European Union and six Eastern partner countries set targets and action plans to further protect the environment and grasp opportunities of greener development
On 27-28 June, the European Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine meet to define priorities, targets, and specific actions to work together and further protect the environment and actively use opportuinities for greener development. Under the EU-funded “European Union for Environment” (EU4Environment) programme, high-level representatives from Eastern Partner countries, European Union Member States, European Union institutions, international partners (OECD, UNECE, UN Environment, UNIDO, and the World Bank), took part in an inaugural event in Brussels.
The event provided the opportunity for all partners to agree on country-specific work plans to improve and implement policies that can spur an environmentally friendly economic growth, and enhance societies’ resilience and citizens’ well-being.
“Our cooperation on environment with the Eastern Partner countries is stronger than ever and is already bringing tangible benefits to the daily lives of citizens across the region. Together the EU and its six Eastern Partners are working to increase our joint ambition to tackle environmental protection and climate challenges. There is no time to lose. Today's meeting has brought all partner together to agree on the next steps forward.” said Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine are committed to actively implement the Sustainable Development Goals and other international commitments, including those tackling climate change under the Paris Agreement. In addition, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership, the European Union together with all partners have also agreed to certain targets under the “20 Deliverables for 2020”. In this context, the EU4Environment programme is supporting the countries to transition towards greener, more efficient and sustainable economies, as well as to addressing environmental challenges. Complementary measures will be implemented under EU4Climate programme.
EU4Environment builds on the achievements of past EU-funded programmes, which brought important policy changes and enterprise-level measures. For example, previous work has contributed to the adoption of new laws on the environmental assessment of strategies, plans and investment projects in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. More than 400 enterprises received expert advice to identify green solutions that result in annual savings of some EUR 10 million. The six Eastern partners also identified additional nature conservation areas four times the size of Belgium.
EU4Environment is project funded by the European Union worth EUR 20 million to support Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, improving climate policies and legislation, and reducing the impact of climate change on people’s lives. EU4Environment is working with the six countries to preserve and better use their natural capital, increase people's environmental well-being, and grasp new development opportunities. For example, businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, are being supported to save energy, water and materials. Leading international experts are also advising national administrations on better environmental governance, such as assurance of compliance with laws, effective use of public finance and building of administrative capacity.
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The UN General Assembly within its 73rd session adopted the Resolution on „Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali, Georgia”Thursday, 06 June 2019 10:53
On 4th of June the UN General Assembly within its 73rd session adopted the Resolution on „Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia” that was initiated by Georgia and 44 sponsoring states.
The General Assembly has been adopting the Resolution consecutively since 2008, reaffirming the fundamental rights of forcefully displaced persons, first and foremost their right of voluntary, safe and dignified return to their homes.
It should be noted that for the first time this year United Nations Member States were given the opportunity to co-sponsor the Resolution and thus participate more actively in a global effort to resolve this important issue. Resolution was joined by 45 UN Member States from different regions. Therefore, the Resolution represents the initiative of not only Georgia, but of 45 countries.
The Resolution condemns the forced demographic changes in the occupied regions, emphasizes the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees, regardless of their ethnicity, to a safe and dignified return to their places of origin, and focuses upon the need to fully respect and protect their property rights. The Resolution reiterates the importance of unimpeded humanitarian access in the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.
Apart from the humanitarian context, the Resolution has a practical significance as it tasks the UN Secretary-General to prepare an annual report on the situation of internally displaced persons residing in Georgia as well as on the implementation of this resolution. The above-mentioned has even greater importance in the light of the deploring human right situation in the occupied territories in the absence of international human rights monitoring mechanisms, which constitutes one of the impediments to the safe and dignified return of forcefully displaced persons.
The Resolution calls upon the participants of the Geneva International Discussions to reinvigorate their efforts to ensure security and human rights protection in the occupied regions, which in turn will facilitate the return of IDPs and refugees to their homes.
During the presentation of the Resolution, the Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations, H.E. Kaha Imnadze stressed that the resolution is based on the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement. Mr. Imnadze also emphasized that security and human rights situation inside the occupied Georgian territories remains extremely alarming. People endure kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, seizure of property, as well as continued discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin including severe restrictions on free movement and residence, and access to education in their native language. Ambassador also stressed that it is heartbreaking to see the Secretary-General’s latest report referring to “tragic loss of life” of the Georgian IDPs while in detention by the occupying power. Such cases are far too often and far too many: Basharuli, Otkhozoria, Tatunashvili, Kvaratskhelia.
