Strasbourg, 26.11.2018 – Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL) and Reina de Bruijn-Wezeman (Netherlands, ALDE), members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will travel to Georgia from 27 to 29 November to observe the conduct of the second round of the presidential election, alongside observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament and OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
They are due to meet the two candidates, the Central Election Commission, and representatives of the media, before observing the ballot on Wednesday 28 November.
A joint press conference is scheduled on Thursday 29 November at 2.30 p.m. at the Biltmore Hotel, Grand Royal Ballroom, 29 Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi.
Last weekend, over 3,000 people gathered in the city of Marneuli, in the Kvemo Kartli region of southern Georgia, for the sixth regional Europe Day organised by the EU Delegation to the country.
Festivities in Marneuli closed the Europe Day activities held in the country this year. In 2018, the EU Delegation to Georgia brought Europe Day celebrations to seven locations: the capital of Tbilisi and six regional towns.
Residents of these towns enjoyed a number of information activities, including for children, to learn about the diverse Member States of the EU and EU-Georgia cooperation. Adults had the opportunity to sample delicious food and find out more about how the EU is helping create more opportunities for Georgian citizens.
Senator Roger Wicker: I want to congratulate Georgia on the progress that we look for in countries that would like to join the Western alliance
Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission underscored in his opening remarks that Helsinki Commission holds this Hearing to make sure American people and international community do not lose the sight of illegal occupation of Georgia as well as its costs and implications. “We also intent to ensure Georgia’s contribution to our common security recognized and we advance along its path to Euro-Atlantic integration and Full NATO membership” - Senator noted.
He paid special attention to the democratic progress of the country: “Mr. Ambassador I want to congratulate Georgia on the progress that you are making on the rule of law and independent judiciary and all of the things that we look for, in countries that would like to join the Western alliance. We are not going forget you. We are going to continue speaking up about this, we are going to be guided by the testimonies of the three outstanding witnesses today.” Senator Roger Wicker said.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the US Helsinki Commission, which is an independent agency of the US government, has held a hearing about the illegalities committed by Russia on Georgian territory.
The hearing was titled "On Violations of the OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation, and Severe Human Rights Situation in the Illegally Occupied Regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia” and the Ambassador of Georgia to US David Bakradze, Damon Wilson of the Atlantic Council of US and Luke Coffey of the Heritage Foundation participated in the talks.
Instructors and students from Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess, Georgia visited the Republic of Korea between the 14th and 23rd of February to systematically learn about HWPL peace education through a peace camp and experience Korean culture.
The peace camp taught them how the core values of promoting peace from HWPL peace education can be applied in their daily lives. One of the programs implanted in them the heart to cooperate, love, and express gratitude, through which they realized that each one of them should become a messenger to bring peace, which is not far from them.
Students from Georgia actively interacted and exchanged culture of Korea. Through the peace education, they have become able to accept differences among people as well as recognize each other as global citizens who ought to live in harmony which were the key elements to end conflicts and disputes.
The students also took time to truly discover the values of peace by listening to the explanation of HWPL’s Peace Education. Also, during the time of learning about “mutual cooperation” they were divided into teams and had the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports that required cooperation. In particular, they were able to directly experience the importance of unity through a traditional Korean cultural activity that is similar to tug-of-war. One student in the class emphasized the importance of cooperation by stating, “Today’s activity taught us how to love one another, have respect for each other and become one.”
Another field trip took place in the Yongsan War Memorial of Korea. While Georgian students indirectly experienced the brutality of war through the history of the Korean War, Korean students could also share mutual empathy for the tragedy of war with Georgian students after learning about the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.
“I imagined one of our students, the smallest boy who is fourteen-years-old. When I imagined him in the war, it was so hurtful for me,” said Mairam Lomauridze, who wanted to share with her peers the true meaning of peace and the heart for peace she felt at the camp after she went back to Georgia.
Food also brought them together. The Georgian and Korean students cooked and shared both the Georgian traditional dessert, Churchkhela, and the Korean traditional food, Bibimbap. They also expressed their grateful heart for their parents and teachers by making carnations at the session.
On the last day of the camp, a ‘Mini WARP’ was organized, modeled after the WARP Summit which takes place every September with the leaders of each sector of society hosted by HWPL. Performances choreographed to express the sincere heart for a peaceful world without war deeply touched the Georgian students. They took solidarity in working together in the hope of bringing about world peace when they go back home.
