Unique, handwritten and specifically ornate Knight in the Panther Skin has been deposited in the permanent art collection of the United Nations. Its cover was exclusively incused by a celebrated Georgian sculptor Guji Amashukeli, who is currently living and working in France. A museum copy of the Georgian renaissance poem was created by a group of artists and calligraphists in Tbilisi and Paris in 2017-2018.

Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia officially handed over the renaissance gift to the UN today.

Unique treasure of national significance with its incused cover made in silver by Guji Amashukeli is ornated with almost 20 precious stones.

Sculptures, symbolic items of art, medallions, jewelry and statues made of gold and silver on religious or mythical themes by Guji Amashukeli are kept in public and private art collections of renown museums, galleries and individual art connoisseurs. Each and every piece of art created by Guji Amashukeli is unique and never gets repeated.

"It is my great honor and privilege to take part in this historic event. We are presenting our national gift to the United Nations and it is my great honor to officially hand it over. I wish to express gratitude to the United Nations for everything - for supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia" stated Irakli Garibashvili.

Gift presented by Georgia has been deposited at the UN Headquarters, at one of the most vivid and frequented places of the second floor, right before the UN Security Council meeting room.

Event was attended by Atul Khare, UN Under-Secretary General.

"Your Excellency, Prime Minister Garibashvili, thank you very much for presenting this extraordinary gift from Georgia to the United Nations. I would like to congratulate the people of Georgia under your leadership on this very special occasion. The national treasure of Georgia has found a new home here at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Now and for generations to come - Your Excellency - the Georgian poem - the Knight in the Panther Skin by Shota Rustaveli will inspire visitors from all over the world, who come to the United Nations. The values of friendship and humanity, cherished by Rustaveli in this 12th century poem resonate with our world today and more importantly with the values of the United Nations. Your Excellency, the gift is a sign of Georgia's strong commitment to friendship of nations, to peace, to freedom and of course to international cooperation" stated Atul Khare, UN Under-Secretary General.

The Prime Minister of Georgia received a postal stamp collection marking the 850th Jubilee of Shota Rustaveli as a gift from the UN Under-Secretary General. Commemorative memorabilia was released in 2018 by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA).

Press Service of the Government Administration

As we reported, the visit of the broad-comprehensive delegation representing the Georgian community to the Republic of Azerbaijan continues. So, on September 21 and 22, guests visited Shusha, where the glorious Army of the Republic of Azerbaijan liberated from the Armenian occupation as a result of the 44-day Patriotic War.
Guests were also accepted by the special representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the city of Shusha on September 22, Mr. Aydin Karimov. At the meeting held in a sincere and mutual dialogue atmosphere, A. Karimov informed about the works going on the resurrection and revival of Shusha city. He said that under the instructions of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, many historical monuments exposed to Armenian terror were already restored. A.Karimov called Georgia a sample of support and true friendship of the delegation from the occupation to the occupied lands, being near the Azerbaijani state and people.
Guests expressed their admiration to the fast-going construction-restoration works in Shusha and overall the wonderful weather and nature of the city.
Within the framework of the Georgian delegation's ongoing visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan, meetings are also expected to be held in Ganja and Agdam.
With the organization of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Georgia and the support of SOCAR's Georgian delegation's visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan will continue to be presented by the Embassy during the visit.
Press statement of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Georgia

Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, within the framework of the UN General Assembly.
The meeting was held in both face-to-face and enhanced formats within the framework of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister once again recalled his state visit to Turkey and thanked President Erdogan for his exemplary hospitality.
The conversation revolved around regional developments. According to Irakli Garibashvili, Georgia's top objective is to support peace and stability in the region, and the country is committed to fulfilling its peacemaking purpose toward long-term peace and stability in the Caucasus Region.
The dialogue also touched on the agreement reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan through the Georgian Prime Minister's mediation and engaged from the US, resulting in the release of Armenian citizens and maps of mined territories handed over to Azerbaijan. This agreement is an excellent foundation for further cooperation between the neighbors, the parties underlined.
Irakli Garibashvili specifically emphasized President Erdogan's special effort toward further deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries. The parties paid special attention to the expansion of the political and economic ties between the two countries as a top priority, also expressing hope that the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council will convene before the end of this year.
The parties also discussed deepening trade and economic relations even further, pointing out that joint projects of regional importance are good examples of effective strategic partnership, sustainable development, and robust Georgia-Turkey partnership. The meeting also underlined multilateral cooperation, underscoring the great importance of the Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan trilateral cooperation format enabling the parties to discuss a wide array of issues in various sectors.
The Head of Georgian Government once again singled out President Erdogan's personal support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty, also for the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and expressed his gratitude for that.
After the meeting, the Prime Minister acknowledged his visit in the guestbook at the Turkish House in New York.