During the session the supporting statements were delivered by: Permanent Representative of Ukraine on behalf of the GUAM; Nordic-Baltic States were represented by Permanent Representative of Lithuania, whereas Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia aligned themselves with the statement. In a national capacity the statements were delivered by the representatives of USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Ukraine.
Adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly highlights that the situation in Georgia still remains on the agenda of the world’s most important forum.
The diplomatic service of Georgia will continue its effort on the international arena to protect the fundamental rights of IDPs and refugees who were displaced as a result of ethnic cleansing, as this issue, that implies the full de-occupation of Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions and ensuring the safe and dignified return of the internally displaced persons, is and will continue to be the main priority of Georgian Government until its final resolution.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia would like to express its sincere gratitude to all states that have supported and co-sponsored the resolution on the right of return of the IDPs and refugees and thereby once again expressed their solidarity to each and every forcibly displaced person.
Press release on the occasion of the election of Turkmenistan to the structures of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOС)Saturday, 11 May 2019 11:31
On the 7th of May 2019, during the work of Organizational session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Turkmenistan was elected to its three important bodies: Executive Council of the World Food Programme for the period of 2020-2022, Commission on Population and Development for the period of 2020-2024 and Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the period of 2020-2023.
The election of our country to these structures became one more proof of growing reputation of Turkmenistan in the world, recognition of its major role in the resolution of most contemporary issues of present day global development.
A significant vector of international activity of Turkmenistan is the provision of food safety and nutritional development on the national, regional and world-wide levels. In this regard, our country proposed an initiative to gather the High-Level Food Forum under the auspices of the UN. The meaning of the proposed initiative is based on the notion that such Forum will give effective impulse to the international partnership in the area of global nutrition and thus will assist attaining concrete future resolutions on the UN level in this direction.
As to the contribution of Turkmenistan in the resolution of population related issues, it is worthwhile to note the implementation in the country of various important programs in the area of reproductive health, countrywide and regional projects aimed at provision of most convenient conditions for applying the demographic policy, protection of mother and child.
Turkmenistan will continue uncompromised struggle against the narcotics. Practical actions are realized in our country aimed at combatting illegal drug trafficking and in this regard national programs are successfully implemented. The membership of Turkmenistan in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs opens new perspectives for cooperation for efficient response to this global challenge.
The election of Turkmenistan to these three important bodies of the United Nations Economic and Social Council serves as a vivid proof of rightness and rationality of the course selected by our country aimed at wide international cooperation in the resolution of actual problems of modern world, suitability of our policy with the security protection, progress and sustainable development.
On November 6, 2018, the heads of diplomatic missions of Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Romania, United States of America, OSCE Center, UNDP, UNICEF and the representatives of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy visited penitentiary in Akhal region.
The Esteemed President of Turkmenistan has stated in his speech at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly that necessary measures to ensure peace and prosperity for all citizens are implemented. It was also noted that Turkmenistan actively cooperates and takes all measures to cope with threats such as terrorism at the international level.
As is known, one of the important directions of the state policy pursued by the President of Turkmenistan is further strengthening the legislative foundations of the state, the development of enforcement practices. In this context, the Government of Turkmenistan closely cooperates for several years with international organizations involved in humanitarian field and takes measures aimed at strengthening country's legal capacity, as well as implements measures direсted towards improving penitentiary system.
The aim of this visit of the representatives of the diplomatic corps is to see material-technical base, conditions provided for inmates of the penitentiary and its work.
Role of the United Nations (UN) in the peaceful conflict resolution, peace initiative of the Government of Georgia (GOG) and current situation witnessed at the occupied territories of Georgia were discussed by Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia and António Guterres, UN Secretary General today at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Focus was made on the challenging humanitarian condition created at the occupied territories of the country and intensified significance of international peace-keeping mechanisms. Need for an effective use of Geneva International Discussions (GID) has been underlined, along with the incident prevention and response mechanisms. Head of the Government of Georgia expressed his gratitude to the United Nations for active engagement in the UN negotiations.
Prime Minister of Georgia shared information on a peace initiative with UN Secretary General, by elaborating on A Step Towards Better Future, which aims to restore trust between the conflict-torn societies.
Head of the Government of Georgia stressed that GOG remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict and assigns great importance to the solid support of its international partners in this process.
Prime Minister of Georgia invited UN Secretary General to Georgia. The host dignitary noted that Georgia is a friend of UN and expressed readiness to visit Tbilisi at his earliest convenience.
From September 29 to October 2, 2018, the Government delegation headed by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov will pay a working visit to New York, United States of America to participate in the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly which will be held in the UN Headquarters.
