Media Releases

26 Jul 2019 Georgia’s highlands to benefit from a four-year development strategy

Georgia’s highlands to benefit from a four-year development strategy

An ambitious strategy aims to improve life for 1,700 high-mountain communities and 300,000 people

Georgia is famous for its soaring mountain peaks, which attract thousands of tourists for skiing and hiking holidays. But for the local residents of Georgia’s 1,700 high-mountain communities, life looks a lot less glamorous: a shortage of jobs, public services and modern infrastructure is driving young people to leave the peaks for the cities. Aiming to reverse this trend, the Government has just adopted an ambitious new strategy for mountain development.

Prepared by the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the financial support of the Governments of Switzerland and Austria, the new Strategy on the Development of the High Mountainous Settlements of Georgia (2019-2023) is designed to promote economic development, improve social welfare and expand access to services for the 300,000 people who live in Georgia’s highest mountain regions.

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze on 16 July 2019 hailed the new strategy as a momentous opportunity for Georgia’s mountain regions. “To fulfil this vision, we need to focus on mountainous tourism, agriculture and entrepreneurship, as well as on the robust projects that will ensure the social protection of highlanders,” he said.


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05 Jul 2019 Finding solutions to protracted internal displacement in Georgia tops agenda of Conference

Finding solutions to protracted internal displacement in Georgia tops agenda of Conference

TBILISI. 5 July 2019 – Representatives of the ministries and state agencies, donor community, UN agencies, civil society and IDP communities gathered in Tbilisi on 5 July to discuss the national legislation, policies and strategies on internal displacement and challenges faced in Georgia, including in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Guided by the 20th Anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the conference on Internal Displacement discussed the ways forward to addressing the protracted displacement and supporting solutions.

The Conference was opened by the Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Grigol Giorgadze.

"We look forward to continuing working together with all key ministries to support efforts that help internally displaced persons find livelihoods, education opportunities, and self-reliance so they can find their own durable solution," Sabine Machl, UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia, said in her welcome remarks.


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22 Jun 2019 Joint Statement on Tbilisi Pride Decision to Postpone “March of Dignity”

Joint Statement on Tbilisi Pride Decision to Postpone “March of Dignity”

We welcome the decision by the organizers of Tbilisi Pride to postpone the “March of Dignity” planned for 22 June 2019. Participation in peaceful demonstrations of this sort is an expression of every person’s fundamental human right to freedom of expression and assembly. However, amidst real concerns about safety and security in the current context, we find the LGBTI+ community’s decision highly commendable.

At the same time, we reiterate the main points of our statement of 17 May 2019, which called upon all responsible actors to undertake concerted efforts to end the discrimination and violence experienced by LGBTI+ persons in Georgia. We welcome the policy consultations that have been undertaken in past weeks to identify and address priority needs of the LGBTI+ community. We are confident that respect for diversity yields a stronger democracy and a more resilient society.

22 June 2019

Signed by the United Nations, the European Union, Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.


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07 Jun 2019 The second national SDG Festival highlights development potential of remote and rural regions

The second national SDG Festival highlights development potential of remote and rural regions

Georgia reinforces its national commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

7 June 2019. AMBROLAURI – Thousands of Georgians gathered in the town of Ambrolauri today to take part in the country’s second national Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Festival, initiated and organized by the United Nations in Georgia. The slogan of this year’s edition of the Festival echoed the core theme of sustainable development: to “Leave No One Behind.”

The President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, addressed the participants and guests of the Festival at the grand opening in the evening.

The newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator in Georgia, Sabine Machl, stressed the continuous efforts of the United Nations to support Georgia in achieving its national SDGs.

“The UN agencies active in Georgia are covering a wide range of areas related to the five pillars of sustainable development – People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity and Partnership,” she said. “Our work rests on strong cooperation with our partners – the Government of Georgia, local self-governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and all development partners in the international community.”

The SDG Festival transformed public space in Ambrolauri into a colourful display of activities illustrating the country’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The busy agenda included sport activities, interactive seminars and workshops, talks and exhibitions featuring SDG activists and supporters from different walks of life – writers, artists, researchers, students, teachers, school children, farmers, diplomats and politicians.

“It’s no accident that the SDG Festival is taking place this year in Racha,” said Louisa Vinton, Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia. “Like so many other locations in Georgia, it has vast development potential but needs to overcome the challenges of rural poverty, depopulation and climate change to realize the promise of peace and prosperity. We are confident that the festival will build public understanding and enthusiasm for our shared responsibility ‘to leave no one behind.’



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01 Jun 2019 New Head of the United Nations in Georgia

New Head of the United Nations in Georgia

Newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator Sabine Machl takes office in Tbilisi

Dr. Sabine Machl of Austria has been appointed UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia and will begin her assignment on 1 June 2019.

Prior to her assignment in Georgia, Dr. Sabine Machl has worked in international organizations for more than 22 years among those over 7 years for the UN. Her latest assignment was UN Women Representative in Indonesia and Liaison to ASEAN and before that she headed UN Women in Palestine and Kyrgyzstan.


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17 May 2019 International community calls for an end to violence and discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons in Georgia

International community calls for an end to violence and discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons in Georgia

17 May 2019, Tbilisi.

This joint statement is issued by the United Nations Resident Coordinator; the Ambassadors of the European Union (EU), Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom; the Head of Mission of the United States; and the Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia.

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB),[1] we express our support for and solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) community in Georgia.

Georgia’s national law prohibits all discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. The country has also ratified the core international human rights conventions that bar discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons, just as they forbid discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or political conviction. Under the Association Agreement with the EU, Georgia has likewise committed to fully respect the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

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08 May 2019 Georgian officials and UN experts discuss how to unlock progress towards the SDGs

Georgian officials and UN experts discuss how to unlock progress towards the SDGs

KACHRETI. 8 May 2019 – More than 70 representatives of the Georgian government and the United Nations (UN) team in Georgia gathered in Kachreti for a two-day workshop organized jointly to identify “bottlenecks” and “accelerators” in the country’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global agenda for sustainable development adopted by all UN member states in 2015.

The workshop was opened by Kakha Kakhishvili, Head of the Government Administration and Chairman of the National SDG Council, and Louisa Vinton, who leads the UN Country Team in Georgia.

“Georgia was a pioneer in translating the SDG framework into national strategies and in establishing a structure for SDG implementation,” Kakhisvili said. “This workshop gives us an opportunity to see how well we’re doing, what we should adjust to move faster and where Georgia might need assistance.”

“Our focus today is on bottlenecks,” said Vinton, “since if Georgia takes action now to dismantle the biggest barriers to progress, the country is poised to surge forward in the achievement of multiple goals. Our analysis suggests that the best prospects here are youth employment and rural development.”


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