Salome Zurabishvili addressed world leaders at UN high-level meeting
Salome Zurabishvili addressed world leaders at UN high-level meeting

Today, the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, together with the world leaders, took part in a high-level meeting to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The event was held online due to the pandemic.

In a video address to the leaders of the UN member states and the public, the President of Georgia spoke about the need to find new forms of conflict resolution, the importance of health, environment protection and inclusive coexistence, as well as the role of educated citizens in a culturally developed society.

“Celebrating its 75th anniversary, UN is at a crossroads: Global threats from terrorism to climate change and now pandemic require more unity and solidarity, while they increase tensions and multiply factors of division. Multilateralism itself is put in question.

While presenting the world with new and huge challenges, global threats force us to take a fresh look at the existing practices of management in our lives, our societies and our governance systems. This means new opportunities if we are able to see and seize them. If we can look outwards and not inwards.

“The future we want” is based on four pillars:

First, Peace. The Secretary General’s call for a global cease-fire has not been heard …yet. While seeing every day the cost of isolation in its territories occupied by Russia, Georgia is not ready to simply stand by the damages caused by occupation to human lives and to human rights. Time has come for a fresh look, out of an intolerably frozen situation, at the opportunities that the new world paradigm opens and be ready for testing new solutions. Peace and development being the only way forward.

Second, a viable planet. We all witnessed how lockdowns positively affected our environment and changed our approach, compelling us to look more thoroughly at sustainable energy transition and resource management. We as a small country think that even if our actions do not impact the global picture, we can still play an experimental role, albeit an exemplary one, for designing common strategies.

Thirdly, an inclusive and healthy society. Coronavirus spread was a wake-up call for all. Georgia has responded to the pandemic in a timely manner and managed to minimize the impact on the vulnerable populations. This was made possible by the “triangle of trust” established between society, medical authorities and government, and through close cooperation with international actors. Trust and solidarity will be key for our societies to develop the necessary resilience for tomorrow.

Last but not least, educated citizens in a culturally developed society. Internet development has shown new opportunities for education, culture and creative growth, despite threats to information reliability and security. Citizens with knowledge and skills are the only key to future growth and the main resource. Tolerance, which we Georgians view as our centuries old cultural heritage, together with intellectual and moral solidarity, are the values that have to guide us in these times of uncertainty.

For such a future to take form, we need to respect our principles and treat the Charter and the SDG’s, not as words on paper, but as concrete goals that need political will and commitment.

The “UN we need” is one that will inspire our citizens, create trust and bring effective leadership”, –  President of Georgia stated.

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