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 3 April 2019, an EU mission from Brussels led by John Clarke, Director of International Affairs at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture, visited an EU-supported rural development project in the Tetritskaro municipality of Georgia.
Clarke met with the members of Tetritskaro Local Action Group (LAG) and the project implementing partner organisation, the Association Rural Development for Future Georgia.
Afterwards, he visited an EU-funded cheese factory in the village of Tsintskaro. The director of the factory explained the specifics of dairy processing and shared her plans for the business’s development with the EU’s support under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The guests had an opportunity to observe the cheese-making process and taste different varieties of cheese made at the factory.
The EU supports rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of €179.5 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty.
100 Young European Ambassadors from the European Union and its six Eastern partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine) are gathering this week in Brussels to celebrate the achievements of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the past decade.
"Young people are at the heart of our cooperation with our partners. The Young European Ambassadors is a unique initiative providing a platform to listen to and discuss ideas, which have a direct impact on the lives of young people across the region," said Lawrence Meredith, Director Neighbourhood East, European Commission.
The 10-year-old Partnership has resulted in over 30.000 young people participating in Erasmus+ volunteering, exchanges and youth mobility projects, and over 6.000 young people benefiting from the opportunities provided by the EU4Youth since 2018. Bright young students from the EaP region now also have the opportunity to attend the first European School outside of EU borders, which officially opened its doors in Tbilisi in September 2018.
The group of Young European Ambassadors, that are joined by a number of social media influencers from across the six countries, are meeting EU officials to discuss the achievements of the Partnership and its future goals. They are also participating in a large flash mob on Thursday 15 February at the heart of the EU quarter in Brussels which will feature national dances and costumes.
Geno Kutashvili, Young European Ambassador from Georgia stated “I can boldly say that the Eastern Partnership totally changed my life (not only mine, but that of every single Georgian). This joint initiative is the best project ever because it gives me and my country a lot of opportunities. I have a better life now than 10 years ago. We are stronger together!”
Close to five hundred young people from the EU and its eastern neighbourhood currently act as ‘Young European Ambassadors’ (YEAs). These Ambassadors regularly organise local community events in their countries and participate in international fora to spread the word about the initiative.
The event is organised by the EU Neighbours East project in collaboration with EU institutions. A series of other events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. Find out more on the dedicated website: www.eap10.eu
Launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative, the Eastern Partnership aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union, its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Over the past ten years, collective efforts have brought considerable benefits to the citizens of these countries including more trade, mobility, increased economic development and better quality of life.
The first Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is to take place against a backdrop of large-scale developments that will determine the shape of the European Union: the reflection on the future of the Union; the United Kingdom's process of leaving the EU; the transition towards a new legislative cycle as a result of European elections in May 2019, and implicitly the end of the European Commission and European Parliament's terms of office. At the same time, challenges on the international scene deem necessary an active role of the Union at the international stage.
The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will take place at a time when common efforts of the Member States and of the EU institutions are needed in order to identify workable solutions to major challenges the European unification project is currently facing. Brexit takes the European Union into a new reality, this process must be orderly managed and the unity of the EU27 maintained, while striking for strong and close future relations with the UK. The EU is stepping into a new phase after Brexit and the Presidency should act in order to shape, together with the Member States and the EU institutions, a strategic frame for its future. In this context, a landmark of our Presidency will be the Sibiu informal Summit on 9 May, two weeks before the European elections. We see this Summit as a crucial moment to raise awareness among the citizens about the added value generated by the EU and to send a message of unity within the Union.
Furthermore, the end of the current EU institutional cycle translates into a high number of pending files that reflect key priorities for the future of our Union and its citizens. We have set a high level of ambition in achieving tangible results, while being realistic about the complex context and the specificity of this mandate. For this reason, in the first half of its term, the Romanian Presidency will focus its efforts on advancing with the legislative process, in order to finalise as many files as possible. Work will continue assiduously in the second half of our term with the non-legislative files equally important and complex.
The Union of the future needs a solid and appropriate budgetary framework and resources, in order to achieve the objectives of the following seven years. The European budget is a reflection of how we see the European Union in the future. That is why we need to make sure that the results of the negotiations on the future multiannual budget are equally balanced and well calibrated to the realities that the European citizen perceive day by day. In this vein, another topic on our agenda is moving forward with the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework, which is a flagship file for our Presidency. From this perspective, we will make all efforts to prepare the grounds for a timely agreement on the next multiannual financial framework.
During its mandate, Romania has the chance to prove its strong support for advancing with the European project of integration. While holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Romania will act as a genuine and honest broker in order to find solutions that enable progress of the European agenda.
