China announces concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19 as Xi addresses WHA session

Published in World
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 10:51
BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday announced concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19 including providing international aid and making the country's COVID-19 vaccine a global public good when available.
 
Xi made the announcement as he addressed the opening of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) via video link.
 
"China will provide 2 billion U.S. dollars over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries," Xi said.
 
China will work with the United Nations to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster "green corridors" for fast-track transportation and customs clearance, he said.
 
Besides, China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity, said Xi.
 
"COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good," said the president.
 
"This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries," he added.
 
Moreover, China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries, Xi said, adding that China is also ready to work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain of debt service so that they could tide over the current difficulties.
 
The WHA is the decision-making body of the WHO. The 73rd session of the WHA, scheduled from Monday to Tuesday, is held via video link due to the impact of the current pandemic.
 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), its agenda was condensed only to essential issues, such as COVID-19 and the executive board members selection.
 
Currently, COVID-19 has hit over 210 countries and regions, affected more than seven billion people around the world and claimed over 300,000 precious lives.
 
"China stands for the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind," said Xi, adding that China takes it as its responsibility to ensure not just the life and health of its own citizens, but also global public health.
 
China has all along acted with openness, transparency and responsibility in the fight against COVID-19, said Xi, adding that the country "has done everything in our power to support and assist countries in need."
 
Noting that "nothing in the world is more precious than people's lives," Xi urged all countries to put the people first and do everything they can for COVID-19 control and treatment.
 
He expressed China's staunch support to the WHO, calling on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.
 
"At this crucial juncture, to support WHO is to support international cooperation and the battle for saving lives as well," Xi said.
 
Xi called on the world to provide more material, technological and personnel support for African countries, saying that "helping them build capacity must be our top priority in COVID-19 response."
 
Furthermore, Xi said the international community must strengthen global governance in the area of public health.
 
"China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies," said Xi.
 
"This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner," he added.
 
He also proposed to restore economic and social development and strengthen international cooperation.
 
Noting that the mankind is facing the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II, Xi said "solidarity and cooperation is a sure way through which we, the people of the world, can defeat this novel coronavirus."
 
He called on the international community to work as one and make concerted efforts to protect the life and health of people in all countries, safeguard planet Earth and build a global community of health for all.
 
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and leaders from other countries addressed the opening via video link, expressing their support to the WHO and multilateralism, as well as enhanced joint efforts in the global fight against COVID-19.

The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe (CoE) arrives in Georgia

Published in Politics
Monday, 11 November 2019 10:59

The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe(CoE) Marija Pejčinović Burić has already arrived in Georgia.

According to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the visit is linked to Georgia’s forthcoming chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers in the CoE.

Marija Pejčinović Burić will hold a meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani. Talks will be held about bilateral cooperation related issues and future plans.

Presentation of the coin issued in connection with the 70th anniversary of the CoE and the 20th jubilee of Georgia’s CoE membership as well as the action plan of Georgia in the Council of Europe for 2020-2023 will be held within the framework of the visit.

The plan was prepared with active cooperation of the Georgian side and aims at bringing human rights protection, democracy and supremacy of law in line with the European standards.

Secretary-General of the Council of Europe will also hold meetings with Georgia’s Prime Minister, Parliament Speaker, and Head of the Georgian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

President Salome Zourabichvili – NATO Open Door Policy is the Cornerstone for NATO-Georgia Relationship

