The current reform and remaining challenges in Georgia’s water sector were the focus of the 7th steering committee meeting of the National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resource Management on 5 March.
Delegates from national authorities, local stakeholders, non-governmental organisations and international experts from EU Member States shared practical experiences of the water reform journey and discussed the next steps in ensuring environmentally-sound management of water resources.
The EU Water Directives provided a framework to set up policy objectives for Georgia’s water sector. The National Policy Dialogue supports water reform by strengthening water governance and enhancing stakeholder involvement in the decision-making process.
The meeting discussed the progress made on legal and regulatory reforms, the development of pilot river basin management plans for the Alazani-Lori and Khrami-Debeda basins and emerging needs associated with implementing the EU Association Agreement.
The meeting was facilitated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia with support from the European Union through the ‘European Union Water Initiative plus for the Eastern Partnership Countries’ (EUWI+) programme.
During the period of April 15-20, 2019, the external policy Agenda of Turkmenistan will be highly occupied.
One of the main events of the week will be the state visit of the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in to Turkmenistan. During the visit, the high-level meetings will be held, as well as the substantial package of documents related to the political-diplomatic, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian sphere will be signed.
Also this week, a number of events dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the OSCE Centre opening in Ashgabat will be held. To attend the international conferences and events, numerous high level guests will arrive to Ashgabat including the OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger.
It is awaited that a meeting will be held between President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the OSCE Secretary General.
In the framework of the events dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the OSCE Centre opening, a Conference will be held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in participation of the heads of relevant ministries and agencies of Turkmenistan, the heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Turkmenistan, as well as the representatives of local and foreign mass media. In addition, the meeting of the heads of OSCE Missions in Central Asia and the OSCE High-Level Regional Conference on “Struggling financing of terrorism and organized crime” will be held this week.
Another significant event of the current week will be the visit of the Secretary of State of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne to Turkmenistan. During the visit Turkmen-French political consultations will be held, as well as the third session of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-French Commission on Economic Cooperation. As a result of these meetings, the signing of bilateral documents will take place.
Regular issues of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Turkmenistan magazine is dedicated to the main events of the fourth quarter of 2018Thursday, 24 January 2019 11:01
Regular issues of scientific and practical magazine Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Turkmenistan published by the Foreign Ministry in Turkmen, Russian and English languages is dedicated to the review of important events of foreign activity of our country in the fourth quarter of the last year.
The magazine is opened by traditional section highlighting the talks held by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with high-rank officials of foreign countries. It includes the information about working visit of Turkmen leader to Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation) for participation of the meeting of the Heads of the CIS countries, which has demonstrated the commitment of Turkmen side to traditional fruitful dialog under the Commonwealth, the country of which are united with Turkmenistan by old good and close relations.
Having undertaken the chairing of this structure in 2019, our state would continue to provide comprehensive support to the improvement of cooperation. In this regard, the Concept of chairing of our country and Implementation Plan have bee developed and presented to the CIS Executive Committee.
Official visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan in the last decade of November 2018 wrote new chapter in the history of friendly bilateral relations developing in the spirit of goodwill. The magazine contains detailed information about the outcomes of the talks held between Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Ilham Aliyev.
The events dedicated to International Neutrality Day are among the reviews. For example, the magazine has published the speeches of the participants of International Conference “Importance of the Silk Road: Present and Future Development” organized on the threshold of the holiday by the Government of Turkmenistan in cooperation with the UNESCO - the UN specialized structure for education, science and cultural affairs. The forum has brought together the ministers, high-level representatives and experts from more than 40 countries and demonstrated the significance of legendary route for sustainable development and support of intercultural dialog.
The Days of the Sustainable Development Goals held in October to mark 1,000 days since the adoption of 2030 Global Agenda were important event in life of the country. The event was organized by the Foreign Ministry, the UN Permanent Representative Office in Turkmenistan and Methodological Centre of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Trainings, seminars and festivals have been organized under the Days.
The UN Permanent Coordinators Elena Panova informed the readers of the magazine about the outcomes of these events where she expressed the gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the Government of Turkmenistan for the support of Global Agenda and commitment to the implementation of the SDGs in our country.