The Romanian Presidency's work programme is founded on the belief that any vision for the future must be built around the key principles that have steered the evolution of the European Union so far which maintained their relevance all along the evolution of the European project and which have the potential to serve as a driving force for our common action towards consolidating the Union.this is the reason why the approach of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union revolves around the principle of cohesion, illustrated in our motto and central theme of the Presidency, “Cohesion, a common European value”.
This concept covers many of the realities of the moment that we have to accommodate at the European level. Furthermore, we consider that the EU policies should be more in line with the principle of cohesion among Member States, regions and citizens.
From this perspective, Romania aims at achieving tangible results and at maximising the benefits that a strong and cohesive Union could bring to each and every citizen.
First, we deem it necessary to enhance the cohesion of political action, in order to strengthen the link between Member States, European institutions and citizens. We see cohesion as both a common European value as well as an expression of unity among the states and regions within the European Union.
Second, we need to enhance the economic dimension of cohesion as a catalysing factor in reducing development gaps among Member States and in strengthening the Internal Market. This connotation assigned to cohesion is essential for the new EU Member States such as Romania, in order for their citizens to fully benefit from the integration in the EU Single Market.
Third, the social dimension of cohesion should also be promoted, keeping in mind the need to ensure social convergence and to preserve the four fundamental freedoms of the EU Single Market.
As first Member State in the current Presidency Trio, Romania coordinated its working programme with Finland and Croatia, but also with its predecessor, the Republic of Austria, aiming at ensuring a high grade of continuity and consistency of the EU agenda.
The Romanian Presidency's work agenda will focus on four main pillars, which will be reflected in the specific actions of ten configurations of the Council of the European Union, as well as in the events that will take place throughout the semester.
- Europe of convergence: ensuring convergence and cohesion for a sustainable and equitable development for all citizens and Member States, by enhancing competitiveness and closing development gaps, social progress, promoting connectivity and digitization, stimulating entrepreneurship and strengthening industrial policy. Taking forward the negotiation process on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework will be an overarching objective throughout our Presidency.
- A safer Europe: making Europe safer by increasing cohesion among Member States confronted with new security challenges that threaten citizens' safety and by supporting cooperation initiatives in this area. Migration will continue to be a topic intensely debated in Europe and our action will need to be comprehensive, both on the internal and external aspects of management of the migration.
- Europe, a stronger global actor: enhancing Europe's global role by continuing the work on the implementation of the Global Strategy, ensuring the availability of the resources required at EU level, and promoting the enlargement policy, EU action in its neighbourhood and the implementation of the EU's global commitments. The EU's action in the Eastern Neighbourhood will benefit from a favourable context during the first semester of 2019, when we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Eastern Partnership/EaP. The Romanian Presidency will support the organisation of a high-level Anniversary Conference in Brussels in May 2019, aiming to mark this historic momentum.
The Enlargement Policy, as an instrument capable of extending stability and prosperity across Europe, will represent another important topic, which contributes to a safer and a more prosperous future for the EU.The Romanian Presidency will make efforts to achieve progress and facilitate political decisions in relation with all partners involved in the enlargement process.
- 4. Europe of common values: stimulating EU solidarity and cohesion by promoting policies to fight discrimination, encourage equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women, and increase citizens' involvement in European debates. All EU policies and action should be underpinned by European values and principles as provided by the Treaties. A democratic, fair and tolerant Union is the core foundation of the European project. At the same time, advancing on the European project should be done through a united, inclusive and open approach for all Member States. There cannot be divisions throughout the Union and this is a key message to reinforce citizens’ trust.
All the elements under the four pillars and their correspondent actions under each Council configuration are included in the document „Romanian Presidency Programme for the Council of the European Union”, available on the Presidency website (www.romania2019.eu).
The calendar of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union comprises a significant number of meetings and events, both at high level and at technical level that will take place in particular in Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Bucharest. Approximately 1700 technical meetings and 40 meetings of the EU Council at ministerial level are scheduled to take place in Brussels. At the same time, we will host, besides the Leaders Summit in Sibiu on 9 May 2019, 288 meetings and events in Romania, out of which 22 informal ministerial meetings in Bucharest, 98 high-level officials meetings, 68 expert meetings and 99 conferences. At the same time, actions and events are foreseen in the capitals of the EU Member States as well as of third countries, where Romania will ensure local representation of the European Union.
During its six-months mandate as the rotating Presidency of the EU Council, Romania will deploy considerable efforts both in terms of the substantive matters, which are of high complexity, and in terms of logistics, which implied extensive preparation process and continues to require the mobilization of the entire Romanian public administration and society. The following six months are also a great chance to bring Romania closer to the citizens of the other Member States, to present a European country deeply anchored in the cultural and spiritual tradition of the European continent.
Through its work and actions, Romania strives to contribute to the advancement of the European construction process, based on the consolidation of the European cohesion and unity. The main actions and evolutions of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union could be followed on the website: www.romania2019.eu.