Rusudan Bolkvadze, Director of Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess and instructors including Darejan Lordqipanidze and Tamar Lolishvili were designated as peace education instructors who could actively implement HWPL peace education. Tamar Lolishvili, English teacher of Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess, who has closely communicated with HWPL, highlighted the importance of peace education, “We must teach our students to take care of the world. They can’t do anything without knowledge. I am against wars...against fights. The best tool in this case is education.”
The instructors also promised to teach their students to become peace messengers through special lectures in Georgia. Students promised to take the responsibility of spreading and teaching the core values of HWPL peace education, such as understanding, respect and cooperation, to other student organizations.
After they returned, instructors and students continued teaching the core values of peace based on HWPL peace education curriculums.
The resolution, which was submitted to the Senate on May 24, reiterates the US support to Georgia and condemns the occupation of historic Georgian lands by Russia.
The authors of the resolution are Senators David Perdue, Ben Cardin and Johnny Isakson.
The resolution supports the partnership between Georgia and the US for defence and security and initiates even higher level of cooperation in the fields. The resolution also encourages more intensive trade and commercial ties between the two countries, based on mutual interests.
The resolution reaffirms US strong support to Georgia’s NATO membership and praises Georgia’s role for international peace and security".
The resolution condemns the occupation of Georgian territories by Russia and calls upon the country to withdraw its forces from the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).
The resolution speaks about the severe violation of human rights in and near the occupied territories of Georgia.
TBILISI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Tbilisi Belt & Road Forum 2017 kicked off here Tuesday, with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stressing the forum aims to explore opportunities stemming from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
"The revival of the Great Silk Road, encapsulated in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the President of the People's Republic of China, rests upon five fundamental principles: peace, prosperity, openness, innovation, and exchange of civilizations," Kvirikashvili said in a welcome speech delivered at the two-day event.
He highlighted Georgia's strategic location on the crossroads of the East and the West and the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative.
He noted that Georgia will spare no effort to give, in cooperation with its partners, fresh impetus to the diversification of transport routes along the Silk Road and raise the effectiveness of these routes, while stepping up the implementation of related projects to boost economic and civilization ties between Europe and Asia.
Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister Qian Keming said in his keynote speech at the forum that the Belt and Road Initiative had moved to a new phase and opened new perspectives for the future of the world.
A series of agreements were signed on the sideline of the forum attended by around 2,000 participants from all over the world, including a memorandum of understanding on developing economic zones and entrepreneurial capacity between China and Georgia.
According to the Georgian government, Tbilisi Belt & Road Forum aims to establish a platform for high-level meetings where regional partners get together to explore opportunities, align visions and enhance bilateral partnerships in four main areas of cooperation: transport, energy, trade and business-to-business contacts.
The European Parliament proposes new ways to intensify EU relations with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November, the official website of the European Parliament reports.
Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are working hard to forge closer links with the EU, in spite of strong resistance from Russia. They already benefit from visa-free travel to the EU as well as increased commercial opportunities thanks to free-trade agreements.
A new Parliament report is now calling to deepen this collaboration further and find new ways to support the countries on the EU’s eastern borders. The own-initiative report has already been adopted by the foreign affairs committee and will be voted on by all MEPs during the November plenary session in Strasbourg. The main focus is on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, three countries which have recently achieved major progress in the cooperation with the EU.
Topping the list of recommendations is the establishment of a trust fund for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The trust fund is a development tool for quick and flexible EU response to crisis and post-crisis situations. It would pool resources from public and private donors for investment in projects aiming to improve socioeconomic structures.
The committee also recommends increased support for economic reforms and upgrading the current partnership as a way of rewarding progress on EU-related reforms by partner countries. This upgrade could provide access to the EU's customs or energy union, for example.
Lithuanian EPP member Laima Andrikienė, one of the authors of the Parliament report, said: “The creation of an Eastern Partnership Plus model for associated countries with the possibility of a future membership in the customs, energy and digital union is crucial."
These measures add to the structures and projects for cooperation and development in the region already in place by the EU. The proposal emphasises the need to maintain pressure on Russia to resolve the territorial conflicts involving these countries. This is particularly relevant at the moment as the EU sanction towards Russia will reevaluated in January 2018.
