On April 17, 2015 the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy with the support of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities organized the high level meeting of Taskforce members under the project “Multiparty Dialogue - Strengthening the participation of national minorities in political life”. The Multiparty Taskforce on National Minorities brings together politicians from parliamentary and non-parliamentary political parties and is aimed at discussing and analyzing existing challenges to national minority equality, the measures to increase national minorities’ participation in politics, as well as the possible actions to address the issue.
Mr. Levan Tsutskiridze, NIMD representative in the South Caucasus addressed the audience with the welcome speech and overviewed the aim of the project, planned activities and the possible outcome of it. Mrs. Astrid Thors, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and H.E. Hans P.P.M Horbach, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia identified political participation and representation as one of the key criteria determining national minorities’ level of integration in society.
Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, First Deputy State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality and Mrs. Sopo Sichinava, Central Election Commission of Georgia presented their views on how to ensure better participation of nation minorities in political and public affairs within their respective mandates. Representatives of political parties and civil society once again brought up the issue of access to information, knowledge of Georgian language and lack of political culture for further discussion. The high level meeting gathered members of the Parliament of Georgia, political party representatives and local organizations. Also, Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Council on Ethnic Minorities under the Public Defender’s Office and Central Election Commission of Georgia.