Meeting of Public Defender and Council of National Minorities with Kvemo Kartli Governor
On May 30, 2016, a meeting was held between the Public Defender, the Council of National Minorities of the Public Defender and Kvemo Kartli Governor Paata Khizanashvili at the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia. The meeting was led by Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili.
The Kvemo Kartli Governor spoke about the activities and programs carried out and planned by the state in the field of civil integration. He stressed the importance of the policy of openness, which, in his opinion, leads to active participation of citizens and more opportunities for solving problems.
Koba Chopliani, coordinator of the Council of National Minorities, and Zaur Khalilov, head of the Civil Integration Foundation, presented reports about civil integration in the Kvemo Kartli region and protection of the rights of national minorities.
Koba Chopliani paid special attention to the problems of the media and national minorities’ access to information, as well as importance of ensuring free environment in the pre-election period.
Zaur Khalilov spoke about the factors hindering more development of the region; in particular, he named the weak policy of decentralization and creation of bureaucratic barriers for investors on security grounds.
Discussion, held after the presentation of the reports, focused on the availability of pre-school education (over a thousand children are on the waiting list in the Kvemo Kartli region) and the problems of Tsalka Greeks with regard to their property and irrigation water supply. According to the Governor, in recent years the length of irrigation infrastructure was increased by one-third, but it still cannot fully solve the problem.
The meeting was summed up by the Public Defender, who expressed a desire to regularly hold similar meetings.
The event was organized by the Public Defender of Georgia, the Tolerance Center, the Council of National Minorities of the Public Defender and the “Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness” (PITA) program of the UN Association of Georgia (UNAG) that is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).