MEETING OF SHALVA PAPUASHVILI WITH PABSEC SECRETARY-GENERAL
The Speaker, H.E. Shalva Papuashvili, met with Asaf Hajiyev, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC).
According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, given the current regional issues, Shalva Papuashvili believes that collaboration among Black Sea countries is extremely vital. PABSEC, he says, is an excellent venue for bolstering regional partnerships.
At the meeting, current events in Ukraine and the Black Sea region were discussed. The Russian intervention in Ukraine is expected to have major ramifications for the region and the world, according to the sides.
In modern international relations, the Secretary-General emphasized the necessity of countries' support for each other's sovereignty and the concept of territorial integrity.
The parties emphasized their willingness to continue their positive cooperation in the Black Sea region.
SHALVA PAPUASHVILI: GEORGIA SHALL LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF FREEDOM
"Your Excellencies, I would like to express my gratitude to you for your efforts, for standing in for Georgia throughout the world and defending our country's interests. Think upon the Parliament as your ally” - the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, H.E. Shalva Papuashvili stated at the opening of the Ambassadors Conference 2022.
The Speaker gave a welcome speech to the attendees of the annual convention of Georgia's diplomatic missions overseas. The Speaker focused on the security environment, regional and global concerns, and Georgia's foreign policy priorities. He claimed that 2022 was a challenging year for international relations and that it was in this challenging environment that Georgia had to focus on preserving its borders, growing its alliances, and fostering regional stability, security, and prosperity.
The Speaker focused on the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia and the efforts made by the state on this path. Shalva Papuashvili thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the heads of Georgian diplomatic missions abroad for their work.
"The relationship between Georgia and the EU in 2022 will go down in history. The European perspective that is acknowledged by the European Union has securely sealed for the future Georgia's long-cherished sovereignty and independence, which is the legacy of our ancestors and generations. The state was well-prepared to take on this challenge. The entire nation got engaged after the application for EU membership was submitted. We were able to independently complete the membership application in the least amount of time possible because state agencies and civil employees operated at the highest level. We carry out the EU's proposals with the same level of accountability. We made a significant effort, analyzing the legislative frameworks and practices of Georgia and other nations, initiating, debating, and adopting essential amendments with the help of the Georgian Parliament, state institutions, and civil society. In 2022, the Georgian Parliament passed 30% of the laws necessary to implement the EU's recommendations. We will conclude a number of documents at the spring session, including the draft laws that were given to the Venice Commission and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for review. We anticipate that the European Union will recognize this work in a proper manner", - Shalva Papuashvili remarked.
EU welcomes initiative to lay submarine cable under Black Sea
The EU will be ready to provide financial support for the Black Sea Energy submarine cable project, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on 17 December, attending the signing in the Romanian capital Bucharest of a memorandum of understanding between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary and Romania, which envisages the laying of an underwater electricity cable across the Black Sea.
Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement would bring the European Union closer to its partners in the South Caucasus region, and would help both regions achieve the clean energy transition. “Since the beginning of Russia’s war, we have decided to turn our back on Russian fossil fuels and to diversify towards reliable energy partners, like the partners here around the table. And it is working,” said the European Commission President.
She added the initiative would reinforce energy security in Europe and bring new opportunities to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine: “This project could bring Georgia, a country with a European destiny, great benefits as well. It could transform the country into an electricity hub and integrate it in the EU internal electricity market. Finally, the Black Sea electric cable could also help bring electricity to our neighbours in Moldova and the Western Balkans, and of course to Ukraine – it will help start rebuilding Ukraine’s energy system and the reconstruction of the country.”
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UNRCCA CONVENED ANNUAL MEETING WITH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTERS OF CENTRAL ASIAN STATES
Twelfth annual Meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states, organized by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) with the support of the Government of Turkmenistan, took place on 11 December, 2022, in Ashgabat.
The purpose of the annual meeting was to exchange views on developments and trends affecting peace and security in Central Asia as well as to discuss the cooperation between UNRCCA and the Governments of the region in areas related to preventive diplomacy.
Addressing the meeting, the Special Representative of Secretary-General for Central Asia, Head of UNRCCA, Natalia Gherman underlined that “despite the current challenging global situation, countries of the region maintained regular contacts at different levels, including at the highest political level, to secure cooperation in the security, energy, climate change and other fields”.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of UNRCCA, the Deputy Foreign Ministers appreciated the long-standing partnership and trust, developed over years, between the Governments of the Five Central Asian states and UNRCCA. They expressed support to the activities of the Regional Centre in its priority areas, including preventing extremism and countering terrorism, climate change and water diplomacy as well as dialogues on “Women, Peace and Security” and “Youth, Peace and Security”.