Articles “The Great Silk Road and Practice of International Cooperation of Turkmenistan”, “ “Turkmenistan in the system of international economic relations”, materials dedicated to cooperation of our country with the CIS members and work for improvement of sustainable development and ecological culture present great interest as well.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Turkmenistan Jin Ki-Hun deliberates about the revival of the Silk Road in modern conditions on example of the development of Turkmen – Korean relations.
Another article of the magazine is dedicated to the Silk Road, which is described in details by Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in two-volume book. The article highlights joint work of our country in cooperation with the UNESCO on study and popularization of cultural heritage facilities located along the Silk Road.
Author of article “Youth Affairs – Priority Objective of Foreign Course of Turkmenistan” reviews this subject in the context of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals on national level.
Traditional section “Chronicles of Diplomatic Life” is dedicated to conferences, briefings, foreign department political consultations, sessions of inter-governmental commissions, bilateral meetings and talks with foreign delegations as well as to the events held together with foreign embassies accredited in Turkmenistan.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
On 27 March, over 200 participants from government, civil society, the private sector and international bodies gathered in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi to participate in a four-day conference on ‘Women’s Role in Economic Growth and Policy Development’.
The event is part of Women Empowerment Week in Georgia, and is supported by the EU4Business initiative and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as other international donors and local partners.
The conference serves as a unique opportunity for participants to learn and be inspired by successful female leaders, with a wide range of panels, presentations, side events and networking opportunities.
The event focuses on the topic of women in government, civil society and business. It will also host a training session on social media marketing, an exhibition of female entrepreneurs and an award ceremony for women in leadership. Other topics during the event will cover women and innovation, access to finance and the role of women in energy, transport and logistics.
The EU supports female entrepreneurs in Georgia through the EBRD’s Women in Business programme, funded by the EU as part of its EU4Business initiative. Under the programme, the EBRD provides access to finance through credit lines to local banks dedicated to women-led SMEs, alongside business advice to help businesses become more competitive. The programme also offers training, mentoring and other support to enable female entrepreneurs to share experiences and learn from each other as peers.
Between 26 February and 2 March, 27 ‘Young European Ambassadors’ (YEAs) from Georgia and the EU are participating in a series of activities aimed at engaging with the country’s youth on the EU’s partnership with Georgia.
Organised in cooperation with the Delegation of European Union to Georgia, the activities will include a visit to a school in the Tserovani Internally Displaced People (IDP) settlement and Tbilisi State University to discuss issues relevant to young people such as EU-Georgia partnership and cooperation, shared values, culture and opportunities offered by the European Union to Georgian youth.
YEAs will share personal experiences with high school pupils and university students to better understand the European Union, its history, shared values and structures and the opportunities it offers to young people in Georgia. As many of the YEAs are themselves beneficiaries of EU-funded programmes, including Erasmus+ and EVS, students will get the chance to ask them questions and exchange views directly in a friendly and informal setting in English and Georgian. Each presentation is followed by a short EU quiz during which pupils and students get to test their knowledge.
The YEAs are also to meet with officials from the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations and the European External Action Service to exchange information on the EU-Georgia partnership and promote young people’s engagement in outreach and civic actions.
Being a Young European Ambassador from Georgia is a huge opportunity,” said YEA Geno Kutashvili. “Sharing information about the EU and its amazing programmes is important and valuable, especially in Tserovani IDP settlement, because the EU is the key to freedom and a chance for development.”
The YEAs will also meet with local youth partners including the Erasmus+ National Office, the Erasmus Student Network, the Young Diplomats’ Club of Georgia, the Europe-Georgia Institute and the Caucasus Youth Nexus to exchange ideas and best practices on youth activities in Georgia.
The ‘Young European Ambassadors’ have engaged in similar dialogue driven activities in Moldova in November 2016 and 2017, Armenia in May 2017 and Azerbaijan in September 2017 where they had the opportunity to conduct interactive learning sessions about the EU and its relations with the Eastern Partner countries aimed at high school pupils, university students and youth organisations. This is the first of many such dialogue-driven activities to be organised in Georgia.
