NAIROBI, Aug. 2, 2022 (Xinhua) -- The construction of the Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), which has just celebrated its fifth anniversary of safe operation, has shown that infrastructure construction could be environmentally friendly.
The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway passes through nature reserves such as the Nairobi National Park and Tsavo National Park. In order to reduce the impact on the environment, a series of measures have been taken during the design and construction of the railway such as bypassing the mangroves, which help keep the mangroves flourishing in the last five years.
Besides, a total of 14 large wildlife passages and 79 bridges have been set up along the entire railway in consideration of the living habits and migration paths of wild animals. Large animal passages with the height of over 6.5 meters were constructed beneath the track for large animals such as elephants and giraffes to get through. Fences are set up on both sides of the line to prevent animals from passing through and reduce the chance of collisions between animals and trains.
A passenger train runs on the Tsavo River Super Major Bridge near the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, on July 28, 2022. (Xinhua/Dong Jianghui)
Several buffaloes pass through the animal passages of the Nairobi National Park Super Major Bridge equipped with noise deflectors in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Dong Jianghui)
A freight train runs on the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway track in Mombasa, Kenya, on July 27, 2022. (Xinhua/Dong Jianghui)
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On 3 August 2022, in connection with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Georgia and Japan, the Prime Ministers, as well as the Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Japan exchanged congratulatory letters.
The ceremony of handing over congratulatory letters was held simultaneously in Tbilisi and Tokyo. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aleksandre Khvtisiashvili, and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, Akira Imamura took part in the ceremony in Georgia, while the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Suzuki Takako and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Japan, Teimuraz Lezhava - In Japan.
Japan was one of the first countries to recognize Georgia's independence in 1918, and since the first day of establishing diplomatic relations in 1992, it has been a consistent and strong supporter of our country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. For 30 years, relations between Japan and Georgia have developed on the basis of common fundamental values - democracy, protection of human rights and freedoms, and the rule of law, and today it is an example of successful cooperation between independent states.
Special emphasis, in this regard, should be put on the dynamics of high-level visits between the two countries. Worth highlighting is the historic visit of the Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono to Georgia in 2018, which gave an additional impetus to the future development of the existing ties. Various business forums and cultural events are held on a regular basis. Inter-parliamentary relations are at a high level, friendship groups have been established in the legislative bodies of both countries.
Special importance is attached to the deepening of bilateral economic relations between Georgia and Japan. It is worth noting that on 23 July 2021, the bilateral investment agreement "Agreement on Investments and Taxes" was signed between the two countries, which represents an important step forward in the development of economic relations.
The activities of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the assistance that this organization provides to Georgia in terms of implementing both educational and infrastructural projects are very important.
MFA of Georgia
The European Union has called for an immediate cessation of the hostilities which have broken out between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces around the Lachin corridor and other places along the Line of Contact. “Regrettably, these clashes already led to loss of life and injuries,” said a statement issued on 3 August.
“It is essential to de-escalate, fully respect the ceasefire and return to the negotiating table to seek negotiated solutions,” the statement added.
“The European Union remains committed to help overcome tensions and continue its engagement towards sustainable peace and stability in the South Caucasus,” it concluded.
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The European Union and the United Nations are working in partnership to equip Georgia’s public and civic sectors with real-world, practical insights into human rights protection, organising a series of trainings last month for public servants, civic activists and journalists.
The trainings brought together representatives of state institutions, media, professional associations and civil society, and focused on the available tools and mechanisms to ensure respect for human rights in all areas.
On 15-16 July, a training session for journalists, carried out in partnership with the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, addressed the impact of misinformation and disinformation on protecting the rights of ethnic and national minorities. The training programme highlighted the critical role of the media in combating hate speech and fake news and providing the public with reliable and trustworthy information.
On 17-18 July, lawyers from the Legal Aid Service and the Georgian Bar Association participated in a training on the rights of people with disabilities. They discussed international standards in protecting disability rights and the challenges faced by people with disabilities in Georgia in getting access to justice.
On 19-20 July, human rights activists and representatives of organisations engaged in protecting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons learned how to prepare and submit alternative reports and communications to the UN human rights Treaty Bodies and how to use the UN human rights mechanisms for advocacy and strategic litigation.
Finally, on 28-29 July, representatives of Georgia’s Public Defender’s Office discussed how better to protect the right to health in Georgia, and refreshed their knowledge of international standards in this area.
“At UNDP, we deeply believe that respect for human rights is the foundation of democracy,” said Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia. “A democratic society is primarily assessed by how it protects the rights of minorities and not just the rights of the majority. With this in mind, we join hands with the European Union and our partners to assist journalists, lawyers, civic activists and the LGBTQI+ communities to better understand and more effectively protect human rights, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
The European Union and the United Nations, through their ‘Human Rights for All’ programme, promote a human rights culture in Georgia and help increase public awareness of human rights values and principles. Working with a wide range of local and international partners, the EU and the UN seek to ensure that all citizens can enjoy the rights and freedoms safeguarded by Georgia’s Constitution and major policy documents in line with the country’s national priorities and international commitments under the Association Agreement with the European Union, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN human rights treaties.
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