attend the Working Groups.
EU condemns Lukashenko visit to Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia
The EU has strongly condemned the visit of Alexander Lukashenko to the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia.
On 28 September, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko visited Abkhazia, which illegally declared its independence from Georgia in 2008 with Russia’s support.
“Apart from the fact that Lukashenko lacks any legitimacy to act as a head of state, this visit was undertaken without the consent of the government of Georgia, which is the only legitimate authority over the region of Abkhazia,” said European External Action Service Spokesperson Peter Stano. “This visit violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and constitutes a blatant violation of international law.”
The EU also reaffirmed its steadfast support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders.
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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the so-called referenda held by the Russian Federation at the territory of UkraineThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia strongly condemns so-called referenda held by the Russian Federation at the territory of Ukraine and illegal annexation of these territories which is a clear act to forcefully change the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.Through this yet another illegal action of the Russian Federation, the fundamental principles of international law, protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, have once again been grossly violated.
Georgia, who has already been through the experience to forcefully change the internationally recognized borders, will never recognize the so-called illegal referenda conducted in Ukrainian regions and reaffirms its firm and unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
Abkhaz Artist Nikoloz Emkhvari Holds Exhibit at Orbeniani Palace
The Orbeliani Palace opened today an exhibit of paintings by Abkhaz artist Nikoloz Emkhvari as a show of President Salome Zourabichvili’s support for the ongoing Tbilisi Art Fair and for the freedom of self-expression of young artists.
During the opening ceremony, the President spoke about the background behind the exhibit, emphasizing its important: “I am glad that today we have the opportunity to host young artist Nika Emkhvari in this palace, an artist whose very interesting works I saw for the time a few months ago at the Sighnaghi Museum. It was there that the idea to organize this exhibit in this palace was born. As Tbilisi Art Fair is taking place, this exhibit is timely and my wish was for us to be a participant in this event. The artist, in addition to representing himself through his work, is from Abkhazia and it’s crucial that Abkhazia is represented here today at the Art Fair. This is Georgian art, this is a very interesting form of modern art. Georgia is a country where the rise of modern talent is taking place and it’s good to see such a creative ability in our youth, and across our country.”
Nikoloz Emkhvari thanked the President and said, “Art is everything to me and I want to put my soul into my works. Thank you for being here to view my works that depict human nature. This is what I want to show with my creativity.”
Mr. Konstantine Natsvlishvili, Adviser to the President on Cultural Affairs, stated that Georgia’s reality and environment have been a great influence to the creativity of artists. He said: “We live in an interesting era and of course Nika Emkhvari is no exception. In his work, we can see the role of pop culture, the images that remain in our consciousness and manifested in new form. These images speak for themselves. They show the medium through which the artist speaks to us and in this universal language, understood by the whole world, he says what he needs to say. This artist’s works really deserve attention.”