Georgia and the EU hold annual Human Rights Dialogue

Published in Politics
Thursday, 23 June 2022 12:07

On 22 June in Brussels, the EU and Georgia held the 15th round of the annual Human Rights Dialogue. 

Participants exchanged views on the human rights situation in Georgia and on recent developments in the promotion and protection of democracy and human rights since the last dialogue in July 2021. 

The Georgian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Teimuraz Gianjalia, and the EU delegation was led by Richard Tibbels, from the European External Action Service. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, also participated in the meeting. 

The next EU-Georgia human rights dialogue is planned to take place in Tbilisi in 2023.

Find out more

Press release

Secretary Blinken to Release the 2021 Human Rights Report

Published in Society
Thursday, 14 April 2022 12:00

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will deliver on-camera remarks on the release of the 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at 1:30 p.m. on April 12, 2022, in the Press Briefing Room at the U.S. Department of State.

Acting Assistant Secretary Lisa Peterson of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor will take questions in the Briefing Room immediately following Secretary Blinken’s remarks.

Promoting respect for human rights and defending fundamental freedoms are central to who we are as a country.  The United States will continue to support those around the world struggling for human dignity and liberty.  Required by U.S. law, the 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices document the status of human rights and worker rights in 198 countries and territories.

Instructions for embargoed access to the country reports will be sent to members of the press on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 11:30 a.m.  The entire report is EMBARGOED until the start of the press briefing.  The reports will be available to the public on www.state.gov following the Secretary’s remarks.

This event will be open press and will be livestreamed on www.state.gov.

Please submit any media inquiries via the web form located on the ‘Information for Journalists’ page on www.state.gov.

 

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia

Published in Politics
Monday, 04 April 2022 10:45

On 1 April 2022, in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the Occupied Territories of Georgia - "Cooperation with Georgia."
The resolution of Georgia was presented by the First Deputy Foreign Minister, Lasha Darsalia at the Council session. In his speech, he spoke about the difficult humanitarian situation in the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. He noted that despite the direct call of the Human Rights Council and the efforts of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Russian occupation forces continue to prevent the Office of the High Commissioner and other international human rights monitoring mechanisms from entering Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.
The First Deputy Foreign Minister once again underlined the decision of the European Court of Human Rights of 21 January 2021 - Georgia v. Russia - which confirms the occupation of Georgian territories by Russia and its effective control over them.
In his speech Lasha Darsalia underlined that Russia's pattern of behaviour towards its neighbors remains unchanged. Georgia experienced Russia’s full-scale military aggression in 2008. Recent announcement on conduction of so-called referendum in the occupied South Ossetia on unification with RF is yet another demonstration of continues aggressive policy vis a vis Georgia.   This pattern of behavior brazenly undermines the entire international rules-based order and poses grave threat to regional and global peace and security.
The First Deputy Minister reviewed the latest report of the High Commissioner, which reflects the grave humanitarian situation in the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and the gross human rights violations experienced by the conflict-affected population in both regions, including various forms of discrimination based on ethnicity, and violation of property rights, restriction of movement and education in the mother tongue.
Lasha Darsalia noted that the report provides facts about the killing of ethnic Georgians in 2014-2019 and emphasizes that the failure to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crimes contributes to  strengthening the sense of impunity in the occupied regions. He also spoke about illegal cases of deprivation of liberty and noted that Georgian citizens are still illegally held captive by the occupation regime. At the same time, he stressed the need for the international community to work for their release.
According to the First Deputy Minister, the dire humanitarian situation in the occupied territories of Georgia clearly indicates the need for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other international human rights monitoring mechanisms to get access to the  occupied regions of Georgia.
During the discussion of the resolution initiated by the Georgian side, statements of support were made by the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Finland, and Lithuania. In its resolution adopted on 1 April, the Human Rights Council reaffirmed its support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
In its resolution, the Human Rights Council expresses serious concern also at various forms of reported discrimination against ethnic Georgians, violations of the right to life, deprivation of liberty, arbitrary detentions and kidnappings, infringements of the right to property, violations of the right to health, restrictions on education in one’s native language in both Georgian regions, and the continued practice of demolition of the ruins of houses belonging to internally displaced persons in the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia, refusal of medical evacuations that led to the deaths of people and further isolation of the regions. The Resolution maintains that the increasing restrictions on free movement in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated the humanitarian, social and economic situation on the ground and had particularly harmful effects on women’s and girls' rights.
The Resolution also expresses serious concern at the continuous process of installation and advancement of barbed wire fences and different artificial barriers along the administrative boundary line in Abkhazia, Georgia and Tskhinvali region, Georgia and adjacent areas.
The Resolution underlines the importance of the Geneva International Discussions established on the basis of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008.
It is noteworthy that the resolution refers to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights of 21 January  2021, which claims that Russia is legally responsible for violations of international law and fundamental human rights during and after the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, and for the occupation and effective control over Georgian territories.
The resolution condemns the so-called Parliamentary elections in the occupied region of Abkhazia on 12 March 2022  and so-called presidential elections scheduled for April of this year in the occupied region of Tskhinvali.
The UN Human Rights Council expresses serious concern at the repeated denial of access to international and regional monitors, including United Nations human rights mechanisms to both Georgian
regions by those in control of those regions and calls for immediate and unimpeded access to be given to the Office of the High Commissioner and international and regional human rights mechanisms to Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali  region/South Ossetia, Georgia.
The UN Human Rights Council requests the High Commissioner to present to the Human Rights Council an oral update on the follow-up to the  present resolution and to present a written report on  developments relating to and the implementation of the present resolution at its at its 50th and 51st  sessions.

