GLOBALink | UN rights body should serve as platform for cooperation, dialogue: Chinese diplomat

Published in CHINA
Wednesday, 15 June 2022 14:59

GENEVA, JUNE 15 (Xinhua) -- Multilateral human rights mechanisms should serve as a platform for cooperation and dialogue, rather than a venue for division and confrontation, China's permanent representative to the UN Office in Geneva Chen Xu said on Tuesday.

Chen told the ongoing 50th session of Human Rights Council that in recent years, "the Human Rights Council has become increasingly politicized and confrontational, and disinformation has become rampant, which seriously runs counter to the original purpose of the Human Rights Council."

Chen said that all parties should promote multilateralism in the field of human rights, uphold the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity and non-politicization, and jointly promote the sound development of the international human rights cause.

 "Multilateral human rights mechanisms should abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, promote the common values of humanity, and oppose the politicization and instrumentalization of human rights issues, double standards, as well as interference in the internal affairs of member states under the pretext of human rights," he noted.

He added that solidarity needs to be strengthened, while constructive dialogue and cooperation be carried out on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

"We should make efforts to expand common understanding, reduce differences, promote mutual learning and seek progress together," he said.

He told the Council that multilateral human rights mechanisms also need to work on the basis of authentic and objective information, respect the sovereignty of States and the human rights development path chosen by each country in light of its national conditions, and provide technical assistance with the consent of the countries concerned.

"The staff composition of multilateral human rights mechanisms should reflect the principle of equitable geographical distribution, and absorb more talents from developing countries, so as to make multilateral human rights mechanisms truly representative," he added.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

Issues of developing partnership in Central Asia in the field of healthcare were discussed in Geneva

Published in World
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 15:19

A meeting of the Ministers of Health of the Central Asian countries was held in the building of the Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the UN Office in Geneva, with the participation of Dr. Hans Kluge, Regional Director for Europe of the World Health Organization.

High government delegations from the countries of Central Asia took part in the meeting.

During the meeting, specific issues and areas of cooperation were discussed, including the development and promotion of the One Health concept in the Central Asian region, regional initiatives of the countries of Central Asia in the field of health, and the Roadmap for Health and Well-Being in Central Asia 2022-2025.

Hans Kluge, Head of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, expressed support for Central Asia as a priority region, including in the joint development and implementation of the Roadmap for Health and Well-Being in Central Asia 2022–2025.

It is assumed that the leaders of Central Asia will approve the Roadmap, which includes a large health component.

We’re going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council - U.S. Ambassador to UN

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 05 April 2022 16:45
"In close coordination with Ukraine, European countries and other partners at the UN, we’re going to seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council.
A hundred and forty UN Member States have already voted to condemn Russia over its unprovoked war and the humanitarian crisis it has unleashed upon the people of Ukraine. My message to those 140 countries who have courageously stood together is simple: the images out of Bucha and devastation across Ukraine require us now to match our words with action. We cannot let a Member State that is subverting every principle we hold dear to continue to sit on the UN Human Rights Council." - Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to UN.
 
US Embassy Tbilisi
 

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.

A BRIEFING WAS HELD AT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION BY THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Published in World
Tuesday, 29 March 2022 12:24

On March 28, 2022, a briefing was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, timed to coincide with the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution “Integration of mainstream bicycling into public transportation systems for sustainable development” and the election of Turkmenistan as a member of the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for the period 2022–2028 years.

The briefing was attended by the leadership and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, heads of diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations working in Turkmenistan, representatives of local media.

The speeches of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Natalia Gherman, the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Dmitry Shlapachenko, the Head of the Country Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Turkmenistan Yegor Zaitsev and others were heard.

During his speech, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov emphasized that the political events that have recently taken place in the country are of great importance, both in terms of the internal development of the state and society, and the development of international activities of Turkmenistan.

The Minister emphasized the special importance of adopting by the beginning of 2022 of 17 resolutions of the UN General Assembly, the author of which was Turkmenistan, of which 16 resolutions were adopted in the last 15 years. At the same time, Turkmenistan continues to carry out active international activities within the framework of the institutions of the United Nations system, being currently a member of 11 councils, commissions and committees of the UN, R. Meredov added.

As is known, 62 states co-sponsored the current Resolution, which calls for the comprehensive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, the development of environmentally friendly modes of transport and the improvement of road safety.

In this regard, the Minister stated that Turkmenistan is ready to hold an International Conference in 2022 on the role of cycling in ensuring the sustainability and environmental friendliness of urban transport systems.

