Improved access to legal aid for over 45,000 people every year; training for 2,400 representatives of the legal profession; increased international cooperation in the field of justice – these are just some of the key results achieved by the Legal Aid Service of Georgia and the Georgian Bar Association with assistance from the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
These and other achievements of the EU4Justice programme between 2016 and 2018 were presented to the public in the country’s capital of Tbilisi on 23 January.
“I am confident that the EU played an instrumental role in developing both the State Legal Aid Service and the Bar Association in Georgia over last 10 years,” said Catalin German, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Georgia. “We have done it through direct transfers of funds into the Georgian state budget, and through different projects.”
The assistance to the Legal Aid Service and Georgian Bar Association is part of a wider EU-funded programme, EU4Justice, which is based on the financing agreement on “Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Georgia”, signed between Georgia and the EU in May 2015.
UNDP and State Bank for Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan hold first ever event on financing of Agenda 2030
In conjunction with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) nationalization process in Turkmenistan, the United Nations Development Programme and the State Bank for Economic Affairs (TFEB) are working to improve the access of Turkmenistan to international financing and to improve its capacity to deliver and manage such financing streams effectively.
As part of the joint initiative, on June 20, 2018, UNDP and TFEB held International Financing for Development Conference “Partnership for Development Financing at the Heart of the Great Silk Road”that brought together over 150 partners from ministries and state agencies, international financial institutions that have an interest in the country, private entities and commercial banks who are potential investors in the country, as well as development experts from UNDP and other international organizations.
One of the purposes of the event is to create a joint understanding of the country’s sustainable development priorities, the related financing needs and the various options that exist for mobilizing such resources, especially from international financial institutions and private capital.
As part of the Financing for Development Conference, participants considered some specific ongoing development and infrastructure projects in Turkmenistan, such as construction of the TAPI gas pipeline, which contribute to the sustainable development of the region of Central Asia and South Asia.
The participants of the conference noted with satisfaction the successes of Turkmenistan in nationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the establishment of a national coordination mechanism for the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the SDGs, including the decision to submit the first voluntary national review on the SDG implementation at the High-level Political Forum in 2019.
“Getting financing right will be critical to meet the SDGs by 2030. While there is no shortage of resources in the global economy, we need partnerships, sound planning, leadership and some creative ideas of looking at financing streams for development,” stated RastislavVrbensky, UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Europe and the CIS at the conference.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan S. Berdimuhamedov noted in his speech that "the achievement of the goals of sustainable development is an ambitious task and requires cohesion and concrete joint actions. Partnership in this direction is very important. "
"Following strict adherence to the international obligations assumed, we declare with full responsibility our continued commitment to the widest and most active cooperation with Member States and international organizations, financial institutions, specialized agencies and United Nations structures," the Deputy Minister stressed.
The conference participants welcomed Turkmenistan's efforts to improve the public finance system and stressed the importance of fiscal regulation to improve the mobilization of domestic financial resources.
The sessions aimed to shed the light on government’s views on the issue of private sector development and diversification, and its priorities and measures for encouraging bilateral state and private investments for achieving Sustainable development agenda 2030.
As a result of the conference, the Final Document was adopted and a package of bilateral documents was signed.
Journalists from the Eastern Partners countries discover Moldova’s experience in transition to green energy
Twelve journalists from Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan visited the Republic of Moldova on 21-24 may to learn about the results of the Energy and Biomass Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The visit took place in the framework of the EU4Energy Initiative.
The journalists visited a kindergarten in the town of Nisporeni, where 270 children have hot water thanks to solar panels installed with the help of the Energy and Biomass Project. During winter, the entire surface of the kindergarten is heated with green energy produced in the Republic of Moldova.
To heat its rooms, the kindergarten, together with the city hall, buys pellets produced in Moldova, meaning the money it spends on energy remains in the country.
Another stop on the tour was the briquette production line in the city of Balti. Ludmila Abramciuc and Ivan Damaschin are beneficiaries of the Energy and Biomass Project grant programme, thanks to which they were able to buy, and repay in instalments, the necessary equipment for biofuel production.
The journalists also attended a lesson on renewable energy at a school in Chiscareni village, Sangerei district. Together with the students of “Nicolae Casso” school, they answered questions on the green energy sector, as well as making a parabolic solar collector. Professor Nicolae Spanu guided the team through this.
The school in Chiscareni village is also the first public institution in the Republic of Moldova to have switched to biomass heating. In 2005, thanks to a project funded by the World Bank, a biomass power plant using straw bales was installed at the school. To this day, the institution continues to benefit from clean energy.
Meanwhile, the community has connected other public institutions to green energy. The kindergarten in the village has electricity produced by photovoltaic panels and hot water from solar collectors. Next winter, the city hall will replace its stoves with a biomass heating system, installed with the help of European funds through the Energy and Biomass Project.
The EU-funded and UNDP-implemented Energy and Biomass Project in Moldova is part of the EU4Energy Initiative and aims to contribute to the reliable, competitive and sustainable production of energy from biomass, which is the most viable and available source of renewable energy in the Republic of Moldova.
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.
On Tuesday, 2 May 2017, at 09:30 am, in the UN House in Tbilisi (9 R. Eristavi Street, Tbilisi), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Health Organization (WHO) are organizing a press conference to support the adoption of the Tobacco-Control Law in Georgia.
Representatives of the United Nations will update the media about preliminary findings of the FCTC Investment Case – recent research implemented by the WHO and UNDP to promote implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in Georgia. They will also inform about economic burden of tobacco smoking in Georgia, importance and practical implications of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for the member states, and key measures of tobacco control.