Council of Europe leaders make joint statement on the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 09 March 2022 12:14

Strasbourg, 08.03.2022 – The Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, Luigi Di Maio, the President of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, Tiny Kox, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, have made the following statement:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, an unjustified military attack of one member State of the Council of Europe against another member State. We reiterate our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

On 25 February 2022, following an exchange of views with the Parliamentary Assembly, the Committee of Ministers decided to suspend the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe in accordance with Article 8 of the Statute and reaffirmed the principles to which we are unanimously committed, in particular respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. The Committee also called on the Russian Federation to immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations in Ukraine.

We call on the Russian Federation to implement the interim measures indicated by the European Court of Human Rights on 1 and 4 March 2022. The right to life must be respected and guaranteed. In this respect we call on the Russian Federation to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects, to ensure the safety of medical establishments, personnel and emergency vehicles, to ensure unimpeded access of the civilian population to safe evacuation routes, healthcare, food and other essential supplies, as well as to ensure rapid and unconstrained passage of humanitarian aid and movement of humanitarian workers.

The Council of Europe also reiterates its call upon Russian authorities to comply with the principles and values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law which our Organisation represents on its own territory. The Russian Federation must guarantee to all persons under its jurisdiction the rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to liberty and security, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

We once again call on the Russian Federation to stop its aggression, return to the path of diplomacy and fully recommit to European values. We will continue to follow the situation closely and remain committed to taking further measures.”

GLOBALink | Pursuing Common Values of Humanity: Chinese Stories on Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights

Published in CHINA
Thursday, 16 December 2021 18:20

They are probably the most ordinary Chinese people, who are going about their lives just like you and me, but who, with hopes and dreams, are trying to make a difference.

In Beijing, a group of university volunteers strive to help the visually impaired "hear" a movie. Can a world that is heard be the same with one that is seen?

In Shanghai, a mail courier is tasked with delivering the voice of the people. When the people speak, the country listens.

In the Daliang Mountains of Sichuan, a slow train is operating as it had been for decades, witnessing the history and changes along its tracks.

In Minqin, Gansu, grass-covered sand dunes are like chessboards, on which men outmaneuvers desertification.

In Wenling, Zhejiang, why did a man erupt in anger during a consultation meeting?

In Wuhan, Hubei, how has a photo inspired a touching symphony between two unlikely partners?

Click for documentary "Pursuing Common Values of Humanity: Chinese Stories on Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights," jointly produced by Xinhua News Agency and its think tank, Xinhua News Agency New China Research.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

TALKS WITH THE REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UN OHCHR FOR CENTRAL ASIA

Published in World
Thursday, 04 November 2021 16:15

On November 3, 2021, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev met with the Regional Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia, Ryszard Komenda, via videoconference.

Dmitry Shlapachenko, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, also took part in the meeting.

