• Georgia Ratifies the Istanbul Convention

    Georgia Ratifies the Istanbul Convention

    Today Mr. Mikheil Janelidze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia deposited the instrument of ratification in respect of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. 

    The Convention will enter into force, as regards Georgia, on 1 September, 2017. The Parliament of Georgia confirmed the commitment of combating violence against women through endorsing ratification of the Istanbul Convention and adopting milestone legal framework aimed at harmonization of the domestic legislation with the Istanbul Convention - a package of amendments to 24 laws accompanying the Convention on 4 May, 2017.

    Ms. Erika Kvapilova UN Women Country Representative made the following statement: Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive human rights violations, and it is an extreme manifestation of gender inequality and systemic gender based discrimination. Ratification of the Istanbul Convention will substantially galvanize efforts directed at combating violence against women and girls in Georgia. In addition, it will enhance impetus to strengthen a holistic national framework to prevent it. The process is also instrumental to achieving targets under Georgia’s nationalized Sustainable Development Goal 5.

    The Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe is the most comprehensive international treaty on combating violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention was presented in 2011 and entered into force in August 2014.



  • The Fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week opens formally in Tbilisi

    On May 10 at Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel the conference dedicated to the fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week was held.  

    The conference discussed challenges and effective road safety measures for the future.

    The conference brought together the Minister of Interior Affairs Giorgi Mgebrishvili, Minister of Environment Protection Gigla Agulashvili, Tbilisi Vice Mayor Irakli Lekvinadze, MPs, representatives of the Ministry  Economy and Sustainable Development, civil society and international organizations.

    The conference was organized by the Georgia Alliance for Safe Roads with the support of the UN Office in Tbilisi (DPI/UNO). 

    The Fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week takes place from 8-14 May 2017 under the theme of speed management. The key message orientates around the slogan; Save Lives: #SlowDown.

    10 May 2017 more
  • Fourth UN Global Road Safety week 8-14 May 2017

    The Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week will be held from 8-14 May 2017. The Week will focus on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries.

    Speed contributes to around one-third of all fatal road traffic crashes in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries.


    10 May 2017 more
  • UN supports comprehensive tobacco-control legislation in Georgia

    The UN Country Team in Georgia welcomes the efforts of the Government and the Parliament of Georgia to address tobacco smoking – an issue on which Georgia is one of the worst performing countries.

    Tobacco smoking causes addiction and results in devastating consequences for individuals, their families and all of society. In Georgia, the prevalence of smoking among men is among the highest in the world at approximately 57%; the prevalence of smoking among women, despite still being relatively low, has almost doubled in the recent years. Thousands of smokers and people exposed to tobacco smoke suffer from numerous diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases and cancers. Half of all long-term smokers will be killed early by a smoking-related disease. Approximately 11,000 citizens of Georgia die prematurely every year from diseases caused by tobacco, and among those are approximately 3,000 non-smokers. The alarming figures clearly indicate a need for strong and imminent action in tobacco control.

    The draft legislation being considered by the Parliament this week would be a significant step forward in saving lives, growing the economy and further integrating the country with the European Union.


    02 May 2017 more
  • Parliament of Georgia supports ratification of the Istanbul Convention

    Parliament of Georgia supports ratification of the Istanbul Convention


    Date: 05 April 2017


    In an 85-to-0 vote, the Parliament of Georgia endorsed the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (also known as the Istanbul Convention) at its first reading.

    The building of Parliament of Georgia in Kutaisi; Photo: The Parliament of Georgia

    Mr. Dimitri Tskitishvili, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and member of the Gender Equality Council, dedicated his speech at the plenary session to gender equality issues and pointed out that Georgia will be the first country in the region to not only ratify but also implement this document.

    Georgia signed the Istanbul Convention on 19 June 2014. The Convention requires states parties to promote and effectively implement policies of equality between women and men and the empowerment of women; to protect women against all forms of violence; and to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence. To offer a holistic response to violence against women and domestic violence, it calls for the involvement of all relevant actors, such as government agencies; the national, regional and local parliaments and authorities; national human rights institutions; and civil society organizations.

    Mr. Alexander Baramidze, Acting Minister of Justice and spokesperson on this issue, emphasized the importance of the treaty for Georgia: “It is essential for us to ratify this Convention and adopt the draft laws that come along with it, not only to ensure harmonization with the international law but also to comply with the domestic legislation.”

    Mr. Baramidze informed the Members of Parliament about the most significant issues of principle that are to be introduced in 24 draft laws that accompany the Convention. In accordance with the package of legislative amendments, the scope of the legislative framework on domestic violence will be expanded to also cover violence against women in general, taking into consideration the gendered nature of domestic violence and addressing the phenomenon of violence against women in a holistic manner. One of the important amendments concerns simplification of the issuance procedures for restraining orders. “This way we will be able to protect survivors more effectively,” Mr. Baramidze noted. Furthermore, forced sterilization, female genital mutilation and stalking are criminalized.

    The Istanbul Convention ratification package was drafted by the Ministry of Justice with UN Women facilitating a broad consultation process with NGOs and academia within the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality, generously funded by the Government of Sweden. 

    Ms. Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, in her Georgia-specific report released earlier this year (June 2016), recommended the speedy adoption of the amendments in order to bring national legislation on violence against women and gender equality in line with the Istanbul Convention. The process is also instrumental to achieving targets under Georgia’s nationalized Sustainable Development Goal 5. 

    Currently, a working group led by UN Women is preparing the subsequent package of legislative amendments aimed at eliminating shortfalls in the acting legislation identified by practitioners and ensuring its full harmonization with the Istanbul Convention. - See more at: http://georgia.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/04/parliament-of-georgia-supports-ratification-of-the-istanbul-convention#sthash.f4Z1IeVR.dpuf

    05 Apr 2017 more

  • Surge in voluntary commitments for ocean action as Conference to halt ocean degradation set to open

    Surge in voluntary commitments for ocean action as Conference to halt ocean degradation set to open

    More than 600 commitments received; countries agree to Call for Action

    New York, 2 June—A surge in the number of voluntary commitments to take action to improve the health of the ocean by countries, businesses and civil society groups has been recorded, and more are expected as the Ocean Conference gets underway Monday, 5 June  at United Nations Headquarter in New York.

    The commitments, now numbering over 600 and still increasing, come as heads of state and government and ministers will join ocean leaders, experts, businesses, and civil society organizations to discuss solutions that restore the health of the world’s ocean.  The commitments target a wide range of ocean problems, ranging from protecting coral reefs, strengthening sustainable fisheries, reducing plastic pollution, and addressing the impacts of climate change on the ocean.

    “The Ocean Conference is where we truly begin the process of reversing the cycle of decline into which our accumulated activities have placed the Ocean,” said Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly. “By adding to  the conference’s register of voluntary commitments; of producing practical solutions to Ocean’s problems at the Partnership Dialogues; and through the affirmation of the conference’s Call for Action, we have begun that process of reversing the wrongs.”