- Marijan Ivanuša, WHO Representative in Georgia
- Shombi Sharp, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia
- Andrew Black, Team Leader of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Secretariat
- Kristina Mauer Stender, Program Manager of the WHO Regional Office for Europe
Statement of Niels Scott, Resident Coordinator, on behalf of the United Nations Country Team regarding announced closure of crossing points along the Inguri RiverThursday, 26 January 2017 14:16
We note the announcement of the imminent closure of Khurcha-Nabakevi and Orsantia-Otobaia crossing points along the Inguri River. It is incumbent on the United Nations to raise the very real concerns of the population being negatively impacted by these changes, creating greater vulnerability and isolation of those living in the adjacent areas. Based on observed patterns the closure of the remaining pedestrian crossing points will likely affect at least 1,000 crossings a day on average.
The United Nations are concerned that the announced restrictions will have negative consequences for the humanitarian and development needs of those living in Abkhazia, Georgia. As movement is further restricted, the people of Abkhazia will find it more difficult to access basic services such as healthcare and education and participate in economic activities and social events such as weddings, funerals and public holiday commemorations, as well as family gatherings across the dividing line. Notably, access to education for children who have been crossing to attend schools in their mother tongue will be impeded.
We wish to recall the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, who, in his report to the General Assembly in May 2016, urged the authorities in control to reconsider and avoid closing any further crossing points. In his words, the issue of freedom of movement across the administrative boundary line has security, humanitarian and human rights dimensions and remains of utmost importance to the local population.
Again, we urge relevant parties to consider the impact of the announced closing measure on the welfare of the local residents. We call on all sides to ensure the rights and needs of all people living in Abkhazia are respected.
The United Nations remain open to continue our constructive dialogue and support finding practical solutions to the issues that may arise.
26 January 2017
EU Integration Committee organized the EU and UNDP supported working meeting in Borjomi on Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia.
The meeting is participated by the Committee Members and Committee Staff, as well as the representatives of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the Legal Issues, the Health Care and Social Issues, the Human Rights and Civil Integration and the Foreign Relations Committees, as well as the experts, Ivane Chkhikvadze and Adam Lazovski.
The participants are to consider Georgia-EU cooperation framework and strategic directions, as well as the role of the Parliament in EUAA implementation. The participants will hear about the experience of EU member and candidate states, the findings by the experts and the recommendations. As well as, the participants will develop the joint action plan.
On 30 December 2016, the Government of Georgia approved the first ever national strategy for rural development. It provides the country’s vision for 2017-2020 in key areas of rural development – growth and diversification of local economies, improvement of social and public services, sustainable use of natural resources and local engagement in the development process.
The adoption of the Rural Development Strategy 2017 – 2020 has sealed a year-long process initiated by the Government of Georgia and supported by the European Union (EU) and two United Nations agencies – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), under the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).
The Strategy represents a new approach to rural development in Georgia grounded on the best EU practices in this field. It focuses on promoting entrepreneurship and civil engagement, and on improving the quality of people’s life while paying special attention to the values of natural and cultural heritage.
ENPARD Programme contributed to the development of the Strategy by offering technical expertise to the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as organizing public consultations, which helped to make the process more inclusive and transparent. The preparation of the Strategy engaged a range of national and international stakeholders, including for civil society and community organizations, national and international experts, relevant ministries and state agencies.
After formal adoption by the Government, an Interagency Coordination Council on rural development will be established. It will be led by the Ministry of Agriculture with technical assistance from the European Union (EU) and UNDP under the ENPARD programme. The Council will coordinate the implementation of the Strategy and will look into specific initiatives in the regions of Georgia.
The EU is supporting rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of EUR 102 million, the main goal of ENPARD is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia. The first phase of ENPARD in Georgia focused on developing the potential of agriculture. The second phase focuses on creating economic opportunities for rural population that go beyond agricultural activities.
More information on ENPARD is available at: www.enpard.ge
Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani met the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Niels Scott. The sides discussed the difficult situation in Syria and Georgia’s involvement in providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population.
Niels Scott thanked Georgia for supporting the steps taken by the international community towards resolving the crisis in Syria, as well as for the Georgian Government’s initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population. The sides discussed various issues relating to cooperation between Georgia and the UNDP.
Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Tengiz Shergelashvili and UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia Neil Scott opened the two-day conference related to regional and local development issues.
Results of the SGP over the 2015-16 have been summarized on the conference. The grants allowed NGOs and community organizations to implement the projects aimed to increase civic engagement and socio-economic development of the country. The program included 6 regions - Guria, Racha-Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Imereti.
Together with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, "Civil Development Agency" (CIDA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADC) were actively involved during the process of the program implementation.
Quality of roads, public kindergartens, cleaning service and citizen engagement in decision-making are in focus of a research commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and carried out by the Georgian research company ACT in November 2015.
The discussion about key findings of the study on 27 July 2016 brought together representatives of the Georgian Government, Parliament, local authorities, civil society and international organizations.
Niels Scott, Head of UNDP in Georgia, and Tengiz Shergelashvili, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, addressed the participants of an event with welcome remarks.
The comprehensive nation-wide research is based on interviews with 3,800 citizens over the age of 18 in all regions of Georgia. It examines public views about the services that are currently provided by municipalities and central government, provides comparative analysis with the similar study conducted in 2013, and includes recommendations for local authorities based on the perceptions and expectations of citizens.
The research is part of a wider programme supported by UNDP, Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) to assist self-governance reform in Georgia.