The Working Group on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, Judicial Authority, Preamble of the Constitution and the General and Transitional Provisions of the Constitution held the additional sitting due to multitude of the agenda issues.
As the Chair of the Commission, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze elucidated, the working group has considered the part of the issues at the first sitting and now resumes from the Article 19 of the Chapter II on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms.
The representative of GYLA asked about consideration of the remarks by GYLA and noted that Georgian Young Lawyers Association has submitted the proposals regarding definition of the social rights and the adequate housing rights, though they cannot be reflected in any of the Articles. GYLA representative asked about possibility of development of the new Article and consideration procedures. In response, the Chair stated that the working group will reconsider the proposals by GYLA prior to accomplishment of consideration of the Articles of the Chapter II. The Commission members will discuss the healthcare and social issues, legal state and equality of property, educational and cultural development and free transit on the territory of Georgia.
The Commission member, Ms. Manana Kobakhidze spoke about alienation of lands to foreign citizens and commented to media: “We all agree that regulations are necessary, which will be in compliance with the main principles of the Constitution and the property right protection, though the problems related to unrestricted space of alienation of lands to foreign citizens will be otherwise “restricted” on the Constitutional level as well. All in all, the Commission will make the decision about the record to be made and so far, we are on discussion stage. The Commission was set up to discus all the proposals submitted for consideration. The Commission and the Parliamentary Majority has not yet made the final decision”. The sitting was attended by MPs, Chair of the Supreme Court, political parties, NGOs and Constitutionalists.
Based on the country's needs and actual state of affairs, we must adopt a constitution fully in line with international standards, Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili commented on the establishment of the State Constitutional Commission during the Government meeting session, also pointing out that the wider public is actively involved in the drafting of amendments to the country's supreme legislation.
"Such broad participation in the work of the Constitutional Commission is unprecedented in Georgia, including constitutionalists, experts from the NGO sector, and international organizations. As you know, the Venice Commission confirmed the need to adopt amendments and commended the process itself. Unlike in the past, when the media were usually the source of information about constitutional amendments, and the whole process was purely political in nature, now, once and for all, we are about to have in Georgia a constitution drafted with broad participation and based on pressing needs and challenges," the Prime Minister stated.
The Members of Parliament and the representatives of Civil Sector agreed on enhancement of cooperatioTuesday, 13 December 2016 11:55
According to K. Khutsishvili, the Chairman mentioned the reform in his speech that NGOs wanted to hear about. “I will be frank and state that we, NGOs consider the Constitutional majority of one party as a threat indeed when the Parliamentary governance system is still under formation but we consider that it is the greatest opportunity for reforming and the greatest responsibility you assume but it might give you a chance to ensure rapid progress of the country. We understand that we are under complicated situation and democracy in the world is under threat but Georgia still has a chance to be the leader at least in the region in terms of democracy and be a model for the transitional countries”.
NGOs have their opinions and proposals, developed policy documents and drafts. “Every NGO will be ready to closely cooperate with the Committees and the Administration of the Parliament”.
The meeting continued with consideration of the thematic issues and the recommendations of the civil sector. NGPs spoke about sector directions and introduced their approaches for development of the country and reforming.
The Chairman evaluated the importance and relevancy of the issues and expressed commitment for cooperation with NGOs. The State Constitutional Commission will cover development of the electoral system and all the gaps in electoral law and municipal election procedures will be improved as a result of consultations with CEC and NGOs. “The Government and the Parliamentary Majority cherish the ambition to develop the law to endure time and ensure long-term development of the country”.
He touched upon judicial and law-enforcement reforms and stated that the third wave of judicial system will be soon accomplished, though it will need further development. As to the law-enforcement system, the institutional changes are necessarily to be developed on the Constitutional level and the Parliament shall further oversight the law-enforcement agencies.
Speaking of minority rights, the Chairman touched upon improvement of legislation, elimination of hatred and better engagement of civil sector. He also spoke about situation in media and noted that lots of changes have been implemented since 2012, though some challenges still remain and media pluralism is the achievement of the Government.
The Chairman spoke about social rights and EUAA obligations and underlined importance of involvement of NGOs. “Capacity building of the Parliament is important and we express commitment to study recommendations of NGOs. We are open for cooperation and can allocate some resources for better coordination”.
K. Khutsishvli expressed her content about the meeting and thanked the First Deputy Chairperson for her particular merit in organization of the meeting.
