Happy Independence Day, beautiful Land Georgia!

Published in Society
Thursday, 26 May 2022 12:06

Happy Independence Day, beautiful Land Georgia! Our family wishes all our readers a very Happy 26th of May, we hope you are spending it with family and friends in celebration of this great nation we call home and Land of the Brave! God bless Georgia!

Respectfully,

Ilia Zukakishvili

President of the American Friendship Club

Head of the Board of Directors 

National English Spelling Competition NESC GE

May 26, 2022 - Tbilisi, Georgia

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  • Statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November)

    This joint statement is issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia,  the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we would like to join hands with survivors, activists, decision-makers, and people from every walk of life to take a bold stand against this global scourge.

    Stigma and impunity have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions. Across the world, as well as in Georgia, violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive and latent human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination.

    A world where violence against women and girls is not just condemned but stopped is possible. It can and must be prevented.

    As highlighted in the GREVIO baseline report on Georgia published on 22/11/2022, over the past decade, Georgia has made significant progress towards effectively addressing the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls by putting in place a comprehensive policy and legislative framework, producing data and strengthening institutions to effectively enforce the laws. Moreover, specialized services for survivors such as shelters, crisis centres and a hotline have been created, and law enforcement has been specialized to handle cases in a more sensitive and qualified manner. Importantly, there have been positive shifts in public perceptions and an increase in survivors’ trust in the justice system and services.

    Despite these significant measures taken to tackle gender-based violence in Georgia, women continue to die as a result of these atrocious crimes. Often, femicide represents the continuum of other forms of violence experienced by women and girls. Sexual violence also persists in Georgia, with an extremely low number of reporting and respective cases reaching the courts. The persistent patriarchal norms and deeply entrenched stereotypes in Georgian society tend to blame victims and condone violence against women and girls.

    We call for the strengthening of a holistic national framework to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls in Georgia.  Efforts should be translated into concrete actions through the necessary legislative measures by, inter alia, amending the definition of rape in the Criminal Code of Georgia to ensure compliance with the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention and other international standards, as well as by exercising due diligence to prevent (including through integrating the issue into the general education programmes), investigate, punish, and provide reparation for acts of violence. Building and strengthening an enabling environment for women’s economic, political, and social empowerment is paramount.

    Since everyone has a pivotal role to play in tackling violence against women and girls, we remain steadfast in our determination to support the Government of Georgia, civil society, and other partners to ensure that the inalienable right of women and girls to live a life free from violence is observed and enjoyed for the benefit of everyone.

  • The American Friends of Georgia Club celebrated the national independence day of the USA with a festive reception

    The party was organized at the Biltmore Hotel to celebrate the 246th anniversary of signing the Delcaration of Independence and the Independence Day of the USA. The official reception was attended by the members of legilsative and executive authorities of Georgia, the diplomatic corps, NGOs, representtaives of the busienss sector and media. President of the American Friends of Georgia Club Ilya Zukakishvili gave a welcome speech.

    It is my pleasure to inform you that this year it is the 18th time that we are celebrating July 4th and we are proud that throughout these years we honor the independence day of the devoted friend and rigirous ally of Georgia together with the organizations supporting Georgian-American friednship. 

    I will not exaggerate to say that July 4th gives joy to not only American people but also those who wish to be friends of freedom. This implies the fact that this day is festive for all those people for whom democracy serves as the system of values.

    Besides, I get convinced every time that the Independence Day of the USA is especially precious for Georgians as well. The environment created at the event is full of happy emotion and further draws supporters of Georgian-American friendship together.

    This year is the anniversary of 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations between our countries. Throughout these years, American people have numerously proved strong friendship with Georgian people and today, in the most critical conditions for the world continue to give political support of our country. 

    Allow me to use this opportunity and note that the party organized on behalf of the Georgian people gave us the opportunity to send the message of rigorous friendship to the American people and express gratitude for many kind deeds for the Georgian state throughout three decades.

    At the same time, July 4th is one of the best days for letting everyone see both inside and outside of the state what the attitude of the freedom loving Georgian nation is towards American people.

    At the end, let me thank all those organizations and people who joined the initiative of celebrating the 246th anniversary of signing the declaration and at the same time support strengthening Georgian-American friendship.

    Company PSP; Liberty Bank; Telavi Wine Cellar; Radisson Collection Hotel; Radisson Blu Iveria; Le Méridien Batumi; Hotel Ambassadori Goderdzi; Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi; Natali Group; Company “Prestige ICI Paris”; McCANN Tbilisi; Coca Cola bottlers Georgia; McDonald's Georgia; Company Sarajishvili; Company PL Naturals; American company KVG; Embassy of USA in Georgia; Company Vake; Company Energy; Information support of this year’s event is provided by TV companies Mtavari and Pirveli.   

