Speaker met with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
The Speaker, David Usupashvili hosted the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs,Jeffrey Feltman, serving the working visit to Georgia. The parties discussed ongoing issues in Georgia and in the region and discussed the programs, implemented under the aegis of UN. The Speaker expressed his gratitude to the guest for support UN constantly renders to Georgia and emphasized UN programs bearing benefits for the country.
Mr. Feltman spoke about the role of the Parliament in political life of the country. He congratulated the Speaker with the awards granted to Georgia several months ago as the transparent and accessible Parliament. In the end, the guest underlined support by UN to Georgia and stated that the programs held by UN will further be actively implemented.
Reception in the Parliament on behalf of the Chairman
In view to celebrate continuity and heredity of the legislative authority, the reception for the Members of the 8th and the 9th Parliaments was held in the Parliament on behalf of the Chairman. The event was held on the International Tolerance Day and thus, the incumbent and newly elected MPs underlined necessity of respect and dialogue between the different people.
The Chairman of the Parliament, Mr. David Usupashvili addressed the attendees. According to him, the Parliament Palace has witnessed the number of significant events during the decades, though this meeting is unique as “today, we hold the event to celebrate continuity and heredity of the legislative authority”.
This meeting underlines that regardless of party affiliation and success or failure in the elections, all of us serve for our country – Georgia. “State service is not a privilege or an award, it is the honorary labor and we shall all be committed for this labor and devotion”. According to him, the 8th Term was quite interesting. “It was the first coalitional majority in Parliamentary history, it was the multiparty, mixed Parliament, similar to Georgian society”.
The new Parliament will also be dignified as one political party is to have the Constitutional majority which on the one hand allows the Parliament making more decisions with less problems but also obliges each and every MP to make the hereof decisions reasonably to prevent mistakes.As the Chairman stated, it is symbolic that this meeting is held on International Tolerance Day. “On Tolerance Day, incumbent and newly elected MPs gather here to celebrate this day because we are different, we have different political affiliations and views but we are here together to serve for our country”.
He thanked Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili on behalf of the 8th Term for his cooperation along with his team, the Government in favor of the country. The Chairman also thanked the MPs of the 8th Term and wished good luck to MPs of the 9th Term. The Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Ms. Eka Beselia noted that the Parliament traditionally celebrates the Tolerance Day not only in symbolic manner but in contextual terms as well, though this day is still unique. “In the format of this day we had an interesting meeting to celebrate this day along with the mixture of the new political culture, which as I presume, will be a good tradition and will enrich and diverse our country”. It is important not only for the Parliament but for the society as well to together create tolerant area. “Tolerance is one of the most important principles and foundation allowing harmony, co-existence and more love, more kindness in the world in general and amongst us, in our country, which has particular traditions in this regards”. The First Deputy Chairperson, Ms. Manana Kobakhidze also addressed the attendees and stated that the Parliament Palace has witnessed the number of events and heredity shall be maintained. “Certain traditions were always maintained in this premise and they shall be further maintained and adhered to and this will be one of the most important traditions when the old Parliament gives path to and congratulates the new Parliament”.
She thanked the Chairman in person for 4-year activity and stated that Mr. Usupashvili was the Chairman of the best Parliament which is commonly agreed by all the colleagues from the position or the opposition. “I personally, learned a lot from him, as from the politician and from the person. And in capacity of the First Deputy Chairman, I can state that these four years were the best in terms of cooperation with Mr. Usupashvili. I would like to wish him good luck in his future activity”.
In the end, the 8t Term MPs were granted with the memorable badges. The reception was attended by MPs of the 8th and the 9th Terms, the PM, Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Government members, Chair of CEC, Public Defender, representatives of the NGOs participating in Open and Transparent Governance Permanent Parliamentary Council and other invited guests.
The Chairman of the Parliament opened the Italian Library
The Chairman, Mr. David Usupashvili, the Ambassador of Italy to Georgia, H.E. Antonio Enrico Bartoli and the Secretary General of the National Library of the Parliament, Mr. Giorgi Kekelidze opened the Italian Library.
Prior to opening, the Chairman visited the rehabilitation works of the Blocks I and II of the National Library. He addressed the attendees and noted that this day is “European integration in practice, our aspiration to the reality of the European family”.
It is best felt in the National Library that Georgia, having the rich, original national culture is the part of the larger, European civilization and Christian culture. “This day is European integration in practice, our aspiration to European family in reality as today we open one more significant corner in this building – Italian library named after the person who created the first printed Georgian book and it was 400 years ago when Italian and Georgian public figures and scribes cared about inter-relation of our two countries, two nations”.
He spoke about the merit of the people facilitating to friendship between Georgia and Italy and noted that the particular merit was contributed by the Ambassador Bartoli. He thanked the Secretary General and the employees of the National Library. “I would like to express particular gratitude to the employees of the Library, to Mr. Kekelidze who are constantly committed for novelties, aspired to contribute something new for this institution – National Library which in terms of its context, is much larger and it will be even clearly demonstrated soon when we will set this premise, these places, the offices to operation and I am glad that I represent the Parliament which despite of hard situation and against the background of other needs and priorities of the country, have managed to raise funds to enhance, arrange this building to allow implementation of important ideas – Book Museum, Alphabet Museum, all the offices we have visited today now under rehabilitation”.As the Chairman stated, “it will be one more significant foundation. We not only enhance the foundation of the National Library but enhance the foundation for Georgian statehood because the most important for Georgian statehood is this building followed with the Parliament, Government and all other institutions because it is the basis for our reality and our future”.
