UN Day Reception

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:34

„This year marks the 25th anniversary of Georgia's membership in the UN. I would like to say with pride that over this period, we have managed to transform our country from a UN humanitarian aid recipient into a regional leader that now serves as the Chair of the Open Government Partnership" - with these words the Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the representatives of the diplomatic corps, international and non-governmental organizations attending the UN Day Reception.

Prime Minister congratulated the UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia Niels Scott and spoke about the UN-Georgia fruitful cooperation.

"Our success story is in many ways connected to the fruitful and active involvement of the United Nations in Georgia and a very important cooperation that we have in so many fields. We cooperate with 13 UN agencies in the most important directions, such as democratic governance, human rights, rule of law, economic and social development, healthcare, education, employment and environmental protection. We have gained huge experience and we are very well aware of the importance of cooperation with the UN structures. Today, from this tribune, I would like to reassert that Georgia firmly supports the UN's engagement in the country as well as throughout the region in terms of fortification of the stability and achieving sustainable development. It is our Government's honor to serve as the chair of OGP and contribute to a powerful global movement for openness and deeper democracies that promotes the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 16: "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels," - the Prime Minister stated.

The head of the Government also commented on the first plenary session of the Sustainable Development Goal Council that was held today. According to him, respective platform is a clear indication of the close cooperation in terms of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

"Every country and government has joined this path of global transformation and integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development into the national priorities. Georgia has already taken steps to reinforce the effective governance and ensure the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the decision making process. That's precisely why Georgia remains committed to the UN and its work. I would like to once again thank Niels Scott and his colleagues for their tireless efforts in contributing to Georgia's development. We look forward to many more years of constructive, stronger partnership between Georgia and UN agencies," - the Prime Minister of Georgia noted.

UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia Niels Scott also emphasized the UN-Georgia cooperation and the progress achieved by the country.

"Since Georgia joined the United Nations in 1992 in the midst of internal and external adversity and chaos, it has not only undergone a remarkable transformation, but also become a highly active and much-esteemed member of the UN. Georgia continues to make substantial contribution to UN's works on security, peace, development and human rights. This dynamic of international engagement reflects the strong will of Georgian government and people to support the work of the UN for stronger, more sustainable economic growth, clean environment and water, equal opportunities and gender equality, better education and healthcare and a decent life to all. I would therefore like to thank once more the government and people of Georgia for this valuable partnership and enabling the UN to continue contributing to Georgia's development," - Niels Scott noted.

Statement of Niels Scott, Resident Coordinator, on behalf of the United Nations Country Team regarding announced closure of crossing points along the Inguri River

Published in Politics
Thursday, 26 January 2017 14:16

We note the announcement of the imminent closure of Khurcha-Nabakevi and Orsantia-Otobaia crossing points along the Inguri River. It is incumbent on the United Nations to raise the very real concerns of the population being negatively impacted by these changes, creating greater vulnerability and isolation of those living in the adjacent areas. Based on observed patterns the closure of the remaining pedestrian crossing points will likely affect at least 1,000 crossings a day on average.

The United Nations are concerned that the announced restrictions will have negative consequences for the humanitarian and development needs of those living in Abkhazia, Georgia. As movement is further restricted, the people of Abkhazia will find it more difficult to access basic services such as healthcare and education and participate in economic activities and social events such as weddings, funerals and public holiday commemorations, as well as family gatherings across the dividing line. Notably, access to education for children who have been crossing to attend schools in their mother tongue will be impeded.

We wish to recall the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, who, in his report to the General Assembly in May 2016, urged the authorities in control to reconsider and avoid closing any further crossing points. In his words, the issue of freedom of movement across the administrative boundary line has security, humanitarian and human rights dimensions and remains of utmost importance to the local population.

Again, we urge relevant parties to consider the impact of the announced closing measure on the welfare of the local residents. We call on all sides to ensure the rights and needs of all people living in Abkhazia are respected.

The United Nations remain open to continue our constructive dialogue and support finding practical solutions to the issues that may arise.

26 January 2017

David Zalkaliani has met Niels Scott

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 17:27

Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani held a meeting with UNDP Resident Representative to Georgia Niels Scott.
Discussions focused on the initiatives undertaken by the UNDP for the improvement of the human rights and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. The sides agreed on future plans of co-operation.
 

David Zalkaliani has met the UNDP Resident Representative

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 11:35

Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani met the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Niels Scott. The sides discussed the difficult situation in Syria and Georgia’s involvement in providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population.
Niels Scott thanked Georgia for supporting the steps taken by the international community towards resolving the crisis in Syria, as well as for the Georgian Government’s initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population. The sides discussed various issues relating to cooperation between Georgia and the UNDP.

