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R-CSN gives recommendations to the government of Georgia

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Tuesday, January 29
Last week, Regional Civil Society Network (R-CSN) released a special statement regarding the ongoing processes in the country and provided some recommendations to the newly elected administration.

A statement, signed by twenty one CSOs, assesses the past four months since the parliamentary elections took place in Georgia, and states with regard to the current cohabitation challenges: “instead of aiming for co-existence and development, the only thing we are observing is a fulfillment of the ‘order of society to restore justice.”

According to the statement there is a dangerous tendency to disrupt the activities of local governments, divergent responses on issues of minority rights provided by different state institutions, and questions about the effectiveness and fairness of the personnel policy within the public sector.

The statement recalls the time of the previous government, which despite their success in many areas, did not open the door for participation of civil society in the development processes and so isolated itself. This manifested in systematic errors, selective justice, politically motivated human resource management in public sector and lack of transparency.

“Under these circumstances, it would be better if the government focuses on the analysis of systemic problems. Without passing this stage, the detention of those suspected of minor crimes are given the impression that their detention is based on political revenge. It is worth mentioning that without systemic analysis the new government has been given the opportunity to carry out selective justice. The public interest is not just punishing individuals working within system, but the abolishment of an unfair system,” the statement says.

R-CSN calls for the following actions:
• They call on the Government of Georgia to launch a dialogue with society about the possible ways of future development; to involve civil society organizations into the establishment of reform concepts for different state institutions; and to inform society about existing views.
• To create a commission/working group which will create a platform for "restoring justice" within a short period of time. The Commission/working group has to select firm criteria based on which“restoration of justice” will be performed and which will exclude suspicion of political persecution against the arrested;
• To terminate interference in the activities of local self-government and to set up a mediation tool, which will investigate cases and ensure problem solving via the involvement of stakeholders;
• To establish efficient human resource policy for the public sector which must be based on principles of professionalism and not political preferences;
• Ensure the protection of human rights regardless of ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation.

Members of the CSO regional network express their readiness to do their part in ensuring the democratic development of Georgia is irreversible. They are ready to take part in discussions, offer their experience and expertise and work with all stakeholders in a constructive manner, pooling efforts together towards political stability and the pro-Western development of Georgia and this call is addressed to the authorities, opposition, civil society and the international community.

The R-SCN project began last year and is being carried out by CiDA. It also enjoys the support of USAID's Policy, Advocacy and Civil Society Development in Georgia (G-PAC) project. The goal of the network is to consolidate the efforts and resources of the regional organizations and its activists to monitor the problems occurring in various places in the regions of Georgia and find adequate solutions locally.