“Georgia is recognized as a leader of European integration processes. The high-level dialogue held in Brussels points to the fact that Georgia has advanced to a qualitatively new level of EU integration. This new format is first of all clear recognition of the reforms that the Georgian Government carries out in terms of economic development and the strengthening of democratic institutions” – the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani said during his meeting with Kvemo Kartli population in Kutaisi.
David Zalkaliani extensively spoke about the benefits of Georgia’s EU integration. According to him, Georgia has achieved tangible results since 2012 on the EU integration path, including the Association Agreement signed in 2014, including DCFTA; visa free travel with the EU, which is not just the technical decision of the European Union but an important political message indicating that the EU wants to ensure that Georgian citizens travel visa-free throughout the EU/Schengen area and enjoy all the benefits of European integration. Visa-free travel offers a good opportunity to small and medium businesses to find their partners in the EU market and develop free trade with the EU.
According to the Foreign Minister, EU assistance will be directed towards such areas as agriculture, innovations, education and science, civil defence and security, fight against crime, etc.
Zalkaliani updated the attending audience on the agreements signed within the framework of the first high-level meeting between the Georgian Government and the European Commission in Brussels.
According to Zalkaliani, Georgia will receive financial assistance worth €231 million, of which €100 mln will go towards the development of small and medium businesses
and €45 mln will be allocated as a macro-financial assistance.
David Zalkaliani also spoke about the ongoing misinformation campaign aimed at misleading the public by disseminating false information about Georgia’s EU integration processes.
On closing, he highlighted Georgia’s contribution towards strengthening international security and stability.
A news briefing on completing the polling process was conducted at the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia. As Ana Mikeladze, the CEC Spokesperson announced at the news briefing, all election precincts were closed at 20:00 according to the legislation.
“1 637 956 voters participated in the polling as of 20:00, which amounts to 46.74 % of total number of voters. The highest voter turnout was observed in Keda - 64.74 % and the lowest turnout was in Marneuli - 36.47 %. As for Tbilisi, voter turnout by 20:00 is 45.4 %. If we compare the voter turnout data to 2013 presidential election data, voter turnout in 2013 was 46.6 %. It is worth noting, that the voting process at the election precincts was conducted in a peaceful environment” – stated Ana Mikeladze.
According to the CEC Spokesperson, today, the CEC Call Center worked uninterruptedly. During the day, in total the CEC Call Center received 1 746 incoming calls and 497 messages were received via online chat. Majority of the calls referred to the verification of personal data in the unified list of voters, addresses of election precincts and précising the election procedures.
Vote counting procedures have been launched after closing the election precincts. After drawing up the election precinct summary protocols and completing all electoral procedure envisaged by the legislation, the protocols will be delivered to the relevant District Election Commission (DEC). DECs will upload the summary protocols in the Election Process Management System (EPMS) within the shortest possible time. Upon the receipt of PEC summary protocols the CEC will gradually publish them at the special website www.results.cec.gov.ge.
“Any interested person will have an opportunity to observe the process of summarizing preliminary election results at the CEC using internet livestreaming, which will be ensured through the 360 degree video camera and will be available at the CEC Facebook page, YouTube and official CEC website.
It worth noting, that four domestic observer organizations expressed their willingness to join the initiative suggested by the CEC and their observers along with the CEC operators will participate in the process of entering PEC summary protocols’ data in the program.
Ana Mikeladze also briefed the media about the submitted complaints. In total, 364 complaints are submitted at all District Election Commissions by the representatives of local observer organizations and election subjects. The complaints mainly refer to the procedural shortcoming and the majority of them were resolved at the election precinct. Majority of the complaints submitted at the DECs request imposing disciplinary liability measures to commission members and annulment of voting results at two election precincts.
“Hereby, we would like to deliver information about various procedural shortcomings, for instance: an attempt to hinder the work of Precinct Election Commission by the election subject proxy was observed at N52 Marneuli election precinct. By the decision of the commission decision, the representative left the election precinct. Attempts to hinder the working process at N49 and N110 Kuatisi and at N6 Batumi election precincts, however after verbal notice the incidents were eliminated. At N49 Akhalkalaki PEC, the voter tried to vote without identification card. The commission did not allow the voter to cast the vote. Election subject representative did not let the observer of local observer organization “Multinational Georgia” to enter N26 Ninotsminda election precinct, as if the observer had a false registration certificate. After verifying the information the observer was allowed to enter to the Election precinct. An information was disseminated that at N18 Marneuli PEC four voters participated in elections using the Identification card with expired term. In one case the voter came to the election precinct with expired ID card, however, after the PEC explained that it was not possible to vote with the presented document, the voter casted vote using the passport of Georgian citizen. In other three cases, voters possessed Perpetual ID cards accordingly they could participated in elections” Stated Ana Mikeladze.