What Do Georgians Think About Public Services?

Published in Society
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 22:57

Quality of roads, public kindergartens, cleaning service and citizen engagement in decision-making are in focus of a research commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and carried out by the Georgian research company ACT in November 2015.

The discussion about key findings of the study on 27 July 2016 brought together representatives of the Georgian Government, Parliament, local authorities, civil society and international organizations.

Niels Scott, Head of UNDP in Georgia, and Tengiz Shergelashvili, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, addressed the participants of an event with welcome remarks.

The comprehensive nation-wide research is based on interviews with 3,800 citizens over the age of 18 in all regions of Georgia. It examines public views about the services that are currently provided by municipalities and central government, provides comparative analysis with the similar study conducted in 2013, and includes recommendations for local authorities based on the perceptions and expectations of citizens.

The research is part of a wider programme supported by UNDP, Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) to assist self-governance reform in Georgia.

A Study Reveals What Georgians Think about Public Services

Published in Society
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 16:22

Quality of roads, public kindergartens, cleaning service and citizen engagement in decision-making are in focus of a research that will be presented on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 10:00 am, in Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel (1 Rose Revolution Square, Tbilisi, Georgia).

Niels Scott, Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia, and Tengiz Shergelashvili, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, will open an event that will bring together representatives of the Georgian Government, Parliament, local authorities, civil society and international organizations.

The comprehensive nation-wide research of citizen satisfaction with public services in Georgia was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and carried out by the Georgian research company ACT in November 2015.

The study is based on interviews with 3,800 citizens of Georgia over the age of 18 in all regions of Georgia. It examines public views about the services that are currently provided by municipalities and central government, provides comparative analysis with the similar study conducted in 2013, and includes recommendations for local authorities based on the perceptions and expectations of citizens.

A full report of the study will be available at the UNDP Georgia website: www.ge.undp.org

The research is part of a wider programme supported by UNDP, Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) to assist self-governance reform in Georgia.

EU is sticking to its commitments in the neighbourhood-Johannes Hahn

Published in Politics
Thursday, 14 July 2016 17:44
“The European Union is sticking to the commitments that it has made with its partner countriesin the neighbourhood,” EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said in a keynote speech at the 13th Batumi International Conference on ‘Georgia’s European Way 2016’, which he opened today together with high ranking Georgian politicians.
The Commissioner stressed that economic development is a key priority of the EU in Georgia. After congratulating Georgia on the final entrance into force of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement on 1 July and Georgia's progress in meeting the commitments in implementing the Deep and Comprehensive Trade Agreement, the Commissioner addressed the importance of economic development as a key focus for the EU in Georgia.
Focusing in his speech on security, implementation of the association agreements and the role of the region for Europe's economic development, Commissioner Hahn said that despite the fact that “the EU has just entered a difficult phase, with the citizens of one Member State having voted to leave the Union,… there will be no let-up in our efforts to support the countries closest to our borders.”
Following the conference, Commissioner Hahn held a series of bilateral meeting with the country’s Prime Minister, President, Foreign Minister and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. Later in the day, he visited a number of EU-funded agriculture projects in the Adjara region, accompanied by EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman and United Nations Resident Coordinator Niels Scott. 

EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will visit Georgia on 14 July

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 20:06

EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will visit Georgia on 14 July to speak at “Georgia's European Way” conference in Batumi and visit EU-funded projects in Adjara.

Reflecting the EU's key commitment to cooperation with Georgia, on 14 July Commissioner Hahn will travel to Georgia to deliver the keynote speech at the 13th Batumi International Conference on "Georgia's European Way 2016" together with high ranking Georgian politicians. In addition, he will hold a series of bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Davit Bakradze.

The annual Batumi International Conference is an important discussion hub on European affairs since 2007, and creates a venue for high officials from Georgia, its partner nations as well as EU countries to analyse current issues and exchange ideas in order to address current EU-related challenges.

After the conference, Commissioner Hahn will also visit a number of EU-funded agriculture projects in Adjara region, accompanied by EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman and United Nations Resident Coordinator Niels Scott.

At 15:45 hr, Commissioner Hahn will visit the “Lurja 2015” agricultural cooperative producing berries in Ochkhamuri village in Kobuleti. The founder and several members of the cooperative are visually impaired. The Commissioner Johannes Hahn will hand over two laptop computers with speech recognition software programme specially designed for visually impaired persons.

At 16:20 hr, Commissioner Johannes Hahn will visit the Kobuleti branch of the Adjara autonomous republic Agroservice Center. The guests will see the ENPARD demonstration high technological greenhouse, the grape and fruit nursery, and will also observe the scientists working in the nurseries and the ongoing training of farmers.

The visit to EU funded agricultural cooperatives and the meetings with small farmers will offer the Commissioner first-hand information about the successes of agriculture cooperatives, and the role of agriculture cooperation in boosting rural development in Georgia. Both projects are funded through the EU's ENPARD programme. Since 2013, ENPARD has supported Georgia’s agriculture and rural development with over GEL 250 million.

Annex

• 13th Batumi International Conference on "Georgia's European Way 2016"
The annual Batumi International Conference is organised by the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration since 2007. The main topics of this year’s Batumi International Conference will include: Georgia – EU relations; A discussion about the European Neighbourhood Policy, its future, the lessons learned and key challenges; implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, including the DCFTA and visa liberalisation. The conference will also address the geopolitical situation in the region, along with modern security challenges and opportunities.

• ENPARD / UNDP agricultural cooperative “Lurja 2015”
The cooperative “Lurja 2015” in the village of Ochkhsmuri (Kobuleti) grows blueberries and strawberries on 1.5 hectares of land. The production has substantially increased since the farmers received new seedlings and an up-to-date drip watering system with assistance from ENPARD.
Expected productivity of this small berry plantations makes up to 10 tonnes per 1 hectare.
The head of the cooperative, Alexi Tsevelidze, visually impaired, is extremely motivated and skilled farmer and one of the best ENPARD grantees.

• Adjara Agroservice Centre (www.agrosc.ge)
The Adjara Agroservice Centre (ASC) is the largest provider of agriculture extension, i.e. information and consultation services for farmers in Adjara.
The ASC was launched by the Adjara AR Government in 2011 to support the development of targeted branches of agriculture in the region. For the last three years, the Centre operates with assistance from the European Union and UNDP, which has allowed to increase the scope of its services, open new branches all over the region, and provide regular assistance (consultations, training, technical support) to tens of thousands of small farmers.

The meeting of the Speaker with the Resident Representative of UNDP to Georgia

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 14:39

The Speaker, Mr. David Usupashvili held the meeting with the Resident Representative of UNDP to Georgia, Mr. Niels Scott. The parties discussed the EU-funded program “Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia”and summed up the first phase results.
The parties also considered the upcoming phase and the activities therein and touched upon the importance of Parliament-UNDP cooperation. The parties underlined that in view of better social involvement in Parliamentary openness, activity and the legislative process, it is important to further continue cooperation.

Celebratory Reception-PM Office

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 16:33

Government of Georgia deepens the cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations in the area of human rights protection - Government of Georgia has approved 2-year Action Plan on Human Rights Protection. 
The official reception organized by the Human Rights Secretary of the Administration of the Government of Georgia, the Delegation of the EU to Georgia an the UN was attended by the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili. In his speech Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized that the seven-year National Human Rights Strategy is genuinely the most important document developed by the government. Pursuant to him, the drafting process took place through a very inclusive and transparent process, involving non-governmental and civil society stakeholders in the decision making. 
"Protection of human rights have always been - and still remains - a top priority for my Government. I think, the seven-year National Human Rights Strategy is genuinely the most important document developed by our government through a very inclusive and transparent process, involving non-governmental and civil society stakeholders in the decision making. Some of our international partners agree that this comprehensive document can be described as one of the best of its kind." - Prime Minister noted.
Today, the government approved the Action Plan for the next two years and outlined that the Government is committed to the implementation of the document.
"We can be proud of what we have already achieved in terms of advancement of human rights, rule of law and democracy in Georgia. But, I believe, that transforming yesterday's challenges into successful reality has no deadlines. We set high standards for ourselves and we need to work harder to uphold these high standards in both institutional and practical aspects. 
This is the fist time when international responsibilities, that Georgia has under different international mechanisms, are duly reflected in the governmental human rights action plan. This is a good example of how highly we value the recommendations provided by our international partners," - Prime Minister stated. 
Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked the EU Delegation to Georgia and the UN bodies for their much needed support to the Human Rights Council, the Secretariat and, in general, for their invaluable contribution to Georgia's democratic development and progress. 
Official reception was attended by the Ambassador of the EU to Georgia Janos Herman, UN resident representative Niels Scott and representatives of parliament, Government and NGOs.

Prime Minister's Press Office

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