UN official encourages Georgia’s reforms

UNDP Administrator has today visited Georgia within her official tour to South Caucasus.
Agenda.ge, 01 Oct 2014 - 12:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

A top United Nations (UN) official is praising Georgia’s reform progress and encouraging the country to continue along this path and is offering the Georgian Government support to do so.

The Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark has offered the Georgian Government a new cooperation plan that will support the country as it continued developing. The UNDP leader has today met Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze.

Clark noted that Georgia had made "significant steps forward” in the past few years.

"We are pleased that Georgia pursued such important reforms. It is particularly delightful that inclusive development policy is being carried out. Georgia has established a comprehensive strategy for the protection of human rights, which will become the cornerstone of the country’s development,” she said.

The UNDP helped Georgia with its democratic governance, economic development, environmental protection and crisis prevention and recovery.

During her meeting with the Georgian Prime Minister, Garibashvili stressed the importance of peaceful resolution of conflicts and spoke about the UNDP humanitarian activities taking place in villages near the occupation line.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili today. Photo by PM's press-office

The sides also discussed economic issues and evaluated related Governmental reforms, and Georgia’s economic growth rate was encouraged.

Garibashvili thanked Clark for UNDPs support that resulted in the successful implementation of a number of reforms, and for its contribution to the country’s development.

Foreign Minister Panjikidze further expressed her gratitude for the work that was being carried out to improve the humanitarian situation for those who lived near Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia.

"We have expressed hope that this cooperation will further deepen. What is being done in Abkhazia should also be carried out in the occupied region of South Ossetia,” Panjididze believed.

"We have expressed hope that cooperation in all the directions that are important for the UN, such as humanitarian issues or construction of democratic institutions, judicial reform and protection of environment, will continue,” Panjikidze noted.

Earlier, the UN top official met with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and spoke with the Georgian official about the achievements and challenges of Georgia’s development and UNDP’s role in supporting the democratic transformation of the country.

The situation in the country’s breakaway regions as well as the necessity of the humanitarian aid for those living behind the barbed wire fences installed by Russian occupants in Georgia’s Tskhinvali region were also heavily discussed during the meeting.

Helen Clark Also visited the President's Administration and met Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. Photo by President's press office

The UN official stressed the importance of inclusive economic development and noted Georgia’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) deal with the European Union would significantly increase new investment opportunities for the country.

The UNDP Administrator and the Georgian President also discussed ways to reduce unemployment, encourage small and medium businesses and support agricultural development.

Clark’s visit to Georgia was part of her official tour to the South Caucasus. She first visited the country in February 2013 when she pledged UNDP’s increased support to democratic reforms in the justice sector, human rights area, economic development and environmental sustainability.

Clark became the Administrator of the UNDP - the third-highest UN position - in 2009 and was the first woman to lead the organisation. Before her UN role she served three terms as Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The UNDP is the UN’s global development network, which advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It provides expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries.

Clark’s visit was short and she has already left Georgia.