During the meeting, the sides discussed issues related to further development of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN specialized agencies on human rights. There was a constructive exchange of views on strengthening and protection of human rights, including implementation of the obligations and provisions of the human rights conventions in which Turkmenistan takes part.

Noting Turkmenistan's achievements in the field of human rights, the sides discussed procedures for the practical implementation of humanitarian standards in national legislation.

As is known, Turkmenistan, consistently fulfilling its obligations in the humanitarian sphere, has acceded to most UN conventions, covenants and protocols on human rights. The protection of human rights and gender development issues are reflected in the national programs of socio-economic development of Turkmenistan.

The sides also discussed the activities of the Working Group of the Interdepartmental Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan's international obligations on human rights and international humanitarian law. In this regard, the sides considered the key areas of implementation of the Joint Action Plan of the Interdepartmental Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan's international obligations on human rights and international humanitarian law and of the United Nations (UN) Mission in Turkmenistan for the second half of 2021.

Regular contacts between the Government of Turkmenistan and the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the coordination of joint projects and the organization of visits to Turkmenistan by ILO experts were emphasized.

During the talks, gratitude was expressed to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia for organizing and conducting meetings related to the provision of technical assistance and coordination of activities in the implementation of UN projects on human rights.

HWPL Discusses the Way to Monitor Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

Published in World
Monday, 30 August 2021 19:36

On 28th August, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) held “2021 MENA Webinar: Monitoring Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa” to present human rights violence cases throughout the region and find ways to a constant human rights watch. It especially highlighted cases of the vulnerable and minor social group falsely blamed on being a perpetrator of Covid 19.

Honorable. Essam Shiha, chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) shared human rights issues in the Middle East during the pandemic like inadequate healthcare to detainees, vaccination inequality to Palestinians, and suggested a role of all levels of society to build more resilient societies.

And Mr. Mogues Worku, Executive Director of Lem Ethiopia stressed the necessity of education to minimize the gap between the poor and the “Violation of human rights should be stopped be it at national or international level for peace and security of the planet. Education that coined respecting human dignity and human rights should be applied from the lower to the higher level of education system to let the coming generations enjoy peace and security”.

HWPL has stressed the role of states and civil society to ease the tension caused by the pandemic. To find solutions to protecting from violence, HWPL has endorsed international cooperation for sustainable development and raising awareness of peace building, including voluntary work, webinars on human rights in the Middle East, and peace education for students and citizens. Its recent joint statement on Myanmar’s human rights crisis advocated seeking peaceful solutions without armed conflict.

Following this event, there will be the 7th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit for peace and the cessation of war sharing results of a year that help emphasizing the role of civil society to build sustainable peace in a pandemic-hit new normal like this event.

Press-release of the HWPL

Global Youth Issued Joint Statement on Myanmar’s Human Rights Crisis

Published in World
Wednesday, 28 April 2021 10:25

252 youth organizations with 1.7 million members from 65 countries joined in joint statement advocating peaceful solutions to the human rights crisis in Myanmar. Through this “Joint Statement of World’s Civil Society and Youth on Myanmar’s Human Rights Crisis,” youth organizations take into account international cooperation to increase the collective voice for seeking solutions through talks among the stakeholders of the country.

In the statement, it said, “We urge the head of state of each country and the international community to actively pursue peaceful measures to safeguard the lives of Myanmar’s citizens.” It added, “We urge people and media worldwide to raise their voices in support of finding peaceful resolutions to the current crisis.”

The statement highlighted that global youth’s “commitment to work toward ceasing conflicts, countering violence and establishing sustainable peace through the 2018’s UN Youth Declaration.” Mr. Mainza M Hiyamwa, Chairperson of Chosen Generation Youth Club Solwezi (CGYC) of Zambia, said, “The UN and international society are being the main pillars of peace and security, human rights, and development. It's more vital that we gain access and disseminate information on the range of issues affecting the people of Myanmar. By so doing it would carry more impact and help in the restoration of peace, human rights promotion, and development of the country.”

Mr. Alemayehu Menta, President of Gato Development Association said that the peace of youth should be protected. Also, Mr. Shirwan, Chairman of Peace Generations Iraqi Network told, "I really appreciate that I can do something for world peace."

