US Embassy Hosts Fifth ‘Women in Policing’ Conference (March 1)

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On March 1, the U.S. Embassy’s Office for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs hosted the fifth ‘Women in Policing’ conference.  U.S. Ambassador Ian Kelly and Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Mghebrishvilidelivered opening remarks, followed by a memorial ceremony for Georgian Police Officer Maia Javakhishvili, a 2013 Women in Policing conference participant who was killed in the line of duty in December 2015.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and organized in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, the 5th Women in Policing Conference is the largest ever, attended by over 250 female police officers from 18 countries. The purpose of this conference is to empower, inspire and educate women police officers with specifically tailored training on leadership and professional development skills essential to advancing in their careers and maximizing their contributions to their profession. This year the conference will also provide training in defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, child abuse, child exploitation investigation, crisis negotiations and other courses.wipcombo

This is the latest initiative by the U.S. Embassy’s Office for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to promote women’s inclusion and advancement in Georgia’s and regional law enforcement structures.  The U.S. Department of State is proud to integrate gender equality and women’s issues into its diplomatic, security, humanitarian, and development efforts in Georgia and around the world.

Ambassador Kelly’s comments to journalists

Ambassador Kelly: “It’s a great honor for me to participate in this conference on such an important topic. I think it highlights the growing importance of Georgia as a regional platform for conferences and for important trainings and of course this is an extraordinary conference that brings together 250 women officers from 18 countries as far west as Canada and as far east as Indonesia.”

In response to a question on incidents between religious communities in Adigeni district.

Ambassador Kelly: “I’m not aware of that specific incident.. What I will say is that such incidents are absolutely deplorable and have no place in a democratic inclusive society, the kind of society that Georgia is striving for and I know that this is absolutely not going to contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance that that everybody including the government would like to have.”

In response to a question on whether the Ambassador is following developments around Maestro TV

Ambassador Kelly: “Yes, we are following it very closely, because we are very concerned of course about having an atmosphere particularly in the election year, where all voices are able to be heard and all political players have access to the media. And so of course we are following it very closely.”

In response to a question on the attack on Alex Petriashvili

Ambassador Kelly: “I don’t have any comment about the ongoing investigation, except to say that of course we were absolutely shocked to hear about this attack and of course we wish Alex a very speedy recovery. And I know that the government takes this attack on such a prominent politician very seriously.”