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Georgia’s PM delivers speech at UN General Assembly

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, September 23
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvil,i delivered a speech at the United Nations General Assembly's (UNGA) 71st Session in New York yesterday.

“We are proud to be ranked the fifth freest economy in the world, ensuring openness and integration into the global market and equal opportunities for all people interested in doing business in Georgia,” the PM stated, and added that Georgia's foreign policy is aimed at building strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with the countries of the region, as well as with the European Region (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Kvirikashvili spoke about the recent reforms implemented in the country and stressed that effective governance with transparent and accountable institutions is the key for building peaceful and inclusive societies and for sustainable development.

According to the PM, Georgia is one of the most attractive places for doing business and it is already one of the lowest tax burden countries in the world.

“Georgia now ranks 4th in terms of 'ease of doing business' in Europe and Central Asia and is on the path to being a true 'start-up nation',” he said.

Kvirikashvili briefed the UNGA session about Georgia’s large scaled infrastructural goals and said the Government will invest more than $5 billion USD in connectivity and infrastructure in Georgia the next four years.

“Thanks to Georgia's strategic location, our ports, roads, and transport networks will be an important part of the ambitious and transformative Silk Road development plan connecting Europe and Asia,” he added.

In his speech, Kvirikashvili underlined that the Georgian government has made progress in the country's judiciary system and overhauled the court systems, prosecutors' offices, judicial ethics, and attorneys' responsibilities.

”We gave more rights to defendants and ended the impunity of government officials…today, Georgia is number 29 in the Rule of Law Index of the World Justice Project, ahead of a number of old and new EU members,” he claimed.

Moreover, the PM ensured that the government would hold free and transparent October 8 Parliamentary elections.

“On the 8th of October, the people of Georgia will win, and our democracy will continue driving our country to a sustainable future,” he said.

Kvirikashvili reminded the UNGA guests that 20 percent of Georgia’s territories, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) were occupied by Russia and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Georgia were still denied the right to return to their homes.

“The population in the occupied regions endure constant ethnic discrimination and gross human rights violations. Their freedom of movement and their property rights are restricted. They are even denied education in their native language,” he said, and condemned the recent act of holding elections to the Russian State Duma in Georgia's occupied territories, assessing it as “another part of Moscow's annexation policy.”

After addressing hundreds of guests at UNGA, Kvirikashvili participated in Solidarity Fund event discussions, held jointly by Georgia and France.

He then recalled an international forum on innovative funding held in Tbilisi (TISIFF 2015) and labeled it as the first ever attempt to consolidate the global knowledge on solidarity and innovative funding.

The joint event of the French and Georgian Governments in partnership with the lead countries of innovative funding, UN Women and Solidarity Fund of Georgia were attended by Phillipe Douste-Blazy, Deputy General Secretary of the United Nations; Yannick Glemarec, Assistant General Secretary of the United Nations; government officials of France, Mali and other countries.