Address of the Prime Minister at the Round Table Meeting Cooperation for Prosperity – Strategy for Future Century Print Version



Distinguished Guests, let me once again greet you all!
Your presence in Georgia is greatest honor to us, as we are all together celebrating 100th Anniversary of the first Democratic Republic of our country.
This date and this year are not only significant for Georgia, as several other countries are also celebrating 100th Anniversary of Independence.
Similar to the past centuries, 100 years have not been any easier for Georgia, as they were full of challenges and fights for freedom. Our country managed to regain independence on 31st March 1991 by paying a huge price of lost lives and within the internationally recognized borders Georgia later endorsed a completely new trajectory of our country on 26th May, which implied the integration of our country in Europe and Euro-Atlantic space.
Historic memory of our country of course counts a great number of fights, though a special one occurred on 26th May 1918, when 100 years ago late Noe Zhordania, Chairman of the Government of the first Democratic Republic of Georgia noted the following in his speech:
"Freedom Act endorsed on 26th May was neither accidental, nor artless. It has not been imposed by any individual, group or party. No, ladies and gentlemen! Freedom Act was a historic necessity and burst out of the hearts of people. It survived destruction... Today we may directly enter the family of European nations without an intermediary. We have already embarked on this path. We will not sidetrack from it by our own will."
These are very important and thrilling words indeed, which express the European aspirations of Georgia, which were valid 100 years ago and we are truly proud that Georgia managed to endorse a genuinely European Constitution based on the principles of democracy during those three years and establish a Parliament granting universal voting right to all irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religion and social standing. First Parliament was elected on the basis of it and equally ensured the civil and political rights within the sovereign borders of the country to all its citizens.
Georgian society back in those days harmoniously absorbed the European democratic values and has remained loyal to them notwithstanding the long soviet occupation.
Georgia remains loyal to European values till present. We are a leader in the family of Easter Partnership in terms of democratic consolidation, protection of human rights, rule of law, good governance, transparency and economic reforms.
Country continues to advance for the attainment of strategic goals of its foreign policy, which is conceptualized in the accession to NATO and EU. These goals have turned into a real basis of transformation. Process of integration to Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures as facilitated the development of almost every field and respectively these are no longer priorities of only our country's foreign policy. These priorities have totally defined the nature of those reforms that are so intensively implemented by our country.
It is utterly important that in the conditions, when there are a great number of challenges all over the world, key aspects of the international agenda in the 21st century are now the global security, fight against terrorism and other challenges, including those of our region. Georgia is a decent member of the civilized community of the world in the fight against these challenges. Of course, similar to many other countries, Georgia has also sacrificed a lot in recent years in the process of fight against these challenges.
Nowadays 20 percent of our country is occupied by the Russian Federation. We have challenges in daily life. 10 years after the Russian-Georgian war and Ceasefire Agreement in 2008, it is very unfortunate that Russia fails on its commitments assumed under the Agreement and makes steps towards actual annexation of integral parts of our country - Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.
Irrespective of the provocations, Georgia consistently pursues a peaceful conflict resolution policy with unshaken support of international community, which is highly appreciated by our society and authorities. We believe that assertive position, shared efforts and consistent approach will enable us to unify our country in a peaceful manner. Economic development, economic reforms, routine building of economic prosperity are indeed very important on this path in our country and we are very intensively implementing this routinely in a great number of areas.
We will remain actively engaged in the fight against main challenges of the 21st century - terrorism and radicalism. Only through the shared efforts of international community it will be possible to overcome these challenges.
We believe that we are celebrating this Anniversary in a very decent manner. We have announced 2018 as a Year of Engagement and Dialogue to make the population an active participant and creator of the current process.
Provision of information to general public and their engagement is very important, especially in the conditions of modern technologies and information revolution, which is witnessed all over the world today.
That is exactly why integration of Georgia to the civilized world, further approximation with EU in particular, accession to NATO, bilateral relations with our partners, extremely important strategic relations of Georgia with the USA, very important strategic relations within our neighborhood are of great importance to carry out a function in the civilized world that Georgia has committed on the grounds of its geo-strategic condition and position, which we carry out in a decent manner.
We greatly hope that when 100 years will pass from the date of soviet occupation in 2021, Georgia will already be a true member of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance. We keep optimistic that civilized community of the world and specifically the NATO will find power to consolidate the essential decisions, which are needed for security in our region and not only in our region, in at a much wider scale. Georgia stands ready to face this challenge. Country works hard on a daily basis to become a true member of both European family and Euro-Atlantic community.
Thank you, friends for being here today. It is very important for us that you share the joy of our people. You have seen the magnitude of celebration of this day in Georgia. Applicable events are planned in every region, every town and city. It makes us very happy that you are together with us irrespective of the heat and slightly hard-to-cope climate conditions.
Thank you for visiting us!