Official Meetings of the Public Defender in London

On July 6-11, 2015, the Public Defender of Georgia visited London and Belfast and held a number of official meetings with the high representatives of the organizations working on human rights and conflict transformation.

In the United Kingdom, the Public Defender of Georgia was accompanied by the Deputy Public Defender - Natia Katsitadze, the Chief Adviser of the Public Defender on Human Rights in the Conflict-Affected Areas - Medea Turashvili, the Coordinator of the EU project, "Capacity Building of the Office of Public Defender" - Tamar Khidasheli and the Coordinator of the Project on Internally Displaced Persons – Tornike Tsagareishvili.

On July 6, the Ombudsman met with the Head of the Department of Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the representative of the Human Rights Department - Neil Angel. The discussion revolved around the human rights situation, including the problems of internally displaced persons and the people living in the conflict zones. The ongoing reforms, as well as the prospects of future cooperation were discussed.

The public defender also held a meeting with the Commissioner Mary Kunin of the Independent Commission of Police Complaints. In the Complaints Commission of the Armed Forces, the Ombudsman and the members of the delegation met with the Commissar - Nicola Williams and the Head of the Agency - James Gondel, where the subject of discussion was the mechanism of protecting the rights of military personnel.

On June 7, the Public Defender and his accompanying officials held a meeting in Amnesty International office, with the Director and the Deputy Director, the Researcher on Georgia and the Campaign Coordinator of the Department of Eurasia and Central Asia.

On the same day, the Public Defender and the members of the delegation met with the representatives of the international organization "Conciliation Resources” - Jonathan Cohen, Rachel Clog and Mira Sovakar. Also, the meeting was held with the Leading Ombudsman of the Office of Financial Ombudsman - Carolyn Mitchell.

On July 8, at the information sharing meeting with the Manager of the Eurasian Dimension of the organization International Alert, Juliette Schofield, the discussion touched upon the issue of situation of conflict affected population and the peace processes. The conflict resolution in Georgia was the subject of discussion again at the meeting with Andy Roger, the Director of Communications and the Mediation of the Center of Effective Dispute Resolution (CERD).
An interesting meeting with the members of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG), including with Nicola Pichi, in charge of human rights issues, was held. The meeting was attended by the members of the UK Parliament as well.

On July 9, the Public Defender and his companions departed to Northern Ireland and held a number of meetings in Belfast, with the Director of Northern Ireland Fund, Alain Leonardo, as well as with the Executive Director, Colin Craig of the organization ‘Corrymeela Community’.

Later on, the Public Defender and his delegation members had a discussion with the scholar - Neil Gaiman from the Research Institute of Conflict Transformation and Social Law, where they discussed the problems in the conflict zones, the challenges that the communities face there and the possible solutions to them.

Also, on July 10, in Northern Ireland, Ucha Nanuashvili met with the Commissioner of the Equality Commission - Michael Wardlow, Police Ombudsman - Michael Maguire, Director of the Commission on Human Rights - Virginia Macway, Head of the Institute for Conflict Research - Keith Radford, Communication Director of the Community Relations Council - Ray Mullins and the representatives of several other organizations.

The meetings touched upon the issue of conflict transformation and the activities of the Office of Public Defender in the conflict-affected regions. The plans for future cooperation were discussed as well.

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