Georgian President visits France
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili is visiting France to attend high-ranking meetings in Strasbourg and Paris.
The president will participate in the World Forum for Democracy 2022 and the Paris Peace Forum.
According to the President’s press office, Zourabichvili will meet with Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, and PACE President Tiny Kox.
On the sidelines of the World Forum for Democracy, Zurabishvili will also meet the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
2023 Winter session: the legal and human rights aspects of Russia's aggression against Ukraine
An urgent debate* on the legal and human rights aspects of the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine, with the participation of Oleksandra Matviichuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, will be among the highlights of the Winter plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in Strasbourg from 23 to 27 January 2023.
#OnTheRoadToReykjavik, a report on the fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, to be held in the Icelandic capital on 16 and 17 May, will present PACE's proposals.
There will also be addresses by the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdóttir and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić will present her communication to PACE members. The Assembly will also elect its President and Vice-Presidents.
Combating violence against women will also be a focus of the session, with a first debate on conflict-related sexual violence, and a second joint debate on the Istanbul Convention, on the role and responsibility of men and boys in stopping gender-based violence against women and girls, and on finding solutions for marital captivity.
Other topics on the agenda include the environmental impact of armed conflict, Daesh foreign fighters and their families returning from Syria and elsewhere, and the ethical, cultural and educational challenges of contact tracing applications.
* The Assembly will decide its final agenda at the opening of the session.
Address by the President
This briefing was not scheduled. Today, anyway, I wasn't going to do anything, and when I heard that the rally was going to be held here, it was my decision and my desire to join the people with whom I shared many battles (I'm not talking here about electoral battles) in those dark days when we fought together against the criminal and unfair regime of Misha Saakashvili. I came out there for these people, not for some protesters, I don't know who, to show up in the palace, that's not the right format, and I'm sure that wasn't the intention of the people who spearheaded it.
Those people whom I respect very much because of all this and our common past, have come to the palace many times and know that my door is open, everyone has the opportunity to ask for a meeting, and I’ve shown it recently that I meet everyone, and not only those with whom these battles I have shared, and I will continue to do so.
Now I want to go back to what I wanted to say earlier and couldn't finish what I had to say, and I want to continue to say it through you, and for that, I want to thank you once again.
First, let me say: I know that this demonstration was not only organized by those people, but it was accompanied by various message boxes that have been circulating these days. This was deliberately done in order to put pressure on the President from those people, from the party whose leaders were nowhere in 2007 (I say 2007, because this is the period when everything happened and everything was clear.)
These people, who today threaten me with my career or in different ways and believe that they could threaten me, were not there then, and now they ask me about my morale and teach me how to fight against Saakashvili, who is already fallen.
I wonder where these people have been since 2007. I will tell you, one was in Misha's staff and stayed there for a long time. Another one was in "Cartu Bank", well-paid. Others were in other positions and I don't want to make it personal now, but they were nowhere so how can they ask about my morals? What can they teach me, I wonder?! The same goes for that quartet that walks around saying stuff.
It is very clear that here, there is some kind of joint game between different forces, which are supposedly very opposed. But in reality, who ‘pardoned’ Murusidze and Chinchaladze? Was it me? If so, when? I don't know, tell me! I think that the very power that is teaching me wisdom today, not only pardoned them, but placed them in such places, from which no one can remove them, and from which they also very effectively block our way to Europe.
Who is this for? Why don't we ask this?! Before the rally comes to me (when I say coming - I'm talking about the rally, not about the people who are coming to meet, have been coming and I hope they will come here again.)
What is the agreement between these two powers? On the one hand, bringing Misha. Why did some of them advised, urged him to come down here, launch a revolution, claiming people would come out for him.
On the other side, those who were playing with Georgian emotions and antagonizing him: ‘if you’re brave, come here. Don’t be lazy, come here.’
Both were excited about Misha's arrival and we can see why. Because we have been living in this for a year already and more. A year later, we are completely stuck around Misha, in arguments, disputes, fights, there is no other topic, it is impossible to raise another topic, the country is sinking around this issue, and this suits both sides.