Published in Politics
Monday, 25 March 2019 16:33

President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili hosted the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, as part of his official visit to Georgia.
The President of Georgia expressed her gratitude to Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg for visiting Georgia and stated that it is a pleasant and respectful fact to see Georgia and NATO hosting together NATO-led military exercises, an important message manifesting the level of our confidence-based relationship.
“The path that we follow is a very important sign for Georgia’s population - this path is irreversible and there is no alternative. Everything is done on our side, including military and political reforms, to strongly keep this path.
“NATO’s Open Door Policy is the cornerstone for the NATO-Georgia Partnership. This policy continues, especially following the accession of North Macedonia - an important step,” said the President of Georgia. 
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Georgia is an extremely valuable partner and the door is open for Georgia.
NATO continues to support Georgia and urges the Russian Federation to withdraw its forces from the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia.
“Madam President, it is really great to be back and meet you again. We last met in Brussels and now here in Tbilisi; that shows strength and high-level of partnership activities that we now have between Georgia and NATO.
“Georgia is a highly valued partner of NATO. Today, I have visited the Joint Training Center where we now are conducting joint exercises - Georgia and the several NATO allies and some partners.
“It shows that Georgian soldiers and the NATO soldiers are able to operate side-by-side and work together. And, I am extremely grateful for Georgia’s contributions in our shared security.
“Georgia is a part of NATO Response Force. Georgia contributes in our mission in Afghanistan and by working so closely together, we are strengthening the security of NATO allies and also helping you. This is something which is in the interest of both Georgia and NATO.
“Georgia is really a unique partner. We welcome the progress you are making, the reforms you are implementing, and we urge you to continue on that path of reforms.
“NATO leaders have stated again and again that Georgia will become the member of the Alliance. I was present at NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008, where we stated that for the first time. But, we made the same statement, Georgia will become the member of Alliance, after the NATO Summit in July in Brussels last year.
“We will continue to support you as you walk towards membership and we, of course, also recognize and strongly support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. And, therefore we call on Russia to withdraw its forces from South Ossetia and Abkhazia and its recognition of these territories because they are part of Georgia within Georgia’s internationally recognized borders.”
The meeting was attended by Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaliani, Minister of Defense Levan Izoria, Chief of Georgian Defense Forces Vladimer Chachibaia, Head of Presidential Administration Lasha Zhvania, Head of the Georgian Mission to NATO Alexandre Maisuradze, and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Ketevan Makharashvili. From the North Atlantic Alliance’s side, the meeting was attended by Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai, Military Assistant to the Secretary-General Gjermund Eide, Head of NATO’s Liaison Office in Georgia Rosaria Puglisi, Officer of the Euro-Atlantic and Global Partnership at the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division Steffen Elgersma, and Deputy Spokesperson Piers Cazalet.

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Tenth Anniversary of the August 2008 conflict in Georgia

Published in World
Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:27

On the tenth anniversary of the 2008 conflict in Georgia, the Secretary-General recalls that it is a reminder of the need to resolve this and other protracted conflicts in Europe. This requires increased commitment by the relevant actors, backed by strong political will and a reinvigoration of mediation processes.

The Secretary-General urges all the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to adopt a constructive, forward-looking approach that would allow this indispensable mechanism to fulfill its mandate. All concerned should prioritize progress through appropriate dialogue and refrain from divisive policies and unilateral actions that may adversely impact regional peace and security.

The Secretary-General recalls that while the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Response and Prevention Mechanism have substantially contributed to strengthening stability in recent years, more should be done on key security and humanitarian issues, including those related to the plight of the many internally displaced persons and refugees. The United Nations will continue to fully support this important mechanism and work with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to achieve progress on all issues.

NATO Representatives Condolences over the death of Georgian Service member in Afghanistan

Published in military
Monday, 07 August 2017 10:34

Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and his Deputy Rose Gottemoeller expressed deep condolences over the death of Georgian service member, Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili in Afghanistan. NATO leaders expressed their condolences on the name of the Alliance to the Ministry of Defence of Georgia and family of the fallen soldier.

Commander of the “Resolute Support” mission, General John W. Nicholson Jr. also expressed condolences: “Our prayers today are with the almost 900 Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan who are mourning their fallen comrade,” said General John Nicholson. “The commitment of Georgia as our largest non-NATO contributor is vital to our mission and we are honored to stand beside them under these difficult circumstances.”

