PACE spring session: the consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine
Strasbourg, 14.04.2022 - A general policy debate on the consequences of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine will be at the centre of the spring plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in hybrid format from 25 to 28 April 2022.
In the context of this aggression, there has also been a request for an urgent debate on ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, is due to address the Assembly at midday on Wednesday, and will answer questions from the parliamentarians.
The Assembly also debates reports on strengthening the strategic partnership between the Council of Europe and the EU, safeguarding and promoting genuine democracy in Europe, and on how to put confiscated criminal assets to good use.
Also on the agenda are reports on combating children’s exposure to pornographic content, on the deinstitutionalisation of persons with disabilities, on preventing excessive and unjustified use of force by law enforcement officers, on tackling discrimination based on social origin, and on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Georgia.
Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, will also present her annual activity report for 2021, and take questions from the parliamentarians. Marija Pejčinović Burić, the Council of Europe Secretary General, holds the usual question time with PACE members.
Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of Italy’s Council of Europe Presidency.
The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the first day of the session.
of the PACE
Ukrainian House Opens Its Doors in Tbilisi!
UNDP and Germany promote social integration of Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia
TBILISI. 13 September 2023 — The newly inaugurated Ukrainian House in Tbilisi marks a significant milestone in enhancing support for Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia. The initiative is spearheaded by the Ukrainian community organization “Georgian-Ukrainian Platform” with support from the Government of Germany through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Ukrainian House stands as a symbol of unity and collaboration, committed to supporting Ukrainian nationals who sought refuge in Georgia amidst the devastating war that inflicts unmeasurable suffering upon the Ukrainian people and has profound global repercussions.
This multifunctional space, situated in the heart of Tbilisi, will address the needs of Ukrainian non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups committed to assisting Ukrainian beneficiaries in Georgia. The Ukrainian House will serve as both a communal hub, an operational office space, and a referral point for various socio-economic services tailored for Ukrainian nationals.
In addition to its core mission, the Ukrainian House will be a focal point for cultural exchange. Its dynamic calendar of events will cater to both adults and children, fostering integration and enhancing the growth of Georgian-Ukrainian relations.
The Ukrainian House officially opened its doors on 13 September 2023, during a ceremony attended by Tanja Hutt, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy in Georgia; Oleksandr Shulha, charge d'affaires of Ukraine in Georgia; Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia, Valentina Marjanishvili, Head of the Georgian-Ukrainian Platform, and members of the Ukrainian community in Georgia.
“Germany is proud to contribute to the establishment of the Ukrainian House in Tbilisi. We are confident that this vibrant space will offer support to various Ukrainian community groups in Georgia, while actively fostering social integration," said Tanja Hutt, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Georgia.
“Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has led to the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Nearly one-third of the Ukrainian population was forced to flee their homes, including more than half of all Ukrainian children. Around 25,000 found shelter, security, and hope in Georgia, and UNDP, with the generous support of Germany, is committed to assisting them. We're establishing a community space for Ukrainian civil society organizations, providing grants to entrepreneurs, and offering vital support for employment, recovery, and integration,” said Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia.
"The establishment of the Ukrainian House reflects the close ties between Georgia and Ukraine. This space will offer practical assistance to Ukrainians living in Georgia and will foster connections and nurture talents within our community through cultural and educational events," noted Valentina Marjanishvili, Head of the Georgian-Ukrainian Platform.
The establishment of the Ukrainian House in Tbilisi is part of UNDP’s broader efforts, funded by the Government of Germany, to support refugees and Ukrainian nationals living in Georgia. ln partnership with CARE Caucasus, UNDP boosts economic recovery and income generation for refugees and Ukrainian nationals by creating a grants programme for entrepreneurs and providing business training, employment advice, and job-matching services within Georgia's private sector.
European Commission releases €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine
Today the European Union is providing another €1.5 billion to Ukraine under its annual macro-financial assistance package.
The European Commission made today a third payment of €1.5 billion under the Macro-financial Assistance (MFA)+ package for Ukraine, worth up to €18 billion.
This support will help Ukraine cover its immediate financial needs: to continue paying salaries and pensions and to maintain basic public services such as hospitals, schools and housing for the displaced. It will also allow Ukraine to ensure macroeconomic stability and restore critical infrastructure destroyed by Russia in its war of aggression, such as energy infrastructure, water systems, transport networks, roads and bridges.
Today’s payment comes after the Commission found that Ukraine continued to make satisfactory progress to strengthen the rule of law, enhance financial stability, improve the functioning of the gas system and promote a better business climate.
This finding will also enable the disbursement of two further monthly payments of €1.5 billion each in May and June.
Overall, since the start of the war, the support to Ukraine and Ukrainians amounts to around €68 billion.
