GEO

The NGO sesponse to the statement made by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

29 April, 2013

We would like to respond to the Channel 9 TV prime time newscast of April 22 dealing with the ongoing discussions over the Khudoni plant construction.

Our attention was drawn to the radically incorrect statement made by Kakha Kaladze, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, addressed to the non-governmental organizations who have been criticizing the Khudoni plant construction. Mr Kaladze markedly said in the TV report that: "The future of our country cannot be sacrificed for some non-governmental organizations and the funding they receive from abroad for certain suspended projects."

Such false understanding of the role which civil society has in defining policy and decision-making raises concern, especially when it concerns high-ranking officials such as Mr. Kaladze, who is furthermore the government’s First Vice Prime Minister. Opinions of the Government and civil society (or its part) rarely match; this is a natural process characteristic of democratic governance. It should therefore be strongly condemned when the government draws on various conspiracy theories when faced with NGO criticism, and decried the criticism as unfounded accusations. It is truly regrettable if the Georgian government is going to use such rhetoric in relationship with civil society.

Linking the concerns expressed by civil society organizations with obscure financial interests sounds even more bizarre when heard from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, which, until recently, was managed by individuals with private commercial interests in the energy sector. The general public has yet to receive a clear answer as to whether or not these interests have been  acknowledged.

 

The Green Alternative

The Georgian Young Lawyers' Association

Transparency International Georgia

The Center for Human Rights

Open Society – Georgia Foundation

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office in Georgia

Svaneti Tourism Centre

The Tikanadze Svaneti Youth Center

The newspaper "South Gate"

Association for Civil Society Development in Georgia

Kutaisi Information Center

Stepantsmida

Union of Teachers 'Education and Peace'

Article 42 of the Georgian Constitution

The "Public Defender" Coalition