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Georgian PM addresses International Conference on Population and Development

By Ana Robakidze
Wednesday, September 24
Internally displaced People (IDP) and social issues were the major topics Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili spoke on at the United Nations General Assembly's 29th Special Session on "Implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development”.

"The principal goal of the government remains to promote the social-economic integration and improved living conditions of IDPs until their safe and dignified return is possible," the PM stated at the UN session, which was launched on September 23. He said that IDPs in Georgia have not been granted adequate conditions for the safe, voluntary and dignified return to their homes, and this remains one of the major challenges in the country.

“Over 450,000 people in Georgia were displaced by several waves of conflict. Their right to return to their homes of origin remains violated, since they have not yet been granted the conditions for their safe, voluntary and dignified return,” Gharibashvili said, adding that the principal goal of the government remains to promote the social-economic integration and improved living conditions of IDPs.

Speaking about the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICDP), Gharibashvili said Georgia has been very successful in implementing the agenda.

“Over the last 20 years, and since the adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action, Georgia made considerable progress in advancing the ICPD agenda in several priority directions. Our population agenda has been very successful to date – fewer women are dying at childbirth, more unwanted pregnancies are prevented, and young people's opportunities have expanded. But much more needs to be done,” the PM said. He also emphasized the success of the new Universal Health Care (UHC) which provides Georgian citizens with a basic package of out-patient, in-patient and emergency health services.

According to Gharibashvili the government is focused on improving the legal basis for protection of the most vulnerable groups in the country. Therefore, a National Human Rights Strategy for 2014-2020, the National Human Rights Action Plan for 2014-2015, and Anti-discrimination Law was adopted by the Parliament, as well as the Convention on the Right of the Persons with Disabilities was ratified in December 2013.

“My country is proud to join the international community in reaffirming its support for the ICPD Programme of Action and stands ready to further contribute to this effort,” PM said.

PM Gharibashvili headed to New-York after visiting Baku. He will address the General Assembly on September 26 and will hold a number of bilateral meetings with high-ranking officials, including President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Latvian President Andris Berzins President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, PM of Canada Stephen Harper; outgoing EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal.