IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Resolutions and statements adopted at the sixth Annual Assembly of EaP CSF, Batumi, Georgia
Eight resolutions and two statements from working groups and one Youth Side event resolution were adopted during the second day of the 6th EaP Civil Society Forum in Batumi, 20-21st of November. A brief outline of the resolutions and full texts are presented below:
1.Statement on the Joint Principles for establishment of the civil society platforms between the European Union and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia calls immediately to launch multilateral political consultation regarding the formation of Civil Society Platforms under Association Agreements addressing the EU Council, European Commission, European Parliament, EEAS, and the government of three EaP countries-AAs signatories, three respective National Platforms of EaP Forum to establish a multilateral Task Force with the aim to solve dispute over its composition in Ukraine, and to ensure that such disagreements will not be replicated in the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.
2. Resolution The 6th Annual assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) welcomes the efforts of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum to elaborate common positions in the spheres of human rights, social justice, democracy, and the rule of law. The Resolution invites individual civil society organizations in the EaP CSF to maintain links with the EU-Russia CSF and support its activities in strengthening Civil Society in Russia and the EU. It also calls to support the development of civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries by developing cooperation of the working group in the common fields such as media freedom or the legal environment.
3. Resolution on media war by the Russian Federation expresses Forum’s concern over the overwhelming presence of Russian propaganda in Ukrainian TV-channels, printed and online media. EaP-CSF urges the European Commission to consider imposing sanctions and travel bans to the EU on leading figures in the Russian broadcast media which are controlled by the authorities
4. Resolution on Forum membership calls on National Platforms and Working groups to expand the participation of local non-governmental organizations through membership campaigns which would bring new organisations into the Platforms and Working groups and reach out to organizations which were once active but which have ceased to participate in the CSF over the years. The assembly also calls on the National Platform and Working Group leaderships to ensure that only genuinely independent non-governmental organizations participate in their platforms important as non-independent NGOs (GONGOs) have made distressing inroads into the platforms in some member countries.
5. Resolution ‘On the support of human rights activists Elena Tonkacheva’ calls on the institutions and states of the EU and the Eastern Partnership, other international bodies and institutions to demonstrate principles and insistence on democratic values, human rights and freedoms, to express their position on the decisions of Belarusian authorities, provide necessary support to Elena Tonkacheva and stop the expulsion of human rights activist from Belarus.
6. Recommendations of the 6th Civil Society Forum on better protection of minority rights in the Eastern Partnership process. On a policy level to increase efforts to ensure that minority and indigenous rights are a distinctive part of the political association, with greater visibility in forthcoming presidencies, also include a detailed assessment of key issues on the rights and situation of minorities and indigenous groups in in Progress Reports, VLAP reports and Action Plans and integrate anti-discrimination efforts in areas such as legislation and institutional structures more effectively with minority and indigenous concerns.
7. Resolution on effective implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People in the Eastern Partnership countries (in RU) calls to develop and identify the concrete measures and proposals targeting the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People and become a proposed working plan for the activities of the Forum. See original in Russian.
8. Resolution on the actions of the Russian Federation in the Eastern Partnership Countries calls on the Russian Federation to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Eastern Partnership States Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine within their internationally recognized borders and to respect the foreign policy choices of the EaP countries and accept their European and Euro-Atlantic integration path as a decision by the sovereign nations to be respected.
Working group 3 issued a Statement on Environmental Governance in the EaP region calling the EaP governments to ensure good environmental governance as the main task of the environmental reform within the EU-EaP cooperation and asking to pay particular attention to fulfilling provisions of the Aarhus and Espoo Conventions and the Protocols thereto and stressing the need of implementation of those provisions of the AA Environmental chapters; providing for institutional and organizational mechanisms for the implementation of these provisions and awareness-raising and capacity building to enable Governments, public, NGOs, business, academia and all other stakeholders to understand and cooperate on implementation of the AA Environmental chapters.
Working group 5 adopted a Statement concerning the Social & Labour Policies and Social Dialogue in EaP region and called on the EaP sides of the future bilateral Civil Society Platforms to strive to achieve a broad-based civil society representation that must include social partners among its members and stressed that aiming at developing the capacities of the social partners will be key for a successful implementation of the AA and for the approximation of the Eastern Neighbours' countries with the European Social Model, based on structured industrial relations relying on strong social partners.
The Resolution of a Youth Conference of the Eastern Partnership (Youth Side Event) regarding solving the conflicts and political repression in the countries of Eastern Partnership condemns the Russian aggression regarding Ukraine and expresses its solidarity with Ukrainian people while appealing to the international community for active involvement in solving the conflict. The Resolution condemns the conflicts in other regions of Eastern Partnership as well as expresses concern following the continuing political repressions in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus. See original in Russian.
The Resolution from the National Platform of Armenia and the Resolution on the ongoing crackdown in Azerbaijan civil society were not adopted by the Forum Assembly.
Regarding the incident that took place during the side event exhibition 'Behind the Scenes: Human Rights in Azerbaijan' presented by the Czech Organizations People in Need and NESEHNUTÍ the Steering Commitee issued a statement condemning the behaviour of several members of the delegation of the National Platform of Azerbaijan who attempted to disrupt an exhibition of posters.