At the invitation of Conciliation Resources a dialogue workshop on the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and peace process took place in London from 24-27 February 2015. The meeting brought together officials and public figures from both sides of the conflict. On the fourth day, participants were joined by international experts.
The subsequent 52 meeting of Incident Prevention and Reaction Mechanism took place in village Ergneti. The sides discussed secure development of agricultural works for the population living near the dividing line in detail.
The problems emerged for the locals due to the installation of barbed wire fences were discussed as well.
Participants also discussed the security issues of Koshka-Kere segment and medical expertise of Davit Basharulis body and his reburial. The meeting also dealt with the conditions of Georgian citizens detained in Tskhinvali prisons.
Ossetian side expressed readiness to provide information for Georgian side about their quantity and conditions. In its part, the Georgian side presented detailed information on Ossetian persons held in Georgian prisons.
The next meeting was scheduled for March 25 in Ergneti. The Georgian side is presented by the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality and the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Incident Prevention and Reaction Mechanism.
The First Deputy State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili met with USAID representatives.
Representatives of US International Development Agency (USAID) spoke about the planned and implemented projects on civic integration at the meeting. They also got acquainted with the vision of State Ministers Office on existed challenges, priority areas and needs-based project ideas in the sphere.
Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili introduced Ms. Susan Fritz, the Representative of USAID Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, the government programs for civic integration in the regions with compact settlements of ethnic minorities that have been implemented over years, with a particular emphasis on media, education and state language teaching.
The First Deputy State Minister delivered thanks to USAID representatives for supporting the elaboration process of new National Concept and Action Plan for civic integration. The two sides agreed to continue cooperation for addressing the challenges in the sphere of civic integration through implementing certain projects.
Discussion also concerned the current situation in occupied regions, ongoing projects in the sphere of conflict settlement, especially in the areas of healthcare, youth and the protection of Abkhazian language.
Abkhazian section was opened at the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia, providing access to Abkhazian literature and periodicals preserved at the National Library collections. The First Deputy State Minister Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili attended the opening ceremony of Abkhazian section, delivering a public speech.
I would like to deliver thanks to the representatives of National Library, the EU and UNDP for the assistance during the project implementation process, as well as for their great support in carrying out the policies of peace-building, confidence-building and reconciliation. Georgia diversity is indeed our wealth. The opening of Abkhazian section provides an important resource for those who take interest in Abkhazian language, culture, literature and folklore. What is happening here is entirely in line with the state policy. The Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality leads two most important directions conflict settlement and civic integration. Today event is important for both directions symbolically and not only. At present we work for the new strategy and the action plan of the civic integration, which foresees specific activities for the protection of the second state language - Abkhazian - throughout Abkhazia region. The topic is critically important today, as we are aware that the ongoing processes in the occupied territories do not contribute the protection of Abkhazian identity at all. It is very important to take action that supports the protection of identity from the one hand, and reflects our policies, approaches and visions towards the conflict settlement. Our vision is indeed related with united, European Georgia, that provides appropriate environment and opportunity for various ethnic groups to preserve and develop their own identities, - Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili declared.
Members of the Government of Georgia, the Parliament, the Head of EU Delegation to Georgia Ambassador Jonosh Herman, the UNDP Resident Coordinator to Georgia Mr. Niels Scott, representatives of Embassies, international organizations, civil society and academic circles attended the opening ceremony.
Opening of the section seeks to support the study and research of Abkhazian language, literature, culture and history. Abkhazian section was opened under the initiative of the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia and with the support of the EU Delegation to Georgia and UNDP.
The EU-Georgia visa liberalization action plan impact assessment experts have met with local authorities in Marneuli and the Representative of the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality in Kvemo Kartli Mr. Zaur Dargali.
The EU experts have shown interest in inter-ethnic relations in Kvemo Kartli region, the current situation with regard to civic integration of ethnic-Azerbaijani population and other programs. Experts were also interested in the ways in which ethnic minority representatives are served and communicated into their native language in Marneuli municipality, employment opportunities in public service and their representation into local government.
In frames of the visit, the EU impact assessment experts went to Marneuli resource center, public schools and the Georgian House of Zurab Zhvania Public Administration School. They observed the academic process and met with school administration, focusing on existed challenges in terms of state language teaching and the ways of solution.
The EU impact assessment experts also held meetings with the group of Marneuli population to feel their perceptions about the life of ethnic minority representatives in the region.
Representatives of the National Assessment and Examinations Center and the Academy of the Interior Ministry met with the university entrants of ethnic minority representatives in Marneuli under the arrangement of the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality.
Representatives of the National Assessment and Examinations Center familiarized the new specificities of the Unified Entry Examinations and 1 Plus 4 Program to approximately 100 school students in their 12 year who gathered at the meeting.
Representative of the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia gave a presentation on the topic Bachelor of Laws, also responding to the questions of the entrants. It was decided to enable entrants to visit MIA Academy to be better informed about the program specificities, under the arrangement of the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality.
Besides, ethnic minority entrants will be assisted with registration procedures for the Unified Entry Examinations through Marneuli Youth Center, under the arrangement of the State Ministers Office.
Mr. Zaur Dargali, the Representative of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality in Kvemo Kartli Region, Mr. Savalan Mirzoev, the Assistant to Prime Minister of Georgia, Ms. Maia Gabunia, the Logistics Group Coordinator of the National Assessment and Examinations Center, Mr. Mamuka Koiava, the Head of Department for Inspectors Training of the MIA Academy, Mr. Ruslan Gajiev, the Head of Marneuli Resource Center and Mr. Emin Akhmedov, the Project Manager of Marneuli Youth Center took part into the meeting
1 Plus 4 Program runs in Georgia since 2010. The program enables ethnic minority entrants to take university exams into native language, and then undergo Georgian language preparatory course throughout one year. Successful students of this course will have the fresh start of their academic process from 1 year.