The Chairman believes that the 9th Term will allocated more resources for due development of the Library. “Since now on, we have Italian library, German library, French library and Turkish library. Thus, we once more remind to all and first of all to our citizens that yes, we are the part of the world civilization and contribute our mite therein and benefit the values, spiritual food without which none of the nations could exist insulated in the world”.
The meeting of the Speaker with the CoE Secretary General
The Speaker, Mr. David Usupashvili, within the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament, held the meeting with the CoE Secretary General, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland. Mr. Jagland expressed his gratitude for CoE-Georgia productive cooperation.
The Speaker noted that CoE-Georgia relations are effective and productive indeed and cooperation shall further be enhanced in all directions. The parties discussed upcoming Parliamentary elections. As Mr. Jagland stated, multi-party democracy is important for every country.
CoE will further cooperate with Georgia regardless of political spectrum in the new Parliament. The parties touched upon regional issues and challenges for Europe. The Conference in Strasbourg is attended by the Presidents of the Parliaments of 47 member states. The PACE-organized conference is being held once per year to be attended by 350 delegates.
Civil Cooperation Center open in the Parliament
The Speaker, Mr. David Usupashvili opened the Civil Cooperation Center in the Parliament. The event was attended by MPs, Permanent Parliamentary Council for Open and Transparent Governanceand the Advisory Council, as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, NGOs, donor organizations and the Staff.
The Parliament decided to echo the worldwide event – Open Parliament Week. “One year ago, we held a very successful conference in the Parliament of Georgia dedicated to the hereof event attended by MPs from up to 30 countries and we officially noted that prior to the conference, Georgian Parliament was awarded the I Rank Order at Word Forum in Mexico for Parliamentary openness and attempt to affiliate Parliament to people. The Parliament of Georgia has represented not only MPs elected by people but the Parliament has always been open for our citizens to inform the population about the activity and to allow the population share their opinions and positions”.
Parliamentary openness is necessary not only for the citizens to timely be informed but to timely provide their opinions to the Parliament. “It is impossible without a very effective mechanisms and models established in the Parliament. In this view, we have established special working milieu, the Working Group. We have adopted changes to the Rules of Procedure and hence, it is the Inter-Party group based on intact legislative basis, composed of NGOs, civil sector with best experience of relations with the Parliament. We have developed quite an ambitious action plan the basic part of which is implemented and we hope to accomplish some more issues till October 8 to inherit the next convocation with a significant work done. In this regards, today we have decided to institutionally establish the Civil Cooperation Center in the Parliament. Henceforth, it will be open for the organizations interested in cooperation with the Parliament and hold their events in this premise, to meet with MPs, interest groups, to study the issues of their interest, to raise their initiatives and opinions.
The CCC will be the place open for all the organizations willing to cooperate with the Parliament with long-term productive projects. In general, everyone in the Parliament can receive information. Committee sittings are open for attendance, as well as the plenary sessions. As to the CCC, we invite organizations with a concrete profile and concrete activity proved to be useful for the parliament and the interest groups being focal for the hereof organizations. Let me also note that in general, such cooperation between the Parliament and civil sector is not a novelty. We have sundry organizations cooperating with the Parliament.”. He congratulated the society with opening of CCC and hoped for facilitation to development of democratic institutions. “Here we represent various political groups because Parliament belongs to every political party, and today, it will also belong to every citizen. Let me congratulate you and hope the CCC to be one more productive step in terms of institutional development in our country”.
The CCC will be headed by the Staff, providing service, management and all arrangements. The strategic aim of the CCC is capacity building of the Parliament, effective public-private legislative dialogue and facilitation to Parliamentary openness. Within the mandate, CCC activity will envisage Parliament-civil sector effective cooperation and is open for civil and public organizations. The event was held within GLOW annually celebrated on September 12-18 worldwide calling on the civil society and the Parliaments to facilitate to legislative openness and involvement in legislative processes.
The meeting of the Speaker with NATO Secretary General
The Speaker, Mr. David Usupashvili held the bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, heading the North-Atlantic Council Delegation serving the 2-day visit to Georgia.
Mr. Stoltenberg noted that Warsaw Summit underlined strong cooperation between NATO and Georgia. The Summit was confirmation of political support of NATO to Georgia. “It is necessary to enhance practical steps to further approximate Georgia with NATO”.
The Speaker noted that Georgia continues aspiration to NATO and has no right to make mistakes. “The challenges we encounter need close cooperation between Georgia and NATO. So, we even louder knock on the door to NATO. It is our emotional decision, result of a rational and pragmatic analysis”. NATO is not only a military organization but it is a value-based political organization. “We take it serious and thus, continue reforming in all directions”, - the Speaker stated.
Mr. Stoltenberg underlined that NATO-Georgia relations are not unilateral and NATO benefits from Georgia not only in Afghanistan. “We cooperate against the global threat of terrorism”.
The parties discussed forthcoming NATO PA Spring Session scheduled to be held in Tbilisi next year and underlined that the event will be one more confirmation that Bucharest Summit decision is still valid and close cooperation will continue in view of NATO membership.
The parties touched upon pre-election situation and noted that October elections shall be held in peaceful milieu.
After the meeting, the NATO Secretary General and NAC will hold the meeting with the Speaker and MPs.