It is expected that, the President will have high-level meetings in accordance with the program of the visit. Moreover, according to the instructions of the Head of State, Turkmen-American business council format meetings will be organized.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov will voice our country’s priority areas in further cooperation with the UN in the upcoming global forum that will be organized within the framework of UN General Assembly. Steadily implementing the strategy of extensive international cooperation, neutral Turkmenistan attaches significant attention to strategic partnership with the UN. Neutral Turkmenistan gets actively involved in common efforts in developing mutually agreed solutions to currently existing key issues and considers the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly as an important step to further consolidate international efforts in addressing key issues of global agenda. Turkmenistan is strongly and permanently committed to cooperation in the field of security for further disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Our country is for enhancing international system to counter terrorism in which the UN is a major coordinating center. The efforts of Turkmenistan are aimed at working jointly to seek effective mechanism to coordinate activities in combating drugs and their precursors trafficking.
Turkmenistan actively works on implementing Sustainable Development Goals which were adopted at the UN Summit in September, 2015, in New York. More particularly, Turkmenistan is among pioneers that adopted officially all 17 SDGs, 148 targets and 194 indicators.
Turkmenistan puts forward concrete initiatives in sustainable transport development, energy and climate change, as well as advocates considering and addressing water and environment issues in Central Asia on the basis of universally acknowledged norms of international law, taking into account interests of all countries of the region and with the participation of international organizations.
In the present world political, economic and social processes the youth becomes strategic resource determining not only state development but also entire international relations in the long-term perspective.
Therefore, in the context of achieving Sustainable Development Goals, Turkmenistan puts forward the initiative to establish Global partnership for protecting youth’s interests.
The foregoing priority positions, the consistent implementation of initiatives and proposals that were put forward at various international forums, will be crucial in developing Turkmenistan’s approaches to promote cooperation with all member states of the Organization, UN bodies, its agencies and specialized institutions during the 73rd session of the General Assembly.
Turkmenistan welcomes close international cooperation in solving actual problems of our time, expresses a firm readiness to work together for the sake of affirming the high ideals of peace and justice, realizing the goals and tasks facing the United Nations Organisation.
Joint statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia 10 years since the Russian military invasion of GeorgiaWednesday, 08 August 2018 13:00
This statement is made on behalf of Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America.
We reaffirm our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Ten years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia, we remain deeply concerned over the continued occupation of Georgian territories and underline the need for the peaceful resolution of the conflict, based on full respect for the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law.
We urge the Russian Federation to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
In the ten years since the August 2008 war, Georgia has made progress in strengthening democracy and good governance, as well as in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and economic development. It is disappointing that these benefits cannot be enjoyed by the residents of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. We believe a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict would have a transformative effect not only on Georgia but on the region as a whole.
We support the Geneva International Discussions (GID) as an important format to address the security, human rights, and humanitarian challenges stemming from the unresolved conflict.
Ten years after the establishment of the GID, we regret the lack of progress on the core issues of the discussions, including the non-use of force, establishing international security arrangements in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions aimed at providing security and stability on the ground, and ensuring the safe and dignified return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugees.
We call upon the Russian Federation to fully implement the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, inter alia to withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of Georgia.
We support the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) in Gali and Ergneti and encourage the participants to find proper solutions for the safety and humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population.
We condemn the conclusion of the so-called integration and alliance treaties by the Russian Federation with Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, which constitutes a clear violation of the principles of international law by the Russian Federation and directly contradicts OSCE commitments.
We express our deep concern over the increase of Russian military exercises and its further military build-up in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
We condemn the gross violations of rights related to freedom of movement and residence and to property, as well as the restriction of education in one’s native language. We underline that the so-called borderization through placement of artificial obstacles and fortifying the occupation line with barbed and razor wire fences, as well as closures of socalled crossing points, further aggravates the humanitarian situation on the ground.
We condemn the killing of Georgian IDPs Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozoria, and Davit Basharuli, and urge the Russian Federation, as the state exercising effective control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to remove any obstacles to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
In this context, we support preventive steps by Georgia aimed at eradication of the sense of impunity and aggravation of human rights in Georgia’s occupied regions, and we note the adoption of the Decree of the Government of Georgia on approval of the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list based on the relevant Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia.
We remain deeply concerned over the ethnic discrimination in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions and the mass destruction of houses of Georgian IDPs, illustrations of Russia’s purposeful policy aimed at completely erasing the traces of ethnic Georgian population and cultural heritage in the occupied regions.
We support the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin in safety and dignity.
We call upon the Russian Federation to enable access by international human rights monitoring mechanisms to the occupied territories of Georgia.