The ‘Young European Neighbours’ youth network was launched in June 2016 by the ‘EU NEIGHBOURS east’ project. It focuses on strengthening cooperation between young people aged 15-25 and youth organisations from the EU and Eastern Partner countries. The network serves as a communication platform to facilitate the mutual exchange of ideas, information and experience related to the EU, as well as to promote youth engagement in social actions. Following two open calls for applications, over 200 young people from the EU Member States and the Eastern Partner countries have been selected to act as ‘Young European Ambassadors’. A new wave of applications will open in summer 2018.
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On February 1, 2018, a briefing was held in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan on acquaintance with the main results of the social and economic development of Turkmenistan in 2017, with the results of the Foreign Ministry activities for the past year in the context of the implementation of the Foreign Policy Concept of Neutral Turkmenistan for 2017-2023, and also with the planned for 2018 events.
The briefing was attended by representatives of Embassies and international organizations and foreign media accredited in Turkmenistan.
At the briefing the participants were informed in details about large-scale events held in Turkmenistan in the past year. First and foremost, it is necessary to note the successful holding of the grandiose sports event - the V Asian Games, which have become a vivid example of the huge attention shown to the development of the mass sports and health movement and sport in the country. It was also stressed that, along with the 25th anniversary of Turkmenistan's membership in the UN, the country marked the 10th anniversary of the opening in the capital of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the creation of which is a landmark event in the history of bilateral cooperation.
The participants of the briefing were told in detail about the three resolutions adopted in 2017 at the initiative of Turkmenistan, which confirmed that the creative initiatives put forward by the head of the Turkmen state in such an important direction, as well as in other relevant areas, are approved by the world community.
It was also told that on the proposal of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat in mid-November, the 7th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VII) was held. As a result of the forum, the Ashgabat Declaration was adopted, which reflected the readiness of the participating states and international organizations to further build a mutually beneficial partnership.
Last year our country presided at the International Energy Charter Conference. The 28th session of this organization in Ashgabat gathered more than 200 delegates from 50 countries, once again confirming its high status as an authoritative discussion platform for discussing the current state and trends of world development, including on global energy issues.
As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan informed the participants of the briefing, in general, in 2017 our country was visited by the 584 delegations of various levels. At the same time, 624 Turkmen delegations were sent abroad. To date, Turkmenistan has established diplomatic relations with 145 countries around the world. There are 35 diplomatic missions and consulates in Turkmenistan, as well as 15 representative offices of international organizations. 226 bilateral and multilateral international documents were signed. In 2017, Turkmenistan joined the 6 international conventions. Last year, 47 bilateral political consultations, 18 joint intergovernmental commission meetings and 14 bilateral business forums took place.
The attendees were also informed of the activities of national importance planned for the first quarter of 2018.
At the end of the briefing, it was stressed that independent, neutral Turkmenistan will continue to do everything necessary to strengthen peace and security on our planet, to contribute to the development and progress of human civilization.
The Committee considered with the II reading the drafts on Entrepreneurs; and Securities Market, introduced by the Deputy-Economic Minister, Irma Kavtaradze. The draft aims at re-regulation of the norms of the preferred purchase right of the shareholders in the law on Entrepreneurs and conferring the preferred purchase right to the rest of the partners upon sale of the share by the partner in limited companies.
The draft also envisages compliance of the rule of composition of the Audit Committee with international standards and improvement/specification of certain issues in the law. The remarks and comments expressed at the I reading are shared. The draft defines the Audit Committee as the sub-committee of the Board of Trustees of the Public Interest Person to be composed with the members of Board of Trustees solely. At that, at least one member shall be an independent person to be elected as the Chair of the Committee. The draft regulates the preferred purchase right of the share by the partner. The transitional provisions provide that the hereof regulation shall apply to the limited companies registered after enactment of the change.
The Audit Committee shall be chaired by the independent person as stipulated under the law on Entrepreneurs. The changes envisage the right on information about salaries and other incomes of the accountable Directors or members of Board of Directors and members of Board of Trustees conferred to any shareholder of the enterprise admitted to the stock exchange for trade.
