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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 8
Temperature may drop to - 20 degrees in Georgia

The coming will see extensive frost covering the country.

As InterpressNews was told by the National Environmental Agency, temperatures will be -3 or -5 degrees in the western lowlands and the Black Sea coastal areas, while they will drop to -7 degrees in the Colchis lowland.

As for eastern Georgia, temperatures may drop to -13, -14 degrees in the Shida Kartli region.

Harsh fall temperatures are also expected in the mountainous areas. According to the forecast, temperatures may fall between -15 and - 20 degrees, while in the capital the temperatures will be – 5 to -6 degrees. (ipn)

Georgian President Visits France

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili is visiting France to participate in the 4th Open Government Partnership Global Summit on December 7-9.

The Georgian parliamentary delegation led by Vice Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili will also attend the summit, where 3 000 representatives from 70 countries will discuss the challenges in civic engagement and democratic innovations in the format of workshops and panels.

President Margvelashvili is expected to address the participants of the summit, according to the Georgian President’s office.

The Georgian President will hold bilateral meetings on the sideline of the summit, including with French National Assembly speaker Claude Bartolone. (

Convention to combat violence against women still not ratified after two years

In 2014, Georgia signed an international convention to end violence against women and impunity of perpetrators, but two years later the country has still not ratified it.

After Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani igned the Istanbul Convention on June 19 2014 and prepared a bill to ratify it, the issue was brought to the public’s attention through a nation-wide series of public hearings the following year, but the initiative has since petered out.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) met in Tbilisi on Monday to revive the effort to have the convention ratified by Georgia. The goal of the conference was to assure that ratifying the convention can be one of the major mechanisms to help preventing violence against women.

Their call comes on the background of a recent report by ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili that in some of the thirteen murders of women so far this year, the police was alerted but failed to intervene in time. Nanuashvili called on authorities to do more to combat domestic violence.

The Istanbul Convention, which has been ratified by 22 countries in the Council of Europe, takes particularly aim of combating impunity for perpetrators due to inefficient law enforcement in cases of family violence.

Tamar Dekanosidze from Young Georgian Lawyers’ Association said she believes that the Istanbul Convention can offer an opportunity to transform the legislation into an instrument for changing the ‘patriarchal structure’ in the country, historical pressure and violence against women as well as discrimination.

The conference, which was organized by the Coalition for Equality, was also attended by representatives of the government.

Deputy Minister of Justice Gocha Lortkipanidze spoke about the changes which the legislative amendments can bring: better protection for women against violence within the family and in society. It will also strengthen the mechanisms for assisting women who have been victims of violence.

The bill would amend the Criminal Code and establish a new crime of being stalked, which will be punished with jail for up to two years. The bill would also criminalize forced circumcision and female genital mutilation. (DF watch)

Estonia’s top diplomat will visit Georgia during EU Council presidency

As a sign of Estonia’s firm support for Georgia’s European integration, Estonia’s Foreign Minister Sven Mikser will visit Georgia when his country holds the European Council presidency next year.

Mikser announced the upcoming meeting as he met his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Janelidze in Brussels on December 7.

Estonia will take over the EU Council’s 6-month rotating presidency in the second half of 2017. That’s the period when Mikser will visit Georgia.

At the meeting the Estonian diplomat stressed that Georgia showed an "impressive progress” in its Euro-Atlantic integration process. Mikser said that Georgia had contributed to Euro-Atlantic security, participated in NATO operations, and was involved in the alliance’s activities at various other levels.

He said this was why Estonia was committed to the open door policy, and also wanted for Georgia to receive its long-awaited EU visa waiver in a timely manner. (