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The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 24
Our government's priority is the human - Prime Minister

“Our government's priority is the human - human life and health,” Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said at the Global Conference on Health Challenges in the 21st Century: Georgia and the World.

He said that the government took a number of steps to ensure access to health services.

"Our government's priority is the human - human life and health, and we have taken a number of steps to ensure that medical services are accessible and of an ever-improving quality. I am proud to say that our country has been successful in the universal healthcare program, and today every citizen is provided with medical care,” said the Prime Minister.

The head of the government stressed that the universal health care program has laid the foundation for the strengthening of primary health care.

Georgian President concerned by Mali terror attack

Tbilisi is saddened by the terror attack in the capital city of Mali that claimed the lives of 19 people.

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili condemned terrorism and said Georgia stood by the international community in terms of "fighting the threat” in a special statement.

"On November 20, the world witnessed another terrible act of terrorism,” Margvelashvili said.

"The attacks on peaceful civilians in Bamako, Mali, have confirmed that terrorism has no nationality and religion. There were people of different origin and religion among the attack victims.”

The President offered his condolences to the families of the victims on behalf of the Georgian people.

He also believed the special operation had made it clear that united efforts against terrorism were of "utmost significance”.

"Many hostages were set free thanks to international cooperation,” Margvelashvili said.

"Georgia condemns any form of terrorism and stands with the international community in fighting the threat.”

UNESCO Names September 28th Access to Information Day

On the 17th of November 2015, the UNESCO General Conference voted in favor of designating 28th of September as International Day for the Universal Access to Information. It should be highlighted that the resolution was pushed and initiated by African civil society groups and African countries.

It is noteworthy that since 2002, different countries worldwide have been celebrating Freedom of Information Day. The celebration of the day on annual basis was initiated by the Freedom of Information Advocates Network during the conference in Sofia, on September 26th-28th 2002. The said date in contrast with the International Day for the Universal Access to Information established by the UNESCO Resolution was of non formal character as it was mainly celebrated by Freedom of Information Advocates and civil society groups.

The UNESCO Resolution once again emphasizes the importance and necessity of access to information in the process of developing truly democratic societies. In addition, the document highlights that to date there remain many challenges to be faced; access to information is still not guaranteed in many countries even at basic legislative levels. UNESCO hopes that the given initiative will support the process of raising public awareness and will serve as a message on the international arena supporting the need of ensuring access to information to the highest level possible. According to the statement of the organization, the date of the 28th of September will have a symbolic character and on the given day different activities, conferences, public discussions and other awareness raising activities will be organized on the international level.

The Resolution invites all Member States, United Nations system organizations, and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society - including non-governmental organizations - to celebrate the date each year by taking active participation in different awareness raising activities.