We commend the efficient work and contribution of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to prevent the escalation of tensions on the ground and call upon the Russian Federation to allow the EUMM to fully implement its mandate and enable the mission’s access to Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
We welcome Georgia’s compliance with the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and its unilateral commitment not to use force, and call on the Russian Federation to reciprocate, to affirm and implement a commitment not to use force against Georgia.
We support the new peace initiative of the Government of Georgia, ‘A Step to a Better Future’, aimed at improving the humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people residing in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions and fostering people-to-people contact and confidence building between divided communities to the benefit of all people.
We encourage the OSCE’s engagement in the process of finding a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Georgia conflict and support the implementation of confidence-building measures with an aim to rebuild trust and improve the living conditions of the conflict-affected communities.
We regret the closure of the OSCE mission to Georgia in 2009.
We encourage the OSCE participating States to agree on the opening of the OSCE cross-dimensional mission in Georgia for the benefit of the conflict-affected population, including a monitoring capacity able to operate unhindered across the occupation line. The mission will considerably strengthen the OSCE’s engagement in the GID and IPRMs, as well as in implementation of confidence-building measures.
The friends will continue to raise awareness of the conflict and the need for its peaceful resolution.
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Tenth Anniversary of the August 2008 conflict in GeorgiaWednesday, 08 August 2018 10:27
On the tenth anniversary of the 2008 conflict in Georgia, the Secretary-General recalls that it is a reminder of the need to resolve this and other protracted conflicts in Europe. This requires increased commitment by the relevant actors, backed by strong political will and a reinvigoration of mediation processes.
The Secretary-General urges all the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to adopt a constructive, forward-looking approach that would allow this indispensable mechanism to fulfill its mandate. All concerned should prioritize progress through appropriate dialogue and refrain from divisive policies and unilateral actions that may adversely impact regional peace and security.
The Secretary-General recalls that while the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Response and Prevention Mechanism have substantially contributed to strengthening stability in recent years, more should be done on key security and humanitarian issues, including those related to the plight of the many internally displaced persons and refugees. The United Nations will continue to fully support this important mechanism and work with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to achieve progress on all issues.
A HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON THE UN GLOBAL COUNTER TERRORISM STRATEGY IN CENTRAL ASIA WAS HELD IN ASHGABATTuesday, 01 May 2018 10:58
On April 30, 2018, in Ashgabat, the High-Level Meeting "Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia" was held, and the third phase of a joint project supporting the Joint Action Plan for Central Asia (SAP) was launched.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), with the participation of the UN Under-Secretary-General, Head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Department Vladimir Voronkov, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Herman, deputy foreign ministers of the Central Asian states, as well as UN regional structures.
As is known, the first and second phases of the project were implemented in the period 2010-2017 and were devoted to the consideration of four main directions of the Global Strategy for drawing up recommendations on the development of SAP, which is the first of its kind and was adopted in Ashgabat in December 2011.
In the long term, it is expected that the new phase of the joint regional counter-terrorism initiative of UNRCCA and the UNCCT, entitled "Towards a comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia", will be aimed at further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian states in the field of combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism in a strategic basis.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Voronkov noted that the main activities of the project will include the provision of targeted support in the development of national and regional strategies to combat terrorism and prevent violent extremism, further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian countries in the priority areas identified in the SAP for Central Asia and facilitating the exchange of best practices in the region and beyond.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan S.G. Berdimuhamedov stated about Turkmenistan's further readiness to offer cooperation with the UNFC on the implementation of the Ashgabat Action Plan of the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, the Turkmen side made a number of concrete proposals in this direction using the UNRCCA.
In turn, Ms. Herman noted that in accordance with her mandate in the field of regional and preventive diplomacy, UNRCCA will jointly implement this initiative and promote regional and cross-border cooperation in preventing violent extremism and combating terrorism in coordination with other regional partners active in this field in Central Asia.
At the end of the forum, a Statement was adopted following the results of the High-level Meeting "Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia".
At the end of the meeting, a press conference was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan for foreign journalists, accredited in Ashgabat and representatives of the national media.
Dear friends around the world,
Happy New Year.
When I took office one year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace.
Unfortunately – in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse.
On New Year’s Day 2018, I am not issuing an appeal. I am issuing an alert -- a red alert for our world.
Conflicts have deepened and new dangers have emerged.
Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War.
Climate change is moving faster than we are.
Inequalities are growing.
We see horrific violations of human rights.
Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise.
As we begin 2018, I call for unity.
I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure.
We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred and defend shared values.
But we can only do that together.
I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution:
Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.
Unity is the path.
Our future depends on it.
I wish you peace and health in 2018. Thank you. Shokran. Xie Xie. Merci. Spasiba. Gracias. Obrigado.