Press Service of the Government Administration

 

Communities residing in Pshavi, Piraketa Khevsureti, and Gudamakari have been facing difficult living conditions and low rate of socio-economic development over the decades. To support the region in reaching its full development potential, the Czech Development Agency and the Austrian Development Agency signed an agreement on Delegated Cooperation.
The agreement aims at providing support to sustainable development in Georgia through the Sustainable Development of the Area of Aragvi Protected Landscape and the Local Communities Programme. Two parties will co-fund the project with 2 million EURO in total and the Czech Development Agency will be the responsible party over its implementation for the next two years.
 
Source: Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tbilisi, Georgia

 

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video, in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 21, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday proposed a Global Development Initiative, calling for bolstering confidence and jointly addressing global threats and challenges to build a better world for all.

Xi made the remarks at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) via video, as the world faces the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic.

BEATING COVID-19

Right now, COVID-19 is still raging in the world, with the number of new cases rising every day globally. "We must beat COVID-19 and win this decisive fight crucial to the future of humanity," Xi said, voicing confidence that "we humanity will surely overcome it and prevail" despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may appear overwhelming.

He called for putting people and their lives first, taking a science-based approach in origins tracing, enhancing coordinated global COVID-19 response and minimizing the risk of cross-border virus transmission.

Noting that vaccination is a powerful weapon against COVID-19, Xi said the pressing priority is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally.

He reiterated the pledge that China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. "In addition to donating 100 million US dollars to COVAX, China will donate 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year."

The role of China is even more critical at a time when some countries have adopted a selfish strategy of vaccine nationalism and even put restrictions on export of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical supplies, said Nadeem Irfan Bukhari, a professor from University of the Punjab, Pakistan.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

"Development holds the key to people's well-being," Xi said, adding that countries need to work together to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth.

He made a six-pronged Global Development Initiative, including staying committed to development as a priority, staying committed to a people-centered approach, staying committed to benefits for all, staying committed to innovation-driven development, staying committed to harmony between man and nature and staying committed to results-oriented actions.

"We need to increase input in development, advance on a priority basis cooperation on poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity, among other areas, and accelerate implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so as to build a global community of development with a shared future," he said.

To support developing countries in responding to COVID-19 and promoting economic and social recovery, China has pledged an additional three billion US dollars of international assistance in the next three years.

China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, he said, pledging that the country will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy.

"This is another remarkable step taken by China on its own initiative to cope with the global climate change, as Xi earlier announced China's pledge to strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060," said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies.

REJECTING FORMING SMALL CIRCLES

"We need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games," Xi said.

Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy, the Chinese president stressed.

Ruan said that some countries are keen to gang up in the name of democracy, wantonly interfering in other countries' internal affairs and even arbitrarily suppressing normal development of other countries and people's legitimate right to live better lives.

"Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm," Xi said.

He called for building a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and doing the best to "expand the convergence of interests" and "achieve the biggest synergy possible."

"One country's success does not have to mean another country's failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries,” he said, adding that differences and problems among countries need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

PRACTICING TRUE MULTILATERALISM

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. Xi said China will solemnly commemorate this historic event and advance cooperation with the UN to a new level and make new and greater contributions to promoting the noble cause of the UN.

"The UN should hold high the banner of true multilateralism and serve as the central platform for countries to jointly safeguard universal security, share development achievements and chart the course for the future of the world," Xi stressed.

Ruan said that some countries claimed to safeguard "the rules-based international order" under the banner of multilateralism, yet what they actually did was framing their own rules as international rules and imposing them on other countries.

The Chinese president called on the UN to increase the representation and say of developing countries in international affairs, and take the lead in advancing democracy and rule of law in international relations.

"It should set common agenda (in the areas of security, development and human rights), highlight pressing issues and focus on real actions, and see to it that commitments made by all parties to multilateralism are truly delivered," he added. 

In the midst of everything else that is going on these days, I would like to remind you that today is Car Free Day – an annual event organised in numerous cities all around Europe!
The idea of this day is to take a moment and reflect on the future of our cities and towns, and how to make them greener, calmer and more healthy places to live in.
In Georgia, 70% of air pollution is caused by cars and trucks. Here in Tbilisi, the number is even higher, making up for some 90% of total pollution.
Air pollution has a negative impact on health, increasing the risk of respiratory infections, fatigue, and heart and lung diseases.
To clean up the air is a key objective of the European Union, both within the EU itself and here in Georgia. We have been working in Georgia for many years to this end and our ambition remains high, including plans to invest in further equipment to better control air pollution.
We will also continue to invest in more sustainable transport alternatives, all with a view to allow all of us to breathe cleaner air and lead healthier lives.
I hope you will join us!
And with that let me wish you all a carefree Car Free Day.
 
