Together for People and Planet
EU and UNDP Bring Young People Together to Celebrate Human Rights and Climate Action.
Hundreds of young people united in the picturesque town of Lagodekhi in eastern Georgia on 6 and 7 October to champion human rights, equality, inclusion, climate-smart development, and Georgia’s European aspirations.
The European Union (EU) and UNDP, in partnership with Lagodekhi Municipality, presented the captivating People & Planet Festival, conveying a powerful message about the pivotal role of individual and collective actions in shaping a sustainable society that prioritizes both people and the planet. The event placed particular emphasis on the active involvement of youth in shaping the future of their country.
The event also showcased the substantial support provided by the European Union to Georgia and its citizens, spotlighting several flagship EU-funded initiatives undertaken in partnership with UNDP.
“At UNDP, we believe that by empowering young people, we are sowing the seeds for a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future for all. Working hand in hand with the European Union and our national partners, we are reaching out to every region of Georgia to inspire positive change and amplify the voices of Georgia’s youth.”-Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Georgia.
“The European Union is committed to supporting Georgia on its path towards sustainable development. By engaging with the youth and focusing on human rights and climate action, we are nurturing the next generation of leaders who will drive positive change for people and the planet.”-Daniel Rackowski, Attaché for Civil Society and Democracy at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
The People & Planet Festival offered a range of engaging activities such as outdoor games for youth, a photography masterclass for young visual artists, and a Human Rights Talk centred around the right to education, presented by esteemed Georgian public figures, including:
- Lado Apkhazava, a teacher from the Guria region, recognized as one of the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize and the first recipient of the National Teacher Prize.
- David Gorgiladze, a prominent writer, journalist, and television host.
- Leli Blagonravova, a renowned photo artist celebrated for her documentary and editorial photography.
The Lagodekhi People’s Theatre dazzled the audience with an educational puppet show titled “How Words Can Harm,” featuring endearing puppets that conveyed important lessons on data privacy and digital security.
The event culminated in a spirited Boccia game, a paralympic sport played by athletes with physical disabilities. Two remarkable teams from Lagodekhi and Sighnaghi municipalities showcased their unique sporting talents, inviting the audience to celebrate inclusion and dismantle stigma and stereotypes.
The People & Planet Festival brought together decision-makers, local communities, representatives from civil society, and the private sector. Along with the EU and UNDP representatives, the event was hosted by Jondo Mdivnishvili, Lagodekhi Municipality Mayor, and Nino Batiashvili, Deputy Mayor. Notable attendees included H.E. Vesselin Petrov Valkanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to Georgia; Marcos Granados Gómez, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Kingdom of Spain to Georgia; Niko Tatulashvili, Human Rights Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia; Lia Gigauri, First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality; Nikoloz Popiashvili, Chief of Staff at the Personal Data Protection Service, along with other officials.
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