Javakhk Armenians Concur with CE Secretary General Request Meeting

AKHALKALAKI–Representatives of Javakhk Armenian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)–have expressed full agreement with Council of Europe (CE) Secretary General Walter Schwimmer’s calls for a decentralized structure in Georgia–and increased authority to regional and local authorities.

"In recent months–we have appealed to the highest authorities of Georgia–fully supporting certain constitutional reforms that ensure Georgia’s sovereignty and integrity–while establishing a confederate structure," the NGOs stated in a March 11 letter to the Secretary General–which was presented to the CE Information Office in Tbilisi on Wednesday.

During his most recent formal talks with President Saakashvili and other Georgian authorities in late February–Schwimmer advocating a decentralized structure for Georgia–said. "Of course–this means that Council of Europe standards with respect to the rule of law–human rights and pluralist democracy have to be implemented at all levels."

Javakhk’s NGOs–pointing to violations of the Georgia’s constitution–said that the region has been deprived of fundamental human and ethnic minority rights that are not only guaranteed by the Constitution and affirmed by international standards–but also necessary for establishing a democratic and civil society.

"In fact–the process of fulfilling the country’s commitmen’s to the Council of Europe has failed. Rejection of the constitutionally-guaranteed principle of self-governance has left many regions of the country to their fate–resulting in current dangerous developmen’s," the NGOs stressed.

In closing–the NGOs request a meeting with Schwimmer–and state that only a "civilized resolution" to the deep crisis will clarify the region’s administrative borders–and grant autonomy by way of the constitution.

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