The Eastern Partnership is a framework for collaboration between the EU and eastern neighbours Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Since the launch in 2009, the political context has changed dramatically, according to Andrikienė.
“The changes are due to the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine in 2014, the annexation of Crimea and continuing occupation of Eastern Ukraine by Russian proxies, as well as Kremlin-steered frozen conflicts which remain unresolved in Moldova and Georgia," the MEP said.
She added that despite “Russian meddling” Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, three of the partner countries, now have association agreements with the EU and free trade agreements through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
German S&D member Knut Fleckenstein, one of the other authors of the report, said the partnership was about much more than just signing agreements: “The objective is to build trust and promote cooperation between all partners in order to achieve concrete benefits for the people, such as respect for fundamental freedoms, better living standards and prospects for the future, facilitation of people-to-people contacts.”
To boost the progress of these countries, the proposal by the foreign affairs committee will be put forward to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Services for consideration at the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit on 24 November.
“We have to ensure that the outcomes of the summit are concrete and dedicated to the long-term investments and well-being of people in the countries concerned. EU support for economic reforms are of very high importance to the citizens," said Andrikienė.
Her colleague Fleckenstein added: “A successful Eastern Partnership must reduce socio-economic disparities and corruption, better connect the participating countries in the areas of transport, infrastructure and energy, allow for visa-free travel for short-term stays and increase opportunities for educational exchanges and people-to-people contacts,’’ – the European Parliament says.
The hereby Agreement will allow Georgian entrepreneurs introducing own goods and services to the largest world market without bureaucratic impediments.
Besides, the agreement will facilitate to increase of trade turnover between the signatory countries. The document provides active cooperation in various directions and defines free trade conditions.
The Agreement facilitates to economic development of the country and better employment. Besides, the document will encourage entry of potential foreign investors to Georgia.
The negotiations on the agreement started on November 10, 2015 in China within the World Economic Forum after the meeting of the Prime Ministers of Georgia and China. Georgia is the first country in the region with free trade agreement with China.
The Friendly Match in the frames of the 25th anniversary of Georgian-Canadian friendship and diplomatic relations
On October 28, 2017, The Georgian National Baseball Team held a friendly match with Georgian Baseball youth team. This friendly match was organized by The Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association and fully devoted to the celebration of 25th years of Georgian-Canadian Friendship. Before the match, Director of the Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association Mr. Ilia Zukakishvili addressed the guests to the stadium. He said aim of organizing this match was to bring Georgian and Canadian communities closer.
Today our friendly game again highlights the strong relationship and partnership between Georgia and the Canada. As I am Director of the Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association, I will do my best to deepen the friendship between Georgian and Canadian people. I am always ready to cooperate with our strategic partners to achieve the best results for our country. I believe that the Canadian will always be loyal to Georgia and I believe the main reason for this is that Georgia is loyal to friends and to friendship. Long live to Georgian and Canadian people and we cheers for the friendship between Georgian and Canadian people. God bless our friendship! Georgian audience and Canadian guest enjoyed the friendly match and Georgian snacks.
The official supporters and Sponsor of the event were: Georgian Baseball and Sophthabol National Federation, Aviation Company “Georgian Airways”, Company “TELAVI WINE CELLAR“ News Agency “NEWSDAY.GE”, “FRONTNEWS”, “GEOMEDIATV.GE”and English Newspaper “The Messenger ".
In honor of 25th anniversary of Georgian-Canadian friendship and diplomatic relations, the Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association will organize various activities throughout Georgia by the end of 2017.
Strasbourg, 20 October 2017 – A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is carrying out an Electoral Assessment Mission to Georgia from 20 to 22 October 2017, in order to monitor the local elections scheduled for 21 October.
The delegation, composed of the Thematic Spokespersons on election observation, Stewart DICKSON (United-Kingdom, ILDG) and Jos WIENEN (Netherlands, EPP/CCE), as well as Congress’ Vice-President Barbara TOCE (Italy, SOC), is joining efforts with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
Further to the Election Day, Stewart Dickson will present, together with Corien Jonker, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR long-term election observation mission, the preliminary post-election statement at a joint Press Conference scheduled for 22 October 2017, 3 pm (venue: Biltmore Hotel, 29 Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi).
The press conference will be live streamed on the OSCE/ODIHR website at:http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/georgia/339371.