    I would like to state a few words about severity of the Russian Federation which it continues to apply to the Ukrainean people. I consider that no matter where we are and what an important date we celebrate, we should express our support towards brave Ukrainean people. It is only through confirming this declared friednship in the offcial part of the Independence Day of the USA that we paid respect to people who died for independence with a minute of silence at the background of the Ukrainean anthem – stated Ilya Zukakishvili, president of the American Friends of Georgia Club.

    On July 4, Ambassador Hotel was decorated with American accessories where a truly American environment was created. After the official part ended, visitors had the opportunity to listen to the repertoir of the enthic folk group “Shara”, enjoy most beautiful Georgian dances, take part in the 4th of July festive draw and taste the special delicious 4th of July cake.

    The celebration ended with grandiose fireworks.

    American Friends of Georgia Club

    July 4, 2022. Tbilisi, Georgia  

  • Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Congratulates Irakli Garibashvili on the Day of Independence of Georgia

    Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan congratulated Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia on the Day of Independence of Georgia today.

    As noted in the congratulatory letter, Azerbaijan and Georgia have historically established a strong friendship and kind neighborly relations and current cooperation, which will serve to the development of interaction between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

    "Allow me to congratulate you on the national holiday of the country - Day of Independence of Georgia - and convey my best wishes.

    Azerbaijan and Georgia are connected with a strong friendship and kind neighborly relations that were historically established between our nations. Currently, high level interaction between our countries is based on the kind will of our people who are loyal to these great traditions.

    I believe that our strategic partnership, jointly implemented wide-scale projects and cooperation, which is expanding day after day, will serve to the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia and prosperity of our people in future as well.

    It brings me pleasure to recall meetings and honest discussions with you. I am confident that decisions made within the scope of Intergovernmental Commissions and implementation of reached agreements will facilitate a further strengthening of our bilateral relations.

    On this outstanding day I want to wish you a sound health and success in your work, while everlasting peace and prosperity to the friendly people of Georgia" reads the congratulatory letter.


    Press Service of the Government Administration

  • Carl Hartzell on Georgia’s Independence Day: EU cherishes its deep ties with Georgia

    European Union Ambassador Carl Hartzell has congratulated the people of Georgia on Independence Day, saying that the EU remains unwavering in its support of Georgia’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

    He added that in these difficult times, the EU stands in solidarity not only with Ukraine, but also with Georgia, and “cherishes the deep bonds that exist between us. Bonds that we wish to see growing stronger.”

    Hartzell also reminded that on 3 March, the Government of Georgia applied for EU membership, “which reflects the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of its population”.

    Georgia has made a choice founded on its historical values. Now is the moment for Georgia to act decisively to demonstrate its determination on this European path,” said Hartzell.

    Find out more

    Press release

  • On the 26 of May, the Georgian nation decided once and for all to live in a free, independent country - S. Zourabichvili

    First of all, happy Independence Day to those of you who are swearing allegiance to the homeland today. The Georgian military has been characterized by its ability to fight, by its responsibility, its self-sacrifice and loyalty to oath. Today, you are becoming part of this worthy military history. You know and are well aware that defending the independence and freedom of a country is not an easy task and requires dignity and dedication.

    On the 26 of May, the Georgian nation decided once and for all to live in a free, independent country. Thus, the Georgian nation once and for all refused to be part of another country, refused slavery.

    Today, the 26 of May, is not only a day to revive the past, nor is it an ordinary holiday, it is a day of reflection and understanding. A day when we should think about our country and ask ourselves whether we are doing everything that this country needs, for its future, for the well-being of its people, for its independence and for its freedom.

    This question should be asked by everyone, every citizen, every child of this country, living here or abroad. After all, independence means that the future of our children is in our hands and that no one can avoid this responsibility. However, and this thinking is obvious, those of us who stand on this side of the tribune owe more, for we have more responsibility. This responsibility is stronger now, because Georgia is once again standing at a crossroads, not unlike many crucial moments in its history. In front of us has come the time for new opportunities and new challenges and they require certain answers, readiness, foresight, a vision and courage with caution. It requires unity in the first place - and I will say this as many times as it takes.

    A historic opportunity arose on the road to Europe. This road to Europe did not arise without bloodshed and without sacrifice. This aspiration was based on the knowledge that common values united us and connected us to the European civilization. And while we defended the Georgian faith, identity and values against a number of conquering empires, we also defended Europe at the same time. These shared values encompassed everything that is the key to our European future today, that is - four core values and principles.

