NGOs statement in response to the statement made by Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Georgia
This statement is to react on the report broadcasted on April 22, 2013 in the evening news of TV Channel 9 covering ongoing debates on Khudoni hydropower plant construction project in Svaneti.
We have drawn attention to the extremely indecent statement made by Mr, Kakha Kaladze, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, regarding non-governmental organizations which are critical towards construction of Khudoni HPP. Mr. Kaladze namely stated that: “the future of the country cannot be compromised in favor of any non-governmental organization and foreign funding they receive to suspend the projects”.
We have been astonished by such an erroneous interpretation of the role the civil society plays in defining the policies and decision-making processes in general, especially that it was made by such high-level governmental official as Mr. Kaladze who at the same time holds the position of first deputy Prime Minister of Georgia. The positions of the government and the civil society (or a part of it) may often be contradictory and this is natural for the democratic governance. Therefore, unjustified accusations and various conspiracy theories brought by Mr. Kaladze in response to NGOs’ criticism are absolutely intolerable. We regret if the Georgian Government intends to apply similar rhetoric with the civil society in the future.
Linking NGOs’ criticism with obscure financial interests is especially surprising from the side of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources whereas senior officials of the very same ministry had private commercial interest in the energy sector until very recently; the Georgian society has not yet seen an unambiguous indication of them leaving shares in the energy companies.
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
Transparency International – Georgia
Human Rights Center
Open Society Georgia Foundation
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung representation in Georgia
Svaneti Tourism Center
Guram Tikanadze Svaneti Youth Center
Newspaper “Samkhretis Karibche”
Association for Civil Society Development of Georgia
Kutaisi Information Center
Teachers’ Union “Education and Universe“
Article 42 of the Constitution
Coalition “Public Defender”
Georgian Green Movement / Friends of Earth – Georgia
Economic Policy Research Center
Meokhi – 2010
Georgian Trade Union Confederation
Human Rights and Social Justice Research Center
Association for Protection of Farmers’ Rights
Caucasus Ecology Fund