EU-Georgia Human Rights Dialogue: Joint press release

News and Press Release
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16 December 2009, Brussels

On 16 December 2009 the second round of the Human Rights Dialogue between Georgia and the European Union took place in Brussels. This second round was preceded by a civil society seminar last month in Tbilisi. As of today, European Union is engaged in dedicated human rights discussions with over thirty countries around the world.

The EU-Georgia Human Rights Dialogue was held in a collaborative and open atmosphere, with an exchange on a wide range of issues of mutual interest and concern, as well as discussions on possibilities for concrete cooperation in the field of human rights.

The Georgian delegation was headed by Mr. Alexander Nalbandov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, and included Mr. Akaki Minashvili, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, together with other representatatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the Parliament of Georgia, the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, the Ministry of Refugees and Accomodation of Georgia, the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia, as well as the Georgian Office of the State Minister for Reintegration, the Tbilisi City Court and the Mission of Georgia to the EU. The EU delegation was headed by Mr. Jan Axel Nordlander, Sweden's Ambassador for Human Rights, and included Ms Riina Kionka, the Personal Representative for Human Rights of the High Representative, Mr. Rolf Timans, Head of Human Rights Unit at the European Commission and Ms. Silvia Escobar, Spain's Ambassador for Human Rights as incoming Presidency of the EU.

The agenda for the Human Rights Dialogue provided for a follow-up of the Civil Society Seminar on Media Freedom and IDPs, discussions on the national framework for the protection of human rights including the reform of the judicial system and the enforcement of national human rights legislation. The agenda also included a part on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Cooperation in international fora for the protection of human rights was also on the agenda.

Before the dialogue the EU delegation had been briefed by civil society and international organizations active in Georgia.

The EU and Georgia agreed to hold the next EU-Georgia Human Rights Dialogue meeting in 2010, and to arrange a second civil society seminar before the meeting.