Strasbourg, 22.11.2022 – The Council of Europe’s monitoring body GREVIO in its first report on Georgia released today welcomed the many steps taken by the Georgian authorities to align its laws, policies and institutional framework with the standards of the Istanbul Convention. However, further legal amendments are needed, more domestic violence shelters and sexual violence crisis referral centres should be established across the country, bureaucratic obstacles related to obtaining victim status should be addressed, and steps must be urgently taken to increase women’s equal status in the Georgian society where patriarchal attitudes still prevail. The comments of the Georgian government were equally published.
The adoption of the National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims 2018-2020, accompanied by policies, constituted a very important step in aligning Georgia’s obligations with its commitments under the convention. Besides, the Law on Domestic Violence has been amended to address all forms of violence and contains such welcome elements as the provision of special leave for victims of violence for the duration of their stay at a shelter/crisis centre, as well as the formal assignment of victim status to those witnessing domestic violence, notably children. The offence of domestic violence as well as new crimes such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation, stalking and forced sterilisation have been introduced into the Criminal Code. Significant changes were made to legislation in 2019 in terms of prohibiting sexual harassment, and much effort has been made to raise awareness of the different forms of violence against women. However, the definition of rape and the other offences of sexual violence in the Georgian Criminal Code still needs to be amended, in order to fully incorporate the notion of the lack of freely given consent, as required by the Istanbul Convention.
Victims have no access to fully established rape crisis and/or sexual violence referral centres that would be adequately geographically distributed all over Georgia. Besides, there are still very few services for women and girls at risk of or subjected to forced marriage, and administrative requirements such as obtaining formal victim status place barriers on women’s access to domestic violence shelters. GREVIO also urges the authorities to improve the access to support services and protection mechanisms to women exposed to the risk of intersectional discrimination, such as those from national and/or ethnic minorities, living in rural areas, women with disabilities and refugees, lesbian, bisexual or transgender women and older women. Children who witness violence often remain invisible to the system. Besides, financial resources allocated to state and NGO actors should be augmented, and the involvement of the latter in anti-violence law and policy development increased.
The criminal justice mechanisms for combating sexual violence face serious shortcomings: investigations and prosecutions lack in promptness, effectiveness, and sensitivity. The report calls for immediate measures to guarantee a quick and adequate response, in particular in cases of rape and sexual violence. The factors that contribute to the very high threshold for proving rape in court should be identified and addressed, and re-traumatisation of victims avoided all along the way. Urgent action should also be taken to ensure that criminal penalties imposed are dissuasive and commensurate with the gravity of the offence, and that courts take into account all incidents of domestic violence when deciding on custody or visitation rights.
Besides, GREVIO urges the authorities to review the process of issuance of emergency barring orders by the police, to identify and address reasons for the high proportion of orders annulled by the courts (around 60% in 2018-2021), as well as to monitor compliance with such orders. Similarly, the causes of the high number of violations of restraining and protection orders should be identified, and adequate sanctions applied in cases of breaches of such orders. GREVIO notes with great concern that while in 2018 the number of investigations initiated for violations of restraining orders was 60 and in 2019 the number went up to 516, no information has been provided concerning the sanctions imposed.
In its report, GREVIO also urges the Georgian authorities to ensure that women victims of violence who are in need of protection, regardless of their status or residence, shall not be returned under any circumstances to any country where their life would be at risk or where they might be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Finally, GREVIO points out that patriarchal attitudes, and stereotypes about gender roles and acceptable behaviour are still prevalent in Georgian society. Persistent gender stereotypes and their peddling by the media should be addressed, and efforts to increase women’s equal status in society, public discourse and the media must be urgently undertaken.
Concerns persist regarding the human rights situation in the areas affected by the armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia in August 2008, according to a report by Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić presented to the Committee of Ministers.
The bi-annual report (covering the period April-October 2022) on the conflict in Georgia highlighted that core issues concerning the human rights and humanitarian situation in the conflict-affected areas continue to see little progress, with restrictions on freedom of movement, including through the illegal so-called “borderisation” process, and access to education and health care remaining of serious concern, including with regard to their impact on vulnerable groups.
Against this background, the Secretary General welcomed the continuous efforts and initiatives undertaken by the Georgian government aimed at promoting dialogue and reconciliation, and their provision of access to health care, education, and social benefits to residents of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.
On November 21, 2022, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov left for an official visit to the United Arab Emirates.
After flying to Abu Dhabi, the presidential airliner landed at the International Airport of the capital of the UAE, where President Serdar Berdimuhamedov was warmly welcomed by the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates Suheil Al Mazrui and other officials.
Then the President of Turkmenistan proceeded to the Palace of the President of the United Arab Emirates.
