Statement of the United Nations in Georgia on the draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence
February 26, 2023
The United Nations in Georgia expresses profound concern that the adoption of the draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence would risk impeding the work of civil society and media and the essential contributions they make to Georgian democracy.
Civil society organizations in Georgia have been at the forefront of delivering essential services to the most vulnerable and helping protect their human rights. Stigmatizing their work risks leaving persons with disabilities, internally displaced, minorities, older persons, women, youth and children, survivors of domestic violence and other people in need without effective assistance and support.
The draft law poses risks to the full respect of freedoms of association and expression, the right to participate in public affairs, the right to privacy and the prohibition of discrimination. Noting Georgia’s current membership of the UN Human Rights Council, we encourage the Parliament of Georgia to seek the legal opinions of competent regional and international bodies, to consider opinions of these bodies on similar legislation, and to conduct broad, inclusive and meaningful consultations with a wide range of stakeholders that could potentially be affected by the adoption of this draft law.
If adopted, such a law is likely to impede the work of the UN to implement the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the country strategy that we have co-signed with the Government of Georgia. The UN has been a trusted partner of Georgia for over three decades, supporting the country’s development in line with Georgia’s own national priorities and assisting the people of Georgia together with all our local partners, including civil society and media.
We urge the Georgian authorities to take all the necessary steps to avoid measures that risk having a chilling effect on Georgian democracy and on the vibrancy and quality of development support to Georgia.