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UN in Georgia Expresses Concerns Over Draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
The United Nations in Georgia expressed deep concerns about the reintroduction of the draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence in the Parliament of Georgia. The UN warned that this move could seriously hinder the crucial work of civil society and media, thus obstructing Georgian democracy and societal progress.

Emphasizing the vital role of civil society organizations in Georgia, the UN highlighted their significant contributions in providing essential services to vulnerable populations and safeguarding their human rights. The UN cautioned that stigmatizing their activities could deprive marginalized groups - including persons with disabilities, internally displaced individuals, minorities, women, youth, survivors of domestic violence, and others - of much-needed assistance and support.

With a partnership spanning over three decades, the UN underscored its close collaboration with Georgia to support its development in line with national priorities, working alongside local partners, including civil society and media.

Referring to an analysis conducted by OSCE/ODIHR in consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, at the request of the Public Defender of Georgia, the UN highlighted findings indicating that the draft law falls short of several of Georgia's international obligations.

Given Georgia's current membership in the UN Human Rights Council, the UN urged the Parliament of Georgia to withdraw the draft law and engage in comprehensive consultations with a diverse range of stakeholders to address concerns regarding the relationship between the state and civil society.

Furthermore, the UN expressed regret over the Parliament's decision to expedite the abolition of mandatory gender quotas in parliamentary election lists. These quotas, recommended by the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women as a temporary measure, aimed to counteract women's systemic exclusion from political decision-making. The UN noted that the removal of quotas represents a setback for gender equality efforts.

The United Nations in Georgia called upon the Georgian authorities to refrain from actions that contravene the country's international obligations and pose a threat to Georgian democracy. It emphasized the importance of upholding human rights, fostering inclusivity, and advancing gender equality to ensure the progress and prosperity of the nation.