President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan warmly and cordially welcomed President Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
Presidents Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan exchanged friendly greetings and proceeded to the Palace for an official photographing ceremony against the backdrop of the State flags of Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates.
Then bilateral talks at the highest level were held in the Great Conference Hall in an expanded format, with the participation of delegations from both countries.
Once again cordially welcoming the distinguished guest, the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan noted that great importance is attached to the visit of the President of Turkmenistan and the current negotiations in the context of further strengthening and development of interstate relations.
Taking the opportunity, the President of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan once again congratulated the head of Turkmenistan on his election to the highest state post and wished him success in his noble and responsible work.
Expressing sincere gratitude to the President of the UAE on behalf of the Turkmen delegation for the warm welcome and hospitality, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov also conveyed warm greetings from the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to him.
Noting that this is his first visit to the United Arab Emirates as the President of Turkmenistan, the head of Turkmen state stressed that a wide range of issues of bilateral relations will be discussed at the current meeting, and views will be exchanged on bringing them to a new level that meets mutual interests and modern realities.
At the end of the talks in an expanded format, in the presence of the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a signing ceremony was held, during which a solid package of bilateral documents was signed.
As a result of the official visit of the President of Turkmenistan to the UAE, a Joint Statement of Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates was adopted.
This was followed by a one-to-one high-level meeting.
The subject of a thorough discussion was the issues related to the implementation of the bilateral agreements reached, aimed at the optimal realization of the potential of the Turkmen-Emirati cooperation, diversification of its directions.
Here, as a specific example, one can cite the participation of the UAE in the implementation of a number of projects implemented in Turkmenistan over the past years. Fruitful contacts have been established with investment and financial institutions of the United Arab Emirates, in particular, with the Abu Dhabi Development Fund.
An equally important segment of the Turkmen-Emirati cooperation is education, science, culture and sports.
The parties also exchanged views on a number of topical aspects of the regional and global agenda of mutual interest, which primarily concerns ensuring global peace, security and sustainable development.
At the end of the meeting, the heads of the two states expressed satisfaction with the results of the talks, which were of a confidential, friendly and at the same time businesslike nature and became clear evidence of the desire of Turkmenistan and the UAE to bring traditional cooperation to a qualitatively new level.
Then the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, together with the participants in the ceremony of signing bilateral documents, were photographed against the picturesque background of the sea.
The official visit of the President of Turkmenistan to the United Arab Emirates continues.
On the same day, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, as part of an official visit to the United Arab Emirates, met with the Vice President, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Expressing sincere gratitude for the cordial welcome, the head of the Turkmen state conveyed warm greetings to the Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE from the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Warmly welcoming the distinguished guest, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stressed that the current visit of the head of Turkmenistan is regarded in his country as an important step towards strengthening the friendship of our fraternal peoples, a new page in the history of interstate dialogue.
During the meeting, an exchange of views took place on the prospects for further strengthening interstate ties, built on the principles of mutual respect and support, as well as on some international and regional issues.
In continuation of the meeting, having discussed the state of and ways to expand the productive partnership, the interlocutors expressed their common desire to bring traditional cooperation to a qualitatively new level that meets the existing colossal potential. In particular, emphasis was placed on the planned opening of a specialized store selling Turkmen carpets in the city of Dubai (UAE).
As the President of Turkmenistan noted, another important tool in the development of trade and economic relations between the two countries is the establishment of ties between entrepreneurs. In this context, it was emphasized that within the framework of the current visit, a business forum on cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the United Arab Emirates will be held.
Great importance is also attached to cultural and humanitarian ties, their deepening and expansion in such important areas as science, education, culture and art.
At the end of the meeting, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, once again noting the established high level of fraternal relations between Turkmenistan and the UAE and mutual readiness for their further intensification, expressed confidence that traditional bilateral cooperation will continue to be strengthened and successfully developed on a mutually beneficial long-term basis. basis, filled with new concrete content.
On November 21, 2022, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, as part of an official visit to the United Arab Emirates, met with Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Presidential Affairs of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The head of Turkmenistan expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the warm welcome and conveyed greetings from the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
During the meeting, the importance of intensifying trade and economic ties was emphasized, issues of interaction in a number of promising areas were discussed, including in the fuel and energy sector, as well as in such areas as the oil refining, gas chemical industry and transport.
Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan confirmed the readiness of the UAE business community to expand a productive partnership with Turkmenistan, which is successfully implementing a far-sighted economic strategy.
The parties also noted the importance of building partnerships in the transport sector, in particular, in the field of maritime, rail and air traffic. In this context, the head of Turkmenistan stressed the relevance of establishing contacts with the International Port of Abu Dhabi in order to join the International Seaport of Turkmenbashi to the system of seaports of the world.
The interlocutors spoke for the importance of giving a new impetus to the activities of the Joint Committee on Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates, as well as for the expediency of holding regular meetings between representatives of the business circles of the two countries.
