EU and UNDP select six local projects improving governance, policies, and services in Georgia’s regions
The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), have chosen six municipalities across Georgia to implement local projects focused on urban renewal, maintenance and development of public spaces, protection of historical and cultural heritage, preschool education, and quality public services.
The jury selected the six best local projects out of 52 ideas submitted by 22 municipalities. Each winner will receive funding between €4,500 and € 6,000. The total value of the grant programme is €30,800.
In Tskaltubo Municipality (Imereti region), a modern recreational venue at Niko Lortkipanidze Museum in Chune village, with free WIFI access, will be organised.
In Zestaponi Municipality (Imereti region), four kindergartens will be equipped with a play-and-learn inventory to assist children in learning and physical activities.
In Lagodekhi Municipality (Kakheti region), a multifunctional space will be created and equipped at the library of the newly renovated Lagodekhi Museum, serving as a venue for educational activities, film screening and youth meetings.
In Telavi Municipality (Kakheti region), 96 staff in 32 kindergartens will be trained and certified in first aid services. Two kindergartens will receive additional support to equip doctors’ offices at their premises.
In Oni Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), an open air cinema at one of Oni’s newly renovated plazas will provide young people with a comfortable space for film screenings, educational work and discussion club activities.
In Tsageri Municipality (Racha-Lechkhumi-Kvemo Svaneti region), the e-document project will support the digital transformation of the municipal preschool education system. Electronic tools will be introduced for registering children with kindergartens and training teachers.
The initiative is supported by the EU-funded programme EU for Integrated Territorial Development (EU4ITD), promoting balanced territorial development and improved living standards in Georgia’s regions.
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UN holds consultation on disability rights
As celebrations from the International Day of Persons with Disabilities continue, the Georgia UN Disability Inclusion Group (GUNDIG) invited the organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in Georgia to highlight accomplishments and discuss challenges that hamper progress towards an inclusive and equal society.
The meeting created a discussion space for UN agencies and organizations of persons with disabilities to exchange ideas and plans for supporting the sustainability of the achieved results.
UN Resident Coordinator Sabine Machl opened a discussion and commended progress towards an inclusive and rights-based environment for persons with disabilities (PwDs).
“We salute progress made so far towards creating a more inclusive, equitable, and empowering environment for persons with disabilities,” said UN Resident Coordinator Sabine Machl. “We look forward to continuing our work in close partnership with people with disabilities to support building an inclusive society. We need to achieve real impact in the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities and to foster development that creates more opportunities for all.”
The consultation included an overview of priority areas and identifying the specific steps to be taken for advancing the disability agenda in Georgia.
The event featured presentations by Nutsi Odisharia, UNFPA, Ketevan Melkadze, UNICEF, Sophio Benashvili, OHCHR, and Eliso Chabrava, UNDP bringing attention to crucial areas, including biopsychosocial model, access to quality health and social services, with emphasis on the sexual and reproductive health and gender based violence, data management, economic empowerment and full participation and inclusion in society, capacity building of women and young persons with disabilities and organizations of persons with disabilities in all decision-making and development processes.
Representatives from various disability organisations and UN agencies stressed the need for greater effort and commitment to promoting disability rights and inclusivity and monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Georgia. This resonates with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres message for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) that calls on “the world to work side-by-side with persons with disabilities to design and deliver solutions based on equal rights in every country and community”.
The event served as a catalyst for renewed efforts and partnerships, aiming to achieve the ambitious goals of "United in Action to Rescue and Achieve the SDGs for, with and by Persons with Disabilities," the theme of this year's IDPD.
The United Nations in Georgia has been helping to protect the rights of persons with disabilities in Georgia for over three decades. This work has included strengthening the legislative framework and creating an evidence-based policy environment, in alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN has helped to improve systems for quality integrated health and social services and to enhance capacities for data collection, monitoring, and advocacy. The UN excelled in transformation of the disability assessment system, focused on the best interests of persons living with disabilities. At present two joint programmes are being implemented with the support of the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) to strengthen disability inclusive development policy in Georgia.
President Zourabichvili visits Kvareli Euroclub to mark its 4th anniversary
On 28 November 2023, the Kvareli EuroClub in Georgia marked its four-year anniversary with an official ceremony and a public fair, the ‘EuroClub Village’.
The special event was organised as part of the ‘MORE EU in GEORGIA’ public outreach activities of the Young European Ambassadors (YEAs), with financial support of the EU NEIGHBOURS east regional communication programme, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Norway.
The official ceremony was attended by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, Nicholas Cendrowicz, the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Georgia, Anna Chernyshova, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia, as well as the ambassadors of Austria, Czech Republic, Ukraine, US, UK and Estonia and the representatives of France, Poland, Denmark, Norway, and NATO.
The Kvareli EuroClub was founded by Young European Ambassador Nika Gurini in November 2019, with the support of the European Commission, DG NEAR, through the EU NEIGHBOURS EAST programme. In the four years since then, more than 2,000 young people have benefited from the different projects and activities organised by the EuroClub.
The main mission of the EuroClub is to create a space for young people to interact and learn, to have access to non-formal education, and to stimulate civic activism at the community level.
