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The International Day for Tolerance in Georgia

Starting from 2006, the Public Defender of Georgia and the Tolerance Centre have been celebrating the International Day of Tolerance.

To mark this day, the Tolerance Centre, jointly with religious and ethnic minority organisations, convenes annually a briefing and presents a special report on trends and tendencies, as well as violations and systemic problems existing in this area.

The Tolerance Centre commission’s special billboards and publicity materials displayed during one month in underground stations and public transport.

Starting from 2007, Samtskhe-Javakheti has hosted the Festival of Tolerance held under the auspices of the Public Defender and organised by NGOs active in this field. The Tolerance Centre is actively involved in organisational arrangements and holding of the Festival.


On November 16, 2010, the Public Defender of Georgia hosted an event dedicated to the International Day for Tolerance.
 
The event was opened by the Public Defender of Georgia, George Tugushi, and the Head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Georgia, James McGoldrick.
 
The Public Defender gave a talk which reviewed the achievements and problems which were observed in the area of tolerance during 2010 in Georgia.  
 
George Tugushi named and awarded the winners of the journalistic competition “Tolerance and Diversity”: the first place winner Levan Sutidze (Tabula) for his article “Facing the Mecca, with Heart Yearning for Homeland”; the second place winner Eka Chitanava (Liberali) for her article “An Unrecognized Minority”; and the third place winner Malkhaz Chkadua (InterPressNews) for his article “Georgian Azerbaijan”.
 
The Councils of National Minorities and of Religions of the Public Defender’s Office awarded the  “Supporters of Tolerance” – the persons, organizations and media outlets that have made a particular contribution to the development of the culture of tolerance in Georgia.
 
The event which was organized by the Tolerance Center of the Public Defender’s Office and held with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) was attended by representatives of the Georgian government, diplomatic missions, and international, non-governmental and religious organizations. 
 
About the International Day for Tolerance 
 
The International Day for Tolerance is marked every year as a reminder of the necessity of respect, dialogue and cooperation among cultures and civilizations. The International Day for Tolerance was first marked in 1996 on the initiative of the UN General Assembly. On November 16, 1995, the UNESCO had adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.
 
The persons, organizations and media outlets that made a particular contribution to the development of the culture of tolerance in Georgia 
 
The Council of Religions:
 
Gogi Gvakharia – Film critic
 
For years, he has been shattering the Soviet, nationalist, and fundamentalist stereotypes with his work – both with his publications and TV and radio projects, trying to establish a culture of personal freedom, diversity, and tolerance in Georgia.
 
Ilia State University
 
At this stage, this university is one of the most outstanding educational institutions which considers research into different religious traditions as a part of its scientific activities and contributes to the encouragement of dialogue among religions. With this aim, Ilia State University has created the Faculty of Theology in which students belonging to both the Orthodox Church and other confessions are enrolled. Ilia State University often holds scientific conferences connected with the research of relations between religions and denominations. The faculty and students of Ilia State University are striving actively to establish a culture of tolerance in Georgia.
 
Liberali and Tabula magazines
 
Liberali and Tabula are important publications in Georgia which cover the issues related to ethnic and religious minorities objectively. Since this is the first award-giving ceremony for media outlets, the Council of Religions has agreed to award the title of “Supporter of Tolerance” to both magazines – Liberali and Tabula. 
 
The Council of Ethnic Minorities
 
Emil Adelkhanov – Human rights advocate
 
Emil Adelkhanov was a dissident and was engaged in advocacy work in the Soviet period. He is still an active defender of human rights. It is the protection of the interests of ethnic and religious minorities, as well as of refugees and different vulnerable groups, that constitutes the most important part of his activities.
 
The UN Association of Georgia
 
The UN Association of Georgia has implemented a number of important projects with the aim of contributing to civil integration in Georgia, including the four-year National Integration and Tolerance program in Georgia. They have created the website diversity.ge – the first electronic data base on the ethnic minorities living in Georgia. The support of the UN Association of Georgia for the Council of Ethnic Minorities of the Public Defender’s Office deserves a special mention.      
 
Chveni Ezo (Our Yard) program of the Public Broadcaster of Georgia
 
Chveni Ezo (Our Yard) is a weekly talk show of the Public Broadcaster which constantly covers the problems of ethnic minorities and contributes to the highlighting of their culture. Representatives of ethnic minorities, among other guests, take part in the program on a regular basis.  

Magazine Solidaroba

Ethnics in Georgia

Religions in Georgia

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The website was produced with the support from the United Nations Development Programme     
 


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