People from all levels of society were gathered together at the 2nd Annual Commemoration of the September 18th World Alliance of Religions' Peace (WARP) Summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea for the advocacy and development of peace into an enforceable, international legal foundation based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) proclaimed on March 14th of this year.
1,000 renowned leaders in every corner of the globe, as participants from 130 countries, take part in the summit, organized by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO registered in the UN DPI that conducts peace-related projects and campaigns globally. The summit begins with the Advocacy Forum for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War on September 17th.
1) Advocacy Forum for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War - Plan of action for advocacy to intergovernmental organizations, governments, and the public 200 people, including members of the HWPL International Law Peace Committee, ministers, representatives of organizations and civil society, attended this forum. In his opening speech, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL underlined global cooperation by stating, “For the 2nd Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit, we’ve come together. All family members of peace who have a strong will for peace must gather our hearts and communicate with each other for peace to be settled one day sooner, for it is what all humanity has been longing for. Religious leaders have put forth their efforts for the improvement of the unity of religions at the WARP Office meetings and advocate for the DPCW as well. Just as a leader must lead his or her followers, they are striving to make a better world at the forefront.”
Chairwoman Nam Hee Kim of the International Women’s Peace Group also appealed to the participants by saying, “War only gives birth to another war, leaving fear and sacrifices to our future generations. We must achieve our purpose, the advocacy for this Declaration, to not repeat the atrocities of war for the next generation. When the public’s awareness of this issue increases, the powerful strength of peace in the world will arise, transcending national interests.
All heads of state, justices, and UN representatives must work at the forefront to advocate for the implementation of international law compatible with the DPCW.” Part I commenced with "the Potentiality of the DPCW and the Possibility of it Implementation", presented by Dr. Kamal Hossain, a member of the HWPL International Law Peace Committee and Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Panel discussions ensued with concentration on the roles of different levels of society and plans of action for the advocacy of the DPCW to be developed into an international legal foundation for peace-building.
Part II opened with the speech regarding "Strategies for Advocacy to Governments at City Level" given by Mr. Mihail Guzun, Councilor of Codru City Council, Republic of Moldova.Ms. Paula Boland, Executive Director of United Nations Association said, “NGOs are well equipped to educate and advocate for the principles of the DPCW and its adoption by member states through creating alternative venues for states themselves to engage in collective action and for individuals to join with other like-minded individuals in pursuit of their goals.”
9 panels of the forum, consisting of leaders from civil society, further discussed plans for legislation and policy making for peace-building based on the DPCW while reflecting on the environment of each nation.
2) The 4th HWPL International Law Peace Committee Meeting - High Level Meeting for the Development and Adoption of the DPCW (Group I, II, III ) Beginning with an introduction of the DPCW by Dr. MD Nazrul Islam, a member of the HWPL International Law Peace Committee and professor of international law, the meeting sought the capability of advocacy from civil society organizations through the "Role of States
in the Adoption of the CSO Declaration by the UN" presented by Mr. Carlos Villan Duran, President of the Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (SSIHRL). Panels, as well as the audience, paid special attention to the speeches, and meetings with foreign ministers and education specialists in Groups II and III also discussed development plans for the establishment of peace in society with the help of governmental, intergovernmental and civil society organizations.
3) International Religious Leaders Conference 200 religious leaders from different religions, such as Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity, were gathered in one place. Also, the Most Rev. Martin de Jesús de Barahona, Archbishop Emeritus of the El Salvador Anglican Church, said, “We don't just merely continue the dialogue but amplify the Office of Alliance of Religions for peace to other communities in order to continue promoting, carrying out experiences of dialogue and inviting other sectors of the national community for the day of promise of fulfilling the peace agreement."
After the press conference, reporters, editors, correspondents and presidents of media agencies from 20 different countries participated in the "Media Forum for Advocacy of the DPCW". With this, Day 1 of the summit was completed and the "Peace Festival for the 2nd. Annual Commemoration of the WARP Summit" will be held on Day 2.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia hosted the representatives of non-governmental organizations of Eastern Partnership Countries (EaP). Current and planned activities of the Election Administration (EA) were discussed at the meeting. Giorgi Sharabidze, Deputy Chairperson presented information on updated unified list of voters, registered election subjects and observer organizations. Mr. Sharabidze also talked about the activities performed by the EA for ensuring inclusive election environment. Pre-election environment was also discussed at the meeting.
Representatives of NGOs also met with the officials of the CEC Training Center. Natia Zaalishvili, Director of the Center presented information on information-educational programs implemented by the Training Center.
The meeting was organized by the initiative of the “International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy” (ISFED). Representatives of NGOs of Eastern Partnership Countries: Moldova, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Armenia attended the meeting.