See video at: https://bit.ly/2XD20pg

Chinese self-driving bus clears open road test in Paris

Published in CHINA
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 14:03

A self-driving bus made by China's CRRC Electric Vehicle is seen during its trial run in Paris, France, Sept. 17, 2021. A 12-meter-long self-driving bus made by China's CRRC Electric Vehicle went on trial run on open road in Paris over the weekend. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

PARIS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- A 12-meter-long self-driving bus made by China's CRRC Electric Vehicle went on trial run on open road in Paris over the weekend.

The vehicle cleared a six-kilometer section along a bus route in southeast Paris on Friday. In about 40 minutes, it passed 26 traffic lights and ten bus stops.

The bus is scheduled to start regular passenger services in autumn next year.

Benjamin Joliviere, head of the autonomous bus project of RATP, the French capital's mass transit operator, said the results of the trial were "more than positive." It was the first time in France that a self-driving bus ran on a regular bus route, he said.

Francois Yann, RATP bus driver, sat in the driver's seat during the trial.

"Once we have done the training and have seen the vehicle in operation, we see the performance is actually quite reassuring," he said. "It feels like a technology we were dreaming about when we were kids. And now it happens ..."

This bus features real-time interaction of information about people, vehicle and road conditions, ensuring safety and improving driving efficiency, according to Peng Zhichuan, director of the automation technology at CRRC Electric Vehicle.

"The Chinese technology has been adapted to the French market in collaboration with our company and RATP," said Christelle Tang, president of Clement Bayard, the French company that imports the bus into France. 

 

New Visa research shows how essential digital capabilities are for SMBs to compete in a post pandemic world

Amidst record rise of entrepreneurism, a new class of digitally-native small businesses emerge

Georgia, Tbilisi – September 21, 2021 – Visa (NYSE: V) today announced it has helped to digitally-enable an estimated 16 million small and micro businesses (SMBs) worldwide, or just over 30% of the multi-year goal it set in 2020 to digitize 50 million SMBs. Since the start of the pandemic, Visa has launched community-based programs from Dubai to DC, to help more small businesses accept digital payments and gain greater access to the digital economy. The necessity for SMBs to continue to digitally accelerate is underscored by the 5th edition of the Visa Back to Business global study released today, which found that 68% of consumers say COVID-19 has permanently changed how they will pay.

“With a 19-month view into the pandemic, we’ve seen that small businesses who embraced digital commerce and cross-border sales have weathered the pandemic better,” said Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer, seller, core and platform products, Visa. “But it’s no longer just about pivoting and surviving. We’re now seeing a hopeful surge in entrepreneurship, and as we march toward our goal of 50 million, we’re helping a new breed of business owner come online as digitally-native for the first time.”

Visa Back to Business Study: A Global Pulse on Payment Preferences

The Visa Back to Business global research study has surveyed SMB owners and their customers since the onset of the global pandemic. With an extensive body of sentiment data accumulated through five editions, findings from the newest study highlight the economic opportunity that lies in connecting SMBs, communities and technology:

  • SMBs Still Working to Meet Consumer Expectations: The pandemic has dramatically increased consumers’ concern with touching cash and payment readers and correspondingly, increased the desire to tap to pay[1]. Seventy-four (74%) percent of SMBs around the world expect customers will continue to prefer contactless payments as much as, or more than they do now, with two in five (40%) SMBs citing contactless among the top investments needed to meet customer expectations.
  • Contactless as a Competitive Edge: Stores that don’t accept contactless payments could run an increased risk of losing customers as a result. More than two in five (44%) consumers say they wouldn’t shop at a store that only offers payment methods that require contact with a cashier or shared device.
  • Prioritizing Online Security: One year ago, just 17% of US SMBs started selling products or services online for the first time during COVID-19 and now, 57% expect to continue to do so in the next three months. Yet, many SMBs surveyed said the shift presented new challenges with the top concerns cited as data privacy and security (33%), cost to invest in digital infrastructure (31%) and having less of a personal connection with customers (30%).
  • Opportunity Knocks for New, Digitally-Savvy SMBs: While 54% of SMBs say the past year has been a challenge for their business, 46% have viewed it as an opportunity, up from 38% in November 2020. Among those who saw 2020 as an opportunity, their focus has been on new products (37%) and expanding their sales channels (34%), with 23% having started a completely new business.

Unlocking Access to the Digital Economy

Recognizing thatgreater digitization of commerce can bring enormous benefits to small businesses, Visa seeks to bring increased digital equity and inclusivity to the world through its multi-year commitment to digitally enable 50 million SMBs. With 3.4 million new U.S. business applications filed in the first seven months of 2021 alone[2], Visa’s efforts are focused on ensuring both existing and newly minted small businesses are well-equipped to meet changing consumer demands and embrace the digital future.