    1) A fair court, a principle which dates back many centuries in Georgia and is based on the historical cornerstones of Georgian law: be it the customary law of Antiquity, the 13th-century "Book of All the Mistakes of Men", the 14th-century criminal law of King George the Brilliant, or King Vakhtang VI’s unique repertoire of historical legal writings. The history of Georgian law would have adorned many European countries, and it is a bit of a shame that we cannot continue this legacy properly today.

    2) The cornerstone of Georgian culture, which is also the defining value for Europe - tolerance and diversity. Even today, we and Europe owe it to ourselves to continue this tradition.

    3) The Christianity of Europe and Georgia instructed us to recognize humanity as the center of the world and therefore to respect and protect all of its rights. On our way to Europe, this also stands on our agenda.

    4) And finally, the balance of power to avoid the temptation of authoritarianism that characterizes our history. The division of the Executive and Legislative branches and their balancing dates back to the 12th-century reign of Tamar the King, under the form of the Karavi and the Darbazi, which stand as the foundations of Georgian parliamentarism. Thus, we must understand that the protection of these values is neither the fulfillment of someone else's dictated will, nor the danger of alienation and loss of identity, but on the contrary - taking decisive steps on the path to Europe is tantamount to returning to oneself. That is why, cognitively or intuitively, this path is supported by all of society and this support has not only slowed down but strengthened over the years. Today, for the first time, a real chance has arisen. Neither the civil society united around this goal, nor the souls of our ancestors, nor the future generations will forgive us for missing this chance. Instead, those who will be able to succeed on this path will inherit a unique place and appreciation in Georgian history. The choice is yours! The choice is ours!

    With this great historical chance, Georgia is facing no less powerful challenges. The war in Ukraine, in the heart of Europe, reminds us of the tragedies of the war waged on Georgia more than once in the past centuries. Precisely because we know the cost of such devotion to country, do we owe it to ourselves not only to feel the pain of the Ukrainian people, but also to show full solidarity with them. We understand what is the power of solidarity and we see this in the Georgian society expressing that solidarity in all possible ways. We also understand very well that even our accelerated path toward Europe is the merit of the Ukrainian people, achieved with their blood and suffering. Ukraine has gone through incredible battles, its warriors have shown the world an example of courage, devotion and endurance. I would like to pay here tribute to the fallen Ukrainian and Georgian heroes, because what they all fought for is independence and freedom, and the 26 of May is a day for independence and freedom. We know and will never forget that Ukraine today defends not only its own freedom, sovereignty, and independence, but also our freedom and that of other European countries. It protects the future of a united, strong, free Europe.

    At this time, the challenges related to our occupied territories are not slowing down, on the contrary. In this tense environment, there is an attempt to convince people that Georgia can "use this time" and try to return territories by force - this is another obvious Russian misinformation. I once again address our citizens in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, assuring you that Georgia will not act against you through war and force. It is clear to everyone today which country threatens the sovereignty, identity and life of its neighbors. This is not Georgia. I appeal to you and offer that, as in the past we created the Georgian state together, now together we should create an equal future. I offer to you to join us in an European united future. I offer you freedom, and the respect and protection of your language, your identity, your history, your culture. I offer you new accord. At this time, this yet-another provocation by Russia, the threat of referendum and annexation, will not achieve its goal - the escalation of the confrontation between us and our shift from the policy of peace. Russia mustn’t make another grave mistake and wrongdoing, and must not once again try to disregard all the norms and principles of international law. This will not go unanswered and will provoke appropriate reactions from the international community.

    Today, on the 26 of May, my request and wish to you, the society and the political elite, is one: Strength is in Unity! When if not today, must we realize that we have no other way! A united nation has a great future ahead: Europe and return to our roots! Once again, I would like to appeal to all of you and remind you that national accord in this should not remain an empty word and should reflect our state and historical consciousness. This chance exists today!

    I would like to read one sentence from the declaration created by several groups of young people that will be signed today at the Orbeliani Palace: "Young people living in Georgia stand together to reach out to the international community at this crucial moment in the country and to express our unwavering will and support for the country's European future."

    We are tasked with listening to these young people and paving the way for future generations to make their own choices. Success on this path depends on us and only us. And “us” means all of us: the government, the opposition and the society with all its components.

    That is why I am ready to be your voice and deliver this message of the nation where the voice of Georgia should be heard today! So they too can understand the unified message of Georgia "We are Europeans"! We must all serve this goal... and this is how I understand the words of the oath uttered today: "I serve Georgia!"

    Long live Georgia!

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