The training organized by the CEC was held for the Chairpersons and Lawyers of District Election Commissions (DEC) in Kvareli. The training was attended by the CEC members, its officials, representatives of the CEC Legal Department and the DECs coordinators.
The DECs chairpersons and lawyers were acquainted with the amendments to election legislation and recommendations concerning the process of registering complaints. In addition, the CEC legal department developed a document (comparison of the old and new regulations) about the amendments introduced to the “Election Code of Georgia”, for the purpose of informing the meeting participants and for applying new norms later. In collaboration with NGO’s the manual was updated regarding the election disputes and prohibition of the use of administrative resources as well as the document on uniform practice for applying of sanctions in disciplinary liability measures.
Council of Europe and Venice Commission expert Mr. Serhiy Kalchenko also took part at the meeting. He shared with the meeting participants European and international best practices on Election Disputes Resolution (EDR) and prevention of misuse of administrative resources.
The training held on 27-31 August, in Kvareli, was co-funded within the framework of Programmatic Co-operation of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Venice Commission.
Giorgi Antsukhelidze NCO Center held symbolic sport activity to support Georgian sportsmen participating in Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Georgian military competed one another in five kinds of sport.
Four teams manned with officers, sergeant-instructors and course participants were granted relevant numbers. The third team manned with course participants gained a victory and received a symbolic present - transfer cup.
Sport events are held regularly in the military units. It aims to increase motivation, improve team work and popularize healthy life.
At the June 30 meeting, the Director of the Training Center was granted with the consent to define the composition of the grant contest commission on the basis of the order. The Central Election Commission of Georgia (CEC) registered International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) as international observer organization for the Parliamentary Elections of Georgia, 8 October 2016.
At the same meeting, following NGOs were registered as local observer organizations for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
- “Barristers and Lawyers International Observatory”
- “The Light of the Future”
- “Club Free Zone”
- “Green Caucasus” (at the following majoritarian election districts: №23; №26; №28; №31; №32; №33; №34; №35; №36)
- “Choice of the Future”
- “World of Tolerance”
- “I will Return”
- “Analytical International Democratic Institute”
The Committee held the presentation on 4-year activity, introduced by the Chair, Eka Beselia. The Speaker delivered the welcome speech, estimating that the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee is one of the most active Committees in the Parliament. “The Committee and the reporter, Mrs. E. Beselia will try to introduce the report in more future-oriented angle, not only providing what has been done because in human rights sphere, let’s admit, the society, country, state – we all shall do more than it was done during the last 25 years. It is the sphere with never ending challenges. In the most developed, consolidated democracies, the new challenges constantly appear in human rights sphere”, - he stated. The Speaker recalled June 13, 2015, natural disaster in Tbilisi and noted that every day we obtain information from the world about human victims and violation of human rights. “We are concerned that there are cases in our country when people restrict rights and freedom of other people because the high officials, equipped with power, often motivated with kind purposes and tasks, still fail to equally protect human rights of all the people. Unfortunately, not only in Georgia but in the world, we shall state it loud, that all people are humans and all of them have equal rights and freedoms which shall be resolutely protected”. It is the fourth year when the Georgian Parliament keeps the human rights issues in the spot-light. “It is important that due attention was attached not only to political rights but the rights of other groups, social rights, freedoms, which traditionally, are more political sensitive and are put in share against the background of loud political issues. But if we want to protect political rights, first of all we shall provide due protection of all the rights, on the legislative and other levels, which will make us feel our solidarity to our citizens and people, in need of particular care and attention by the state”. One term of the Parliament is not enough for everything and all the deeds, implemented during the last years, shall be continued by the next Parliament. The Speaker thanked the Committee for implemented activity. He also thanked the Public Defender and his staff, Ministry of Justice, penitential system, law-enforcement and NGOs. “I would like to thank our main critics – NGOs, human rights protectors. I would like to ask you to maintain enthusiasm in criticism of the Government. Better the criticism to be not argumented and attached less attention than be in happy state. I am glad that human rights protectors, NGOs never consider the issues which politicians have to consider, and that they indicate to the problems which still exist in this sphere”. The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP resident representative to Georgia, Niels Scott also addressed the attendees. As the stated, respect to human rights and freedom is the demand of Georgian citizens to the Government and the Parliament and it enjoys international support. Georgian Parliament played its important role in provision of human rights protection. “I think, it is very important to underline the positive development of Parliamentary activities especially in the last years and the activity