Georgia Defence and Security Conference
Ministry of Defence of Georgia will host the 13th annual Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) on November 6-7 in Batumi, Hotel Hilton.
Over the past thirteen years, Georgia Defence and Security Conference has developed into a unique forum in the region, where key topics related to Euro-Atlantic security and regional stability are addressed by senior Georgian and foreign policy-makers, experts, representatives of non-governmental organizations, media and academic circles.
This year the GDSC will spotlight four interactive themes. The first panel will focus on discussions of the security environment in the Black Sea Region. During the second panel - Georgia on the Right Track- for the NATO and EU Membership – the panelists will share their views about Georgia’s path towards NATO membership. The third panel will be dedicated to discussions of hybrid tactics and hybrid threats and the last one – “Georgia’s Strategic Readiness: From Words to Action”.
For additional information, please, visit the official web-site of the Georgia Defence and Security Conference: http://gdsc.mod.gov.ge/
Irakli Garibashvili Adresses Georgia Defence and Security Conference
It is a great honor for me, as the Minister of Defence, to host you at the 13th Georgia Defence and Security Conference, within which we will be able to discuss the security challenges facing us and to openly discuss ways to resolve them.
First of all, let me begin by commending the efforts of the Ministry of Defence and the active support of our partner countries and organizations. The Conference has established itself as a far-reaching, significant platform for addressing contemporary regional and international defense and security issues.
We live in an era, where our capabilities and opportunities, grow simultaneously with more dynamic and diverse security challenges; hence demanding our constant attention and adequate response. We realize that the world dynamics are more important to us today than ever and we need to have a clear-eyed awareness of that global completion environment that is continuously responding in the political, economic, and military domains.
Within that context the Georgia Defence and Security Conference is focusing this year on the evolving importance and issues related to the security environment in the Black Sea region. We want to spotlight on the NATO commitments to reinforce its eastern borders by enhancing deterrence of the allies, and the role of Georgia in upholding regional stability while contributing to international security efforts.
I am confident that debates and discussions will be of outstanding quality, as we address these issues from the very country whose 20 percent of the territory is occupied by Russian Forces, where the so called ‘borderization’ of the Administrative Boundary Line is ongoing and where Russia continues its destabilizing and destructive malign activities. And this is a geostrategic region of vital importance to many countries:
- Where, since history remembers, East has been meeting the West;
- Where this region has been a major intersection of diverse cultures and routes for various purposes;
- Where the Black Sea region now represents a significant and increasingly vital piece of the overall security puzzle in the Euro-Atlantic security architecture;
- And Where Georgia, as an indivisible part of this picture and a key partner to the U.S. and NATO, is ever developing, is ever-strengthening and is focused on joining the security circle.
On its path towards the NATO and EU membership, with significant support from our strategic partners, Georgia is dedicated to further enhance its transformation process, in order to build a stronger, more efficient and effective defence system, strengthen operational capabilities and to achieve maximum compatibility with NATO in order to protect our territorial integrity and maintain our national sovereignty.
This process hasn’t been easy, against the background of the demanding security situation we face. Nevertheless, we are proud to say that we have been successful in upholding democratic values, rule of law, advancing our defence capabilities and at the same time remaining committed to contributing to international security efforts.
We firmly believe that our Strength is in Unity; unity within Georgia and with our international partnerships. That strength is manifested in our commitment, coherence and consistency. Together, with joint and complementing efforts, we will build a more stable, secure environment for our future generations. The dialogue for the next two days during our planned sessions and during the social interaction outside of the sessions will be important to our collective understanding and our building of that strength. And I look forward to the opportunities presented therein.
Having said this, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to conclude by thanking the personnel of the Ministry of Defence, for their immense efforts to organize this event and all of our partners — the Munich Security Conference, the Royal Institute for the United Kingdom Defense and Security Studies (RUSI), the Polish Embassy, as the NATO Contact Point Embassy in Georgia— for their outstanding support and assistance. We are truly honored and look forward to continued cooperation in the future.
Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation to honorable speakers and Conference attendees. I believe that this year’s GDSC will address pressing issues and generate innovative approaches to the challenges on our common security agenda.
Now I would like to pass the floor to our special honorable guests, who have been strong supporters and dedicated friends of Georgia, whose contributions continue to be vital for Georgia’s development as well as for the development of Georgia’s Defence Forces self-defense and resilience capabilities, Congressman Adam Kinzinger and the Commander of the United States Army Europe, General Christopher Cavoli.
David Zalkaliani has met with the Special Envoy of the Global Engagement CenterWithin the framework of the NATO Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum held in Tbilisi, on 30 October 2019, the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani met with the U.S. Department of States Special Envoy and Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center, Lea Gabrielle.
The parties highlighted the importance of the U.S.–Georgia Strategic Partnership, which has reached an all-time high, to which attests the exchange of high- and highest-level visits, dynamic cooperation in the areas of defense and security, as well as the approval of e Georgia Support Act by the House of Representative.
Paying special attention to the Russia-led ongoing occupation, creeping annexation and illegal borderization process and the human rights violations in the occupied regions, Zalkaliani underscored the urgent need to combat Russian disinformation and propaganda campaigns designed to trigger anti-western sentiments among the Georgian population and skepticism about Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration prospects. He said that Georgia is in need of help from the U.S. and its western partners to combat the occupation and the anti-western campaign.