A proposal was also made to create a joint bank and open its representative office in both countries. President Serdar Berdimuhamedov supported this proposal, noting that Turkmenistan would create all opportunities for this.
Saying goodbye, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Presidential Affairs of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed confidence that the mutual desire to increase dialogue would be effectively implemented in practice for the benefit of the peoples of both countries.
On November 21, 2022, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan V. Hajiyev held a meeting with a delegation led by the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Central Asia, Ms. Ashita Mittal, who arrived in Ashgabat on a working visit.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Turkmen side expressed gratitude to the UNODC regional representative for the visit and efforts to jointly organize the 55th session of the Sub-Commission on Illicit Drug Trafficking and Related Issues in the Near and Middle East in Ashgabat.
Then, during the meeting, the parties noted that the event is of particular importance in the context of Turkmenistan's membership in the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs for 2020-2023. The parties expressed their conviction that the results of the session will serve as a basis for further cooperation both in the region and in the world as a whole in the fight against illicit drug trafficking.
During the meeting, the parties highly appreciated the level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNODC and discussed the implementation of national, regional and global UNODC programs to combat drug trafficking.
The parties also considered a number of issues related to the Action Plan (“Roadmap”) for the further development of cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNODC for the period from 2022 to 2025.
In addition, the Initiative to Strengthen Cross-border Cooperation of the UNODC Program for the Countries of Central Asia was discussed.
Highly praising the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation and, having considered the achievements of the Turkmen customs service, the parties recognized the success of Turkmenistan's efforts to integrate into the world economy and open new international trade relations.
Taking the opportunity, V. Hajiyev invited Ms. A. Mittal to take part in the Conference “Dialogue is a Guarantee of Peace”, which will be held in the Turkmen capital on December 11 this year
Президент Туркменистана от имени народа, правительства Туркменистана и от себя лично направил сердечные поздравления президенту Казахстана Касым-Жомарту Токаеву по случаю его победы на выборах и переизбранием на пост президента Республики Казахстан, сообщает TDH.
«Убежден, что под Вашим руководством Республика Казахстан достигнет еще больших успехов, а также продолжит повышать свой авторитет на международной арене», – подчеркнул туркменский лидер в своем послании.
Пользуясь возможностью, президент Туркменистана также пожелал Касым-Жомарту Токаеву крепкого здоровья, счастья и успехов в ответственной государственной деятельности, а казахскому народу — мира, благополучия и процветания.
Туркменистан и Черногория имеют возможности для выстраивания двустороннего партнерства в торгово-экономической сфере, подчеркнули в рамках встречи в Москве посол Туркменистана в России Батыр Ниязалиев и посол Черногории в РФ Милорад Шчепанович.
В ходе переговоров стороны также коснулись вопросов необходимости активизации сотрудничества в культурно-гуманитарной сфере и договорились продолжать двусторонние контакты, передает официальный сайт посольства Туркменистана в России.
Черногория, имеющая один из самых высоких показателей экономического роста в Европе, является небольшой по территории многонациональной и многоконфессиональной славянской страной. Также она традиционно обладает тесными связями с тюркским миром, что делает Черногорию близкой по духу и истории к Туркменистану.
Фонд развития Абу-Даби заинтересован инвестировать в газохимическую промышленность и транспортно-логистический сектор Туркменистана, пишет TDH по итогам переговоров туркменской делегации с представителями Фонда.
Темой двусторонних переговоров было формирование благоприятного инвестиционного климата в Туркменистане и перспективы работы в области инвестиций и развития совместных производств.
В рамках встречи президента Туркменистана с заместителем председателя Кабинета министров, министром по управлению делами президента ОАЭ Шейхом Мансуром Бин Зайед Аль Нахайяном прозвучало предложение о создании совместного банка и открытии его представительств в обеих странах. В этой связи Сердар Бердымухамедов заявил, что для этого будут созданы все необходимые возможности.
Намерение наращивать совместные усилия в таких приоритетных областях, как нефтегазовая, нефтеперерабатывающая, химическая отрасль и возобновляемая энергия нашло отражение и в Совместном заявлении по итогам туркмено-эмиратских переговоров на высшем уровне.
Представители иранских железных дорог сообщили о значительном увеличении транзита грузов в Туркменистан через провинцию Голестан, передает IRNA.
Как заявляют местные чиновники, грузооборот на ключевой станции Инче-Бурун достиг рекордного показателя в 40-65 вагонов в день.
Иран направил значительные средства на увеличение инфраструктурных возможностей провинции для расширения и облегчения торговли с Центральноазиатскими государствами, в особенности — с Туркменистаном и Казахстаном.
Увеличение транзита также объясняется недавним достижением договоренностей между Ираном и Туркменистаном об облегчении движения грузовых автомобилей через их территорию.