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The News in Brief

Monday, September 14
Russian Orthodox Church recognizes the canonical territories of the Georgian Church

The Russian Orthodox Church recognises the canonical territories, including Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia, of the Georgian Church, representative of the Synod of Russia, Archbishop of Volokolamsk Ilarion has said.

The Archbishop added that the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to assist the Georgian Church in the problem of the disputed territories. According to Church law Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia belong to Georgia despite Sokhumi and Tskhinvali’s proclamations of independence.

“Changes in political boundaries do not mean that it is necessary to change canonical boundaries as well. This is the issue that needs to be resolved,” the Archbishop said.
(Rustavi 2)

President Mikheil Saakashvili’s visit to USA begins next week

A Georgian delegation led by President Mikheil Saakashvili visit New York next week. The President will take part in the 64th session of the UN General Assembly and plans to speak there on September 24, outlining the situation after the war with Russia. Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze will travel with the President.

General debates are held annually at the UN General Assembly and leaders of different states participate in them. The session will officially open on September 15, debates will start on September 23. The President will be in the US until September 25th.

Poland to allocate EUR 5.5 million to Georgia

Poland will allocate financial assistance of EUR 5 million to Georgia, a representative of the Polish Foreign Minister has said. The head of the Department for Commonwealth Development said the allocated funds were intended for restoring the country’s infrastructure after the August war.

“Thirty different projects will be implemented with the allocated funds. Georgia is, and will remain, a priority state for Poland, which we intend to assist,” Marek Ziulkowski told journalists. The aid will be sent at the end of 2010.
(Rustavi 2)

South Caucasus youth discuss reproductive health

The 2nd South Caucasus Youth Reproductive Health and Rights Forum and the 3rd South Caucasus Youth Festival ‘Caucasus Wave for the Future’, organised within the framework of the EU/UNFPA co-funded project Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in the South Caucasus (RHIYC) were held in Batumi on September 12-13 and attended by First Lady of Georgia Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs.

Participants of the forum discussed the status of youth reproductive health and rights in the countries of the South Caucasus, assessed the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) action plan and elaborated upon the role of national Parliaments and Governments in the sustainable development of youth reproductive health and rights. In addition, participants discussed innovative approaches and the role of the civil society in ensuring the sustainability of the RHIYC project. An Action Plan on Sustainable Improvement of Youth Reproductive Health and Rights was also planned to be adopted within the framework of the forum.

Ms. Tamar Khomasuridze, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Georgia said: “RHIYC is a large scale multi-partner project operating in the three countries of the South Caucasus since 2006. The project aims to build national capacities and regional partnerships to improve the sexual and reproductive health status of youth in the South Caucasus. Successful implementation of the project will be a step towards bringing sexual and reproductive health services and rights in the South Caucasus closer to international standards. By achieving its goals, the project will help the South Caucasus countries reach their Millennium Development Goals and contribute to the agenda of European integration.”
(The Messenger)

British and French diplomats tour Kakheti

Two foreign diplomats have left for the Kakheti region of Georgia to view the local sights. The Ambassadors of France and Great Britain will visit the Black Rocks during the three-day tour and ride horses in the Lagodekhi Protected Area. This is their second tour to this area but the first to the Black Rocks.

The Ambassadors will be guided by local rangers. The Chair of the Protected Area Department of the Environment Ministry saw Eric Fournier and Denis Keefe off on Saturday morning.
(Rustavi 2)