According to Lea Gabrielle, the U.S. highly appreciates strategic partnership with Georgia and is committed to make this cooperation even more diverse. She said that the U.S. unequivocally supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations and condemns Russia’s illegal occupation of the Georgian territories. Besides, Lea Gabrielle confirmed that the U.S. is ready to share with Georgia its experience.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC) will pay a visit to GeorgiaThe North Atlantic Council (NAC) will pay a visit to Georgia on 3 and 4 October 2019, at the invitation of the Government of Georgia. Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller will head the delegation comprised of Permanent Representatives of the 29 Member States of the Alliance.
Within the framework of the visit, the NATO-Georgia Commission will hold a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Georgia and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO.
The North Atlantic Committee and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, for her part, will hold bilateral meetings with the President of Georgia, Prime Minister, Chairman and members of the Parliament, officials of the Georgian Government. Meetings will be conducted with representatives of the non-governmental sector. The North Atlantic Council will visit two Georgian coast guard vessels in the Batumi Port. On the sidelines of the visit, the Deputy Secretary General of NATO will deliver a lecture at the Batumi State University that is highly important in terms of increasing awareness and involvement of our students, young generation. Chairman of the Ajara Government will also speak before the attending audience.
The NAC pays its fifth visit to Georgia, which is unprecedented in the history of Georgia’s cooperation with the Council’s partner countries and a clear evidence of successively increasing level of relations and intense cooperation between Georgia and the Alliance.
Georgia, as one of the most devoted and interoperable partners of NATO attaches paramount importance to this visit of the North Atlantic Council and its unconditional political support for Georgia’s membership of the Alliance that provides yet another proof of the irreversibility of Georgia’s NATO integration process.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the principal political decision-making body within NATO. Therefore, it is important that its members arrive in Georgia in person, to see for themselves Georgia’s progress in strengthening defence capabilities, as well as in successfully delivering democratic reforms.
In the margins of the visit, discussions will focus on all issues relating to Georgia’s membership of the Alliance with special accent on the political dialogue between NATO and Georgia and on the need to further deepen the practical cooperation, including in terms of strengthening Black Sea Security.
The NAC’s fifth visit will also serve as an important signal to our society. The increasing number of the North Atlantic Council’s visits clearly indicate that there are special links of cooperation between the Alliance and Georgia.
The NAC’s visit, which is held prior to the Summit of NATO Heads of State and Government scheduled for December clearly shows that Georgia as a NATO aspirant country is high on the Alliance’s agenda and is a valuable and reliable partner of NATO.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the principal political decision-making body within NATO chaired by the NATO Secretary General. It brings together representatives of each member country to discuss policy or operational questions.
This visit serves as a powerful signal of the Alliance’s political support for Georgia.
Georgian project to preserve Mutso village settlement is among this year’s Europa Nostra Awards on cultural heritage
In May, Europe’s most prestigious award in cultural heritage – Europa Nostra Awards -announced this year’s winners. Among them were artists and projects from Armenia and Georgia.
The Georgian ‘Fortified Settlement of Mutso’ project is among the winners. It aimed to rehabilitate the settlement around the mountainous village of Mutso in Khevsureti province, which was on the brink of extinction.
The harsh climate, lack of arable land, poor infrastructure together with water shortages led to the depopulation of the village by the middle of the 20th century. Through deterioration and lack of maintenance, this unique village was set to be lost.
Thanks to the efforts of Georgia’s National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation under the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, the project addresses the depopulation of this community – a challenge that is throughout Europe.
“The restoration of this heritage has created an awareness among the local community of their intangible heritage and the history of the people of the Caucasus, in turn encouraging their re-engagement with this heritage”, the award jury noted.
“The continuation of traditional craftsmanship has been prioritised, ensuring its future maintenance. The overcoming of many challenges to the rehabilitation, including the difficult terrain and lack of infrastructure, is commendable.”
The village of Mutso is a remarkable fortified settlement. For centuries, it was the strongest outpost in northern Georgia, controlling the roads and protecting the state border. The village – strikingly integrated in the surrounding landscape from the harmonious use of materials – was inhabited from the 10th century onwards.
The European Heritage Awards/Europa Nostra Awards is funded by the EU’s Creative Europe programme. This year, 25 laureates from 16 countries are recognised for their impressive accomplishments in conservation, research, dedicated service and education, training and raising awareness.
The winners will be honoured at the high-profile European Heritage Awards Ceremony on 29 October in Paris, during the European Heritage Congress.
EU Monitoring Mission illustrates its mandate to local Armenian community
On 9 August, Head of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia Erik Høeg visited Akhaltsikhe in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of the country.
During the visit, Høeg met with representatives of local authorities as well as with civil society, and delivered a public lecture on the 11 years of continued EUMM presence in Georgia.
In his lecture, the Head of Monitoring Mission gave an overview of EUMM objectives and activities, highlighting the role of the Mission in promoting stability and confidence building. The Head of Monitoring Mission stressed the unbiased nature of EUMM reporting, based on the principle of impartiality.
The visit is part of an outreach strategy to increase understanding of the mandate and activities throughout Georgia, including in regions with considerable presence of ethnic minorities.
The visit coincided with EUMM Georgia launching an Armenian and Azeri language version of its homepage – eumm.eu.
The EUMM mandate – defined by EU Member States – covers the whole of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. As part of its normal monitoring activities, EUMM patrols also regularly visit the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.
The EUMM was started in September 2008, following the EU-brokered Six-Point Agreement that ended the August war between Russia and Georgia.
It contributes to the stabilisation, normalisation and confidence building between the conflict parties. The mission provides civilian monitoring of parties' actions, including full compliance with the Six-Point Agreement and subsequent implementing measures throughout Georgia. It also informs European policy – in support of a durable political solution for Georgia.