JOINT STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE 4TH MEETING OF SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVES AND ENVOYS FOR AFGHANISTAN IN THE "CA-EU" FORMAT IN ASHGABAT
by Special Representatives and Special Envoys for Afghanistan of the European Union, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan and the EU Special Representative for Central Asia
following the meeting on 26 May 2023 in Ashgabat
The fourth meeting in the EU and Central Asia Special Representatives and Special Envoys for Afghanistan and the EU Special Representative for Central Asia format was held on 25-26 May in Ashgabat. It provided an opportunity for an in-depth exchange on developments and economic situation in Afghanistan, and allowed to discuss continued cooperation in assisting the people of Afghanistan and intensification of cooperation in areas of common interest. During the meeting they also had an exchange with UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Head of UNAMA Roza Otunbayeva and via video link with the World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, Melinda Good, as well as World Bank Country Director for Kazakhstan, Andrei Mikhnev.
The Special Representatives and Envoys
- Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the people of Afghanistan and to seeing Afghanistan develop into a stable, peaceful and prosperous country with long-term prospects for lasting peace.
- Recalled and reconfirmed principles and expectations expressed in previous statements following discussions in this format in Tashkent, Almaty and Brussels, including regarding the human rights and security situation.
- Underlined the importance of the establishment of an inclusive and representative government and of upholding civil, political, social economic and cultural rights of all Afghans.
- Recalled the concerns expressed in UN Security Council Resolution 2681 (2023) at the increasing erosion of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the dire economic and humanitarian situation and recognised the efforts of the international community to continue assisting the people of Afghanistan in a principled manner and in accordance with international law and universally recognized norms and principles, despite difficult circumstances.
- Urged the Taliban to lift all bans on Afghan girls and women restricting their rights to education, work and participation in public life. These bans – beyond being serious human rights violations – are having detrimental effects on the ability of the international community to deliver humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, and need to be lifted for the Afghan economy to prosper, and ultimately for Afghanistan to achieve long-term stability and peace.
- Discussed prospects and challenges for economic stabilization and recovery of Afghanistan, noting the importance of favourable conditions for economic activity, the financial and banking sector and the restoration of social-economic infrastructure in Afghanistan being created, which would allow for further assistance by the international community.
- The participants called on the Taliban to prevent the Afghan territory from being used as a safe haven for hosting, planning, training, financing or exporting terrorism and violent extremism to other countries.
- Negative spill-over effects from Afghanistan, such as terrorism, violent extremism, drug trafficking and other illicit crossborder activities, will negatively impact the region. Also, the use of shared natural resources has to take the needs of all neighbours into account. Participants welcomed the efforts by the regional countries and organisations, as well as international partners, to prevent and address such developments.
- Given the shared goal of wanting to see peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, the participants highlighted the need for continued dialogue and cooperation among the participants of this format and the wider international community.
- The participants agreed to continue meeting in this regional format on a regular basis at alternating venues as a platform for consultation, coordination and cooperation, and supported the proposal to hold the next meeting in the autumn.
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRSTuesday, 14 March 2023 16:55
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, on the basis of Article 17418 under the Code of Administrative Offenses, launched administrative proceedings, which implies Desecration of official symbols of the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or other international organizations or desecration of the flag or coat of arms of other states.
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRSFriday, 10 March 2023 15:44
Briefing of the Director of the Central Criminal Police Department – Teimuraz Kupatadze
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRSWednesday, 08 March 2023 14:54
The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation under articles 353 and 187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia in connection with violent incidents that took place in Tbilisi, Rustaveli Avenue, near the Parliament building.
Georgia: Statement by the High Representative on the adoption of the “foreign influence” law
On Tuesday, the Georgian Parliament adopted the new law on “transparency of foreign influence” in a first reading. This is a very bad development for Georgia and its people.
The law in its current form risks having a chilling effect on civil society and media organisations, with negative consequences for the many Georgians benefiting from their work. This law is incompatible with EU values and standards. It goes against Georgia’s stated objective of joining the European Union, as supported by a large majority of Georgian citizens. Its final adoption may have serious repercussions on our relations.
The European Union urges Georgia to uphold its commitment to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and recalls the right of people to a peaceful protest.
Georgia: Statement by the Spokesperson on the draft law on “transparency of foreign influence”Monday, 06 March 2023 16:47
The proposed draft law on “transparency of foreign influence” raises serious concerns. Creating and maintaining an enabling environment for civil society organisations and ensuring media freedom is at the core of democracy. It is also key to the EU accession process and part of the 12 priorities, notably priority 7 on media freedom and priority 10 on the involvement of civil society.
