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The News in Brief

Tuesday, September 23
Ministry of Education of Georgia elaborates new programme for students from conflict zones

The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia has elaborated a new programme for students from the conflict zones, said Deputy Minister of Education Nodar Surguladze at a press conference on September 20.

The Minister said that the Ministry of Education will finance the studies of students and children whose parents died as a result of the conflict between Georgia and Russia. “This programme’s budget is GEL 650,000 and within the framework of it approximately 150 students will be financed. The programme envisages the continued provision of studies for students who are IDPs from South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

The Minister asked all such IDPS to appeal to the Ministry in writing for assistance by the middle of October.
(Black Sea Press)

PACE to discuss consequences of Georgian-Russian war

An urgent debate on the consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia will be the main focus of the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in Strasbourg from September 29 to October 3, 2008, according to the Council of Europe’s website. The debate will be held in two parts: it will begin on the morning of Tuesday, September 30, and resume on the morning of Thursday, October 2. As part of the run-up to the debate, an ad hoc committee will conduct a fact finding visit to Georgia and Russia from September 22 to 25.

A request for reconsideration of the previously ratified credentials of the Russian delegation to PACE, submitted by a group of twenty-four PACE members “on substantive grounds,” will be discussed at Strasbourg. “Being seriously concerned about the conflict between two member states of the Council of Europe in the South Caucasus, we, the undersigned, demand the Assembly to reconsider – on the basis of Rule 9.1.a. of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly – the ratified credentials of the Russian delegation on the grounds of serious violations of the basic principles of the Council of Europe mentioned in the Preamble to the Statute,” the signatories write.

(Article 9.1.a says that “the Assembly may reconsider the ratified credentials of a national delegation as a whole in the course of the same ordinary session […] on a motion for a resolution to annul ratification based on the grounds set out in Rule 8.2 […].”Article 8.2 says that “the substantive grounds on which credentials may be challenged are serious violation of the basic principles of the Council of Europe mentioned in Article 3 of, and the Preamble to, the Statute or persistent failure to honour obligations and commitments and lack of co-operation in the Assembly’s monitoring procedure.”)

Under the Assembly’s procedure, on the first day of the session (Monday 29 September) the request will be referred to the appropriate committee for a report, to the Committee on Rules of Procedure for an opinion and, if necessary, to other committees for an opinion. The committees report within twenty-four hours if possible, and the Assembly considers their report as soon as possible. The required majority for any decision is a simple majority of the votes cast.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian MPs to mull over law On Occupied Territories

The first version of the draft law “On Occupied Territories” will be discussed at the Parliamentary Bureau sitting on Monday.

As the Black Sea Press was told at the Parliament, work on the draft law is nearly finished. The draft is expected to be complete early in October. Afterwards, the draft law approval procedures will begin in Parliament.

The law will determine the status of the occupied territories, based on which a number of legal measures will be taken.
(Black Sea Press)

Austrian Ambassador briefed about Russo-Georgian relations

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze has met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria to Georgia (with residence in Vienna) Marius Calligaris.

As Black Sea Press was told at the Press and Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, their discussion focused on events which developed as a result of the military aggression carried out by Russia at the beginning of August this year. Mr. Calligaris expressed his interest in the possible future development of events and current Georgian-Russian relations.

The sides touched upon energy security in Europe and the South Caucasus and Georgia’s role in ensuring this. Other regional problems were also discussed.
(Black Sea Press)

Exhibition of well-known Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani to be held in France

An exhibition of works by outstanding Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani will open at the Zervos Museum in Vezelay, France, on September 25, Black Sea Press has been told by the Press Service of the National Museum of Georgia. 17 artworks from the Georgian National Museum will be exhibited and Minister of Culture of France Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres will open the exhibition.

In February 2008 a cooperation agreement which envisages the organization of exhibitions was signed between the General Director of the National Museum of Georgia David Lortkipanidze and the President of the Yonne General Council of France, Senator Henri de Raincourt. The Pirosmani exhibition has been organized under the aforesaid agreement. In 2009 a Picasso exhibition will be organized at the Sighnaghi Museum, Georgia.

Zervos Museum is among the most important cultural centres in France. It is situated in the house of famous French writer Romain Rolland, and contains masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst, Jean Helion, Hans Hartung, Joan Miro and Wassily Kandinsky among others. Christian Zervos (1889-1970) was a well-known French art collector, writer and publisher, who published many valuable academic works including The Art of Crete, The Art of the Cyclades, L'art de l'epoque du Renne en France, and a catalogue raisonnee of the work of Pablo Picasso.
(Black Sea Press)