For one side, it is probably because it cannot see other plans, because it no longer has an answer to any of the questions that society should ask its government, and I don't know what I have to do with it, but it is unacceptable. Or they don't know me, maybe they don't know me, I don't know, they still haven’t learned who I was for so many years, but pressure on the institution (and not to mention a woman and the president) that is happening today is unacceptable. This bullying, (by the way, I don't know where are those NGO people who should express something about bullying), direct blackmail, threats, humiliation are unacceptable
And here look, there’s a "Russian village" at my doorstep, and what does that mean? In no other country, in front of the president's palace, such a village, especially in this tense period, would be built, but there are different opinions and different tastes about it.
Then they threaten me with “career”, as if I could kiss my career goodbye, as if I wanted some other career, they forget how old I am, but if anyone knows me in this country, they will also know that I left my career over there a long time ago, that I am only interested in this country, I am interested only in the European future of this country, which for some reason everyone is fighting against, no one can see that our society wants this and our society will continue to want it regardless of everything - here I am, here you are and we will go on this path, despite everyone's pressure and attempts to blackmail in different ways.
Georgian President offers condolences over Istanbul blast
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili took to Twitter to offer condolences to Türkiye over an explosion in Beyoglu, the heart of Istanbul, that killed at least six people and wounded 81.
Zourabichvili said: “I am horrified by the explosion in Istanbul. My condolences to the families of the victims and my deepest sympathies to President Erdogan and the people of Türkiye.”
According to Reuters, Turkey’s government blamed Kurdish militants on Monday for a blast that killed six people in Istanbul’s main shopping street, and said police had detained 22 suspects, including the person who had planted the bomb.
"I am horrified by the explosion in Istanbul. My condolences to the families of the victims and my deepest sympathies to President
and the people of Türkiye".
Council of Europe Sec-Gen hosts Georgian President
Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić is hosting Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, the President’s press office has said.
Zourabichvili is visiting France to attend high-ranking meetings in Strasbourg and Paris.
She will participate in the World Forum for Democracy 2022 and the Paris Peace Forum.
As part of the visit, Zourabichvili will also meet with PACE President Tiny Kox and the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
World Forum for Democracy: “Democracy: A new hope?”
“Democracy: A new hope?” is the theme of this year’s World Forum for Democracy, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The event, taking place from 7 to 9 November at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, will bring together intellectuals, politicians, activists, experts and young people from all over the world to discuss the factors contributing to democratic decline and how these can be addressed.
Many leading public figures will participate in this year’s event: Katrin Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland and Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland will each give a special address; Salome Zurabishvili, President of Georgia, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the Belarusian democratic movement, Olivier Véran, French Government Spokesperson and Minister for Democratic Renewal, Olexander Kornienko, Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament and Lucian Romaşcanu, Minister of Culture of Romania, as well as Club of Madrid members, the former President of Mongolia, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, and the former President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, will all participate in the opening day of the Forum.
Ten lab sessions, which will address the challenges from different angles and present some measures which have already been put into practice, will help to identify a democratic response to the issues raised throughout the Forum. On Wednesday 9 November the Council of Europe Democracy Innovation Award will be presented to the most popular initiative presented in the labs.
The programme also includes a series of Forum talks on Youth to the Rescue?; History and Education – Knowledge and Manipulation; Persuasion or Polarisation?; Discrimination and Privilege – Are Inequalities Unravelling Our Societies?; Corruption and Accountability – Keeping Faith in Democracy; Deliberation: a Booster for Democracy?; The Missed Opportunity of Democracy in Russia; and the Impact of Impunity on Journalism and Democracy.
The Forum is organised by the Council of Europe in partnership with Strasbourg City Council, the European Collectivity of Alsace, the Grand Est Region and the French Government. Since 2012, the World Forum for Democracy has become an annual opportunity for citizens around the world to reflect on democracy, to analyse its shortcomings and limitations, but also to generate new ideas to respond to the challenges facing democracy.