Within the framework of the high-level meeting, the UNRCCA hosted the Fourth Dialogue between the Governments and youth of Central Asia. Ten Preventive Diplomacy Academy participants, representing all five countries of the region, met with the Deputy Foreign Ministers to share their vision on the future of the region.
The Twelfth Meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states concluded a series of events devoted to the 27th anniversary of Neutrality of Turkmenistan and the 15th anniversary of UNRCCA, which took place in Ashgabat on 10-11 December 2022.
SPEECH OF SPEAKER SHALVA PAPUASHVILI AT FIRST PARLIAMENTARY SUMMIT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMEA PLATFORM
Speech of Speaker Shalva Papuashvili at First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform
Zagreb, 25 October 2022
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I am glad, even if with heavy heart, to speak to you at the first Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform among like-minded friends and partners of Ukraine in the period of the most difficult security challenges of modern times.
On February 24, the Ukrainian people woke up under the rain of rockets. This may have caught many people in the West by surprise. But unfortunately, we, Georgians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, have known this all too well for many years now. Georgian people experienced this ruthless invasion in 2008, which is well known, but also in the early 1990s in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region.
We have seen Russian tanks raiding Georgian villages and Russian airplanes bombing our hopes for the better future. We have witnessed hundreds of thousands of people expelled from the homes of their ancestors, escaping the massacre and ethnic cleansing, and finding shelter for their children and loved ones inside the cold walls for many months and years.
There is only one answer from us, which is the same answer we had to Russian invasion in Georgia: we strongly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexations of its regions.
Russia must recognize Ukraine’s territorial integrity; must withdraw from the occupied territories; and must respect Ukraine’s independence.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our experience of the invasions of 2008 and the 1990s provides us with at least three lessons:
First, documenting all crimes of the aggression is key in serving justice and curtailing any temptation for others for similar aggression, no matter being part of the Rome Statute or not. Georgia co-authored the application to investigate Russia’s activities in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court. Winning the legal battle matters in the long run.
Second, maintaining unity and solidarity of international community matters until the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and of others similarly violated by Russia, is fully restored. Otherwise, Russia will not stop its military adventurism in its neighborhood and beyond. We voiced our solidarity to Ukraine in all major international organisations, and will continue to do so in future. Georgia also will not allow using Georgia’s territory and financial system to ease the effect of, undermine or avoid the existing international sanctions imposed after February 24.
And third, the international community must insist on upholding the fundamental principles of international law. Violating the principle of territorial integrity by force is unacceptable and may only lead to the undermining of the international order. We have seen that neglect of aggression in the past has generated new tremors in the international system, which are more difficult to deal with now than in their early stages.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Georgia’s support to Ukraine is unconditional and timeless. We stand by the Ukrainian people, despite the fact that Georgia itself is under the existential threat as our own historic regions have been long occupied by Russia. We will not swerve from this commitment in the name of both Georgian and Ukrainian peoples.
I wish Ukraine strength and victory in this epic fight for freedom and independence. Georgian people and government will always be with you.
SHALVA PAPUASHVILI: THE PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATIONS WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO YET AGAIN SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE
"The Parliamentary Delegations will have the opportunity to yet again show their support for Ukraine on the International Crimea Platform”, - the Speaker, Shalva Papuashvili, who, attending the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform in Croatia along with the Parliamentary Delegation, stated.
According to the Speaker, Georgia is well aware of what Russian aggression means and how important it is to respond appropriately from the international community.
"As for our delegation and my speech, based on the experience of Georgia, we will focus on the meaning of Russian aggression, possible improper response of the international community at the time, and the correct response to Russian aggression. We are a country that has experienced Russian aggression several times and we know very well what the right reaction should be. Based on our experience, we will dwell on what solidarity with Ukraine should mean”, - Shalva Papuashvili stated.
The Speaker is expected to address the participants of the session of the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform.
43 delegations of 32 parliaments, 5 international parliamentary organizations and 26 parliament chairpersons are participating in the Platform.
As part of the visit, bilateral meetings of the Speaker and the Parliamentary Delegation are also scheduled.
The Parliamentary Delegation of Georgia is composed of the Vice Speaker, Archil Talakvadze and the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Nikoloz Samkharadze.