Prime Minister’s speech at the General Debate of the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
"On behalf of the Georgian people, it is an honor to speak to you again at the United Nations General Assembly. As we gather for this 77th Session, we reflect on our founding principles and the progress we have made as an international community since the creation of the United Nations. At the first Session in 1946, the founders vowed to unite to maintain global peace and security.
While we have made significant advances, we must acknowledge the ongoing acts of aggression against members of this body – the very same types of acts that led to the establishment of the United Nations after World War II.
In 2008, my country was attacked by Russia resulting in the ongoing occupation of 20 percent of our territory. At the time, the international community recognized this aggression. But, as we have learned, the world’s democracies must act as one to ensure that freedom and peace prevail.
The UN was founded to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and protect state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is our duty. It is our promise.
Today, I have the privilege of representing Georgia, a strong, proud, freedom-loving nation that has preserved its sacred heritage and history, while also evolving and adapting to the geopolitical realities of 21st century.
Thirty years ago, Georgia became part of the United Nations family. Now more than ever we are committed to protecting our shared values in our region and worldwide.
We seek all opportunities for collaboration with our international partners to advance the cause of peace. In that regard, the Geneva International Discussions are particularly crucial to bring the Russian Federation to the table to address the implementation of the EU-mediated 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. Georgia appreciates the international community’s support for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Though 20% of my country is still occupied by Russia, we do not let this difficult challenge define us. We continue to punch above our weight and contribute to the international community.
Since our government came to power in 2012, we have implemented an ambitious reform agenda that brought us closer to our key international partners, the EU, United States, NATO, and the United Nations. For the first time since we regained independence, Georgia has enjoyed an unprecedented decade of peace, prosperity, and stability.
We are continuously working on Georgia’s global positioning and are already realizing the rewards. According to the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, Georgia is 1st in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The Open Budget Index ranked Georgia as 1st in the world in terms of budget transparency; and according to the Fraser Institute Economic Freedom of the World 2021, Georgia is among the top 5 economies, along with Singapore and Switzerland. NUMBEO named Georgia one of the world’s safest countries, ranking 14th globally.
Our work to align more closely with the US and Europe goes hand and hand with our commitment to continued democratic transformation. Increased Euro-Atlantic and European integration is our way of returning to the family of European nations, with whom we share history, culture, and most importantly, values.
We are continuing our unequivocal path towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Our commitment to these goals is backed up by actions and real results, including an Association Agreement, DCFTA, and visa-free travel with the EU".
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Some 75 countries, including China, on Friday called for global solidarity for vaccine equity at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.
The pandemic knows no borders. The only solution lies in global solidarity, unity and multilateral cooperation, said the countries in a joint statement.
"We call on all states and stakeholders to strengthen solidarity and international cooperation to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic and its consequences, ensure protection for those most affected, including women, children, youth, the older persons and persons with disabilities, and take measures to counter misinformation, disinformation, stigmatization, racism and xenophobia," said the statement, read by Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
The joint statement recognizes the need to begin treating the COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good for health. It commends the contributions made by relevant countries and platforms such as Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its vaccine pillar, the COVAX facility, for promoting vaccine accessibility and affordability through bilateral and multilateral channels.
However, vaccine equity is still far from being reached. The progress on vaccine roll-out has been widely uneven and unfair. Many countries, in particular the developing world, still lack adequate access to available and affordable vaccines, said the statement.
"We are also worried by disturbing trend of vaccine nationalism and stockpiling of vaccine doses beyond need. In that regard, we welcome the World Health Organization's call to prioritize vaccinating the people most at-risk around the world who are yet to receive their first dose."
The joint statement calls on all states and relevant stakeholders to step up coordinated and concerted efforts for fair and equitable distribution of vaccines in developing countries. It also calls on capable vaccine-producing countries to translate their commitments into action and ensure timely and adequate delivery of vaccine support to receiving countries.
The joint statement encourages support to the ACT Accelerator and COVAX and calls on international financial institutions and other international organizations to provide financial support for vaccine procurement and for strengthening production capabilities in developing countries.
It welcomes the efforts of civil society, the private sector, academia and all relevant stakeholders in vaccine research, production and delivery, and calls on all states and all stakeholders to strengthen global solidarity and jointly promote the fair, affordable, equitable, timely and universal distribution and strengthen local production of vaccines around the world.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service