The draft envisages obligation of inspection of such deals by the external auditor or certified accountant with participation of the persons concerned and the value of which constitutes 10% or over of the assets of the accountable enterprise or a smaller amount under the Articles thereof. I. Kavtaradze made elucidations and answered the questions. The Committee supported the drafts.
The Committees considered the Agreement between Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on International Traffic, introduced by the Deputy-Economic Minister, Giorgi Cherkezishvili.
The draft envisages freight forwarding in bilateral an transit traffic and between the territories of the third country and any other signatory country and back on the basis of quoted permit by means of the vehicles registered in one of the signatory state, the amount of which is annually defined by the parties.
The draft also envisages transportation/forwarding legal issues regulation. MPs unanimously supported the draft.
After the meeting held with the diplomatic corps and international organizations, the Chairman of Parliament, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze spoke about sundry relevant issues and estimated the meeting with business associations.
“We had a very important meeting with business associations. We considered the issues related to economic and social policy, we heard the arguments regarding particular regulations. We discussed the tax issues, land related regulations etc. The arguments were interesting. We will also hold the discussion within the State Constitutional Commission and I believe that we will achieve the decision ensuring formation of proper legal system in Georgia and protection of business and economic interest. I am sure of formation of such system”.
He abstained from estimating the opinion poll results held by IRI and noted that likely Georgian Dream soon will hold the survey to define the prognosis. “You know our attitude to these polls in general, held by other subjects. We have mentioned them prior to the elections, stating that these polls fail to allow forecast election outcomes unlike the surveys held by us. We trust our surveys and soon we will hold the poll to allow us forecasting Municipal election outcomes. I am sure of high support to Georgian Dream and outcome of the upcoming Municipal elections will be high”.
He spoke about the statement by the non-Parliamentary opposition. The parties ask promulgation of the working draft of the final changes till April 15. “In a couple of days every SCC member will be provided with the document developed on the basis of the I and II rounds of discussions in SCC. Hence, this document will be available and moreover, in the end of the month we will endorse this document and submit it to the Parliament. Deriving, the process is at maximal extent transparent and in the nearest days we all will know the context of the preliminary document and in the end of April we will know the context of the document to be submitted to the Parliament”.
The Chairman stated that there is a clear tendency regarding the electoral system. “We speak about the proportional system with three main aspects: 5% threshold; annulment of bloc system; and the smallest bonus which if we consider the outcomes of the last four elections, implies 3.1%. Again, this system essentially is proportional and ensures fair and proper distribution of mandates on the basis of the Constitution”.
As to separation of self-governing cities, he elucidated that he was initially against this reform. “I am well aware of this issue, I participated in the discussions related to division of seven units and was against the reform with substantiated economic, financial and social calculations. It was wrong, what was done a couple of years ago. It had its context and I will abstain from details, though as to unification, it is also related with difficulties. We shall thoroughly think of it and make the respective decision”.
He confirmed that the Parliament will not endorse any of the norms disapproved by Venice Commission. He stated that the document developed complies with the fundamental principles of the Constitutional Law and it will be submitted to Venice Commission in the end of April.
“If any of the gaps are detected by Venice Commission, we will eliminate them. Though, I am sure that the document already complies with the fundamental principles of the Constitutional law. We engaged the Venice Commission experts to let them ask about every Article. We had a very interesting discussion on each Article and each Chapter and we expect the final recommendations from them. We will submit the document in the end of April to within one month receive their recommendations to be fully shared by the Parliament”.
As to the Presidential annual report format, the Chairman stated that the decision will be made after the discussions. “There are two alternative formats envisaged for the Presidential reporting under the Rules of Procedure – speeches of the Chairs of the Faction and the debates. We shall discuss it and I cannot comment to this issue yet. We need to discuss it to decide of the format”.
He estimated the drafts on surveillance and noted that the drafts serve for provision of balance between to legitimate interests. “We adopted the drafts on surveillance as we believed in correctness of the drafts. As to the decision of the Constitutional Court, we are sure that the drafts fully meet the context of this decision and besides, proper provision of balance between two legitimate interests – state security and human rights, - is very important. Balance was necessary and the draft serves for this purpose”.