Georgian President addresses 78th session of ESCAP

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili Monday addressed the 78th session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), reviewing “new and serious challenges,” alongside the significant progress achieved over the years.

In her speech, the President talked about the COVID pandemic, climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Alluding to the Russia’s ongoing full-scale military aggression in Ukraine, Zourabichvili said it has resulted in a human and humanitarian tragedy. At the same time, the President said the negative effects and disruptions go far beyond Ukraine and are affecting the growth of many UNESCAP members.

“The energy and land infrastructures that served as a bridge between Europe and Central Asia is being torn apart. Effects of the disruptions of food and other supply chains are considerable. We already know that it will result in growth of poverty and inequality and undermine the implementation of sustainable development goals. This only underlines the need for decisive actions to end the war as soon as possible. The war highlights also the need for a rapid development of alternative transportation systems in order to sustain the supply chains between Europe and Asia,” reads the transcript provided by the Communications Service of the Administration of the President of Georgia.

The President continued: “Notwithstanding the challenges in its neighborhood, Georgia, due to its geographic location as a bridge between Europe and Asia and a country located on the old silk road, is involved in intense cooperation with the Asia Pacific region to develop new energy, transport, broadband connectivity projects.”

Zourabichvili believes the geopolitical context is further boosting Georgia’s role as gateway point to Asia and as an essential transit/logistical hub, “a crucial link in the Middle Corridor for moving goods through the Channel that links the Black Sea, the Caucasus and across the Eurasian continent.”

“While looking at a new historic milestone on its path towards European integration, through the submission of its membership application, Georgia seeks to develop its ties with Asian economies in particular through Free Trade agreements and increased cooperation.

In these difficult times, the role of ESCAP is ever more crucial in advancing the goals of sustainable development, addressing new challenges and helping intensify the interaction and cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region,” she asserted.

 

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