An attack was conducted on a combined motorized patrol in the vicinity of the Bagram Air Base, in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. As a result, Soldier of the 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade who served in the “Resolute Support” mission, Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili (23.10.1991) was killed in Action. Junior Sergeant Bebiashvili served in the Georgian Armed Forces since 2010. He participated in the ISAF mission in 2012 and 2014. He has received medal for “Participating in Peacekeeping Operations”. 

Meeting with Secretary-General of the United Nations' World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai

Published in Politics
Thursday, 19 January 2017 11:15

Within the framework of its visit to Mardid, the Georgian delegation held a meeting with Secretary-General of the United Nations'  World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai.
Discussions focused on the partnership between Georgia and the World Tourism Organization, which is dynamically developing.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili spoke extensively about Georgia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of to Spain expressing the hope that he will be a worthy candidate to this important post and will share the values and priorities that have been established through the personal efforts of Taleb Rifai.
Taleb Rifai thanked Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his visit to Madrid, despite his busy schedule. Following the meeting, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai launched the honours board.
“Let me welcome a very dear and special person, the Foreign Minister of Georgia, a very good and dear friend. As you can see, Georgia is full of young political talents. He is probably one of few people not working directly with tourism, but I can tell you, when we were upstairs for a few minutes, he and the Prime Minister were talking about tourism as if it were their own baby. I am sure you understand what I mean, because each of you who has been in charge of tourism for many years knows what it means to have support from the Prime Minister, from the Head of Government," - Taleb Rifai said.
“When it is about Georgia, I am biased. Georgia is a wonderful country, a country full of life and energy, the most beautiful people, happy and smiling, making you feel at home” - Taleb Rifai added.

 

The UN Secretary-General Appeal for Peace

Published in World
Sunday, 01 January 2017 15:16

New York, 1 January 2017 - "On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart.
How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?
Civilians are pounded with deadly force. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.
No one wins these wars; everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies, fueling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations. Whole regions are destabilized and the new threat of global terrorism affects us all.
On this New Year’s Day, I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution:
Let us resolve to put peace first.
Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences.
From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives, to dialogue and respect across political divides… From ceasefires on the battlefield, to compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions…
Peace must be our goal and our guide.
All that we strive for as a human family – dignity and hope, progress and prosperity – depends on peace.
But peace depends on us.
I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace, today and every day.
Let us make 2017 a year for peace.
Thank you".

Ban Ki-moon concerned over downing of Russian plane by Turkish Air Force

Published in World
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:13

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seriously concerned over the downing of a Russian military jet by the Turkish Air Force earlier today, and has urged all relevant parties to take urgent measures with a view to de-escalating tensions, according to his spokesperson.

“He hopes that a credible and thorough review of the incident will clarify the events and help prevent future recurrences,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a note to the media.

According to media reports, the Russian jet was shot down somewhere over the Turkey-Syria border.

“As he reiterated a number of times, all those who are engaged in military activities in Syria, especially air campaigns, need to maximize operational measures to avoid unintended consequences and, of course and most importantly, to do whatever they can to avoid civilian casualties and to protect civilians,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in the note.

The note added that, in the wake of the event, the UN chief believes that today’s “worrying development” underscores the importance of international unity and cooperation in international action against violent extremists in the region, as well as the urgent need to agree on a political solution to the tragic events in Syria.

Statement UN Secretary-General on developments at the line of control of South Ossetia, Georgia

Published in Politics
Friday, 17 July 2015 12:11

The Secretary-General takes note of the recent events at the line of control of South Ossetia. He expresses his concerns regarding activities that may negatively impact the freedom of movement and livelihood of the local population. He calls on all parties to refrain from any steps that could be seen as provocative and detrimental to ongoing efforts to promote regional peace and stability.

The Secretary-General urges all parties to use established mechanisms such as the Geneva International Discussions (GID) and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) to address issues of concern and to diffuse tensions.

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