Facing the current deadlock of counteractions against the humanitarian crisis from the deaths and injuries continually occurring in Myanmar, this global movement by youth organizations has been led by the International Peace Youth Group, an affiliated organization of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light registered in the UN ECOSOC.

This joint statement was sent to the UN Secretary General, international organizations, governments and civil society organizations.

Press-release of the HWPL

 

A Recent Webinar Highlights Human Rights Violations to be Addressed in Egypt

Published in World
Sunday, 07 March 2021 11:25

On March 6th, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) organized a webinar in Egypt to exchange ideas to address rampant human rights violations resulting from discrimination of minority religious groups during the pandemic.

Prolonged corona crisis and the internal disputes left the Egypt vulnerable to abuse and human rights violations. UN and EU also stressed the necessity of interventions to provide humanitarian assistance. The webinar invited lawyers and the heads of human rights and youth organizations to discuss the work of peace even in the pandemic situation and pave the ways to ease the tense atmosphere of the country.

"Since religious discrimination and conflict are heightened as the global crisis, causing pain and death, it should be changed so that people don’t consider these human rights issues as a personal matter and can make a society where individuals could enjoy human dignity and equality with their own identity." Hon. Adly Hussein, President of the Court of Appeal of Cairo stressed the necessity of peace activities in protecting human rights.

Mr. Tharwat Gaid Salama Gaballa, President from Horus foundation also stressed the necessity of peace activities for the protection of human rights and decrease the hatred crimes, “Thus, all activities performed last year focused on quarantine measures to carry out various activities in the post-corona era in the future, but in 2021 and all the future to come, we hope all physical and emotional obstacles posed by Corona are resolved and we can do practical activities to get closer to peace.”

When the basic human rights are violated, it deters individuals from playing contributing roles in a society. It further pushes people to neglect the importance of national or global peace which, in return, could put their future at greater risks. Growing a number of socially wounded people in a society and ignoring human rights abuse normally hinder the country from building a peaceful and sound society.

HWPL promotes the respect for human rights through a series of webinars with personnel from civil society and advances toward realizing sustainable peace development. Hence, after the webinar, HWPL plans to regularly hold online discussions to further address the human rights issues in the Middle East.

Press-release of the HWPL

Human rights are at the heart of any post-COVID recovery

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 09 December 2020 13:54

EU marks Human Rights Day by signing new USD 3-million joint project with UNDP and OHCHR
 
TBILISI. 9 December 2020 – Amid concerns that the COVID-19 crisis is deepening inequality and jeopardizing the prospects of vulnerable and marginalised groups, the European Union (EU) joined forces today with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to launch a EUR 2.5 million (USD 3 million) programme to promote and protect human rights in Georgia.

The three-year initiative “Human Rights for All” was signed to mark International Human Rights Day. The programme will be implemented by the two UN agencies in close coordination with the national human rights institutions and legislative, executive and judicial authorities, as well as civil society and communities.

“Investing in human rights, democracy and the rule of law is essential to achieve more fair, more resilient and inclusive societies,“ said EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell. “Human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as a gender-responsive approach, will remain at the heart of the EU’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Georgia has come a long way in enacting the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said UNDP Head Louisa Vinton. “But the pandemic has exposed cracks in society that threaten these values. Our programme responds by putting inclusion and equality at the heart of any post-COVID recovery.”

“Today we stress the imperative to build back better by making human rights central to recovery efforts,” said OHCHR Senior Adviser Vladimir Shkolnikov. “We will reach our common global goals only if we create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systematic and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion and discrimination.”

The new programme launched by the EU, UNDP and OHCHR assists Georgia in reinforcing its achievements in promoting and strengthening human rights policies and practices, and addressing the areas of concern outlined by the independent assessment commissioned by the EU and the UN in 2019.
The programme focuses on five areas:

  1. Enhancing the public bodies that are responsible for developing, monitoring and implementing human rights policies;
  2. Assisting law-enforcement agencies and human rights institutions in carrying out their duties;
  3. Promoting the rights of minority groups and vulnerable citizens;
  4. Supporting human rights protection at the local level; and
  5. Ensuring that citizens have full access to human rights information and protection mechanisms.

Human Rights for All builds on the achievements of a previous four-year partnership between the EU and the UN agencies. The new stage of the programme runs from December 2020 through October 2023.

Press release of the European Union in Georgia

 

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