In focus

10 May 2017 Competition for journalists

Competition for journalists

UNHCR Regional Representation in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia)

May-June 2017, Tbilisi, Georgia

The human tragedy of massive forced displacement continues around the world. 2016 saw persistent conflict in many regions, notably Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, leading millions to flee their homes, most remaining displaced within their own country. In total, an unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.

 

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19 Apr 2017 United Nations Regrets Tskhinvali Referendum

United Nations Regrets Tskhinvali Referendum

Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, expressed regret over the April 9 referendum on renaming the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia into “the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania.”

Responding to questions at a press briefing on April 11, Stéphane Dujarric noted that the United Nations reiterates its “previous calls for the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to engage constructively in making tangible progress and to refrain from any unilateral action that may adversely impact regional peace and security and undermine the work of the discussions.” “We regret any such recent unilateral actions,” he added.

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10 Mar 2017 Secretary-General’s report on “Special Measures for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA):  A New Approach”

Secretary-General’s report on “Special Measures for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA): A New Approach”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has outlined a new victim-centered approach to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse in a new report “Special Measures for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA):  A New Approach” that calls for financial penalties for failure to investigate allegations and bans on alcohol and fraternization for peacekeepers. In his report, Guterres proposed that payments to countries that fail to investigate allegations involving their troops should be withheld, and that those amounts could be instead directed to a victims' trust fund.

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28 Feb 2017 Note to Correspondents in response to questions on the announced closure of crossing points along the Inguri River

Note to Correspondents in response to questions on the announced closure of crossing points along the Inguri River

Note to Correspondents in response to questions on the announced closure of crossing points along the Inguri River, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric,  has the following to say:

We regret the recently announced plans to close two additional crossing points along the Inguri River, Georgia, which will be detrimental to the freedom of movement and overall well-being of the population, including school children, on both sides of the administrative boundary line, especially those living in the Gali District. We join other international partners in calling for the continued functioning of the existing crossing points to ensure the freedom of movement, including humanitarian crossings. We underline previous calls for all the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to engage constructively in making tangible progress and to refrain from any unilateral actions that may adversely impact regional peace and security and undermine the work of those Discussions.

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09 Feb 2017 The Smart Women from Ingiri - How the Dream of Two Sisters Materializes

The Smart Women from Ingiri - How the Dream of Two Sisters Materializes

“Oladi” (a type of pancake) is one of the most popular pastries in Georgia. It requires little time to prepare and is very tasty, which is why almost every family makes it quite often. The Kvitia sisters, Nona and Nana have been baking oladis since childhood. Later on, baking them became their first source of income.

In 1992, due to the armed conflict in Abkhazia, Nona and Nana, aged 11 and 9 at the time, had to leave their home and move from Ochamchire district to the village of Ingiri in western Georgia. They found shelter with their cousin Inga Chokoraia, whose home was shared with many other relatives displaced from Abkhazia. Facing financial hardships, the three cousins came up with the idea of baking and selling oladis. Nona Kvitia recalls:

“We were too young, but we started up our business out of necessity. First we left the baked goods with our acquaintances to sell in the marketplace. We were avoiding people and did not want to be seen. Eventually, we realized that the oladis were very popular. We became famous, and started selling to shops. After some time, we got active in other fields of work but would always go back to baking when we needed to.”

 

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06 Feb 2017 THE SECRETARY-GENERAL -- MESSAGE  ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL -- MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

Female genital mutilation denies women and girls their dignity, endangers their health, and causes needless pain and suffering, with consequences that endure for a lifetime and can even be fatal. Sustainable development demands full human rights for all women and girls. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises an end to this practice by 2030. On this Day of Zero Tolerance, let us build on positive momentum and commit to intensifying global action against this heinous human rights violation for the sake of all affected women and girls, their communities, and our common future.

 

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27 Jan 2017 THE SECRETARY-GENERAL -- MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL -- MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

Today, we honour the victims of the Holocaust, an incomparable tragedy in human history.

The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.

It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis.  On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism.

Tragically, and contrary to our resolve, anti-Semitism continues to thrive.  We are also seeing a deeply troubling rise in extremism, xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hatred.  Irrationality and intolerance are back. 

This is in complete contrast to the universal values enshrined in the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We can never remain silent or indifferent when human beings are suffering. 

 

 

 

 

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