It was noted that partnership with the UN allows Turkmenistan to realize its neutral status as an important factor of regional stability and security. In this context, R. Meredov, noting the importance of the foreign policy success of Turkmenistan - the country's election as a member of the UN Commission on International Trade Law for the period of 2022-2028, stressed that this is the result of the systematic implementation of the goals and objectives outlined in the "Program for the development of foreign economic activity of Turkmenistan for 2020 -2025" and "Foreign trade strategy of Turkmenistan for 2021-2030".

As noted during the speeches, the election of Turkmenistan to the UN Commission on International Trade Law is the result of purposeful work to implement the strategic course of our country for full integration into international economic and trade relations.

In addition, the participants of the briefing were shown a video film about the foreign policy initiatives of Turkmenistan.

During the briefing, the participants of the event received not only detailed information on the latest events in the international life of the country, presented by the speakers, but also the opportunity to ask their questions.

6 in 7 people worldwide plagued by feelings of insecurity, reports UN Development Programme

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 08 February 2022 16:19

The new UNDP report shows a growing sense of insecurity among people despite years of development growth prompting calls for solidarity and refocusing development efforts

8 February, New York – Global development progress does not automatically lead to a greater sense of security, according to a new United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report on human security released today.  

New data and analysis in the report, New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene, shows that people’s sense of safety and security is at a low in almost every country, including the richest countries, despite years of upwards development success. Those benefiting from some of the highest levels of good health, wealth, and education outcomes are reporting even greater anxiety than 10 years ago.

To tackle this disconnect between development and perceived security, the report calls for greater solidarity across borders and a new approach to development; one that allows people to live free from want, fear, anxiety and indignity. 

“Despite global wealth being higher than ever before, a majority of people are feeling apprehensive about the future and these feelings have likely been exacerbated by the pandemic”, said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “In our quest for unbridled economic growth, we continue to destroy our natural world while inequalities are widening, both within and between countries. It is time to recognise the signs of societies that are under immense stress and redefine what progress actually means. We need a fit-for-purpose development model that is built around the protection and restoration of our planet with new sustainable opportunities for all.”

The imperative to act now has never been more clear, as new findings also show that global life expectancy at birth is falling for a second year because of COVID-19, and overall human development measures are also moving downward. Furthermore, climate change is likely to become a leading cause of death around the world.  Even with moderate mitigation of emissions, some 40 million people might die because of changes in temperatures before the end of the century.

The report examines a cluster of threats that have shifted to become more prominent in recent years including those from digital technologies, inequalities, conflicts, and the ability of healthcare systems to tackle new challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing these threats, report authors argue, will require policymakers to consider protection, empowerment, and solidarity alongside one another so that human security, planetary considerations and human development all work together and not despite each other. This means that solutions for one problem shouldn’t exacerbate other problems.

A key element for practical action highlighted in the report is building a greater sense of global solidarity based on the idea of common security. Common security recognises that a community can only be secure if adjacent communities are too. This is something we see all too clearly with the current pandemic: nations are largely powerless to prevent new mutations of this coronavirus from crossing borders,” said Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau.  

The report also notes the strong association between declining levels of trust and feelings of insecurity. People with higher levels of perceived human insecurity are three times less likely to find others trustworthy.

Other new findings in the report include:

  • The more highly developed countries tend to capitalize more on the benefits from planetary pressures and suffer less of their consequences, highlighting how climate change is pushing inequalities further apart.
  • About 1.2 billion people live in conflict-affected areas, with almost half of them (560 million) in countries not usually considered to be fragile, indicating that the traditional ideas about which countries are most vulnerable to conflicts need to be revisited.
  • In 2021, despite the highest global GDP in history, and despite COVID-19 vaccines becoming more readily available in some countries, global life expectancy declined for the second year in a row. Declining by about one and a half years on average compared to a pre-COVID world.
  • There are large and widening gaps in healthcare systems between countries. According to the report’s new Healthcare Universalism Index, between 1995 and 2017, the inequality in healthcare performance between countries with low and very high human development worsened.

The concept of human security, first introduced in UNDP’s milestone 1994 Human Development Report, signalled a radical departure from the idea that people’s security should be only assessed by looking at territorial security, emphasizing the importance of people’s basic needs, their dignity, and their safety to live secure lives.

For the full report, visit HERE.  

EU and WHO hand over equipment to help medical facilities fight COVID-19

Published in Health
Monday, 07 February 2022 12:54

The WHO and the European Union handed over 180 oxygen concentrators, 2 000 pulse oximeters and other medical equipment to the Ministry of IDPs from Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. The equipment will be used to outfit rural medical facilities to help citizens all over the country have better access to healthcare.
The concentrators and oximeters were symbolically handed over today to the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia today, by Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia and Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Georgia.

Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia stated, “While handover ceremonies may have become routine, there is nothing routine about people struggling to breathe or not having access to proper healthcare. Together with our partners in the WHO and the Government of Georgia, we continue working to make sure that citizens all over Georgia receive improved access to healthcare and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the rest of Team Europe, we remain committed to stand by Georgia during this difficult time.”

"We have been living with the coronavirus pandemic for two years now, and WHO thanks the EU for its constant and steady support throughout. Together, we have delivered critical supplies, trained healthcare workers, provided health guidance and tackled misinformation. The challenge ahead of us now is to strengthen the health system - particularly primary health care - so that everyone can access services regardless of where they live." – says Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in Georgia.

The supplies were purchased through a large-scale EU-UN action to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, by bolstering rural healthcare facilities. At a later stage, the initiative will also provide village ambulatory units with telemedicine equipment to improve access to health care.

The donation is a part of broader assistance from the European Union and WHO, to support Georgia's response to COVID-19. So far, this has included a provision of vital medical equipment, technical expertise and training of health care workers.

In the long-term, the EU and UN support under this project will help build a more resilient primary health care system with telemedicine capacities increasing equitable access to healthcare services accelerating Georgia’s progress towards Universal Health Coverage.

Source: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/georgia/110319/node/110319_en

GLOBALink | UN chief sends video message for opening of Beijing Winter Olympics

Published in CHINA
Friday, 04 February 2022 18:49

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on every Olympian and Paralympian to carry forward the Olympic spirit in a video message for the opening of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

 Produced by Xinhua Global Service

THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TURKMENISTAN HAD A MEETING WITH UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS COUNTER-TERRORISM OFFICE

Published in Politics
Monday, 31 January 2022 12:09

On January 28, 2022, the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov with Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov took place in the videoconferencing format.

During the meeting the parties noted constructive level of the long-term cooperation of Turkmenistan with the UN and its specialized agencies on a broad range of issues. The head of the foreign policy agency of Turkmenistan confirmed firm commitment of the country to participate in the UN activities on strengthening the international system of countering terrorism, consolidation of international efforts to combat the terrorist threat, drug trafficking and human trafficking.

In the course of the meeting special attention was paid to the issues of regional and global security, particularly to the strengthening of interaction in the framework of implementation of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy on the regional level based on the provisions of Ashgabat Declaration of 2011 and the Central Asia’s Joint Plan of Action to counter terrorism. In this regard, the readiness was expressed to adopt the updated Central Asia’s Joint Plan of Action to counter terrorism on March 3-4, 2022 in Tashkent at the International Conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy in Central Asia.

In addition, the significance of regular meetings of the parties in the framework of multilateral platforms was highlighted. In this context, Turkmen side proposed to intensify consultations with the UN Counter-Terrorism Office on considering the possible formats and modalities of the Program office of the Counter-Terrorism Division in Ashgabat.

Appreciation was expressed for the joint cooperation of the UNOCT and the Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in the development and further implementation of the Action Plan for the implementation of the National Strategy of Turkmenistan to prevent violent extremism and counter terrorism for 2021-2024, adopted in December 2020.

The parties also noted the importance of cooperation with the use of the potential of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. The important steps of the Government of Turkmenistan in this context are emphasized. As is known, at present, the Turkmen side has prepared a draft resolution of the UN General Assembly "Strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian region" and the document will be submitted for consideration by the 76th session of the General Assembly.

The parties stressed that the adoption of this resolution will contribute to the practical implementation of international initiatives of the Central Asian countries, including in the field of counterterrorism, reflected in the final document of the Consultative meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, held on August 6, 2021 in Turkmenistan.

The commitment of Turkmenistan to strengthening the culture of peace and trust in international relations was confirmed. In this regard, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan told the interlocutor about the new philosophy in international relations - "Dialogue is a guarantee of peace", initiated by the President of Turkmenistan.

GLOBALink | Olympic Games must be instrument for peace: UN chief

Published in CHINA
Friday, 14 January 2022 13:52

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that Olympic Games must be an instrument for peace in the world.

The UN chief made the remarks at a press stakeout at the UN headquarters in New York in response to the question that why he will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

"The Olympic Games is an extremely important event, and it's an event that symbolizes the role of sports in bringing people together and in promoting peace, and it is in this strict context and without any political dimension that I intend to be present in the opening, with this message that Olympic Games must be an instrument for peace in the world," said Guterres.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

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