On 21 and 22 July 2015, the Council of Europe, in co-operation with local authorities, organized two information meetings on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages for the speakers of the Kist/Chechen, Ossetian, Avar and Udi languages residing in Akhmeta and Kvareli Municipalities in Kakheti.
When acceding to the Council of Europe in 1999, Georgia committed itself to signing and ratifying the Charter. As one of the key conventions of the Council of Europe, the Charter aims to protect traditionally used minority languages as part of the country’s cultural heritage.
The events informed representatives of local authorities and Kist/Chechen, Ossetian, Avar and Udi speakers about how the Charter will help them protecting their languages. They also provided Kist/Chechen, Ossetian, Avar and Udi speakers with an opportunity to present the current situation and medium-term perspectives of their languages. During the discussions, representatives of the Kist/Chechen, Ossetian, Avar and Udi speakers as well as local authorities voiced support for the ratification of the Charter by Georgia.
The meetings took place in the framework of the EU/Council of Europe Joint Programme “Civic Integration of National Minorities in Georgia and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages”. Similar events will be organised in Bolnisi (Kvemo Kartli region) for the speakers of the Azerbaijani language as well as for the local authorities in September 2015.
This project is part of the European Union - Council of Europe Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Eastern Partnership countries.