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.
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.
GLOBALink | Cultural events in NYC feature China's intangible cultural heritage
Multiple events were staged in New York City over the weekend featuring intangible cultural heritage from east China's Suzhou.
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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.
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.
STATEMENT OF THE DELEGATION OF TURKMENISTAN DURING THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 77TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Your Excellency Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I have the honor to convey warm greeting and wishes of peace and prosperity to the peoples of your countries from the President of Turkmenistan His Excellency Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
I congratulate Mr. Csaba Kőrösi on his election to the presidency of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly and wish him success in this important and responsible position.
I express my gratitude to the distinguished Mr. Abdullah Shahid, Chairman of the 76th session, for his effective work in this post.
The current session of the United Nations General Assembly is considered by Turkmenistan from the view of the need to urgently use the potential of the world community, the levers of constructive influence of the UN on world processes, the search for channels of dialogue as the only acceptable way to resolve conflicts and tensions, the creation of prerequisites for the development of responsible joint approaches to the problems of post-pandemic development, the restoration of economic and humanitarian ties.
For Turkmenistan, the new political year marks an important anniversary date – the 30th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations. Based on the solid base of relations with this universal organization built over the years of independence and confirming its policy of strategic partnership with the UN, the conviction that there is no alternative to this only world structure with universal legitimacy, Turkmenistan will continue its efforts to increase and strengthen its role in the world, to establish recognized international legal norms and the UN Charter as the political basis of interstate relations.
The global security architecture created within the framework of our Organization is now undergoing serious challenges. We are witnessing complex processes that impede multilateral cooperation, including in such important areas as security and stability.
To overcome current difficulties in international relations, Turkmenistan considers it necessary to strengthen the existing ones and think about creating new dialogue platforms for international communication and negotiations on critical issues on the global agenda.
The restoration of trust, the culture of respectful dialogue is now acquiring universal significance as one of the key conditions for a responsible, non-confrontational approach, the search for opportunities for mutual understanding and the observance of a balance of interests when considering complex issues.
Further promoting the philosophy of trust-based dialogue in international relations, Turkmenistan intends to propose to the UN General Assembly to consider the draft resolution "Dialogue is a guarantee of peace". We are convinced that the adoption of such a document will confirm the principled and unambiguous commitment of all UN Member States to a peaceful, negotiated way to resolve conflict situations, no matter how difficult they may seem.
Reinforcing our efforts in this direction, we propose that the international community declare 2025 the "Year of Peace and Trust", based on the provisions of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly adopted earlier at the initiative of Turkmenistan.
Today, the role of peacekeeping instruments in the arsenal of the international community is objectively increasing. In particular, we are noting again the potential of neutrality, its conceptual foundations for strengthening universal stability and security.
Based on the recognition by the UN General Assembly of neutrality as a factor in strengthening global peace and security, the adopted resolution on the proclamation of December 12 as the International Day of Neutrality, Turkmenistan will continue to work actively with partners to expand the membership of the Group of Friends of Neutrality for peace, security and sustainable development.
The course of the development of global processes in the field of security dictates the need for strengthening the mechanisms of regional cooperation. On July 28 of this year, the UN General Assembly, by its resolution, proclaimed Central Asia a Zone of Peace, Trust and Cooperation. We are grateful to the world community for the decision taken, which creates conditions on a strategically important part of the political map of the world for active work to strengthen international security, prevent and resolve conflicts, and build strong and effective regional institutions in this regard.
As the host country of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, Turkmenistan stands for full support to its work, which has proved its effectiveness.
Taking into account that December 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Regional Center, we intend to submit to the General Assembly a draft resolution on the role of the Center, reflecting in this document the significant events of recent years and consolidating the mechanisms of regional interaction built on its basis.
We are particularly concerned about the currently growing threats to global food security, which are rapidly spreading to an increasing number of countries and entire regions. In these circumstances, urgent efforts of the world community and effective measures to overcome the current situation are required.
In order to maintain the stability of the global food market, jointly search for solutions to complicated problems of providing food to the most vulnerable countries, as well as supporting the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in this direction, we propose to hold an International Forum on Food Security in Turkmenistan.
In the current conditions, the full implementation of the agreements reached on the Sustainable Development Goals is of particular importance. In this regard, supporting multilateral tools for monitoring the achievement of the SDGs, Turkmenistan will present the Second Voluntary National Review on the SDGs implementation during the High-Level Political Forum in 2023.
At present, the solution to sustainable development issues largely depends on the level of international cooperation in such critical areas as transport and energy.
Continuing to promote multilateral transport cooperation, Turkmenistan during the current session intends to summarize the results of the Global Conferences on Sustainable Transport held in 2016 and 2021, other high-level transport forums convened in recent years, including the Ministerial Transport Conference for Landlocked Countries organized in Turkmenistan on August 15-16 of this year, and prepare proposals for the development of a project the concept of the United Nations Special Interregional Programme for Transport Development.
At the current session, Turkmenistan also looks forward to the continuation of a broad dialogue on the issue of energy security. In this context, we consider it necessary, based on the provisions of the resolutions of the UN General Assembly on the reliable and stable energy supplies to world markets, adopted at the initiative of our country, to accelerate work on the implementation of the proposals submitted earlier by Turkmenistan on the establishment of an open-ended international expert group to develop a modern UN international legal toolkit for regulating sustainable and reliable energy transit.
In Central Asia, for objective reasons, climate change and water issues are the most important, and in some cases, determining factors in the development of regional processes, having a significant impact on the overall situation, the implementation of socio-economic development programmes, and the solution of serious environmental issues.
Based on the positions of Turkmenistan on adaptation and mitigation of climate change, presented in November 2021 at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, as well as practically considered during multilateral consultations within the framework of the Climate Conference in Bonn in June this year, Turkmenistan is preparing for the establishment in Ashgabat Regional Center for Climate Technologies for Central Asian Countries.
At the same time, noting the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Turkmenistan in May 2022 within the framework of the implementation of obligations under the Paris Agreement, Turkmenistan intends to intensify efforts to implement the goals outlined in this document, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting the Global Methane Pledge.
We will persistently and purposefully strive to single out the Aral Sea issue as a separate area of the UN's activities. To this end, in May 2023, we intend to resume negotiations on the draft resolution of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on the establishment of the UN Special Program for the Aral Sea Basin, which will be based on the provisions of the UN General Assembly resolutions "On cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS)", adopted in 2018 and 2019.
The impact of the pandemic requires us to continue our coordinated efforts to address the identified vulnerabilities of global and national health systems. Turkmenistan will continue to support the joint activities of the world community to combat this new type of coronavirus infection, to establish tools for health diplomacy. Underlining the key role of the World Health Organization in developing consolidated responses to common challenges, we support the developed global One Health concept and will promote it within the framework of the Roadmap for Health and Well-being in Central Asia until 2025.
With all the diversity of tasks facing each of our countries, we are united by common hopes, concerns and threats. Turkmenistan, together with its partners, is ready to look for new ways to overcome the challenges faced by mankind. Based on strategic cooperation with the United Nations, my country will make every effort to achieve these goals.