of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee as well”. He thanked the Committee and stated that UN will further support Georgian Parliament. As the Deputy-Head of Delegation of EU to Georgia, Carlo Natale stated, the Delegation has witnessed high activity of the Committee, which became an important player of Georgian democracy. On behalf of EU, Mr. Natale confirmed commitment for further cooperation and thanked the Committee. The Chair of the Committee started the presentation with the legislative activity. As E. Beselia stated, the Committee has held 243 sittings considering 709 drafts and developed the same amount of the conclusions. “The Committee, upon consideration of the draft, was guided with the Constitution and international and national laws on human rights, as well as main and optional instruments. Within the accounting period, the Committee actively worked to eliminate gaps in the legislation, requiring harmonization with international standards. In 2013-2016, the Committee developed 62 drafts”. She spoke about Committee involvement in reforms and emphasized the judicial, penitentiary, Prosecutor’s Office and police reforms. She also spoke about Minor Code, Civil Code and Criminal Codes. Speaking about oversight, she underlined establishment of the innovative format of hearing the Public Defender report earlier, the note was taken about the reports but now, the Parliamentary resolution is being made providing detailed recommendations and the agencies for their implementation. She introduced the statistics of application to the Committee and noted that within October 21, 2012-June, 2016, the Parliament received 95 799 letters addressed to the Committee, which is 42% of the total number. The Committee dispatched 13 223 letters. The thematic group composed of the Committee members and the Committee staff, as well as NGOs and experts, implemented significant work in this sphere and developed respective reports, which often served the basis for the Parliamentary resolution, including the report by the fact finding group of torture and inhuman treatment facts in 2004-2012. E. Beselia ended the presentation with the information about the Reference Book for the citizens. The guideline, issued in 6 languages, will be uploaded on the informational tableaus allowing the citizens knowing the contact details of the Committee, application response mechanisms etc. The presentation ended with awarding the certificates of appreciation. E. Beselia thanked and delivered the certificate to the diplomatic representation, international organizations and Committee staff.
Tbilisi – May 28 th , 2016 – The International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) will be hosting the ‘2016 3 rd Annual Commemoration of the Peace Walk Festival’ at 12pm on the 28 th of May in Rike Park and the Bridge of Peace of Tbilisi along with Georgian youth and women organizations. Around 1000 people will be in attendance. The title of the peace walk festival is the “Support of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War and Actualization of the Peace Curriculum”, and the program consists of a peace walk, flash mob of the youth, NGO booths, and various entertainment that can be enjoyed by all citizens.
The IPYG Peace Walk Festival that is being held for the 3 rd time this year began with the proclamation of the Declaration of World Peace by Man Hee Lee, the chairman of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in front of the Peace Gate of South Korea in May 25 th , 2013. IPYG, the head of the youth sector of HWPL, holds the peace walk festival on May 25 th every year with the youth all over the world to commemorate the declaration as well as actualize it. The declaration that was proclaimed on that date describes the role of each sector of youth, women, press, and the leaders of each country. Three years later, on March 14 th , 2016, this declaration was actualized into the HWPL Proclamation Ceremony of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. On this day, around 1000 key leaders all over the world attended and HWPL proclaimed the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. Currently, the support pledge campaign of the declaration is being held worldwide. On this day, the HWPL Peace Advocacy Committee for the Implementation of the International Law on the Cessation of War and Achievement of World Peace made of youth and women organizations of Georgia will be performing a flash mob performance before the peace walk.
And the NGOs hosting various booths during the event will participate as the coordinators of the HWPL peace curriculum of the schools that have signed an MOU as a peace academy with HWPL during fall semester. The Peace Education that is specified in Article 10 of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War will suggest a turning point in the history of humanity that has commemorated war until now, and it will inspire the mentality of peace to leave a world of peace to the future generations as an inheritance. During the event, the participants can sign to support the declaration and receive a commemoration badge that includes the content of the declaration at the booths. HWPL is an international peace organization and leaders from all levels along with the youth and women all work together. HWPL hosted the HWPL World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Summit in September 2014 with around 2000 leaders worldwide and held the ‘Signing Ceremony for the Agreement to Propose the Enactment of International Law’. The HWPL International Law Peace Committee was established and the draft of the international law was proclaimed within a year. Six months later, on March 14, 2016, the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War was proclaimed. The Declaration contains contents such as proposal of answers to religious conflicts and spreading of the culture of peace, and urges for the support of current heads of states.
This declaration will also be sent to Giorgi Margvelashvili, the current president of Georgia.