In a globalized yet restless world riddled with conflict and violence, cultural diversity and dialogue are more important than ever; this is a lesson we are learning from our history and traditions, among which tolerance stands out, said Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili during her remarks at the President’s reception for participants in the 48th plenary session of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly.
“Russian was forced on us as a mandatory language of communication, even as a language of obedience, in the closed space of the Soviet Union. The return to freedom and independence coincided with the creation of new venues and membership in new organizations, where English is now the primary, albeit not exclusive, language of communication in this globalized world. Yet, French retains a special place in our country as the language of culture, first and foremost, the language of choice, and still the language of openness to Europe,” Salome Zourabichvili said.
According to Georgia’s President, the key values of multilateralism and international law – respect for borders, territorial integrity, and sovereignty – are under threat or directly violated today across the world and in many places.
“These transgressions and challenges to fundamental norms are visible in Ukraine, where Russian aggression reveals the real face of Russian imperialism. This is the reality that you have witnessed here in Georgia, where Russia occupies 20% of our country in defiance of the rule of law and justice,” Salome Zourabichvili stated.
Salome Zourabichvili went on to add that Georgia is at a pivotal point in its history because it is hosting the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) and its Plenary Session.
“In a globalized yet restless world riddled with conflict and violence, cultural diversity and dialogue are more important than ever; this is a lesson we are learning from our history and traditions, among which tolerance stands out.
I cannot conclude my address without praising you and emphasizing the importance of your decision to upgrade Georgia from observer to associate membership. “We thank you for this decision, which acknowledges and obliges us,” Salome Zourabichvili said in her statement to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie’s 48th plenary session.