“We will continue helping Ukraine resist Russia’s aggression, keep its institutions and infrastructure running, and conduct crucial reforms,” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
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SHALVA PAPUASHVILI - PRESENTLY, IT IS NOT OPPORTUNE TO DISCUSS THE OPEN-DOOR POLICY, WE NEED CONCRETE SOLUTIONS
"It was a significant opportunity for us to participate in the conference alongside the Speakers of the parliaments of the European Union member states. The central theme of the conference was Russia's aggression against Ukraine. During my speech, I was able to reiterate our unwavering solidarity with Ukraine", - Shalva Papuashvili stated while summarizing the conference of the Speakers of the Parliaments of the EU member and partner countries (EUSC).
As he mentioned, it is time to make a decision regarding Georgia and it is important that the European Union takes a more serious look at its own role and enlargement policy.
As the Speaker of the Parliament stated, today is not the time to talk at the open door and it is important for the European Union to make a decision to grant Georgia the status of the European Union.
"Given the prevailing geopolitical scenario, it is crucial for the European Union to take a more serious view of its role in the South Caucasus region. It is time to take a decision regarding Georgia, and it is imperative to understand and make this decision from this perspective. Presently, it is not opportune to discuss the open-door policy, but rather focus on progress. We need concrete solutions that the Georgian people are eagerly anticipating.
Last year, by not being granted candidate status, we were somewhat separated from the association trio. However, it was later confirmed that we continue to lead the way. Therefore, it is crucial that this situation be rectified, and Georgia is once again restored to its former position, alongside Moldova and Ukraine by the end of the year", - Shalva Papuashvili stated.
Conflict in Georgia: Secretary General’s Consolidated Report says little progress in human rights and humanitarian situation in conflict-affected areas
Strasbourg, 19.04.2023 – Serious concerns persist regarding the human rights situation in the areas affected by the armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia in August 2008, according to a report by Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić presented to the Committee of Ministers and published today.
The bi-annual report (covering the period November 2022–March 2023) on the conflict in Georgia highlighted that core issues concerning the human rights and humanitarian situation in the conflict-affected areas continue to see little progress. Various restrictions on freedom of movement and access to education and healthcare remain of serious concern, including in terms of their impact on vulnerable groups.
Against the continuous impediments by the Russian Federation to peaceful conflict resolution, security, and stability in the wider region, the Secretary General welcomed Georgia’s continuous efforts and initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and reconciliation, and their provision of free access to health care, education, and other social benefits for all residents of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as their efforts to address the needs of internally displaced persons.
During the period under review, operational activities on Confidence-Building Measures were continued. The report, for instance, notes that archive specialists from both sides of the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) continued to work in online format and met in person, for the first time since the Covid-19 public health crisis. Efforts have been initiated to facilitate dialogue between psychologists specialised in war traumas and on the prevention of gender-based violence on both sides of the ABL. The development of further initiatives continues in close co-ordination with the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality.
Secretary General stressed that continuing her periodic reporting to the Committee of Ministers on the conflict in Georgia will remain a high priority.
Note for Editors
Consolidated reports on the conflict in Georgia have been prepared by the Secretary General since 2010, following a Committee of Ministers decision. The current report is based, inter alia, on the results of the fact-finding visit to Tbilisi on 13-14 February 2023. The delegation also had the possibility to observe the situation at the Administrative Boundary Line.
The current Consolidated report examines, inter alia, the implementation of the European Court’s judgments in the two inter-state cases “Georgia v. Russia (II)”, concerning the armed conflict between Georgia and the Russian Federation in 2008 and its consequences, and "Georgia v. Russia" (I)” concerning arrests, detentions and expulsions from the Russian Federation of Georgian nationals in 2006-2007.
On 20 April, the European Court of Human Rights is due to deliver a ruling on the inter-state application “Georgia v. Russia (IV)”, lodged by the Government of Georgia in August 2018, which concerns the alleged deterioration of the human rights situation along the administrative boundary lines between Georgian-controlled territory and Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Prime Minister of Georgia meets Co-Rapporteurs for the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The key directions of cooperation between Georgia and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the agenda of Georgia’s ongoing and implemented democratic reforms were the main topics discussed at today’s meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Co-Rapporteurs for the Monitoring Committee of PACE.In the meeting held at the Government Administration, special emphasis was placed on the constructive work of the PACE Monitoring Committee’s Co-Rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia. The Head of Government thanked the Parliamentary Assembly’s delegation for productive cooperation.The conversation also touched on the security environment and challenges in the region and worldwide.The topics discussed included the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. The role of support from the Council of Europe for peaceful conflict resolution was underlined. Irakli Garibashvili thanked PACE for firmly supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.The meeting was attended by Co-Rapporteurs for the PACE Monitoring Committee Claude Kern and Edite Estrela, also by Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia Natalia Voutova, Georgia’s Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili, and Head of the Government Administration Revaz Javelidze.