“Such an initiative is exactly what our country needs the most in order to achieve our goal – the European road of Ilia [Chavchavadze], and for this, everyone’s involvement is necessary,” President Zourabichvili said in Kvareli. “The government, leaders, they come and go, but society remains, and society, if it is sure of itself, if society really knows what kind of future it wants, what it wants for its children, for the next generation, then that society will achieve its own, and it all starts in the city, village, community, all the initiatives started from there are the strongest.”
Photo credit: UNDP/Gela Bedianashvili
Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls
This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia, and the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, we call for action to end violence against women and girls in all its forms – from sexual harassment and abuse to child marriage and femicide. Globally, nearly one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence at least once, the majority of them assaulted by their husband or partner. In Georgia, violence against women and girls remains a critical problem despite decisive steps taken by the government and civil society to combat these horrific human rights violations. Such violence is rooted in gender inequality and is in turn further perpetuating discrimination of women and girls. As a result, our societies are less peaceful and less just, and our economies are less prosperous.
Eliminating violence against women and girls will require strengthening and enforcing legislation and policies to protect their rights and to promote gender equality, to ensure full protection and support to survivors of violence, and to end impunity for all perpetrators. To make this happen, it is vital to raise awareness and promote women’s leadership at every stage of decision-making. We especially emphasize the urgent need to take concrete steps in order to eliminate violence against women in politics, which prevents women’s meaningful participation in Georgian democracy. According to the latest data, 54 per cent of female candidates have experienced physical, psychological, economic, or sexual violence and harassment during their election campaigns or political careers. Sexist hate speech is often used against women politicians in social media, including attacks based on their gender identity, appearance, intellectual abilities, and moral criteria.
Economic violence is one of the most hidden forms of violence in Georgia, forcing the victim to stay with the perpetrator. Challenges remain in reducing the gender pay gap, women’s equal access to financial resources, inheritance rights, employment opportunities, recognizing and redistributing unpaid and care work. Improving child protection systems, access to education and adolescent-friendly health services is of paramount importance to combat violence against girls.
We call on all stakeholders, including political parties, the government, civil society organizations and the media to work towards a future where women are empowered to participate fully and equally in economic, social and political life, without fear of violence or harassment.
 Facts and figures: Ending violence against women, available at: https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures
 Violence Against Women in Politics in Georgia, available at: https://georgia.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2023/08/violence-against-women-in-politics-in-georgia
 Election Monitoring Report: Sexism and Gender Stereotypes in Social Media, available at: https://www.undp.org/georgia/publications/gender-bias-social-media-2020
 In 2022 the adjusted hourly gender pay gap equaled 15.4%. The same indicator calculated at the monthly level equaled 23.0%, available at: https://www.geostat.ge/media/57459/Adjusted-gender-pay-gap---2022.pdf
Press conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the partnership between Turkmenistan and the EU
On November 22, 2023, as part of the Days of European Culture in Turkmenistan, a press conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the partnership between Turkmenistan and the European Union was held at the EU Delegation office.
During her speech, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan M.Byashimova congratulated paticipants on this significant date and emphasized that Turkmenistan attaches great importance to political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation with the European Union.
It was noted that regular meetings and negotiations at the highest level contribute to the expansion and strengthening of comprehensive cooperation in a wide range of areas. In this context, it was noted that the meeting between the President of Turkmenistan and the President of the European Council, held on September 18, 2023 in New York, became a significant stage in cooperation between Turkmenistan and the EU.
The Turkmen side noted the effective interaction of the parties within the framework of the inter-parliamentary dialogue. In this context, regular meetings between representatives of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan and the European Parliament was emphasized.
The “Central Asia-European Union” cooperation format was noted as one of the important mechanisms for expanding partnerships, within the framework of which programs and projects aimed at strengthening trade and economic ties, partnerships in the field of transport, digitalization, ecology and energy, as well as cultural -humanitarian sphere, including education and healthcare.
The participants of the press conference exchanged views on the successes achieved and prospects for further cooperation.
Georgia: EU supports NASIRA Guarantee Programme for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
On 14 November, the Georgian financial institution Terabank and the Dutch entrepreneurship development bank FMO announced the first NASIRA risk-sharing programme in Georgia.
The programme aims to increase financial resource access for micro-enterprises and SMEs operating in the country, and is funded by the European Commission and the Dutch Government.
‘NASIRA’ takes the form of a loan portfolio guarantee and supports financial institutions in increasing their lending activities for MSMEs, with a focus on underserved business segments, such as smallholder farmers and women-owned and youth-owned businesses. Often these clients have difficulty accessing finance due to higher associated credit risk and lack of collateral and/or historical track record.
“Under its Economic and Investment Plan, the European Union expects to leverage up to €17 billion in public and private investments. The EU is delighted to see these guarantees delivered on the ground, accelerating one of our core flagships to support 80,000 SMEs in Georgia,” said Nicholas Cendrowicz, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Georgia.
“Access to finance that also reaches under-represented economic actors elevates more people into economic activity and lends itself to a more inclusive economic growth for Georgia.”
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