Currently votes of two election precincts of Afghanistan are being counted. The results will be available upon drawing up the summary protocols at the CEC website.
At the end of the news briefing, Ana Mikeladze thanked voters on behalf of the Election Administration for active participation in election.
A 25-member delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), headed by Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL), will travel to Georgia from 26 to 29 October to observe the conduct of the presidential election alongside observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament, NATO Parliamentary Assembly and OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
The delegation will meet candidates, the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, and representatives of civil society and the media, before observing the ballot on 28 October.
A joint press conference is scheduled on Monday 29 October at 2.30 p.m. in the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Tbilisi (location to be confirmed).
During her recent visit to Georgia, Katarina Mathernova –the Deputy Head of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission – visited the Kakheti region, where one of the EU-supported Covenant of Mayors Demonstration Projects is being implemented.
In the framework of the project, two kindergartens – one in the city of Telavi and a second one in Ikalto village – will be retrofitted in order to become more energy efficient. The two institutions will also switch to green energy through biomass heating systems. These measures will create more comfortable conditions for children, but will also help the kindergartens to save money and energy.
“The European Union has been supporting Kakheti for many years already. And every time I come to Georgia, I meet people whose lives were changed for the better thanks to the EU. The local initiatives, which are supported by the EU, bring economic growth, social benefits and support the rights of and create new opportunities for the citizens,” - said Mathernova during her visit.
Covenant of Mayors Demonstration Projects are part of the EU4Energy Initiative. EU4Energy covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine). It does this by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the long term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector.
The European Commission is making €200 million of funding available for projects in the areas of electricity, smart grids, cross-border carbon dioxide networks and gas infrastructure, as part of the first call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy in 2018.
The financing is foreseen for projects that will strengthen the EU's internal energy market, enhance security of energy supply, and help make Europe’s clean energy transition a reality. The call for proposals will be open until 26 April 2018.
To be eligible for CEF funding, projects must have been designated as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). PCIs are considered essential for the EU's internal energy market, and are required to have a significant impact on at least two EU countries. They must also boost competition in energy markets, help energy security by diversifying sources, and contribute to the EU's climate and energy goals by integrating renewables. Projects submitted in response to this call will be evaluated in the coming months, and the results will be communicated in August 2018. A further call will also be launched in June 2018.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) provides EU funding for infrastructure projects. It supports energy projects that help to achieve the EU's broader energy policy objectives of increasing competitiveness, enhancing security of energy supply, and contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, including by the integration of energy from renewable sources and by the development of smart energy networks and carbon dioxide networks.
Philippine Commission on Higher Education(CHED) Signed MOA on Peace Education with International Peace NGOSaturday, 27 January 2018 11:14
"Teaching peace to youth is the beginning of the realization of peace." - Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL
On January 23, Commission on Higher Education(CHED) of the Philippine government signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on peace education with an international peace organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light(HWPL) affiliated with the UN ECOSOC.
The agreement ceremony, held at the CHED in Quezon City, Manila, designated provisions of a practical education for implementation of peace and a culture of peace to the young people who are the subject of the future to prevent disputes and achieve peace in the Philippines and the globe.
CHED provides various scholarship programs with the authority to develop and formulate the education curricula implemented by the government plans to introduce the peace education curriculum and materials revised by HWPL under the process of coordinating it for education institutions.
At the press conference in attendance with 10 media in the Philippines, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said "All students should be taught peace from the textbooks they learn every day, and the teachings of war must be changed and discontinued. How can we achieve peace? Peace begins by teaching students about peace.” emphasizing the importance of peace education.
Commissioner Ronald L. Adamat of the CHED, who proposed MOA to HWPL, expressed hope for HWPL peace education by saying "Children easily imitate war through toys like war weapons, but they don’t know how to play and imitate peace. Promoting HWPL’s peace education through the CHED will affect many Philippine educational institutions and play a crucial role in promoting peace in the Philippines."
Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL, signed the MOA on peace education with 127 schools in 9 countries including the Philippines, Israel, and India, conducted lectures emphasizing the importance of peace education for youth at the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College designated as a HWPL Peace Academy in 2016.
Christine Joy Labay Miguel, a student of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines participating in a peace lecture, said "It was very impressive that we, students, could also be a part of the peace movement. Chairman Lee has already shown that many students around the world are working for peace. I want to take part in the peace activities of HWPL."
As a non-governmental, non-profit organization working for world peace, HWPL is actively involved in various peace activities for establishing an international law for peace and operating inter-religious dialogue meetings for religious harmony and organizing peace campaigns in cooperation with experts in legal and religions, civic groups, and media from all over the world.