The European Union is supporting Georgia in its reform efforts, responding to the country’s own aspirations for continued development and EU membership, as enshrined in Georgia’s Constitution.
The draft law’s adoption would be inconsistent with these aspirations and with EU norms and values.
We encourage the political leaders in Georgia to adopt and implement reforms that are in line with the stated objective of joining the European Union, as supported by a large majority of Georgia’s citizens.
Statement of the United Nations in Georgia on the draft Law on Transparency of Foreign InfluenceMonday, 27 February 2023 11:29
The United Nations in Georgia expresses profound concern that the adoption of the draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence would risk impeding the work of civil society and media and the essential contributions they make to Georgian democracy.
Civil society organizations in Georgia have been at the forefront of delivering essential services to the most vulnerable and helping protect their human rights. Stigmatizing their work risks leaving persons with disabilities, internally displaced, minorities, older persons, women, youth and children, survivors of domestic violence and other people in need without effective assistance and support.
The draft law poses risks to the full respect of freedoms of association and expression, the right to participate in public affairs, the right to privacy and the prohibition of discrimination. Noting Georgia’s current membership of the UN Human Rights Council, we encourage the Parliament of Georgia to seek the legal opinions of competent regional and international bodies, to consider opinions of these bodies on similar legislation, and to conduct broad, inclusive and meaningful consultations with a wide range of stakeholders that could potentially be affected by the adoption of this draft law.
If adopted, such a law is likely to impede the work of the UN to implement the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the country strategy that we have co-signed with the Government of Georgia. The UN has been a trusted partner of Georgia for over three decades, supporting the country’s development in line with Georgia’s own national priorities and assisting the people of Georgia together with all our local partners, including civil society and media.
We urge the Georgian authorities to take all the necessary steps to avoid measures that risk having a chilling effect on Georgian democracy and on the vibrancy and quality of development support to Georgia.
United Nations in Georgia
Statement of the MFA of Georgia regarding the arrival of the representative of the occupation regime, A. Bzhaniya, in the Belarus
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Georgia condemns the meeting of the President of the Republic of Belarus with the representatives of the occupation regime.
This action blatantly violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders and represents an attempt to legitimize the Russian occupation regime.
We call on Belarus to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders and to cease taking the actions, which contradict the fundamental principles and norms of international law.
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRSFriday, 20 January 2023 10:20
Employees of relevant units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are mobilized in Sagarejo district and are conducting investigative activities.
Statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November)Friday, 25 November 2022 16:01
This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we would like to join hands with survivors, activists, decision-makers, and people from every walk of life to take a bold stand against this global scourge.
Stigma and impunity have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions. Across the world, as well as in Georgia, violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive and latent human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination.
A world where violence against women and girls is not just condemned but stopped is possible. It can and must be prevented.
As highlighted in the GREVIO baseline report on Georgia published on 22/11/2022, over the past decade, Georgia has made significant progress towards effectively addressing the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls by putting in place a comprehensive policy and legislative framework, producing data and strengthening institutions to effectively enforce the laws. Moreover, specialized services for survivors such as shelters, crisis centres and a hotline have been created, and law enforcement has been specialized to handle cases in a more sensitive and qualified manner. Importantly, there have been positive shifts in public perceptions and an increase in survivors’ trust in the justice system and services.
Despite these significant measures taken to tackle gender-based violence in Georgia, women continue to die as a result of these atrocious crimes. Often, femicide represents the continuum of other forms of violence experienced by women and girls. Sexual violence also persists in Georgia, with an extremely low number of reporting and respective cases reaching the courts. The persistent patriarchal norms and deeply entrenched stereotypes in Georgian society tend to blame victims and condone violence against women and girls.
We call for the strengthening of a holistic national framework to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls in Georgia. Efforts should be translated into concrete actions through the necessary legislative measures by, inter alia, amending the definition of rape in the Criminal Code of Georgia to ensure compliance with the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention and other international standards, as well as by exercising due diligence to prevent (including through integrating the issue into the general education programmes), investigate, punish, and provide reparation for acts of violence. Building and strengthening an enabling environment for women’s economic, political, and social empowerment is paramount.
Since everyone has a pivotal role to play in tackling violence against women and girls, we remain steadfast in our determination to support the Government of Georgia, civil society, and other partners to ensure that the inalienable right of women and girls to live a life free from violence is observed and enjoyed for the benefit of everyone.