From London to North Dakota, Visa has directed resources to SMBs through dozens of programs tailored to fit the needs of local communities. Among them, Visa has committed more than $1 million in hyperlocal grants to U.S. SMB owners who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, deployed Small Business Street Teams to 900,000 businesses in 18 markets, and transformed payment acceptance in 49 markets with Visa Tap to Phone, which enables sellers to accept contactless payments through a simple mobile app. Visa also expanded its global digital education platform for entrepreneurs, Practical Business Skills, which delivers free education resources to SMB owners and to support the digital transformation of their businesses. This builds on a $200 million, 5-year commitment from the Visa Foundation made in 2020 to support SMBs around the world, with a focus on fostering women’s economic advancement.

Visa will continue to celebrate the expansive role SMBs play within local communities and the global economy, starting with the launch of a new digital series today, “Voices of Access,” featuring SMB customers from around the world sharing their unique stories and empowering others to see the possibilities of the digital economy.

More information on the programs Visa has made available to small and micro businesses is available on the Visa Small Business Hub and the Visa Small Business COVID-19 support site.

Methodology: Visa Back to Business Study

The Visa Back to Business Study: 5th Edition, was conducted by Wakefield Research between June 15-28, 2021, among 2,250 small business owners at companies with 100 employees or fewer in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United States. The consumer portion surveyed 1,000 adults ages 18+ in the U.S., and 500 adults ages 18+ in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.

About Visa Inc.

 Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, www.visa.com.ge,  https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE.



[1] Source: US Contactless Online Research Study April 2020

[2] Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Business Formation Statistics

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the General Debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly and deliver important remarks via video link on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced Monday.

 

SOCAR bears exceptional social responsibility, having implemented numerous socially important projects for the benefit of our population in various regions of the country, as once again evidenced by this day, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated in his speech at the opening ceremony of a new sports complex in the village of Kizilajlo, Marneuli Municipality.
The Head of Government emphasized the importance of SOCAR's initiatives to Georgia, adding that the company has invested hundreds of millions of USD in Georgia to carry out important work.
"It is a great honor to be here today. I would like to thank our very special guest for being with us today. Mister Rovnag Abdullayev is our country's friend representing SOCAR, one of the largest investors in our country. SOCAR, having invested hundreds of millions of dollars n our country, is carrying out important work in Georgia. Notably, SOCAR bears exceptional social responsibility, having implemented numerous socially important projects for the benefit of our population in various regions of the country, as once again evidenced by this day. We are in the village of Kizilajlo, Marneuli Municipality, and today we will open this wonderful, important present for our population, a modern European-standard sports complex, a wonderful present to our youth. That is why, once again, I would like to thank Mister Rovnag Abdullayev and SOCAR. Of course, we are interested in promoting healthy living among young people, and this is a very important asset acquired. I want to inform our population, our people, that today Mister Rovnag Abdullayev will open a newly built kindergarten in the village of Kabali with financing from SOCAR. This important project was launched just a year ago, and today it is already finalized. The project's cost in 3 million GEL. It is a very good example illustrating and brotherhood, friendship, and cooperation. Our Azerbaijani brothers and the Azerbaijani state are not just a neighboring country-I always say that Azerbaijanis are our brothers, and we have excellent relations; we are strategic partners implementing important projects. Together with SOCAR, the Georgian Government is implementing gasification work of unprecedented proportions throughout the country, and our cooperation is very productive," Irakli Garibashvili said. 
The guests attending the opening of the sports complex were also addressed by SOCAR CEO Rovnag Abdullayev, who conveyed greetings from President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the population of Kizilajlo. Rovnag Abdullayev also emphasized the conditions put in place by the Georgian Government for Azerbaijan have resulted in 1 billion and 200 million invested by Azerbaijan in Georgia. According to him, the friendship and oneness of mind between the Governments of Azerbaijan and Georgia are as exemplary as ever, and the two countries enjoy commendable cooperation in strategic and other factors. As the CEO of SOCAR pointed out, Georgia's gasification stands at 90%, a result found only in a handful of countries around the globe, and this has been made possible thanks to active assistance from the Georgian Government.
The new sports complex in the village of Kizilajlo was built and handed over to the state free of charge by SOCAR Energy Georgia.
The complex incorporates an indoor multifunctional athletic space for a variety of sports, such as basketball, mini football, handball, volleyball, and wrestling. The sports complex will also feature seating areas for spectators, locker rooms, showers, and sanitary areas, a storage room for equipment, and an administrative section. The building covers a total of 1,157 m2, and its cost exceeds 3 million GEL. A football stadium near the sports complex has also been fully renovated by SOCAR.
The event in the village of Kizilajlo was attended by SOCAR CEO Rovnag Abdullayev, General Director of SOCAR Energy Georgia Mahir Mammedov, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Georgia Faig Guliyev, representatives of Georgia's executive and legislative, and State Representative in Kvemo Kartli Shota Rekhviashvili.

Press Service of the Government Administration


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