National Youth Reproductive Health Forum held in Tbilisi
By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, July 8A National Youth Reproductive Health Forum, hosted by the EU/UNFPA co-funded project Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in the South Caucasus (RHIYC) and the Committee of Healthcare and Social Issues of the Parliament of Georgia, was held in the Hotel Sympatia on July 7. According to project officials, the National Youth RH Forum, which is held annually, gives all stakeholders (representatives of the legislative and executive branches, non-Governmental organisations, independent experts, medical professionals and youth) the opportunity to meet and discuss the existing situation, policy and strategies, to elaborate country visions and agree on future strategies to address challenges in the field of youth sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The main topics of the forum were the role and plans of the United Nations Population Fund in implementing the Millennium Development goals in Georgia, the successes, challenges and lessons learnt from the RHIYC project in Georgia, the adolescents reproductive health survey, the national concept on harmonious and healthy education, project sustainability, priorities and partnership aspects and the concept of youth reproductive health and rights in Georgia’s legal environment, appropriate policy and objectives.
Vice Chairman of the Georgian Parliament Gigi Tsereteli, who also attended the Forum, said “A lot has been already done by the project, but some things still remain to be completed, which need solid funds. Despite the efforts of many Governmental and non-Governmental organisations, the indicators in this field remain concerning. Now it is up to the Government to pay attention to implementing specific projects. As for the South Caucasus Initiative, I think the Government institutions have been very effective; we have tried to spread our enthusiasm to local government bodies.”
“The European Commission is very committed to health issues and reproductive health issues in particular. Reproductive health issues have been discussed many times and a lot of different events have been organised over the 3 years of the project to discuss different issues and raise awareness,” Martin Klaucke, head of the Operations Section at the European Commission Delegation to Georgia, said.
Tamar Khomasuridze, the Head of the UNFPA Georgia Country Office stressed the necessity of holding a forum on reproductive health issues. “The subject of our forum is very important as it concerns youth health, and therefore the future of the country. If it were not for the funding of the European Union, the implementation of this huge project in three countries Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, would have been impossible,” she said.